Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 37

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 37

  It was probably a good thing he couldn’t see Samira, she was lying naked in the Mayor’s bed, where they had just made love for the second time. And Samira was declaring her love for the Mayor, and the Mayor, although totally bemused was glad to comply.

In the bar of the Three Crowns, Sam Parry was discussing last minute tactics with the Armoured Resistance Squadron. All of the Squadron were present including Freddy Jones, the milkman and his drivers and mates.

Sam had a plan of the proposed Zombies route through the town, his plan was to first disrupt the walk, you could hardly call a parade of Zombies a march. Then split them in to smaller groups that could easier be dealt with.

He had liaised with the Women’s Institute and other interested parties, Who had offered to deal with any stragglers that his troops split from the main body of Zombies. Sam, that seasoned campaigner thought it would be nothing less than wholesale slaughter, not a Zombie would survive to bother Littlehampton again!

But unknown to the organisers of the Zombie Weekend, They had uninvited and decidedly unwanted guests. Dave Knowles owed money in London, quite a substantial amount and to clear this debt he had allowed several criminals to infiltrate the Zombie ranks. The plan was that while the populace of Littlehampton were being distracted by the real Zombies, they would help themselves to whatever they could from the various shops and other enterprises around the town.

There were seven of them in total, and they were all masters of their trade, which was mainly shoplifting, picking pockets and a little mugging should it become necessary. They were included in Dave Knowles entourage and he would teach them how to dress and behave like Zombies, In the hopes that their presence in the town would go undetected, leaving them free to do their worst!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 12

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 12

  I looked forwards with some trepidation to my weapons training with Black Michael. Shamus had told me how he, Michael and my late Father had been friends and comrades in arms, and that Michael truly meant the vow he had given me. I had never met anyone quite like Michael, and I admit I was overawed, even a little frightened by him.

Big men, in general are quite boisterous, But Michael was so quiet, almost like a priest, but some priest. The first thing Michael said to me, in that soft soothing voice of his, ‘Musket’s can kill, but the Irish troops don’t favour them, we use the butts to clobber the enemy, if you are proficient with a sword or a knife, they are a more useful weapon at close-quarters. Whilst you are fussing trying to reload your musket, someone will pig stick you with a sword or bayonet.’

‘ You, Conor, are an Officer and a Gentleman, or will be made so when we see your Father, so I will start you off with the sword, I’ll be gentle with you,’ he said smiling. He handed me a sword and said, ‘ This sword is really a little heavy for you, but using it will strengthen your wrist, it could give you the advantage in a prolonged swordfight, a strong wrist.’

We circled around each other like real adversary’s, I knew that to penetrate Michaels guard I would have to do something spectacular, but what?. ‘ Are you going to attack me, boy, or are you trying to teach me the latest dance steps,’ Michael teased, laughing at me. Then I remembered, I had my throwing knife in its sheath at the back of my neck, and Shamus, bless him had taught me to throw accurately with either hand. I scratched my head as I lunged at Michael, Whilst he was parrying my lunge, I drew my knife and threw it, not to hit him, merely to distract him and throw him off guard.

He dodged my knife, and the cut I had aimed at him never landed, He had grabbed hold of my wrist and was holding me suspended. He laughed and released me, ‘ I can see that devious wee bugger, Shamus has been teaching you some of his dodgy antics, but fair play to you, I have an idea that you could have hit me with that knife if you had a mind too, It was a good try, a lesser man would have fallen for it!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018




Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 95 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 95 )

  The cadaver was of one Rose Mylett, known around her Whitechapel haunts as  ‘Drunken Lizzie’, she was a known prostitute. she had apparently been strangled, although the Police Officers who attended the scene and the Medical Examiners disagreed on cause of death. The Police believing it to be from natural causes. ‘ The position she was found in was very similar to how the Ripper laid out his victims, my men spotted it immediately and bought it to my attention’ stated Abberline.

