NINETY nine years ago Albert Edward Swain was serving in France with the British Expeditionary Force during The First World War.

All we know at present is that he was tag number 15521 and served with the 17th battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Those are the details gleaned from his “Official Copy” of the Book of Common Prayer dated January 1915 which was discovered at a house in Kiln Lane, Dentons Green.

Forty-five year-old Karl Birks of The Shires called into the Star office after a friend had passed on the prayer book he found while visiting the empty house.

Karl is hoping that by publicising the find in the Star Fusilier Swain’s descendants may come forward to claim the prayer book bearing his details written in ink on its first and last pages.

“A friend of mine was looking at a property in Kiln Lane when he found it stuck behind a boiler,” said Karl.

“It tells us where the soldier was in 1915 and he might have grandkids who the prayer book would mean a lot to. Maybe somebody will know where his family are.”

If anyone would like more information ring the Star on 01744 762766.

The inside page of the book contains ‘A Soldier’s Prayer’:

ALMIGHTY and Everlasting God, by Whose grace Thy servants are enable to fight the good fight of faith and ever prove victorious: We humbly beseech Thee so to inspire us, that we may yield our hearts to Thine obedience and exercise our wills on Thy behalf.

Help us to think wisely: to speak rightly: to resolve bravely: to act kindly: to live purely. Bless us in body and in soul and make us a blessing to our comrades. Whether at home or abroad may we ever seek the extension of Thy Kingdom. Let the assurance of Thy Presence save us from sinning: support us in life, and comfort us in death. O Lord our God accept this prayer for Jesus Christ’s Sake. Amen.