THE Pembrokeshire war hero’s bible that was found in an old fridge has been reunited with the family of its original owner.

The bible, dating back more than a century, was mysteriously recently discovered in a commercial refrigerator in Narberth.

Issued by the Naval and Military Bible Association, it is signed A. Harries, H.M.S. Cleopatra, July 1904.

Born in Penally in 1886, Arthur Harries served in the Navy in both the First and Second World Wars, receiving the Distinguished Service Medal for his actions during the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula during the first conflict.

Following an appeal in the Western Telegraph, the bible is now safely back in the ownership of 89-year-old Frances Harries of Monkton, the widow of Arthur’s only son, James, who died in 2000.

The bible had been looked after at Narberth Museum, where Mrs Harries and family members have now visited to have the historic volume returned to them.

“I had the bible for years, and only realised it a few weeks ago that it wasn’t on the bookshelf,” said Mrs Harries. “I really can’t think how it ended up in Narberth – the only explanation I can give is that I moved house twice after James died and it may have got mislaid then.

“It’s lovely to have it back.”

Her children, Malcolm, 62; Carol Mathias 64 and Keith, 68 were also delighted to welcome the bible back to the family, and also met a relative – Sheila Morse of Penally, who was the great-niece of Arthur Harries and is the cousin twice removed to Frances’s children.

Sheila’s research of family history told them that Arthur joined the Royal Navy as a 16-year-old after falsifying his age, and his brother John, was also a First World War hero, gaining a DSO and bar.

The lock of hair carefully preserved between two of the pages was from a childhood haircut of James Harries, Frances revealed.

The bible was found by Mike Wilkes, a warehouse employee for Cariad Cool Water and Coffee in Narberth, while he was clearing out an old large commercial fridge at the site.

“It was up high on a shelf and covered in dust, along with some broken crockery and other items,” he said. “It’s certainly the last place you would expect to find a bible!”

Cariad’s HR manager, Mary Evans, began researching the names in the bible, with the detective work carried on by Narberth Museum family history researcher, Jacqueline Thompson.

Said Narberth Museum’s learning officer, Emma Baines: “It’s so nice to be able to reunite the bible with Mrs Harries, and to bring different members of the family together.”