Cursed Through The Generations – Excerpt 3

Cursed Through The Generations – Excerpt 3

  The Thorn Inn, once all the Witch Trials were over and lodged in history, went back to its normal business as a country inn. Like most inns in rural areas, it had its good times and its bad times. Good landlords and bad. But like all old buildings, unless Monies were made available to keep up rpairs as needed, they rapidly deteriorated.

This was sadly the case with the Thorn, it became so badly in need of repair, that no sensible man would take it on. And so, in the year 1795 it was demolished, brick by brick, until nothing was left to show its existence, other than the bare earth where once it stood.

Time passed, the seasons changed, grass grew and weeds prospered, but no one paid any attention to this blighted spot, years rolled by and then in 1840, The land was bought as a building plot. A rich man had decided to build a country residence on the site. He obviously had no knowledge of its history, either that or he was a fool.

The gentleman in question, Robert Chumley by name, was something of a gigolo. He was a tall handsome specimen of manhood and he knew it, after a spate of near disastrous peccadilloes, he had found his perfect woman.

In the shape of Adelina Maltravers, now Chumley, his plump and rather plain, of whom it was often said, ‘Only a Mother could love’ wife. It was hardly a love match, more a financial arrangement. Adelina, who was no doubt destined to a life of spinsterhood, was amazed when at a friends engagement party. The most handsome man in the room approached her as she hid in a corner of the room, and attempted to flirt with her, Adelina being the girl she was found this attention, both flattering and frightening.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 45 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 45 )

  Then at about 3.20 a.m. on Friday morning she appeared, staggering down the row, bouncing on and off the walls, obviously the worse for drink, taking her miserable life would be easy.

I came out of the shadows, walked towards her, lifted her chin and with one slice slit her throat. I lowered her to the pavement and stabbed and cut her several times in the abdomen. It was not my most skilled handiwork, but time was pressing, I had to make good my escape, before the Police arrived again, they were almost due. With regret, I left her for dead I pray that she was.

According to the following days Journal, I had made my escape in the nick of time. ‘Polly’s body was discovered by Charles Cross, a carman on his way to work, He notices one of his workmates Robert Paul, who he summons, ‘Come on and look over here, there’s a woman?’

Cross believes she is dead, her hands and face are cold, but her upper arms and legs are still warm. Paul thinks he can feel a very faint heartbeat, ‘I think she’s breathing, but it’s very little if she is.’

The two men agree that they don’t want to be late for work, so they adjust ‘Polly’s’ skirt so that she looks decent and decide to alert the first Policeman that they meet on their way. They eventually meet P.C. Jonas Mizen at the junction of Hanbury Street and Bakers Row and tell him of their discovery.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Air Aces of World War One



Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest


Godwin von Brumowski – Austro- Hungarian Ace 1889 / 1936 Pt 3

In August 1917, Brumowski scored a remarkable run of victories, being credited with 12 confirmed and 6 unconfirmed kills between the 10th and 28th of August. Two of these victories, on the 19th and 20th were achieved due to the partial transition to a new aircraft, The Albatros Dlll, with twin synchronised machine guns. He scored once again on the 20th using the Albatros and twice more flying the Hansa- Brandenburg Dl. By the end of August the transition was complete, from then on all his victories were won flying the Albatros. On the 9th of October 1917, he shot down and burned an observation balloon for his 22nd victory; The aircraft he flew on that day was painted all red in emulation of von Richtofen, with the addition of mustard painted skulls either side of the fuselage and later, also on top of the fuselage. From this time on all of his aircraft would be painted in this fashion.

On the 1st of February 1918, Brumowski became entangled in a dogfight with eight enemy fighters. Some of the 26 bullets that hit his aircraft, ignited the fuel tank built in the upper wing. He managed to escape and land at his home field without serious injury, one of the few to survive an in air fire. The fire ate the fabric of the upper wing and the inner fabric of the lower wing, he managed to land what was virtually a skeleton aircraft.

Three days later, while fling another Albatros he got in to a fight with eight English fighters and took multiple machine gun hits. With his wings breaking up he still managed to land, although the aircraft flipped over and was totally destroyed.

Brumowski fought on until 23rd of June 1918, when he was ordered on an extended leave. His last successful sortie was on the 19th of June when he scored his 35th victory and suffered 37 hits to his plane. He had flown 439 combat sorties, but his combat career was ended.

Also on 23rd June he was invited by Generaloberst Ferdinand to make the customary mandatory application for Austro-Hungaria’s highest decoration, The Knights Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa, The Reply from Brumowski was, ‘If I have earned this award through my service, them it should be cause enough for the Commander in Chief to present it to me, it is not my duty to ask for or demand it!’

Brumowski never received this award. On October 11th, although still only an Hauptmann he was given command of  all the Austro- Hungarian fighter squadrons on the Italian Front. The was ended a month later.

