After my mother passed away in 1993 I found an old battered tin amongst her possessions. This tin contained my father's Australian War Service medals and ribbons and other mementos of his service to his country during World War II. I also found a neatly folded cutting from the Sydney Daily Mirror newspaper the date of which was unknown but was turning brown with age. Carefully unfolding it I began to read it.
Tears filled my eyes as I read it as it reminded me of a story my father told me on several occasions of an event that occurred in the North African desert during his time there.
Below is the story he told me:
The Soldier's Bible
During the North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Cascina. The next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to Church. A sergeant commanded the boys in Church and after the Chaplain had read the prayer, the text was taken up next.
Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out, but this one boy had only a deck of cards, and so he spread them out. The Sergeant saw the cards and said, "Soldier put away those cards." After the services was over, the soldier was taken prisoner and brought before the Provost Marshall.
The Marshall said, "Sergeant, why have you brought the man here?"
"For playing cards in church, Sir."
"And what have you got to say for yourself, son?"
"Much, Sir" replied the soldier.
The Marshall said, "I hope so, for if not I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished."
The soldier said, "Sir, I've been on the march for about six days, I had neither Bible nor prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions."
With that, the boy started his story:
Sir, when I see the ACE, it reminds me that there is but one God;
And the TWO reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts; The Old and the New Testaments;
The THREE, reminds me of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
When I see the FOUR, I think of the four Evangelists who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
And when I see the FIVE, it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. There were ten of them, five were wise and were saved. Five were foolish and were shut out;
The SIX, it reminds me that in six days, God made this great heaven and earth;
When I see the SEVEN, it reminds me that on the seventh day, God rested from His great work;
The EIGHT, tells me of the eight righteous persons God saved when He destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives;
When I see the NINE, I think of the lepers our Lord cleansed. Nine out of the ten didn't even thank Him.
When I see the TEN, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on tablets of stone;
The KING, reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God
And when I see the QUEEN, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is Queen of Heaven;
And the JACK or KNAVE is the Devil;
When you count the number of spots on a deck of cards, you find 365, the number of days in a year;
There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year;
There are 4 suits, the number of weeks in a month;
There are 12 picture cards, the number of months in a year;
There are 13 tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter;
So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serves me as a Bible, Almanac and
"You see son, this is a true story, because I was that soldier."
Graphics on this page are by
Created with the HTML Editor++
This page is Copyright © October 1998 by Pat Cox
Updated June 2004