Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 54 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 54 )

  ‘What can I do to prevent him killing again, I am already under pressure to apprehend him, as you know the tabloids are making a meal of this!’ Abberline asked my advice.

‘I think the only real answer lies in more men on the ground, check points, stop and search, if nothing else it will cause the local villains to lie low. Oh! and while we are on the subject, just a point I would like to raise with you, if I am going to be assisting you with this affair would it be possible for you to issue me with some sort of authorisation to say as much, as you are aware I am out visiting my patients at all hours of the day and night, Most of the local Police know me, but if you are drafting in reinforcements from other divisions it could be quite embarrassing as I often have bloody instruments in my bag. I prefer to sterilise them at home where I have the necessary equipment, I don’t want to seem pushy, but I am sure you can see my predicament?’ I stated.

Abberline smiled, ‘If I did not know you, Doctor, it would be out of the question, but as we have already established that we have a similar train of thought regarding our perpetrator I don’t see it as a problem, just bear with me a moment.’ So saying he took a notebook from out of his inside pocket and wrote me an authorisation to pass through Police lines as I was assisting with the case. He handed it to me and said, ‘Until I require your services again, Doctor, and keep your ears to the ground for local gossip, I’m interested in anything relevant to this case. I took my leave and returned home.

After the Doctor had left, Abberline returned to his office and sat fiddling with his moustache, a habit he had formed when a problem required attention. Had he given in to the Doctor’s request too easily? Why did the Doctor need  authorisation? Why was he thinking like this, he liked the man, he had given him the answers he required, albeit in his own way, and in any case I already had the answers, I just sought confirmation. This is stupid, I’m jousting at windmills, I’ll be suspecting myself next, the Doctor can’t be the Ripper, he’s far too good a man!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 15

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 15

  Unfortunately no one had thought to consult with the townsfolk of Littlehampton, who virtually to a man or woman, if you count the ladies of the Women’s Institute. The Council may well be surprised at the amount of resistance there is. They may think its a done deal, but the people think differently, Zombie’s enter Littlehampton at your peril! you may find the reception a trifle warmer than you expected, you may find your reception a little heated, even unwelcoming.

Dave Knowles was keeping busy on the ‘phone, he needed to get his 50 or so Zombies organised for the Littlehampton Weekend. The bulk of his contacts were like himself, film and tv extras, who to earn extra money attended events like the coming Weekend. When you earned a precarious living, as most of them did, a Weekend away all found was something of a godsend, even somewhere as dire as Littlehampton no doubt was. Dave had used up the majority of his contacts, but he wasn’t too concerned, he was a few short of his total, but once the word got passed around, he knew he would have an excess of offers.

Samira Patel, Sanjay’s eldest daughter was in a state of sexual excitement, as a devoted fan of all things Zombie, she had developed something of a crush on Dave Knowles. Even more so, now that she had read in his blog he was offered a part in the Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ video but had to turn it down due to visa problems. Samira, although she had been brought up to be modest and virtuous in the Eastern fashion. But when it came down to sexual feelings and men, she could be just as predatory and forthright as any of her English friends. She may often dress modestly in Eastern dress but her thoughts were more of the miniskirt and no knickers variety.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 8

Cursed Through The Generations – Excerpt 8

  The best man arrived, and all was ready, the coach stood waiting outside to convey him to the church. All of his plans were coming to fruition, Despite the minor setback with his ex mistress, Jane.

All he had to do was turn up at the church, smile and go through the motions of the ever – attentive groom and all his money problems were over.

When his Bride arrived on the arm of her Father, he felt a slight tinge of remorse, if only it could have been Jane? but she was gone, finished by his own hand, so he would just have to make the best of it.

He turned and smiled as if her were happy to see his Bride and nodded politely to acknowledge her Father, the wedding ceremony  went without a hitch, Robert played his part to perfection. But to him, it wasn’t a marriage more a means to an end, a profitable end.

He winged it throughout the Reception, taking care to avoid anyone that might cause him embarrassment of any description, His behaviour might be under close scrutiny by his new Wife’s relatives. His behaviour must be beyond reproach in their eyes. He could not afford any mistakes, not on this day of all days.

As soon as was considered decent, by the rules of Polite Society, today he must abide by them. Robert and his ecstatically happy Bride said their farewells to their invited guests and left the Reception, For the short carriage drive to their new home, which was ready and awaiting them.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 53 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 53 )

  ‘And what of our perpetrator, what kind of man are we looking for?’ asked Abberline. ‘Well, he, I do believe its a man, has anatomical knowledge, possibly a medical student or something similar, he has some knowledge of surgical techniques, every one of the cuts to her abdomen were made not to kill but to make her die in intense pain. The slitting of her throat was I believe done with a Liston Knife, a knife favoured, its a knife favoured by Surgeons and Doctors, I have one myself!’ I thought I would answer his question, before he made it.

