It turns out that Shropshire has about four Romanesque abbeys. In fact it’s got one of the largest concentrations in Western England, it seems.
So far, the sites I’ve reviewed:
Haughmond Abbey– doesn’t really look much like it. Not enough of the squat columns. Owing to the split level, I’ll give it a “maybe” still.
Lilleshall Abbey– Not enough columns, and the arches are too ornate.
Wenlock priory– possibly. The grounds are landscaped, though I don’t know if that’s been done recently or not. It looks a little too Gothic/transitional be the right one though.
So the first two seem the most likely just by the look of them.
From Google Maps, I know that Buildwas abbey is less than 15 miles from Shrewsbury by road. Haughmond Abbey is less than 5.
Given that my memory is of strolling through the abbey with a woman, and the fact that I joined a regiment based out of Shrewsbury (when I could have just as easily joined closer to home), I come to some uncomfortable possibilities of what happened in 1914. Imagine this scenario: I’ve been married four years (record suggest I married in 1910) when I happen to meet a woman from Shrewsbury who leaves me reeling. I go up there to see her, madly in love. At last I can’t bear it. The war breaks out, and I seize the opportunity to be near her one last time before going off to the front. But I’m not thinking about the long term; I’m thinking about her.
So was I just a fool in love back in 1914, then? It would explain a lot about me, and why I kept trying to date while in the UK in this life. Maybe I was trying to go back and live the life I left behind and never knew it.