Another one

Just had another one.  

I was watching a convoy run parallel to the trench.  At the head of the convoy were a bunch of olive motorcycles, followed by several blue trucks, with a Rolls Royce armored car- once gray but now tan with dust- bringing up the rear.

The trucks in the middle… I’ve drawn up what I saw for future reference, but one feature about them already stands out.

They had a canvas top with a “C” shaped cab.  Now, in the photos online, lots of trucks have canvas tops, and lots of them have C cabs, but the two together is a rare combination.  Here’s the closest I’ve seen so far:

http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.4103995.5589/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg

One major difference in the one I saw and this one is the lack of a chain drive.  The truck I saw was larger and distinctly had a chain drive.

This is significant.  If I can place the front end design with any known manufacturer at the time, especially a British or French one, then I can provide yet another detail that I did not know prior to research that came to me in a vision.

Two Possible Memory Fragments

I wrote these two visions down on two separate dates.  Still don’t know if they’re an actual memory or just me being a typical writer and wrapped up in my own fantasies.  But there is a ring of legitimacy to them so I thought I’d share.

On October 20, 2012, I wrote:

The fields outside the town could be very scary places at night.

The wind across the rolling hills would sometimes moan as the warmer air cooled in the night. The old folks said it was lost spirits calling out to tempt God-fearing folk into the sin of suicide.

On the new moon you had only the stars, and you could see the milky way so plainly, a great strip of tortured white above you, the rolling hills faintly registering in their dim glow. And on nights when the moon was full the land looked white, furry, and undulating in the moaning breezes like some sort of sea moss.

Then there were the corpse candles, those sinister lights that appear on the hillsides at night and vanish without a trace. They told us that it was bad luck to follow a corpse candle, because they were used by Satan to lure men into peril. And I grew to fear those corpse candles most of all if I was ever about at night because whenever a corpse candle appeared in my way, I knew the way was not safe. But one night out on those fields, in avoiding the corpse candles, I became lost. Fearful that a cruel trick had been played on me, I ran to the tallest hill nearby and scanned the horizon.

I probably could have seen the town’s steeple from this spot in the day time, but that was hidden from view.  Some homes in town had electric lighting but most still had gas, so the glow on the horizon I saw was not extraordinarily bright, but it was a faint orange glow that led me in the right direction toward the main road into town.

I later saw an entire field where I was surrounded by corpse candles in France. That was when I knew that there was no way out for me.

On October 30, 2012, I wrote:

I remember little about the first day I arrived in the trenches. I don’t remember getting there, I don’t recall how I actually got down into the trenches, but I do remember the first time I set foot there.

They were shallow, dry, and duck-boarded, not the deep pits of mud one usually sees in war movies.

In fact, the weather wasn’t bad that day. A bit overcast but not too cold and not at all drizzly, with good visibility all around. You could see across No Man’s Land to the German lines, not that there was much to see; the Germans were pretty well dug in even at this point in the war.

We walked along in a column. All the boys were polite, with smiles, waves, nods, and welcomes all around, but their smiles were the forced sort you’d see from family you hadn’t seen in many years when meeting at another relative’s funeral, and the welcomes were the sort of detached murmurings and handshakes one might see at Charon’s landing.

And amongst all the welcomes, they were loading one fellow onto a stretcher. He looked to be dead; sniper got him, most likely. Reduced to a bloody hulk that they covered with a blanket and quietly carried away while we set our bags and rifles down and made ourselves at home in a living death.

It seems music brings these memories out effectively, and emotionally-intense music (whether or not it has a martial theme) seems to do it very well.  That second vision came to me while listening to this very intense piece of music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHY6wzMoToA

More Discoveries

Thanks to Mick at britishwargraves.co.uk, I finally have a photo of Pvt. Harris’ grave.  Because those photos belong to the site’s owner to distribute as he wishes (He’ll send you one for free), I won’t post it myself, but I can now describe the full inscription:

(KSLI Regimental Crest)

7324 Private

J. Harris

King’s Shropshire L.I.

8th July 1915 Age 39

(Cross)

He Did His Duty

What’s interesting is that the information I’d gotten from various other war grave sites- about his parents’ names and the fact that they were from Yeovil- is absent on the headstone, so I can only conclude that there is some other record which mentions this information.

There’s also a chip on the left side of the headstone, though available information suggests that these headstones were placed after the war (when, excactly, I don’t know) so it’s unlikely that this was from the fighting that erupted around 1918 when Houpelines fell to the Germans.

Mick also tells me that he knows of no other cemeteries in France or Belgium that have the same style of fence as Ferme Buterne.  Given that the tree is right next to Pvt. Harris’ grave, I’m reasonably sure now that it’s him despite the differences between the vision and the actual site.  Not bad for finding a 6’x 2′ grave 9,000 miles away in a place I’ve never been to.

I’m still not entirely sure if this was a vision from a past life or just a strange vibration I picked up on that told the story of a restless soldier who died far from home.  Perhaps I’ll never know for sure, but I think it’s time to devote more energy on learning what I can about Pvt. J. Harris of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry… I just hope time has not erased all memory if his life beyond this single cold marker.

Resensitized

Something they never tell you about past life memories is how they can change you.

Before I had that catastrophic memory of waiting for the whizz-bang that probably killed me, I was a very different sort of person.

