Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 172 )

  Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 172 )

  With this in mind, I despatched my Brother a telegram, Explaining my situation and asking for his own views on the subject. The following day I received his answer, it came as something of a surprise, usually he is very cautious when offering advice. But his answer read, ‘Go with your instincts, but if you feel that you need a Doctor and a Nurse, then hire them. If you delay too long it may lose you patients, something you may regret at a later date.’

I will admit, this was exactly what I too was thinking, but it was good to have a second unbiased opinion. My own feeling were that I needed a full time Doctor and a part time Nurse, initially to assist with my free clinics, but with the possibility of more once my surgery was over the initial opening period and things were more settled.

I placed an advert in the Medical Journals, offering a Junior Partnership to a young, possibly newly graduated Doctor, if I felt that he possessed the abilities that  required. I Made the advert a little ambiguous, because I wanted the applicants to convince me of their worthiness for the position.

I mentioned to Jenny about recruiting a part time Nurse and she said she had a friend who might possibly be interested. She had done some training with Jenny but continued on to become a fully qualified Nurse. I asked Jenny if she would contact her and if she were interested, to make her an appointment for an interview.

I had no qualms about accepting Jenny’s recommendation. In the short time she had been in my employ, she had more than proved her worth.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Oberleutnant Frank Linke – Crawford – Austro – Hungarian Ace 1893 / 1918 Pt.2

  He also flew some sorties in single – seat fighters. On one of these missions on the 13th of April 1917, he shot down a Nieuport that cartwheeled into a crash far behind the Italian lines. He did not bother to attempt to claim this victory, though he mentioned it in a letter to his sister. On the 25th of May, his aircraft was badly shot up taking 14 shots from a couple of SPAD fighters. He had another unconfirmed victory on the 25th of June.

He rapidly gained a reputation for courage. On one of his long range reconnaissance missions, he was attacked by a Italian SPAD, which riddled his Hansa- Brandenburg C.1 with 68 bullet holes over a 30minute period. Nevertheless Linke – Crawford completed his mission. On the 2nd of August 1917, whilst flying his Aviatik C.1 with no rear gunner on board to man the aircrafts single machine gun. He was shot down by Italian Ace Pier Piccio, to become his eighth victim. but was uninjured.

On the 4th of August 1917, He transferred to Fliegerkompanie 41, situated near Trieste. Flik 41 was Austro – Hungary’s most renowned air unit. It was commanded by Godwin von Brumowski. Linke – Crawford damaged his aircraft when landing at his new base, Sesana Airfield. Around this time he began wearing scarlet flying helmet and white trousers when he flew, leading to his nickname of “Redhead” He marked his plane with stylised falcons  on both sides of the fuselage. He scored his first conformed victory on the 21st of August 1917, using a Hansa – Brandenburg D.1 to shoot down a Nieuport. In the next five days he had three more confirmed victories while flying this plane, plus one more unconfirmed.

To Be Continued ……………………..

(C) Damian Grange 2019


Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 171 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 171 )

  A week has passed by and I am still amazed by the interest my surgery has engendered by the populace of Whitechapel. I feel that I am being pressured in to making a decision, if only by sheer weight of numbers.

There are far too many patients for me to deal with, and give my undivided attention too, and my patients deserve nothing less. Particularly so, in my free clinics. I am at an impasse as to whether to invite a young Doctor to join me as a Junior Partner or hire a qualified nurse to assist and take some of the weight in the free clinics. Interviewing patients so that I only see the ones that need a Doctors  assistance. Originally the idea was that Jenny would fulfil this role, but she is too busy with her other duties.

I feel that I am being a victim of my own success, for success I am, there is no doubt of that. But there is always another patient waiting to see me and whilst  that is all well and good, I have no time for research. And without research and experimentation no new cures will be discovered. I must stop prevaricating and come to a decision.

I really do believe that it time once again to call on my Brother Giles for some advice. His Counsel has always helped me make the right decision in the past, why not now?

(C) Damian Grange 2019



Karlstadt – The Return Excerpt 1

Karlstadt – The Return  Excerpt 1

  From the time I was old enough to understand, My Father has regaled me with tales of Karlstadt and its Castle. Where he and my Mother met and fell in love and how for a long time he deliberated over the possibility that his beloved Karina, my Mother, might be a Vampire.

By the time I had reached my teens, I had determined that one day when the time was ripe. I would return to Karlstadt and attempt to find a solution to this problem that seemed to blight my family.

Not that my parents weren’t happy, on the face of it you could never meet a happier couple. everything was fine until two teenage girls went missing from our locality. now my Father seems afraid to let my Mother out of his sight. Which causes friction because my Father is older than my Mother and my Mother is impulsive and very much, the free spirit.

To an outsider, everything was fine, they never argued and appeared content. But it was as if they both shared a secret that was theirs alone, and whatever that secret was, it was slowly stifling them.

They would not share it with me, so the only solution left to me was go to Karlstadt and find some answers for myself, if that were at all possible. I was the only son, so I saw it as my responsibility to go there and do whatever it took.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 9

The Diamond King – Excerpt 9

  But none of these thoughts were helping with my current problem. It was walk or die, and I had no intention of dying out here on the bushveldt. I was heading towards what I was sure was another source of water, another that had never failed me in the past.

At the moment I still had food and water, but it was better to be prepared than suffer under the unforgiving sun. Delirium could soon set in and I could not afford to lose my way. I was hoping that someone might come across my tracks and investigate.

Or better still, if Henrik had made it back. Maybe a search party was even now searching for me. I was far from lost, but for all that It would be nice to be found, even two men on a horse still beats walking by a long shot.

I had been walking for the better part of a day, taking breaks when necessary, so far I didn’t feel too bad, other than the obvious pains in my legs. Walking felt strangely alien to me, I missed my horse, hardly surprising after spending the past three years riding with the Commando.

I walked on a few miles farther, then I heard what I assumed were rifle shots in the distance. Was there a party out searching for me, and this was how they were signalling to each other. I had done similar things myself.

Now I was in a quandary, I did not know whether to keep on walking or wait and pray they would find me. I decided to stop and make a small fire, in the hopes that they would see or smell the smoke and ride to investigate the source.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 170 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 170 )

  On Thursday morning I did thankfully have some patients who did require my attention. Hopefully the period of unwanted attention will soon cease. I am only interested in people who are genuinely sick.

I am looking forwards to my first free clinic, If I am to gain redemption, these are the people who will gain it for me. The poor, the needy and the destitute. If no one else will show them the compassion that they so rightly deserve, then I will.

My wealthy patients will subsidise the poor and hopefully leave a living for me. It is after all the poor who need me, they have no voice to demand treatment, but to them I will give it freely.

They live in such crowded conditions that if one of them catches an illness, within days the whole family has it. I have to teach them better hygiene so that they can learn to better cope with infection. It is not that they are dirty or ignorant, they just lack the knowledge to cure or prevent these illnesses.

Jenny and myself will do all that we can to change the poor’s attitude to illness, instead of stoically accepting it. we will teach them ways to help prevent it. Maybe in this way we can give them the better quality of life that I seek for all my patients. Not just the one’s who can afford the luxury of good health.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

 Oberleutnant Frank Linke – Crawford – Austro-Hungarian Ace 1893 / 1918

  He was born on Cracow, which is now in Poland, but was at that time a provincial city of the Austro – Hungarian Empire. His Father was Major Adelbert Linke, a Galacian soldier, his Mother, Lucy Crawford was British. Despite his mixed background, he became an Austrian citizen. Linke-Crawford attended school in Meran, Tyrol and Hrnice, Moravia, In 1910 he entered the Theresian Military Academy in Weiner Neustadt. Upon graduation he was commisioned as Leutnant and assigned to the 6th Dragoon Regiment. On July the 28th 1914, a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Austro – Hungary declared war on Serbia. This was the initial declaration of war that snowballed in to World War One.

Linke – Crawford first saw battle on the Russian Front. In November 1914, he was appointed Commander of the Infantry troop of the Sixth Dragoons. Between October 1914 and October 1915, He received several decorations, he was also hospitalised several times with malaria and dysentery. In 1915, Linke – Crawford’s fascination with the Luftfahrtruppen( Austrian Air Service ) led him to request a transfer for pilot training. His poor health was also mentioned as a reason for his transfer.