‘Pretty much everything you have said thus far substantiates my own suspicions, That is the reason I wanted my own man on this case. I know this may sound biased, but they come down here slumming and lauding it over us just because they have a Harley Street Address. The real truth of the matter is they don’t give a damn about Whitechapel or its inhabitants,’ Stated Abberline with conviction, and I had to agree with him.

‘Is there anything more you can add to your conclusions?’ asked the Inspector. ‘Yes!, if I’m right and I believe I am ‘Polly Nichols was his first victim. I imagine he is a little annoyed with himself, He made a very poor job of slitting her throat, he won’t like that at all, to my mind he’s a perfectionist, meticulous in everything he does, and that includes murder.’

‘You talk as if you know the man?’ queried Abberline. ‘Not the man personally, but the type of man I see committing this type of crime, and, by the way, he will kill again and soon. He will not be at all happy about the way he dispatched poor ‘Polly’ there will be another, he won’t be able to resist the urge.’ I stated confidently, If I don’t know, who does?

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One

Major Lanoe George Hawker V.C. England’s 1st Ace 1890/1916 Part 4

  Promoted to Major in early 1916, Hawker was placed in command of Squadron No.24 the RFC’s first (single – seater) fighter Squadron. No.24 was based at Hounslow Heath aerodrome  and was equipped with D.H.2 pushers. after two fatalities in flying accidents, the new fighter which had a forward firing machine gun, soon earned a reputation for spinning; its rear mounted rotary engine and its sensitive controls made it very responsive.

Hawker countered this concern by taking up a D.H.2 over the airfield and in front of the watching Squadron pilots, put it through a series of manoeuvres, including spins and each time recovered safely. Upon landing, he carefully described the correct procedures to recover from a spin. Once the pilots became used to the D.H.2’s characteristics, confidence in the aircraft rose quickly, as they learned to appreciate its manoeuvrability.

Hawker the led his Squadron to Bertangles, north of the Somme in February 1916. where his Squadron quickly helped to counter the threat of the Fokker Eindekker monoplanes which were dominating the Western Front in the run up to the Somme offensive. Spurred on by Hawker’s personal aggressiveness 24 Squadron claimed 70 victories at the loss of 12 aircraft and 21 pilots killed, wounded or missing. As the year went on the Germans introduced more advanced fighter aircraft, initially with the single gun armed Halberstadt D.II and shortly afterwards by the Albatros D.1 an even more advanced twin machine gun biplane.

On the 23rd of November 1916 while flying a D.H.2 as part of ‘A’ flight commanded by Capt.J.0. Andrews. Andrews led the flight in an attack on two German aircraft over Achiet. Andrews spotted a lager flight of German fighters above them, he was just about to signal to abort the attack, but Hawker had swooped down and begun the fight, so the reminder of the flight followed. Hawker had begun a lengthy dogfight with an Albatros D.II flown by Manfred von Richtofen. The Albatros was faster and had more fire power but Hawker was holding his own until he realised he was running low on fuel, he broke off the fight and headed for home. The Red Baron’s guns jammed just short of the Allied lines, but unfortunately his last burst had hit Hawker in the back of his head, killing him instantly. He became the Red Baron’s 11th victory. He went down fighting, a fitting end for a great airman.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story – ( Excerpt 52 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 52 )

  ‘My first conclusion is that you are looking for not one killer , but two. The weapons used and the way the victims were dispatched have no similarities whatsoever. You may think this was done deliberately to confuse but I will stand by my findings!’ I stated adamantly.

‘Bravo! you have found exactly what I wanted you to find’ stated a jubilant Abberline, ‘That is why I required your assistance your colleagues on Harley Street don’t give a damn what happens in Whitechapel their reports prove it.’

‘The first was a frenzied attack, possibly by a drunk or frustrated client, the weapon used was a bayonet or possibly a sharpened carving knife, she was stabbed numerous times there was no skill involved, I would describe this as a crime of passion or unfulfilled passion.’

‘I had myself, drawn much the same conclusion’, stated Abberline, ‘ And the other?’

‘The other is a very different kettle of fish, you might say? the man who perpetrated this killing has certain skills that I doubt your average killer would possess,’ I let my words hang for a moment for effect.

‘In what respect are we speaking, can you simplify it?’ asked the Inspector. ‘First bearing in mind the time factor, your men were patrolling this area at a frequency of say every 15 to 20 minutes, not really a great deal of time, but he managed to slit her throat and make other incisions in her abdomen, I believe he may have been planning to remove one of her organs, but the lack of time forestalled him,’ I stated speaking from experience and who knew better than I!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 14

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 14

  Especially when you take in to consideration that the Mayor owned two of the towns three pubs, Its only nightclub and the cinema and several slot machine arcades and a fun fair. So his slice would be quite substantial, pie or otherwise.

But on this, Sanjay wasn’t about to raise an argument, mainly on the grounds that everything in the town that the Mayor didn’t own , he did. And the Mayor’s comments made perfect sense, from a business point of view.