Brumowski’s victory tally was 35, including 12 shared and 8 unconfirmed which fell behind allied lines. On his death in 1936 his daughter commented, ‘He was a very unique and interesting person, either very much loved, or hated, and even considered crazy by many.’ He died in a plane crash while instructing a student pilot at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 9

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 9

  In the Women’s Institute, the situation was dealt with, with a little more decorum as you would expect from the ladies. Maude James, the chairwoman of the Littlehampton branch was airing her views on the subject to her lady members.

‘Littlehampton, is a pleasant little seaside town, we have no need for Zombies, or for that matter, anything else that will lower the tone of our town. My suggestion is that we make placards and picket the council buildings until the council concedes to our demands and puts a stop to this brand of insanity!’

Maude, without a doubt had the towns interests at heart, but she was also keen on attracting the interest of the Mayor. The Mayor was a single man and she a spinster, she had fought against them, but she had urges, all to do with her bed and a naked Mayor. The Mayor, let it be said, had shown no interest in her whatsoever, but she knew of his reputation among the ladies of the town, and hoped that in time, his eyes would alight upon her and see all that she had to offer.

She was a tall well-built woman with a rather matronly bust, to her somewhat biased mind, she was just what the Mayor went for. The one thing that she had not considered was that she was single and eligible, the two things that the Mayor avoided like the plague. He only dallied with married woman, who were sex starved and sure things, it was his way.

And so, to hopefully attract some Mayoral attention, she had elected herself Leader of the campaign to stop the Zombie’s coming to Littlehampton. Before she and her ladies were through with him, he would be on his knees and begging to concede to her will, or so she hoped.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 2

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 2

  During the trial that followed, Hopkins charged Elizabeth Clarke with the Charge of ‘Entertaining’ evil spirits and on the 25th of March 1645 gave the following deposition to the Court;

‘ The said, Elizabeth Clarke forthwith told this informant, and one Master Stearne, there present, if they would stay and do her no harm, she would call forth one of her white imps and play with it on her lap. She was told this would not be allowed, and they staying a while longer the said Elizabeth admitted that she had been having Carnal Copulation with the Devil, himself over a period of six or seven years; And he would appear to her three or four times a week, at her bedside, and go to bed with her and lie with her for half the night. And he would say to her, ‘Bessie, I must lie with thee!’ and she never refused him, not once.

After a mish-mash of charges and counter-charges, the trials of the accused were held at Chelmsford, on the 29th of July 1645. Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick, presided over the Court. In those troubled times of rebellion the ordinary Assizes had been suspended and Special Courts were set up to deal with the growing Witchcraft hysteria.

The Chelmsford Trials resulted in 29 people being condemned to death as being practising Witches. During this period, The Headquarters of Matthew Hopkins and his associates, was the Thorn Inn at Oulton. This was where he selected his victims and interrogated them.

As she was led to the gallows to be hung, Elizabeth Clarke, though still protesting her innocence of any crime, cursed Matthew Hopkins and his progeny. But worst of all she cursed the Thorn Inn, wherein she had been tortured and humiliated, she cursed the building and the very earth it stood on, in the most malignant way she knew. Her curses were ignored at the time, but who knows how long a Witch’s curse may endure, through the passing of time.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 44 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 44 )

  Due to my own nightly wanderings and McGinty’s observations I now know the likely place to dispose of little ‘Polly’. It would appear that she frequents several of the public houses adjacent to Bucks Row. An area which is poorly lit and admirably suited for my purposes.

The weather, considering it was supposed to be summertime, was dreadful, persistent downpours of rain for most of the week. But it suited my purpose admirably, the only people likely to be about were desperate whores and their clientele. Ordinary folk would be in their beds sleeping soundly.

I summoned McGinty and dressed him the way I wanted him to look, then sent him to seek out my prey. Tonight August the 30th 1888, would be her finale, tonight she would die by my hand. I was attired in dark clothing, with a scarf covering my mouth and a long black cloak to complete my ensemble. Once I was safe in the shadows I was rendered virtually invisible.

I waited patiently, that was the hardest part, the watching and the waiting. One thing that I immediately became aware of, the Police patrolled this area every 15minutes or so. They were not aware of me, but I was very aware of them.

I admit to a little twinge of disappointment, little ‘Polly’s’ demise would have to be a swift one. I had hoped for something a little more entertaining, but not at the price of my freedom. Few people were out and about, obviously due to the vagaries of the weather, one or two whores passed me by without noticing me, but not the one I was waiting patiently for.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 8

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 8

  But it wasn’t only the Three Crowns that was becoming a centre of resistance, in the British Legion Club, old Sam Parry was having his, usual after three pints of best bitter, rant. ‘Zombies don’t scare me, ya know, I was with Monty in the desert and all through Italy up to Adolf’s front door, they come botherin’ me or my missus, i’ll see ’em off, I’m an old campaigner, I was one of Monty’s desert rats!’

‘Ok! Sam, but I do know what scares you? your Junie comin’ in here looking for you, that really scares you.’ replied Dave, the steward. ‘I don’t care what you say, this is my home, I fought for it once, and no bloody Zombie is gonna come here throwing his weight around, or he’ll get it, I’m not the only old campaigner, you know! Zombies or not, I bet they don’t like it up ’em!

