Lucky Penny that saved WWI Soldiers life up for auction

1889 penny

A lucky penny that saved a First World War soldier's life when it deflected a bullet from inside his breast pocket has been discovered more than 100 years later. 


Private John Trickett kept the coin in his breast pocket as a poignant reminder of home while he served on the Western Front.

It ended up saving his life when it took the full impact of a bullet fired at him by German forces.   

Although the shot ricocheted upwards, hitting him in the ear and deafening him for life, he survived.

Private Trickett, whose two brothers were killed in battle, returned home with the dented penny, that shows the exact mark where the bullet struck.

Adrian Stevenson, militaria expert at Hanson's, said: 'The penny is a poignant reminder of the fine line between life and death, particularly in wartime.

'Soldiers used to keep objects in their breast pockets in an attempt to protect themselves from enemy fire and explosions. 

'Shrapnel was the biggest killer in wartime. It's likely John Trickett kept the penny there on purpose.

'It looks to me like a pistol bullet hit the penny at close range. When the bullet hit the coin, it ricocheted up through his nose and went out through the back of his ear. It left him deaf and disabled but still alive.

'He was honourably discharged from on September 7, 1918, shortly before the war ended.'

Pt Trickett is believed to have lied about his age in order to follow his brothers, Horace and William, in to war.

He joined the Northamptonshire Regiment and was aged 19 when he was shot in 1918.