If they could attract families, his initial outlay for the Zombies would be covered and anything else would be sheer profit, all sound reasoning, he hated to concede but on this particular occasion, the Mayor was perfectly right.

After a little discussion, it was agreed that the Zombie Weekend would be held on the second weekend in August. Hopefully the summer would be at its height by then, fine sunny weather would be a bonus to all concerned.

Sanjay was ecstatic, all he had to do was shuffle around the guests at his Holiday Camp to make room for the Zombies, and then they were in business. Littlehampton would be put back on the map, and with a little luck and a few palms greased, he might be the next Mayor.

As soon as the meeting was over, Sanjay contacted Dave Knowles and confirmed the arrangements for the dates as agreed by the Town Council, the deal was struck and the Zombie Weekend was on!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Cursed through the Generations – Excerpt 7

Cursed through the Generations – Excerpt 7

  On the day of the wedding he arose, with a somewhat muzzy head, his bachelor party had gotten a little riotous. As it was his last day of freedom, it had to be!

He felt sick to the stomach with all the simpering and cooing that the Bride and her Mother would be making throughout the ceremony and the reception afterwards. Then he would have to bed her, Lord! he felt sick to the stomach.

But he knew damn well he would go through with the charade, he would perform exactly as they expected him too. After all her family were paying well, so they would get the performance of a lifetime.

He would smile at their plain and plump daughter as if she were the most beautiful thing in the universe, he would stammer nervously at the wedding vows and kiss the Bride as if he really meant it!. His performance would be faultless, William Shakespeare eat your heart out! I can act with the best! and her Father pays well.

The wedding day dawned, Robert arose, washed, shaved and made and made sure that he appeared perfect. His Bride and her Family would expect nothing less, and they would get their money’s worth.

The house was built and furnished, everything was perfection. Everything that is but the Bride, given the choice Robert would have left her on the shelf, but to succeed in life one needs funds and she was the key to her Father’s fortune and funds aplenty.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story – ( Excerpt 51 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 51 )

  He stubbed his cigarette underfoot and banged on the Mortuary door, we were soon admitted and led to a room where both cadavers were set side by side but with room to walk between them.

Abberline said, ‘Right! Doctor, if you will please examine both of the bodies and inform me of your conclusions, I won’t say what was in the reports I received because I want first to hear your findings?’

I looked at the sheet covering Martha Tabram’s body with some reluctance on my part, I was keen to get to little ‘Polly’ and admire my own handiwork, but I would do as instructed, I would play the game, it could well be my advantage too.

I pulled back the sheet and looked at Martha, she was finally at peace, her wounds had obviously been inflicted by someone in a rage, she had been stabbed again and again, by what to my eyes looked like a bayonet or maybe a sharpened carving knife, it was a brutal attack with every intent to inflict harm on the victim, he had succeeded, she was dead.

I covered Martha’s body, then turned and pulled back the sheet covering ‘Polly’, she looked more contented in death than she ever had in life. I carefully examined her wounds, not my best work, but it had been done in haste. The initial cut across her throat was far from perfect, but the cuts on her abdomen were, she would take but a short time to die, but would be in agony for that time. I was relatively pleased, considering the time factor, a job well done.

I returned the sheet and covered ‘Polly’s cadaver and turned to Abberline and said, ‘ I have my conclusions, but they may surprise you?’ ‘ Surprise me?’ exclaimed Abberline, ‘In what way, may I ask?’

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

Air Aces of World War One

Major Lanoe George Hawker V.C. Englands 1st Ace 1890/1916 – Part 3

  Following an initial Air victory in June, On 25th July 1915, when on patrol over Passchendaele, Captain Hawker attacked three German aircraft in succession, Flying Bristol Scout C 1611 after his earlier mount 1609 had been written off, his custom built machine gun mount was transferred to 1611. The first victory of the day occurred when Hawker emptied a full drum from his Lewis gun into it, it went spinning down out of control. The second was driven to the ground, damaged and the third an Albatros C1 Burst into flames and crashed to the ground killing both the pilot and observer. For this feat Hawker was awarded the Victoria Cross, the third airman to receive it.

This particular sortie was just one of many that he flew, during a year of almost constant flying and fighting. He claimed at least three more victories in August flying various Aircraft. Hawker was posted back to England in late 1915 with some 7 victory claims, 1 captured, 3 destroyed, 1 out of control and 1 forced to land making him the first British flying Ace and a figure of considerable fame within the ranks of the RFC.

It has since been argued that shooting down three enemy aircraft in one sortie was a feat repeated many times later in the War, and whether Hawker actually merited his Victoria Cross. However in the context of air fighting in Mid 1915 it was unusual to shoot down one enemy aircraft, let alone three, and the V.C. was awarded on the basis that all of the enemy planes were armed with machine-guns.

To Be Continued ………….

(C) Damian Grange 2017