‘ I’m not going to get involved in the argument as to how she died, but I can state categorically that she was not killed by the Ripper. Although one of his earlier victims,   (Annie Chapman) did show signs of strangulation, the knife is his preferred weapon, and there is not a cut on her, she is not a Ripper victim! I stated positively.

‘ I totally agree, Jack, but in all cases involving prostitutes, we have to be seen to be making an effort, Oh! I almost forgot, my Wife would like you to come to dinner on Saturday night , if you are free?’ Invited the Inspector. ‘ Tell your wife I would be delighted too, and thank her for the thought,’ I replied.

We parted company and I walked back to the Infirmary, I could not help but smile, I was invited to dine with probably  the man who was seeking me the most diligently, I was smiling at the pure irony of the circumstances. But that apart I had a great deal of respect for Abberline, both as a friend and adversary.

I was quite looking forward to Saturday, I’m sure that it would be an interesting and amusing diversion from my normal monastic routine. it’s often said, ‘ All work and no play make’s Jack a very dull boy!’ Then I must be a very dull boy indeed!

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Air Aces of World War One


Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Captain Arthur Roy Brown – Canadian Ace 1893 / 1944 Part 2

No. 11 Naval Squadron was disbanded in mid-August 1917, and Brown was returned to No.9 Naval now equipped with Sopwith Camels. He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 1st of October, and on the 6th of October was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross    (DSC) His citation read as follows:

For the excellent work he has done on active service. On 3rd of September 1917, he attacked a two-seater Aviatik, in company with his flight. The enemy machine was seen to dive down vertically, the enemy observer falling over the side of the fuselage shot. On 5th of September 1917, in company with formation, he attacked an Albatros Scout and two-seater driving  them away from our lines. One machine was observed to go down apparently out of control. On 15th of September 1917 he dived on two Aviatiks and three Albatros Scouts followed by his flight. He dived several times and picked out one enemy scout, firing about 200 rounds, when the enemy machine went down out of control, spinning on its back. On 20th September 1917, whilst leading his flight, he dived on five Albatros Scouts. Flight Lieutenant Brown picked out one enemy machine and opened fire, one of his guns jammed, so he carried on with the other. The enemy machine went down out of control and over on its back, and remained in that position for about thirty seconds, whilst Flight Lieutenant Brown kept firing until his other gun jammed. The enemy machine then disappeared in the clouds, still on its back. Another Officer of the same patrol was later followed by four enemy machines, as he was separated from the formation. Both of Flight Lieutenant Brown’s guns were jammed, but he dived on the enemy machines and drove them off, thus undoubtedly saving the pilot’s life.

Soon after Brown was made a Flight Commander, a role in which he excelled. No.9 was posted to the Somme area in early 1918, and was forced to retreat during the German spring offensive between the 20th and 29th of March. The tempo of operations increased with the entire squadron fling typically two missions a day.

To Be Continued………………

(C) Damian Grange 201

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 94)

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 94 )

  I had succeeded, I cannot begin to describe the euphoria I feel, I wanted to sing, dance I loved the whole wide world. I had disposed of the five women I despised the most, with not a trace of suspicion bought to my door.

I believed that at one point, Inspector Abberline, or Fred as I now call him, but not in front of his subordinates. But nothing has been said and I have given him other clues to follow, but although we are friends I would never underestimate his skill as a detective.

He is very astute, he plays down his accomplishments, but he is nobody’s fool. Even though we are friends I am very watchful as to what I say to him, even in jest.

So, you may ask, what are my plans? how will I escape Whitechapel? And my answer would be that as an innocent man I have no need to go anywhere, certainly not in the immediate future.

I have a relatively good position at the Whitechapel Infirmary, I am respected by both my patients and my peers. I regularly have my papers and theories published in the Medical Press. I am a man beyond reproach, and by hiding in plain sight, my stature increases, as does my reputation.

I will serve the public, assist the Police, do my duty and fulfil my oath to whosoever  requires my assistance, and in doing so make my character without a tarnish.