I owned a gun and didn’t think much of using it in a self-defense capacity.  In fact I had a bit of a mean streak and kind of hoped I would have to use it so I could get a reputation as someone you didn’t mess with.

I didn’t really give much mind to war even though I was theoretically against the ones currently going on.  As far as the exact emotional and physical toll that nearly wiped parts of France and Belgium off the map, it didn’t really register.  The war was something that happened a long time ago, that only existed in highly-idealized Hollywood productions or grainy photos in dusty albums.  The last veterans of that war have all died off and so, I assumed, had the memory of what really happened.

Just a taste of what those soldiers went through was like a sharp kick in the groin.  I don’t think I fully recovered from the initial shock of the few brief slivers I saw, or of finding a grave that is very likely my own.

I no longer own a gun, nor do I want anything to do with them.  I’m going to stay out of gun politics but on a personal level, my disgust with guns has never been higher.

I also find I don’t get angry at people nearly as often, and I find that the idea of killing someone for any reason suddenly has its shock once again.  I don’t want to make people suffer or even see them suffer any more.  That was part of a life I had lived recklessly without regard to the other person involved, and I’m very sorry I ever allowed myself to think that way.

I used to be a lot more involved in fringe political activism.  Not so very long ago I was getting deep into Occupy and the Cascadia Independence movement, fully expecting things to boil over into a full-blown revolution within a decade.  While I still think independence for this region would be a good thing over all, I’ve dropped out of the activist culture completely.  I don’t want to waste another life on a war that might do more harm than good; if I joined the British Army in the name of “King and Country” in a previous life, but I had no way of knowing the hell that would follow in the next century.  What we started in France in 1914 never really ended; the entire 20th century and the first decades of the 21st have been a constant swing between extreme ideologies and the destabilization of nearly every nation on earth. 

I’m returning to my own advice I gave myself years ago: nations rise and fall, but love is the true measure of all things.

Love one another.  And for everyone’s sake, never forget what we lost between 1914 and 1918.  I certainly won’t.

More Discoveries

Hello, anyone who actually reads this.

It’s been a slow week or two and I haven’t been thinking about my recovered memories much.  It was wearing me out to consider the weight of cruelty that the Great War brought out and it made me ill to think that my soul might bear that stain.

However, thanks to a friend in the UK, I came across some information that was of interest.

The 77mm Feldkannone and its FKG11 shells seem to be a fair match for the vision of my possible death in four crucial ways:

1. The FKG11 was a high-explosive round.

2. Multiple fuses were available for the munitions used by this gun, including an impact fuse and a time fuse.

3. They were in the German arsenal at the start of the war, which makes a date of 1915 possible.

4. They had a slow rate of fire, which explains the intervals of several seconds between reports that I recall (versus later in the war when by some accounts shells rained down like steel hail).

Yet another tantalizing lead.  If I discover Pvt. Harris was killed by shell fire, especially if it was at night, then that would strongly hint that I was him in a previous life when considered with the other evidence.  At this point I don’t think anything will ever be “proved” but if I do learn who I was in that life, then at least his story- my story -will be told.

More about the 77mm Feldkannone and its munitions here: http://www.landships.freeservers.com/feldkanone_96_na.htm

A Chance Discovery

To those who know me this may not come as much of a surprise that I found this (I have a strong affinity with foxes that may even be described as spiritual), but apparently, I’ve found two instances of foxes being kept as mascots during the first world war.

The first was in the original 1916 film about the Battle of the Somme.  At about 4:32 you can see the Royal Field Artillery’s mascot, a young fox pup caught in France:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krT1lX_Dvm0

The National Library of Scotland has this picture of a fox kept by an RAF squadron:

Image

If I’m willing to entertain the possibility of past lives, perhaps I should be willing to entertain a past life either as a fox or in close proximity to one at the time?

If I find any references to a fox in regards to people I research while looking at service records, that will be an interesting development.

Contradictions?

Last night I finally had the courage to sit and watch some documentaries about the Battle of the Somme, as one of my friends suggested.

What it revealed is that some of my memories contradict some of the things I’ve found, but not all.

Consider that Pvt. J. Harris, whose grave is the closest match to my vision to date, died in 1915.

This would be potentially consistent with the memory of a brothel where lonely soldiers of the various armies would come in secret.  According to one of the documentaries I saw, the drive for “total war” didn’t really hit the enlisted soldiers until the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  Before then, they said, it was not uncommon for British and German soldiers to pass one another between battles and not bat an eye.

However, my visions of being under constant anxiety from German shells actually suggests a much later date in the war, more consistent with my intuition of being around 1917.  By all accounts, the Germans didn’t rely on artillery as much as the British did until much later in the war, when they introduced high-explosive rounds.  Air-burst rounds seem to be mentioned more in literature from the second world war than the first one, but all that proves to me so far is that they were more widely used; I haven’t seen anything that completely contradicts their use in the First World War.

I suppose it’s too soon to say there are clear contradictions because I’ve only scratched the surface.  I haven’t pulled Pvt. Harris’ service records yet, nor have I done a great deal of research on firsthand accounts of the early battles, and I know almost nothing still about the common ordnance of the time period.

What I do know is that I’m not going to believe every vision I have just because it’s mine.  I fully expect there to be some contradictions, and only by learning as much as I can about the verifiable facts can I have any chance of determining which is which.