Flood of Memories

Had a flood of memories last night.  Mostly about Albert, my past life brother (b. 1880)

First, I remembered something that I need to try to confirm: that he had joined the army before I did.  He was 3 years younger, and I joined in my early 20s (in 1902). I feel strongly that we served together in India and caroused together in Secunderabad.  I really want to try to track this down now, if I can ever afford the subscription fees to the websites that host this information (they’re not expensive at all but my money always seems to go elsewhere these days).

Second, I remembered what Albert looked like, and this I REALLY want to confirm because he looked a hell of a lot like Richard.  I saw a man who was tall with thick reddish hair.  His upper lip sported a push-broom mustache.  I saw him in uniform… he looked every bit as dignified as Richard, even in muddy Khakis.

They called him “Paddy” because of his hair color; he hated that because he was English through and through, and we were both devoutly Anglican.

This could easily be wishful thinking, but I also remember that our mother had strawberry blonde hair (which I also want to confirm).  If this is true then the hair color would have been in our genetics.  If Albert really did look like Richard then I’d be more inclined to believe that he might have been the same soul.

Also, I had some memories related to when and where he was wounded.  I believe he was wounded early on at Ypres, around the time we were in the trenches covering Polygon Wood.  I remember not knowing if he was alive for some time, perhaps for the rest of my life; he’d been badly wounded about the chest and shoulder and had initially been reported dead if memory serves.  This was a common occurrence at the front.  At any rate seeing his name on the headstone forms means he did survive the war, and was probably alive around 1925, ten years after he was wounded.  I wish I knew how long he lived.  Did he die of despair in the 1930s?  Did he join the Home Guard in the 1940s?  Did he die of old age some time between 1955 and 1975?  I just don’t know.  I’m going to try to search cemetery records in the UK but I don’t know if I’ll find anything, since trying to find the graves of any of the Harris family has been met with frustration so far.

Another memory I had was of the use of flour sacks to shore up a parapet when sand bags were in short supply.  The flour sacks I remember were red and white, emptied of their flour (I assume the flour was used unless it was full of beetles and even then it might still have been used) and re-filled with dirt, though they took on the color of the rest of the sand bags after a while.  I need to confirm at least whether or not this is plausible.

EDIT: I should mention that the trigger for this flood of memories was the music of Arthur Sullivan.  I think I may have been a fan in that particular life.  I think I’m going to create a playlist of music from that life and share it here.


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