Air Aces of World War One

 

 

Hawker
Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

 

Major Lanoe George Hawker V.C. England’s 1st Ace 1890/1916

The son of a Distinguished Military family, Hawker was born on the 30th of December 1890 at Longparish, Hampshire, England. He was educated at Stubbington House School and then at 11 yrs old to The Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, although highly intelligent and a keen sportsman, his grades didn’t reflect this and a Naval career seemed unlikely.

And so, he entered The Royal Military Academy in Woolwich before joining the Royal Engineers as an Officer Cadet. A clever inventor, Hawker developed a keen interest in all mechanical and engineering developments. During the summer of 1910 he saw a film depicting the Wright Flyer and after attending an aircraft flying display at Bournemouth.

He quickly gained an interest in Aviation, learning to fly at his own expense at Hendon Aerodrome. On the 4th of March 1913, he was awarded Aviators Certificate No.435 by The Royal Aero Club. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant in October 1913, he was posted to Cork Harbour with the 33rd Fortress Company. His request for attachment to The Royal Flying Corps was granted and he reported to the Central Flying School at Upavon on 1st August 1914.

Hawker was posted to France in October 1914, as a Captain with No.6 Sqn. R.F.C. flying Henri Farmans. The squadron soon converted to the B.E.2c and Hawker undertook numerous reconnaissance missions, into 1915 being wounded once by ground fire. On the 22nd Of April he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for attacking a German Zeppelin shed at Gontrode by dropping hand grenades at low level, below 200ft from his B.E.2c. He used a tethered German Balloon to shield him from enemy fire from the ground while he made successive attacks. During the 2nd battle of Ypres, Hawker was wounded in the foot by ground fire. For the remainder of the battle he had to be carried to and from his Aircraft but refused to be grounded until the battle was over.

To be Continued ……..

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces Of World War One

buddecke1Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Buddecke – German / Turkish Ace 1890 / 1918

  Buddecke was born in Berlin, and followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the army. In 1904, he started as a cadet, in 1910, he received his commission as a Leutnant in the 115th Life Guards Regiment. He left the army in 1913, due to his new enthusiasm for flying.

In the same year he left Germany and went to America to start a new life, and flew for a time from the early Airfield in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. While in America he worked as a mechanic at a car factory in Indianapolis. by saving his earning he was soon able to buy his own aircraft, A Nieuport Monoplane and taught himself to fly.

When war was declared, Buddecke abandoned his plans regarding a future in America. Travelling under a false name Buddecke returned to Europe on the Greek ship ‘Athene’ landing in Palermo, Italy. From there he immediately made his way home to Germany and Joined the German Army’s Fliegertruppe Air Service.

Buddecke was sent to the Western Front in September 1914. Initially he flew as an observer, but soon he would become a single-seater fighter pilot with FFA 23. Because of his previous experience flying monoplanes, Buddecke’s friend Rudolf Berthold, suggested that he should fly the first of the Fokker Eindecker aircraft assigned to the unit. Buddecke and Berthold flying the Eindecker and an AEG GII respectively, Formed a small Kampfstaffel  within the unit, intercepting British reconnaissance aircraft. Buddecke scored his first three victories with this unit.

 

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 76 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 76 )

  I awoke, refreshed and revitalised and with a distinct sense of purpose, between today and tomorrow’s dawning, I would rid the world of two more disreputable whores. Or, at least that was my avowed intention, who knows when fate may intervene.

I was fore-armed with the information supplied by McGinty as to where they plied their trade, so it was just a matter of seeking them out and finding the opportune moment. The opportune moment, when the last thing they would be expecting was to meet their executioner, The moment when life as they knew it would end.

I was proved correct in postponing my plans for several days, the Police presence wasn’t so obvious and the Vigilante’s appeared to have dispersed. Small things, but things that may weigh in my favour nonetheless.

I spent a carefree day at the Infirmary, everything was fine and going to plan. On my return home, I sent for McGinty and gave him his instructions for the night. Regarding what he was to wear and where he was to be seen. A well organised decoy is half of the plan.

After one of Mrs McGinty’s excellent dinners, I retired to the cellar, not as Mrs McGinty thought to work on my experiments, but to try to catch up on a little sleep so that I would be on top of my game, for the business I had in hand.

When the time was right, I would make my exit through the cellar doors, so that for all Mrs McGinty knew I was still at work in the cellar, which I often was until the early hours of the morning.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 26

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 26

  In another part of the town, Samira Patel was telling one of her close friends that she had every intention of seducing or allowing herself to be seduced by Dave Knowles. The man who to all intents and purposes was the leader of the Zombie invasion.

Samira, at nineteen years old was probably at the pinnacle of her beauty, glossy waist length black hair, beautiful dark eyes, perfect teeth, she smiled often. She also had full breasts and a lovely slim figure, which she would probably lose in a few years when the curry and chapatti’s started to show on her waistline.

Her friend was asking how a pretty girl, which quite obviously she was, would possibly want to have sex with a Zombie? ‘This is why!’ said Samira, and showed her friend a photograph of Dave Knowles without his Zombie makeover.

Then everything became clear to her friend, the man in the photograph was without a doubt, a handsome young man, He looked not unlike a young David Bowie. She could understand now why Samira wanted him in her knickers.

‘So how are you planning to achieve this? won’t your Father be keeping a watchful eye on you?’ queried her friend. ‘I am hoping my Father will have other things to occupy him, This weekend is a big deal to him, If it all works out right, he might be the Mayor next year!’ replied Samira.

‘But you still haven’t told me how you plan to seduce him?’ said her friend. ‘My Father has put me in charge of settling all the Zombies in the Holiday Camp. Once that is done, and they are having a meal. I will let myself in to Dave Knowles room, strip off and wait for him in his bed!’ Replied Samira, like it was a done deal.

‘It’s a nice idea, but are you sure, he’ll fancy you, he might be gay?’ stated her friend. ‘Well!’ Said Samira, ‘It won’t be long before I find out, one way or the other!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 1

Conor Dillon – Beginnings   Excerpt 1

  The boy woke sobbing, as if from a bad dream. Then as consciousness returned he realised that the noises that had frightened him were emanating from the courtyard below his window. The sound of galloping horses and shouting men, he hurried to the window and peered out. Through the darkness he could just about distinguish the shapes of about a dozen riders, all wearing cloaks and led by a giant of a man holding a pistol.

Conor, for that was the boys name, wondered what business these men might have with his father. And why they had come in the dead of night and all of them armed. The boy shivered in fear, they must mean us harm was his only thought.

He decided to investigate, he quickly dressed and ran down the stairs. He was just starting to descend the second flight when someone started banging on the front door. His Father opened the door and asked for the reason for the intrusion, as soon as the door was open wide enough for his Father to be clearly silhouetted against the interior lights, the giant who appeared to be leading the horseman aimed the pistol and shot his Father at point blank range.

The boy knew something terrible had happened, something unforeseen, but something that would change the course of his life totally and irrevocably. He ran, jumped and slid down  the remaining stairs in his eagerness to see what had happened to his Father, if anything?

As he moved around the door, the sight that met his eyes horrified him. His Father lay mortally wounded, cradled in his Mother’s arms. His Mother was weeping unconsolably, the boy ran to her and tried to comfort her, trying his best to be strong, whilst holding back his own tears.

The horseman had gone as swiftly as they had appeared, they had wreaked havoc, as was obviously their intention, and now they were gone. Claimed back by the darkness, from whence they came. But one thing about then Conor would never forget, the giant who led them. He made an unspoken vow that one day he would kill that man and avenge his Father!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 75 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 75 )

  On that statement, I took my leave of Abberline and his colleague and headed back to the Infirmary, where I had some patient’s treatment records to bring up to date.

Once I had finished for the day, I went home and summoned Mc Ginty to see if he had gained any more information on my two prospective victims. Unfortunately he had learned nothing new of any consequence. And so, It appeared that I was going to have something of a challenging night’s work, but not yet. I would choose the night.

I wanted the initial panic over the challenge issued in that stupid letter to settle, if I were to send two whores to their maker. The last thing I needed were streets full of Police and Vigilante’s, they were certainly not conducive to the kind of business I had in mind.

I made a conscious decision to wait until the end of the month, The night of the twenty – ninth, going into the thirtieth would just round the month of nicely.

So, between now and then, it was back to normal, the dutiful Doctor of Whitechapel Infirmary, caring for the destitute, the poor and the needy. Suffice to say, I did really enjoy being of service to the local populace. Despite my obvious failings, first and foremost, I am a physician, and as such I made an oath to give care and succour to my patients. An oath that I truly take very seriously, as I’m sure my patients will attest too.

But enough of me, what of poor little Mary, when all her friends are gone? who can she turn to for help? only to me, Her executioner!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One

 

Ren_Fonck_02-5933966f3df78c08ab7ee25f
Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest
Colonel Rene Paul Fonck – French and Allied Ace of Aces 1894 / 1953 Part 4

 

On the 18th of July 1918, he achieved another double to bring his total to 53 and a tie with Guynemer. The following day he shot down three more enemy aircraft and surpassed the score of the legendary Guynemer, who had remained the leading French ace even after his death on 11th of September 1917.

Fonck added for more victories in August bringing his total up to sixty, Then on the 26th of September he repeated his feat of downing six enemy aircraft in one day, only this time three of them were Fokker DVII fighter planes.

Another success two days later, and two on the 5th of October, bought his score up to 69 just short of the 72 claimed by William Avery Bishop, the leading Allied ace. on the 30th of October he scored three more victories, drawing level with Bishop, he downed two more the following day and one more the day after that, ending the war with a total of 75 victories.

To summarize he claimed 56 victories in 1918, attaining a total of 36 kills before May 1918. His 1918 list by itself would have made him France’s leading ace. He had accounted for all but 36 of Escadrille Spa 103’s 111 claimed victories. Unlike many of the leading aces, Fonck’s score only listed 3 aircraft shared. Also, unlike many aces he was never wounded, in fact it is stated that only one enemy bullet ever hit his aircraft, he had also forgone the most hazardous of air to air combat, he had shot down no balloons.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 74 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 74 )

  ‘What makes you so certain, Doctor?’ asked Sergeant Godley. ‘Our man wouldn’t try to conceal his identity, he likes to tease the Police, but he would never resort to something as crass and  childish as this!’ I stated with surety.

‘So, you believe its just some sad attention seeker trying to cash in on the notoriety?’ said  Abberline. ‘I could be mistaken, but I just don’t see our man stooping to something as pathetic as this, what would he gain from it?’ was my considered reply. ‘I have to admit!’ said Abberline, ‘That my thoughts were much the same as yours, why go out of your way to attract attention, when it is the last thing that you want.’

‘Exactly my thoughts, he already has more attention than his behaviour deserves, why in heavens name would he want more. I believe it is just some meddler who is trying to embarrass the Police and Civil Authorities, what he hopes to gain by it, I have no idea?’ was my carefully considered answer.

‘One more question?’ I’m afraid,’ said Abberline, ‘Will our man kill again?’ ‘ I would say most definitely, and soon, the fool behind this letter, has almost issued him with a challenge, I dread to think what his reaction will be, only that he will do something worse and more spectacular than before, my mind shudders to think what that might be?’ I said and meant every word, after all, who knew better than I.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 25

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 25

  Sam however had found a purpose in his life, the old campaigner, although in his early nineties had found a new lease in life, once more he had a cause. He and his kind had defeated Hitler and his Nazi hordes, he had no intention of letting his town be overrun by a load of bloody Zombies.

Sam had been drilling his Squadron of mobility scooters with an iron hand, he wanted them to be at the forefront of the resistance. He had persuaded a joiner friend to manufacture a contraption, roughly based on a medieval Quintain, basically a swinging bag that revolved making it difficult to hit.

Sam’s lancers drilled for hours, prodding at the contraption with their brush handles, ‘Hit ’em where it hurts, in the belly or the balls, let ’em know who they are messing with, take no prisoners, give no quarter!’ was Sam’s battlecry.

It must be said, that not all of the lancers shared Sam’s enthusiasm, but in all fairness to them, they were not all battle hardened, medal wearing veterans like Sam. Like lemmings they followed their leader, it would be cowardly to do otherwise.

But even Sam, their leader, had someone he was answerable too, this was made patently obvious one day, when June Parry appeared on their training ground. June, a woman of few words, said, ‘Sam Parry, your dinner is on the table, get your arse in gear, now!’ Sam left, with what little dignity he could muster. And the remainder of his Squadron dispersed with him.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Conor Dillon – Beginnings

Conor Dillon – Beginnings

Introduction

  During the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries a considerable number of Irishmen left their own country to take up arms for the Catholic Kings of Europe. These soldiers enjoyed a very high reputation for their splendid discipline and the great valour that they displayed on many a foreign battlefield.

Of these troops probably the most notable was the Irish Brigade That fought for over a hundred years under the Lily Banners of the French Monarchy. Many of these Regiments were formed by Irish Catholic Nobility.

The Unit, I have selected for this story is the famed Regiment Dillon, a Regiment with a fine and noble heritage. Please remember that this is purely a work of fiction, I have in some places used real people and events for historical accuracy. If I cause offence in any way, I apologise most sincerely, It was certainly not my intention.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Cursed through the Generations – Excerpt 18

Cursed through the Generations – Excerpt 18

  The servants were already clear of the building, when I noticed that little Josie was missing. I asked the others if they had seen her, they replied that she was following behind them as they were evacuating the building, she must have fallen or been hit by falling masonry.

I have no idea, Why? I am by nature a coward, but I couldn’t bear the thought of Josie and my unborn child perishing in the flames. I raced back in to the burning building, I could hear my wife, screaming out my name, but I had to do this, call it an act of guilt or redemption. But it had to be done, and I had to do it.

I found Josie, she had stumbled and twisted her ankle, she couldn’t walk, so I picked her up and carried her to safety. I laid her gently on the lawn outside. The house was burning down and collapsing around me, My marriage was almost certainly over, all my plans were turning to ashes. I was a man left with no choices, so I smiled and dashed back in to the burning building. My life was cursed, of that I was certain!

And so, once again the curse had taken a life, not a particularly pleasant one, but a life nonetheless. How many more would be taken, before the curse expired.

What remained of the building after the fire was little more than a shell. Adeline, returned home to her parents, to be forever haunted by the nights events. Josie, the maid, mainly due to the trauma of that night miscarried, and almost joined her lover, it took her months to fully recover.

Once again, as was its way, nature took over and the house rapidly became overgrown with weeds of every variety, from nature it begins and to nature it returns.

THE END

(C) Damian Grange 2018