Air Aces of World War One



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

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 82 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 82 )

  Continuation of Post Mortem Report:

The carotid artery had a fine hole opening, The internal jugular vein was opened about a inch and a half…not divided. The blood vessels contained clotted blood. All these injuries were performed by a sharp instrument, like a knife and pointed.

The cause of death was haemorrhage, from the left common carotid artery. Death was immediate, all the mutations were administered after death.

We examined the abdomen. The front walls were laid open from the breast bone to the pubes. The cut commenced opposite the enciform cartilage. The knife must have cut obliquely at the expense of that cartilage.

Behind this, the liver was stabbed as if by the point of a sharp instrument, Below this was another incision in to the liver of about two and a half inches, and below this the left lobe of the liver was slit through by a vertical cut. two cuts were shewn by the jagging of the skin on the left side.

The abdominal walls were divided in the middle line to within a quarter of an inch of the navel, The cut then took a horizontal course for two and a half inches to the right side. It then divided round the navel on the left side, leaving the navel on a tongue of skin. Attached to the navel was two and a half inches of the rectus muscle on the left side of the abdomen. The incision then took an oblique direction to the right and was shelving. the incision went down the right side of the vagina and rectum to half an inch behind the rectum.

There was a stab of about an inch on the left groin. This was done by a pointed instrument. Below this was a cut of about three inches going through all the tissues and making a wound of the peritonium to about the same extent.

An inch below the crease of the thigh was a cut extending from the exterior spine of the ilium obliquely down the inner side of the left thigh and separating the left labium, forming a flap of skin up to the groin. The left rectus muscle was not detached.

There was a flap of skin formed by the right thigh, attaching the right labium and extending up to the spine of the ilium. The muscles on the right side of the frontal ligaments were cut through.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 30

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 30

  Despite the fuss over the presence of the Zombies, the girls of Littlehampton were determined to win and with that in mind were practising daily after school, other pleasures were put on hold, this was war, a war they would win.

Jane Mullen and Sally Dobbs were amongst the team practising, they intended to win whatever the cost, and if it meant a few of the Charlie’s being carried off injured, then so be it. Hockey is a contact sport, accidents can and do happen, especially with a little help from the participants. Littlehampton would win. Zombies or not Saturday promised to be an interesting day, one way or another.

Friday arrived, and the Patel household was a hive of activity. Sanjay was organising his siblings to assist wherever possible. He assigned Jamila, Samira’s younger sibling to assist at the holiday camp. Samira immediately vetoed that idea, she had plans that didn’t include a younger sister spying on her. Fortunately for Samira, she was her Father’s favoured daughter, so she got her way.

And in any case as Sanjay knew, she was more than capable of running the Holiday Camp, she had ran it alone on many occasions in the past. But not with the distraction provided by Dave Knowles, who she lusted after. Jamila was re-assigned to work in the Ice Cream Parlour, this suited her perfectly, unlike Samira, she was a chubby little girl who loved her food, she had certainly landed on her feet.

Mrs Patel was left to take charge of the family home and relay any last minute or urgent messages that may arise. With all the family assigned their duties, Sanjay left for his office, which was to be his H.Q. whilst the Weekend was in progress, and the nerve centre of his operations.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 5

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 5

  I knew that I had to obey Shamus without question, He handed me an axe to carry and led me in to the woods. We paused for a moment whilst Shamus examined several trees, he cut a notch in the ones he had selected and told me to chop them down.

It took me ages to chop down the first tree, my arms ached and my hands were starting to blister. I was almost crying with the pain but I was determined not to let down my Mother and my trainer , Shamus. Once again I started chopping, this time on the second tree of the five that Shamus had selected.

Once I had demolished the second tree, I was soaking wet with sweat, my arms were throbbing with pain and my hands were raw and bleeding. Shamus asked to look at my hands, he was clearly annoyed with me.

