I'm writing a story in which an important plot point is that a character, in the midst of urban warfare, was hit/grazed by a bullet (I'm thinking from a Webley revolver, but I'm fine with any kind of gun that might conceivably be used by a British soldier in 1916--the less powerful the better, I guess!)--except he wasn't seriously injured because, one way or another, he was protected by some kind of makeshift bulletproofing. As I said, this is urban guerrilla warfare, and it's 1916, so I do mean "makeshift." What I'm hoping is that he could have something hidden under his shirt, maybe, that would deflect a wayward bullet, although presumably he'd be bruised by the impact. [ETA: the bullet doesn't have to be aimed at him--it can be a ricochet--and is probably coming from quite some distance away. The character's on at least the second or third floor of a building, with fire coming from the street below.]
Something like a phonebook would be great, but I'm pretty sure it's a myth that a phonebook can stop a bullet. Is that true of pretty much any reasonable kind of bullet, traveling at any speed, even if it's not a direct hit? Is there anything else similarly low-tech that would deflect a bullet?
I've done some Google searches with terms like "makeshift bulletproofing," but I haven't turned up anything that works. Any help would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance!