A BATTLEFIELD RESCUE
My father, Alexander Watson White, was in the Signals Corps. in the British Navy during WWII. In 1942 or '43 he was stationed in India. He was on guard duty one day, standing in the broiling sun, concentrating on trying to maneuver his rifle butt into a position which would give him a tiny bit of shade, but still be more or less in regulation position. Suddenly he was no longer in India. He was in what he later realized must have been a battlefield somewhere in Europe. It was cold and wet. The fighting was over for the time being. There were bodies lying around, and in the distance he could see a Red Cross team moving the wounded off the battlefield. He looked down, and saw his best friend since childhood, John Wilmshurst, lying unconscious on the field. He knew John was not dead, but he would be if he remained where he was, and he was determined to help him. My father picked John up, and followed in the wake of the Red Cross team. He left John in a Red Cross tent, and then found himself back in India, still on guard duty in the hot sun. He thought he must have fallen asleep for a few moments, and had been dreaming.
Both my father and John survived the war. When they got back to London, John met with my father, and said to him: "Alex, you are going to think I am completely crazy, but I'm absolutely certain you saved my life during the war." My father said, "Oh? How's that?" and John then told my father that he had been injured in battle. He was lying wounded and unconscious on the battlefield. It was as if he was outside his body, looking down on it. He was terribly distressed. Apparently the Red Cross rescue team had overlooked him. He knew he was going to die if he was left out there, but there was nothing he could do about it. Then John said, "Suddenly you appeared, Alex. You picked me up in a fireman's lift, and you carried me a long way to the safety of a Red Cross tent. And then you disappeared."
When my father told me this, I said, "Did you tell John your side of the story?" and my father said, "No." I asked him why not, and he just said, "It didn't seem necessary."