‘Why didn’t you tell me you were in pain, boy?’ he asked angrily. ‘You are supposed to be toughening me up, you don’t need a cry baby!’ was my angry reply. ‘It’s a slow process, you don’t get tough overnight, you work at it, now I have to fix your hands or there’ll be no chopping tomorrow!’ he said, shaking his head.

I was annoyed with myself, I had behaved like a child. I realised that not only had I let Shamus down, I had let myself down badly too. I felt ashamed.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 81 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 81)

Continuation of Post Mortem Report:

The face was very mutilated. There was a cut about a quarter of a inch through the left lower eyelid, dividing the structures completely through. The upper eyelid on that side, there was a scratch through the skin on the left upper eyelid near to the angle of the nose. The right was cut through to about half an inch.

There was a deep cut over the bridge of the nose, Extending from the left border of the nasal bone down to near the angle of the jaw on the right side of the cheek. This cut went into the bone and divided all the structures of the cheek except for the mucous membranes of the mouth.

The tip of the nose was quite detached by an oblique cut from the bottom of the nasal bone to where the wings of the nose join on to the face. A cut from this divided the upper lip and extended through the surface of the gum over the right upper lateral incisor tooth.

About a half an inch from the top of the nose was another oblique cut. There was a cut on the right angle of the mouth as if cut by the point of the knife. The cut extended a inch and a half, parallel to the lower lip.

There was on each side of the cheek a cut which peeled up the skin, forming a triangular flap about an inch and a half. On the left cheek there were two abrasions of the epithelium under the left ear.

The throat was cut across to the extent of six to seven inches. A superficial cut commenced below the lobe below and about two and a half inches behind the left ear and extended across the throat to about three inches below the lobe of the right ear.

The big muscle across the throat was divided through on the left side. The large vessels on the left side of the neck were severed. The larynx was severed below the vocal chord. All the deep structures were severed to the bone, The knife marking intervertebral cartilages. the sheaf of the vessels on the right side was just opened.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Air Aces of World War One

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Captain John Oliver Andrews – British Ace 1896 / 1989

  Andrews was a Manchester brewer’s son. He attended Dame Alice Owen’s School from 1908 to 1911, Followed by attendance at Manchester High School 1911/1912. He then joined The Royal Scots ( Lothian Regiment ) being commissioned a second lieutenant on 9th of October 1914.

After service in the Infantry, Andrews transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. His first aerial service was as an observer/gunner, originally, he was seconded to No.1 Squadron RFC at Netheravon on the 4th of November 1914. He was then re-assigned to observe on the Avro 504 in No. 5 Squadron RFC in June 1915. He qualified as a pilot on the 15th of June 1915, earning Royal Aero Club Certificate number 1924 at Le Crotoy, France. He was officially appointed a flying officer (observer). He was then assigned to the newly formed No.24 Squadron RFC as an Airco DH2 pilot. On 16th December 1915 he was appointed a flying officer.

On the 27th of April 1916, in one of his early flights in the DH2, He drove off German Ace Max Immelmann, holing his Eindekker in the process. a week later, Andrews was appointed a Flight Commander with concomitant promotion to temporary Captain. He went on to score his initial victory on 21st July 1916, destroying a Fokker Eindekker over Allaines. On that day he led a patrol attacking a German formation of five Roland CII’s and their five escorting Fokkers. His victory may have been against German ace Ltn Otto Parschau of FA32. although not proven.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 80 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 80 )

  The body was still quite warm. No death stiffening had taken place. She must have been killed most likely within the last half hour. We looked for superficial bruises and found none. No blood on the skin of the abdomen or secretion of any kind on the thighs.

No spurting of blood on the bricks or pavement around the body. No marks of blood below the middle of the body. Several buttons were found in the clotted blood after the removal of the body. There was no blood on the front of her clothes. There were no signs of a recent connexion.

When the body arrived at Golden Lane Mortuary, some of the blood was dispersed due to the removal of the body to the Mortuary. The clothes were carefully taken off the body. A piece of the deceased’s ear fell from the clothing.

