TracesOfWar employee Wijnand de Gelder recently reviewed the book The Boy With Only One Shoe by RAF veteran John Henry Meller (1924). In his early youth, at the age of three, the writer was severely burned with third-degree burns by boiling water. Here, according to his own words, he had a near-death experience: he saw a glowing light and a staircase far into the clouds. As he climbed and climbed he saw a kind of angel in a gate. He didn't want to let him enter heaven: You can't come in - because you only have one shoe!