Upon completion of his observer training at Wiener – Neustadt in March 1916. Linke – Crawford was posted to Fliegerkompagnie 22 to fly reconnaissance and bombing missions in two seater airplanes. In September 1916 after serving six months on active service as an observer, he retrained as a pilot. In January 1917, he was transferred to Fliegerkompagnie 12 as chief pilot, which made him second in command of the unit. His posting meant that he was still serving on the Isonzo Front in Northern Italy. Whist his duties remained recon and bombing, he was now flying over mountainous terrain.

To Be Continued……………………..

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 169 )

Jack The Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 169 )

  Wednesday, much as I had expected was more about sight-seeing than medicine. One elderly lady came in complaining of intermittent dizzy spells. She was easily diagnosed, I could smell t he alcohol on her breath.

I went through the motions of giving her a Medical Inspection, after which I asked her if she liked the occasional tot of alcohol, she admitted to being rather partial to the odd glass of sherry. I asked, did she sometimes have more than the odd glass. Once again, she looked embarrassed but admitted to sometimes having several.

I explained to her that this was without a doubt, the cause of her dizziness, and that unless she was more moderate with her consumption of sherry, she could end up with a liver dysfunction. Which in terms of worse scenario could result in her demise.

She left my office a very chastened lady, vowing never to touch a drop of alcohol again and deciding there and then to become a member of the Temperance League.

The majority of my visitors had too much time on their hands and presented me with a plethora of imagined illnesses. Or it was their offspring, did he look sickly? was he small for his age, was he developing properly? and all the other usual questions a doting Mother asks about their offspring. And my answer was always the same, Children grow at their own speed, given a healthy diet, lots of fresh air and exercise and they will thrive.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 27

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 27

  Then Karina screamed loudly, I ran down the ridge, she was wrestling with the Doctor. Who it appeared was straddling Father Michael. I didn’t hesitate, I aimed and fired and blew away the back of his head. He slumped over the Father. Karina screamed again, this time I think she was in shock.

I rushed to Karina, slapped her face, then shook her gently I needed her to focus. I held her close and whispered endearments to her. She gradually regained her composure. I sat her down, made her comfortable then examined the others.

The Doctor was dead, I had no doubts on that issue, I had shot to kill. The Father sadly was also dead, killed it would appear by the Doctor / Vampire. I was sad, generally like most soldiers I had little time for the clergy, but I admired Father Michael for his quiet courage and dignity.

I did my best to make Karina comfortable, and once she was sleeping soundly. I impaled the corpses, I know it is only superstition but I thought I would play safe. I collected wood and built up the fire until it made a suitable funeral pyre, Then I cremated the Father and The Doctor / Vampire.

I said a few words for the Father, even though I am not a particularly pious man, I thought it the very least I could do to honour him.

I left Karina to rest to let her get the demons from her thoughts, after we had eaten a light meal, I saddled both my own and the Doctors horse. This was for Karina, no words had been spoken but I knew she was coming with me. to the ends of the earth if necessary, such was the love that we shared.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Beginning next Sunday – Karlstadt, the return

The Diamond King – Excerpt 8

The Diamond King – Excerpt 8

  Would there still be any gold left in my mine? or would the scavengers have stolen it all while I was away fighting. I had asked my friend Maartens van Vliet to keep an eye on it for me. Due to a hunting accident when we were younger, Maartens couldn’t ride with the Commando. So, I trusted him to look after my interests whilst I was away.

Maartens was a close friend who I believed that I could trust. Events proved otherwise but that is another story, which will unfold within this one.

I had one thing in my favour, a package of uncut diamonds which had to be worth a small fortune, but for the time being they would stay hidden in my pack. I had no idea how far from the township I was, I figured a couple of days on a fast horse, but I was on foot. Thank god, for strong and comfortable boots.

I figured it out that it was probably going to be about a week of hard travelling to reach the township, but I had water, a decent piece of the bird left that I had killed. There was certainly enough left to keep me going for a couple of days. then I would need more water and food of some description. But out here on the veldt, there was always something that I could hunt, I had hunted successfully before the war.

I wasn’t too keen on walking long distances, but it was a case of needs must if I were to get back to civilisation. I much preferred the back of a good horse, the horse that had been my constant companion when I served in the Commando.

I took care of it, and it in turn took care of me, but I had given my mount to Henrik, his need was greater than mine. I will survive and with my horse he has a good chance of survival too. That was the best that I could offer my friend.

(C) Damian Grange 2019