PRIVATE Henry Haworth eased himself a little lower behind the heavy sandbags around the top of his trench. The cold Gallipoli night was as black as treacle.

Barely 50 yards away the sentry could hear Turkish soldiers talking quietly. It was getting louder, he thought as he took a quick glance into the darkness ...

The sniper was very cool. He waited patiently, hardly breathing and not moving. He knew exactly where the Tommy was and knew he would risk another quick glance into the night, as the murmuring got a little louder ...


Henry, a Darwen lad with the East Lancs Royal Field Artillery, was knocked back with the force of the bullet which struck him high in the chest.

“Damn!” That was his first thought; “I’ve copped it!” That was his second.

He lay in the mud at the bottom of the trench, his fingers covered in blood from the wound.

And then, slowly, he realised he was still alive. Carefully, he felt around – and touched the bullet!

It had struck him in the middle of his cigarette tin. It had made barely a dent into the back of the case. The wound was little more than a scratch. A couple of fags were mangled.

Henry’s cigarette tin became quite a talking point for the rest of the Great War which he came through with barely another scratch.

Afterwards it took pride of place on the bar of the Brookside pub in Darwen which his parents George and Martha ran on Darwen’s main road near the old fire station

George Haworth had his own claim to fame. He played for Accrington, turned out in five internationals for England, and had a spell with Blackburn Rovers, playing at right half in their 1885 FA Cup-winning team.

After he retired from football he ran the Boar’s Head at the bottom of Burnley Road, Accrington, and, from 1901, the Royal in Blackburn.

His son Henry told his pals after his lucky escape: “I’d been thinking of stopping smoking. But I’m damned glad I didn’t!”

Henry, a plumber after the war, used to tell the Brookside regulars: “We always used to say that somewhere out there was a bullet with your name on it.

“Well, this one sure had my name on it. After coming through that night I reckoned I’d be all right. And I was; made it home in one piece – and with a souvenir!”

George Haworth was living with Henry and his family in Bradford when he died in 1943, aged 94.