‘Calm down, Sam! there are a half dozen of you, all with mobility scooters, you’re not in the Armoured Corps now?’ said Dave truthfully. ‘You’re not thinking this through, we have mobility, we have a little armour, the six of us could make a real mess of a street full of Zombies! declared Sam. ‘If you are leading the Armed Resistance, Sam, could you use some heavy artillery? asked Freddy Jones, the local milkman. ‘I have two milk floats, one driver, one aimer throwing rotten veg, eggs or if things get desperate, empty milk bottles. ‘Sounds good to me! said Sam happily, ‘You’re on! And so, The Littlehampton Armoured Resistance Corps was formed, Strictly for the duration of this present threat.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 1

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 1


  In the year of our Lord, Sixteen Hundred and Fifty Five. Matthew Hopkin, the self proclaimed Witchfinder General selected a pathetic one-legged old hag named Elizabeth Clarke as his first victim. A woman whose own mother had been hung as a witch before her.

At his instigation she was thrown in to prison on suspicion of practising the Art of Witchcraft. So as not to leave any incriminating evidence against himself, he devised many subtle methods of torture, which were used during her interrogation, even thought torture was illegal in England at that time.

Due, I suspect, more to the torture than her guilt, she confessed and implicated five other women, who she claimed were also practising witches.

All of the named witches resided in Manningtree, in the county of Essex where Matthew Hopkin also resided. The word was that he had eavesdropped on their coven, and they had threatened his life for his daring too.

Under his interrogation, with the aid of Jack Stearne, An unsavoury character with a penchant for excessive cruelty. Elizabeth Clarke after the pain and humiliation of being stripped naked, then prodded and poked in a search for witches marks. She, ‘was found to have three teats about her, which honest women have not’ Witchcraft meant keeping imps and familiars. ‘Witches suckled imps and familiars, not merely to feed them, but more to aggravate a witches damnation.’

Elizabeth was then deprived of food and sleep for three consecutive nights, and so, on the fourth night of her torture, broke down and confessed to being a witch and in doing so, implicated five other women.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Woman Being Tried For Witchcraft In Court
Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest




Jack the Ripper – A Love Story (Excerpt 43 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 43 )

  I will summon McGinty when I return home, I have plans for him. This last week, I have been studying the people that wander the streets of Whitechapel at night, In search of a cheap thrill or whatever their jaded minds call entertainment.

One thing I noticed there was a fair assortment of foreign sailors no doubt looking for cheap thrills or even cheaper women, some relatively well- dressed men, I hesitate to call them gentlemen no doubt looking for the same delights as the sailors, but slightly higher priced.

And then you have the normal populace of Whitechapel, the workers, the shirkers, the Jews, The pimps and their ‘ladies’ and all the other flotsam and jetsam that lines the streets of any major city.

I have been considering my options, and have decided to give McGinty some money so that he may buy a selection of second hand clothing, including a sailor’s coat and cap. My intent is that although he is my decoy, he will be no more recognisable than I, Myself.

There are many reasons for this, the main one is that I don’t want my victims to believe it is the same man luring them to their doom, Therefore to a certain extent McGinty must be in disguise. The disguise will protect McGinty and In the long term, myself.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Air Aces of World War One


Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Godwin von Brumowski – Austro-Hungarian Fighter Ace 1889 / 1936 Pt2

The following month, February, When Flik41J was established on the Italian Front as Austro-Hungaria’s first dedicated fighter squadron, Brumowski was chosen to lead it. He spent nine days in March flying sorties with his German Allies of Jagdstaffel 24 to learn German fighter tactics before taking over command of his unit. While here he met The Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen; von Brumowski would later paint his own aircraft all red to copy The Red Baron.

Brumowski continued amassing victories through May ending the month with a total of eight. At this time, he was flying a single seat fighter, the Hansa – Brandenburg D1. Although better suited to Aerial combat than the C1 It still had its deficiencies, The pilots vision was partially obscured, The single machine gun was not synchronised to fire through the propeller arc and the aircraft was not an easy aircraft to fly, it was prone to go into a spin at any altitude. In July 1917 Flik 41J lost eleven of its Hansa – Brandenburg D1’s in flying accidents, it’s nickname somewhat aptly became ‘The Flying Coffin’ Also worthy of a mention, at this time the Austro- Hungarians were fighting on two fronts, The Eastern against Russia and her allies and the Southern Front against Italy and her allies. Most of the Air fighting was done either over mountains or other hostile terrain, so if you were shot down, your chances of survival were slim.

In August 1917, von Brumowski scored a remarkable run of victories, being credited with 12 confirmed and 6 unconfirmed victories, between the 10th and 28th 0f August. Two of these victories on the 19th and 20th were due to the partial transition to a newer aircraft, the Albatros DIII with synchronised twin machine guns. On the 20th he scored once with the Albatros and twice with the D1. By the end of August the transition was complete, all of his further victories would be scored flying the Albatros.

To Be Continued……..

(C) Damian Grange 2018