I remembered something about my last moments as John and now I really want to know if this happened.
I believe I may have sacrificed myself to draw fire away from the others in the wiring party.
I guess it worked; I was the only front-line casualty that night. There was an Irish soldier who died at the clearing station (based on cemetery records) but this may have been unrelated.
Still, it raises some serious questions. I wasn’t cited for anything… was I hoping to be cited? Did I think they’d give me a Victoria Cross or something? Did I misjudge the situation and sacrifice myself needlessly? Was I just being too chivalrous for my own good? And is this memory at all accurate?
Still trying to sort out my emotions this morning after remembering that last night. This is a development I wasn’t expecting; I always figure I died trying to save myself but I never did understand why I was out in the open in the memory of my final moments; any sense of my motives was always strangely absent and I just figured I was too stunned to get down.
Also, I still don’t know what kind of ordinance took me down. I’m pretty sure it was a hand-thrown bomb but wouldn’t being right next to the others (they were in a trench or shell hole right in front of me) actually draw fire toward them? Wouldn’t they have been wounded unnecessarily by what I did? And if so, does that mean I acted in a moment of incredibly bad judgment?