A Near Miss: WWI Soldier Saved by Diary and Mirror

It is believed by the family of 65319 Private George Peachey that his diary and wallet-type soldier’s mirror most likely saved his life during WWI.

A diary and mirror wallet attributed to George Peachey and recently donated to the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa, appear to have been scarred by a piece of shrapnel. The direction of the fragment comes from the back of the diary, all the way through and lodges in the back of the soldier’s mirror. There is no mention of Peachey ever being wounded on his record so the objects most probably saved his life. The family believe he was hit in the chest with the shrapnel while the items were in his pocket.

Although Peachey didn’t leave New Zealand until 1917, the diary is dated 1916 and looks to have been mostly used later on as a notebook. Throughout the diaries central pages, possibly written later as well, there are notes about making trenches and pickets alongside a telegram, a leave pass, a theatre ticket, and a pencil.

Diary and mirror wallet of  Pte. George Peachey. 2017.65.1