The Coins that Saved a Soldier's Life

Posted by Derek Sawchenko on

6 Belgian Coins that are lined up. These coins were shot with a bullet. Each coin has an indentation of a bullet.

At the beginning of World War I, Optatius Buyssens was on a scouting mission for the Belgian Army. Unfortunately, the Belgian and French Franc coins that were in his breast pocket were jingling enough for a German soldier to hear them. As a result, Buyssens was shot and fell to the ground. The German soldier proceeded to kick him in the head to confirm his death and went on his way. Ironically, the same coins that got Buyssens in trouble were the same coins that saved his life. The bullet ricocheted off of 6 coins, which was just enough to prevent it from striking his heart. 

After pretending to be dead, Buyssens was able to sneak back to camp with another soldier. Today, the coins are in possession of Buyssens' great-grandson, Vincent Buyssens.

​This entire story was written down by Buyssens in a journal that was recently discovered by Vincent. He soon realized that he had the coins that saved his great grandfather's life.

A portrait picture of Optatius Buyssens in uniform: A soldier in the Belgian Army during World War 1.

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