Tin Hat and a Water Bottle


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Theme: Christian’s believe God has put fantastic resources in our world – food and fuel. So many things. But perhaps the most important .. and simplest .. is water.

Harvest is a good time to appreciate the world’s resources and be thankful.


Whenever I go to a supermarket – I am always amazed at the choice and variety of food and drink available to us. We take so much for granted – and harvest is a good time to take stock. – especially as many people in the world do not have any choice. They can’t choose what to eat or drink. They are grateful to eat or drink at all.

Main Content

A Bedford QL was rocking its way along a dry desert road. The year was 1946 and the war had ended, but there were still many soldiers living and serving in the desert of North Africa.

The Bedford QL was a good all-round lorry – it’s four wheel drive made light of even the worst un-made roads.

It’s 72 bhp 6 cylinder engine droned away, it’s constant noise causing its only passenger, Frank Todd, to lose interest in his book and gradually begin to doze off.

Frank had just completed his stint at the wheel of the lorry and now Arthur Lane was coaxing the lorry along the dirt track, heading towards El Jaihib, a small village in the middle of nowhere that was also the spare parts base for British and American tanks.

The heat under the canvas, the drone of the engine and the rocking of the lorry made Frank’s head grow heavier his steady slow breathing took him into a deep sleep. The Bedford was just crossing a particularly rough part of the track when one of its front wheels caught a very large rock. The back of the lorry flew upwards and Frank flew with it. The wheels can down and carried on with the rest of the lorry down the track. Frank didn’t. He fell heavily onto the ground. Knocked out he didn’t even notice the lorry disappearing. Arthur meanwhile, himself nursing a bruised shoulder that the bounce had given him, didn’t even think to stop and look back.

“Huh” he muttered, “I bet that woke Frank up!”

But it didn’t, and it was some time before Frank’s eyes began to focus on the sand around his head.

“Ouch!” as he felt the bruises on his back and the lump on his head. “That was a bad .. hey .. where’s the lorry? Arthur?”

“Arthur!” he shouted sitting up and shouted sitting up and spinning around hoping to see the Bedford. But all he saw were the tyre tracks, going in both directions.

“Which way now, Frankie boy?” he asked himself aloud as he stood up. He stood there for a while. The tyre tracks from the Bedford went in two directions. He listened really hard to see if he could hear the lorry’s engine.

No! Silence The harsh overhead sun gave no clues. “Well .. I guess we’ll go .. this way!” His cheerful comments to himself did little to hide his real worry. He could be over 50 miles form the next camp .. and he had no food ..

and .. he felt his waist .. no water!

He wasted no time and set off in what he thought was the best direction. For the first half-hour he was fine, but the sun was beginning to get really hot. He felt his boots getting heavier as he trudged through the sand along the barren dry road, following the endless tyre tracks.

The sun seemed to be getting bigger and hotter with each passing half-hour. After four hours of walking he was beginning to feel light headed. His watch had broken in the fall and .. worst of all .. was he walking further away from help?

As his shoulders began to sag, his pace dropped and his arms hung down. “This .. is serious!” he joked to himself, as he finally gave up with the heavy helmet. He staggered on for another mile before he felt his head spinning for the fist time. He fell on to his knees.

“I can’t … stop .. now.” He croaked, his throat now dry and gritting. He tried to swallow but by now he was really thirsty. And then he passed out.

He woke in the sand some time later. How long had he been there? The sun was still so hot and his neck and legs were feeling burnt. His head was still spinning and he .. just .. wanted .. to sleep.

He woke again. This time he tried to get up. Slowly he dragged his knees up and lifted his back. His head felt like lead. He stood and wobbled and began to walk. Which way? By now he didn’t care! He fell again with a thud into the sand.

“I’ve had it if I don’t get help soon,’ he whispered.

Barely able to open his eyes, he stared at the sand in front of him. Just ahead, in the sand, he saw what he thought .. it couldn’t be. Yes! He blinked a few times to see more clearly. In the sand, a few metres away was a water bottle. An army water bottle.

He crawled on his hands and knees. Very slowly he came closer until, still lying down he could just reach out and touch it. He hesitated.

“If this is empty .. I’m dead for sure. But if it’s full of water .. I might just make it.”

He reached out and lifted the bottle. He shook it. It was full! Of what? Water? He pulled the string that ran through the cork. He sat up and lifted the bottle to his lips. It was very warm .. but it was .. water. He drank half the bottle, sat up and almost cried. He was still alive.

He sat there for a long time, and it was beginning to feel a bit like evening when he heard the familiar sound of the Bedford in the distance. Arthur was coming back to look for him.

Pupils' response

Prayer: Give thanks for harvest, and all God provides – especially water!

This assembly is part of the Assembly pack for KS2 “It’s God’s World”