The days turned in to weeks with no disturbances, Then after a month when I believed I was no longer a suspect. Fred Abberline presented himself at the Infirmary, ‘We have another victim, I’d value your opinion as to whether or not she was killed by our man? he said.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 36

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 36

  Sanjay drove to the Holiday Camp and got his staff and guests organised in to their respective groups, Holiday-makers and Zombies. Sanjay thought it important to keep them segregated. He had no idea as to how his normal guests would view the Zombies so he was taking no chances, both groups would have the use of separate facilities, with the paying guests taking preference, which to Sanjay’s business mind was how it should be.

There were one or two complainants, But with the offer of free drinks or ice cream for the children, any problems were quickly solved. There were more pressing things to deal with. Sanjay sought out Dave Knowles, ‘ Have you the fifty Zombies available for the Weekend as we agreed?’ ‘ At this moment I have forty-five, but there may be some late arrivals, they travel from all over the country to these occasions, Also we have a certain amount of wannabee Zombies who will turn up. When they all arrive, it could be anything up to a hundred.’

‘ And are they all aware of the route they must take through the town itself, after you disembark from the ‘bus, it is important they are followed to the letter,’ Instructed Sanjay. ‘ You may have the odd meandering group of wannabees, but generally speaking, everyone is in the loop,’ replied Dave Knowles.

‘ You will be collected from the Camp at 9.30 a.m. I expect every one on the starting line by 10.00 a.m. are you clear on that?’ enquired Sanjay. ‘I don’t foresee any problems with that at all, Replied Dave Knowles. ‘ Then it is all settled, I will see you in the morning, said Sanjay, taking his leave.

Everything appeared to be back on track, but where the hell was Samira, this wasn’t like her at all, she was normally so reliable.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 11

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 11

  ‘ What I propose,’ said my Mother, ‘ Is that Michael will stay here and assist Shamus with your training, and on your seventeenth birthday, you will leave to journey to France and present yourself to your real Father, and possibly find the man who ordered the man you knew as your Father’s death.’

‘ If I find him, I will kill him, No matter who he is?’ I stated with conviction. ‘Unless I find him first?’ said Michael, ‘ He owes me a life!’. And so the die was cast, both Michael and Shamus would continue to train me and when I left for France, Michael would go with me as my bodyguard.

Black Michael Fallon at Six foot Four inches tall cut an imposing figure on any battlefield or anywhere else for that matter. He was a very soft – spoken man, with a very quick temper, only a fool would cross him and few lived to tell the tale. Originally quite a handsome man, Michael now had several scars on his face and body, testament to the fact that wherever the fighting was the thickest, you would find Michael in the middle of it, He lived for action.

He had black hair, hence the name, which also suited his calling, he had pale blue eyes and a quiet manner, but never underestimate him, he was a warrior in every sense of the word. Black Michael was a very good man to have as a friend, but a terrible man to have as an enemy. He was a fearless fighter and was proficient in the use and care of a variety of weapons.

He had been a soldier since he was old enough to bear arms, he had fought in many wars, against many opponents, he had scars but he was alive, many of his opponents were not. Michael for all his size and strength was a quiet man, he was known by his compatriots as a man to be feared, but he was not a braggart like others would be, he was aware of his capabilities, he had no need to brag.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 93 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 93 )

  A couple of days later, after the fuss had died down a little, Inspector Abberline paid me a visit at the Infirmary and asked if I would mind perusing the surgeon’s report and inform him of any conclusions that I might reach. I did so happily, its always good to review one’s handy work. I took the report from him and read through it carefully.

‘ There are two things that strike me, the first being that for some reason he despised this woman, hence the hacking away of her features. The second thing, is that he seems to be escalating, he’s not thinking anymore, he seems to have gone crazy. Which would render him even more dangerous. Or possibly Mary Kelly was the real victim, and the others merely decoys. you may find the killings stop!’

‘ That’s a very pleasant thought, but do you think its really plausible?’ he queried. ‘It’s difficult to say, if the others were decoys, he will just carry om living his life as normal and will probably never be apprehended, but on the other scenario, he will definitely kill again!’ I said with certainty.

‘ You inferred that he may be going crazy, I’m not so sure, what crazy person commits murder in a locked room, Then escapes that room with both the doors and windows locked, and leaves no traces behind. I honestly don’t know what to make of him?’ stated the Inspector tugging at his moustache.

‘I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful, but I am merely passing an opinion, I could be totally wrong. He may want us to believe he is crazy, we both know he likes playing games, Maybe this is just another of his diversions,’ I said sympathising with Abberline’s dilemma.

‘ Thank you for your assistance, Doctor, may I feel free to call on you again?’ ‘ Of course, Inspector, anytime, I am glad to be of what small assistance I can,’ I replied. ‘ I’ll take my leave then, thank you once again,’ said a departing Abberline.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Captain Arthur Roy Brown – Canadian Ace 1893 / 1944

Brown was born in Carleton Place, 30 miles west of Ottawa. Although Brown did well in High School, He transferred to a business school to study accounting with a view to eventually taking over the family business. As a follow-on to this course he wanted to take a course in business administration, but he needed his high school matriculation which technically he did not have. He took a course at Victoria High School in Edmonton from 1913 to 1915 to get his high school diploma. Whilst there he befriended Wilfred R. ‘Wop’ May, another Ace in the making.

Brown enlisted in 1915, as an Officer cadet at the Army Officers training, as a prerequisite to joining the Royal Naval Air Service. Brown received his flight training at the Wright Flying School near Dayton, Ohio, from September to November 1915. He was awarded the Aero Club of America’s Pilot’s certificate No. 361 on the 13th of  November and was conformed as a sub-lieutenant in the R.N.A.S. on the 15th.

Brown set sail for England on November 22nd 1915 and underwent further training at Chingford. On the 2nd of May 1916, Brown crashed his Avro 504 emerging apparently unscathed, although the next morning he experienced severe back pain as he had broken a vertebra. He spent two months in hospital and in September 1916 was transferred to Eastchurch Gunnery School. In January 1917 he was sent to Cranwell to complete his advanced training.

In March 1917, Brown was posted to No.9 Naval Squadron, flying coastal patrols off the Belgian coast in Sopwith Pups. In April ‘B’ flight which included Brown was attached to The R.F.C. to assist during the Battle of Arras. Brown took ill at this time and missed ‘Bloody April’ when the British suffered heavy losses.

In June 1917, Brown was posted to No.11 Naval Squadron, on the 17th of July he achieved his first victory, over an Albatros D.III, whilst flying a Sopwith Pup and later that month another three unconfirmed kills.

To Be Continued ………….

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 92 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 92 )

Conclusion of Police Surgeon’s Report:

The left calf showed a long gash through skin and tissues to the deep muscles and reaching from the knee to five inches above the ankle. Both arms and forearms had extensive jagged wounds.

The right thumb showed a small superficial lesion about one inch long with extravasation of blood in the skin, and there were several abrasions on the back of the hand moreover showing the same condition.

The pericardium was open below and the heart absent. In the abdominal cavity was some partially digested food of fish and potatoes and similar food was found in the remains of the stomach attached to the intestines.

Dr. George Bagster Phillips was also present at the scene, and gave the following testimony at the inquest:

‘ The mutilated remains of a female were lying two-thirds over the edge of the bedstead nearest the door. She had only her chemise on, or some linen undergarment. I am sure the body had been removed subsequent to the injury which caused her death from that side of the bed which was nearest the wooden partition, because of the large quantity of blood under the bed and the saturated condition of the sheet and palliasse at the corner nearest the partition. the blood was produced by the severance of the carotid artery, which was the cause of death. The injury was inflicted while the deceased was lying on the right side of the bed.’

  (C) Damian Grange 2018