I began the Post Mortem Examination at half past two on Sunday afternoon. Rigor Mortis was well marked ; body not quite cold. Green discolouration over the abdomen.

After washing the left hand carefully, a bruise the size of a sixpence, recent and red was discovered on the back of the left hand between the thumb and first finger. A few small bruises on the right shin of an older date. The hands and arms were bronzed, no bruises on the scalp, the back of the body or the elbows.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 29

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 29

  Of course Sanjay had no inkling of Samira’s intention’s toward Dave Knowles, he had other fish to fry. He wanted all of his business’s running full on all weekend. Sanjay Patel was not a man to be unprepared if there was an opportunity to make some money.

All of his business’s were stocked to excess, should the Weekend be particularly successful, It was now Wednesday. The Weather Forecast for the week was looking wonderful, what could possibly go wrong. Looking back in hindsight, he would probably have said, ‘Everything!’

The Town council, the towns ruling body, were all preening themselves and waiting for the money to come rolling in. The Mayor was back on form, he had survived the temporary setback with Maude James and was now rearing to go. He was back in the Cinema projection booth giving Mavis the usherette a good seeing-to, one of the perks of her job. Mavis, thought the Mayor was a rather plain woman, but she had a delightful arse, which he never tired of groping, perks of the job naturally!

The Mayor, like the rest of the council was looking forward in anticipation to the Weekend. It had been necessary to grease a few palms, but hopefully Sanjay would be made to look foolish and his tenure as Mayor would be secured.

The senior girls of Littlehampton Academy, were preparing for their Saturday afternoon hockey final against Saint Charlotte’s Catholic School, Known by the girls as the ‘Charlie’s’ it was a grudge match, as the ‘Charlie’s’ had beaten them 1 nil at their last meeting.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 4

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 4

  My Mother summoned me to her presence, Shamus was already present, I knew something was afoot and that it concerned me for better or for worse.

My Mother said, ‘ Conor, I appreciate that you are little more than a child, but like it or not you are still the man of this house, although you are but eleven years old you must begin to train to build up both your physique and your intelligence, to this end I place you in the care of Shamus, he will teach you all you need to know to survive, heed him well for we are talking life and death here!’

If I’m to be honest, hearing this from my Mother came as a surprise, she had implied that I had enemies, but I knew of  none other than the giant, who I still dreamt of and despised. Then looking me in the eye, with her hands on my shoulders, she spoke once more, ‘ When you are a little older and capable of holding your own in a fight, I have a secret to tell you that will change your life forever, but not until Shamus tells me your are ready!’

I hung my head, like the child that I still was, Then I remembered my Father and the manner of his death, something came over me and I think in that moment in my mind at least I became a man. I turned to Shamus and said, ‘I am ready, do your worst, I can take it!’ Shamus came to me and hugged me to him and I held him tightly. In this odd way, my journey to manhood began.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 28

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 28

  Of course, her one weakness, her reputation. Maude was known throughout the town as a pillar of moral rectitude. It would do her character irreparable harm if it were known that she had been carousing drunkenly with the Mayor, and having carnal knowledge of him.

The answer came in a flash of inspiration, he would get one of his women to send Maude a poison pen letter, stating that she had been seen staggering drunkenly out of the Mayor’s abode, attempting to adjust her clothing which was in a state of disarray, her dress tucked in to her knickers as if she had put them back on in a rush. that should get her off my back for a little while, he thought, at least until I’ve carved my share out of the Zombie Weekend.

At the same time, Sanjay Patel, at his office in the town, was instructing Samira in the role she would play in the proceedings. She was to be his deputy, so he wanted her fully briefed as to the situation, she was an intelligent girl and he trusted her completely.

Samira was to welcome the Zombies to the Holiday Camp where they would be staying for the Weekend. Her task was to make sure that they were all settled in comfortably and cheaply, and kept segregated from the other guests.

Samira had already segregated one of the dining halls, exclusively for the use of Zombies only. there were families on the camp and Sanjay insisted that the two parties be kept completely segregated.

(C) Damian Grange 2018