A past life experience of WWI - and an intense, vivid memory of laying in a dark dugout
Type of spiritual experience
BackgroundAs the perception itself was formed during War, the activity War is also present
A description of the experience
I have an experience I want to share, though if you want to publish this on your website I am kind of skittish about having my real name printed. I am a published author and I do write about my experiences, but ....I don't want anyone to think I'm making these claims for attention to sell my books.
My experience was of the perception recall variety; specifically, it was a spontaneous recollection of a past life that ended violently in France in 1915. Recalling this life left me in a sorry state emotionally for a good many months afterwards and I'm still not completely recovered from the shock. I remembered sordid and terrifying things about WWI that you won't find in movies or documentaries.
I can expound on the exact circumstances that led to this experience and a more detailed record of all the facts I remembered and confirmed in a longer e-mail if you want, but here are the basic facts.
It was extreme overload from a perfect storm of bad fortunes that hit me between 2011 and 2012. One day, while talking to my fiance about how I felt, I began to liken it to how it felt being out at the front with shells raining down. Suddenly, I had flashes of bombardments followed by an intense, vivid memory of laying in a dark dugout (in what I now believe to be Ypres) laying on a hard wooden cot, hearing the shells come closer and closer.
I came out of it a total emotional wreck. I was shaking and crying. I said to my fiance "I don't think I made it back from the war."
I had other memories after that, as well as a vision of my grave as it looked after the war. It had a distinctive fence nearby, was at the end of the row, and had some kind of hardwood tree growing next to it; this helped me trace who I was but I still can't fully explain it. I even knew that the grave would be in France and that I was British, though I certainly searched through British, French, German, and American cemeteries for other possible matches across the Western and Eastern fronts.
I only found one match after weeks of searching through WWI cemetery websites and photos online; the cemetery was Ferme Buterne Military cemetery and the grave belonged to one Private John Harris of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, born in Yeovil, Somerset in 1877 and killed in Houplines, France on 8 July 1915.
I remembered growing up in a terraced house on a road that curved gently up a hill, and a view of trains rolling into the station from my upstairs window. I discovered John had lived on Sherbourne Road in Yeovil early on, but did not confirm which house until much later after contacting a local historian in Yeovil. I correctly identified the part of the street he lived on, the part just past Yeovil Pen Mill station.
I also identified the Boer War memorial in Hereford from my memories. That was where I saw the poster of Lord Kitchener 98 years almost to the day before my memories broke (I know from records that I enlisted in early September 1914).
I confirmed many more memories, though it took an immense amount of research into obscure facts of military history. I remembered things about the sectors we were in, the equipment that we used, and terrifying things about trench warfare that you won't see in movies or documentaries. I was not very well-versed in WWI history when these memories broke but after tracking them down, I certainly am!
I have also remembered other past lives, but none with the clarity and precision of my life as John and none that I am nearly as confident about having identified.
I won't really get into the rest of the lives I've remembered because I haven't learned much from them, though my fragmented memories of medieval times did inspire me to study medieval history as a serious academic pursuit. My professors call my papers "insightful."
If you like, I can try to put all this together in a nice, coherent narrative but it might take me a while to synthesize all my notes on the experience and everything that played into it.
Hope to hear from you soon!