Bob, a World War I soldier killed in action manages to get through to his mother after she learns automatic writing. Explaining about death he says;
Mother, I have found out another thing from this point of view. There is little or no fear of death among men who go into battle. The soul seems to remember, suddenly, that it may be about to repeat an interesting experience. The physical side of the soldier is dominated by the spiritual and carried on with a kind of thrilling joy.
The meanest man sometimes surprises his comrades by exhibitions of courage. This is the reason. In this connection I must mention Cooper. You will remember that I wrote you about him when I enlisted. He seemed to be the one bloke on our regimental ‘scutcheon. A sniveling “willy boy” who was afraid to go home in the dark. We all wondered how he stood the examiner’s gaff and was accepted. He had prayed, very likely, that he would be turned down. Well, he came west (passed away) since I last wrote you. I happened to be near when the grenade fell in the trench and saw him grab it in his arms and scramble out with it before it exploded. He saved a whole company, among them many wounded.
I went with him over the top and yelled, “Bully for you, Coop, old man!” Then the bomb blew away his mortality, and he saw me. We left the field together, and I took him back among the hills where the particular group of helpers headed by Jack Wells gave him a glad hand. He’s all right and a trump among us. Get word to his mother.
Below, another message came through about Copper which today we would consider a near-death experience.
I have permission to tell you that Cooper has, because of his understanding and compassion, been sent back home as an instructor. His body, sustained by some life principle which I cannot explain, has been all this time in a reconstruction hospital back of the French lines. You may see him with your own eyes. And you will know that any man who has crossed No Man’s Land, and returned, has a message to the world from God.
Extract from Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication From World War I by Michael Tymn