Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 39 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 39 )

  The moment that we were alone, I turned to McGinty and said coldly, ‘You had better have a reasonable explanation for this, or you and your wife will shortly be leaving my employ with no references!’

‘If you please, Sir, I had to do it, I owe money to some nasty people, I bet on a prize fight and lost, If I don’t have the money, they might kill me!’

‘And, out of curiosity, how much do you consider your miserable life is worth?’ I asked with more than a touch of irony. ‘Five quid, Sir, but where do I get that kind of money?’ he beseeched me.

Now, I may just be in a position to do you a great favour, but in return you will become my creature, If I clear your debts will you assist me in getting revenge on the whores who torment me so, with your help as decoy, it is my intention to kill them one by one!’ I stated clearly.

‘If you pay off my debts, Sir, I’m your man, just so long as my Missus don’t get to know I’ve been gambling, I’ll do whatever you ask. ‘How do I know that you won’t go straight to the Police and tell them what I am planning to do?’ I considered this a fair question.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One


Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest


Ltn. Jean-Pierre ‘Leon’ Bourjade – French Balloon Buster 1889 / 1924

Bourjade was born at Montauban, France. It was his childhood dream to become a missionary. When the war began he was studying theology in Switzerland, Instead of continuing his studies to join the priesthood he returned to France and enlisted in the Army.

Bourjade served first in the Artillery and later with a Mortar unit where he nurtured an hatred for Observation Balloons especially when used for Artillery spotting. He remembered the times in the trenches when a bombardment was in progress. Far from happy memories.

He transferred to the Aviation Branch in 1917, receiving his Pilots Brevet on 17th of June, he was then sent on for advanced training at Pau. From there he joined Escadrille N152; He would soon become its highest scoring pilot. Originally he flew a Nieuport with his own personal marking, a Sacre – Coeur banner flying from behind his headrest.

He scored his first victory on the 27th March 1918, after his unit had re-equipped, flying his newly acquired Spad X111 to shoot down a German Observation Balloon. With one exception all of his victories would be over Observation Balloons, he considered it just revenge, for all he and his comrades in the trenches had suffered because of them.

Bourjade scored another victory in April and two in May. He then went off duty for three weeks to attend gunnery school. After his return, he became an Ace on the 25th of June with the first of his four kills for that month. His seventh victory was over a Fokker DV11, the only one not involving a balloon.

In the remaining four months of his career, his victories were seven in July, One in August, Four in September and eight in October, he ended the war with a victory list of 28, 27 Balloons and one Aircraft.

A grateful France made him a Chevalier of the Legion d’ Honneur and in 1920 raised this to Officer de Legion d’ Honneur.

After the war Bourjade continued to train as a priest and went to be a missionary in what we now know as Papua / New Guinea. He died there of an infectious disease in 1924.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 3

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 3

  ‘I’m sick of all this prevarication and bullshit, when are we going to get around to the real problem, why aren’t the visitors coming here? stated Sanjay, raising his voice to try to provoke a response.

‘Don’t get upset, old boy, I think I have the solution!’ stated the Mayor smugly. ‘And not before time!’ echoed a chorus of disgruntled councillors. ‘And what may I ask, is this wonderful solution?’ questioned Sanjay.

‘It’s really simplicity itself, we run a themed weekend, other resorts have them and attract thousands every year, it’s got to be worth a shot! stated the Mayor. ‘What will it cost the town?’ queried the Treasurer, as usual looking on the bright side. ‘Just a little advertising, and maybe a few small prizes, if we can get sponsorship, it doesn’t have to cost us anything,’ replied the Mayor confidently.

‘How can you be so sure, this will be a success? asked a doubtful Sanjay. ‘Whitby in Yorkshire, run a Gothic Festival twice a year which virtually keeps the town afloat, York Itself runs a successful Music Festival, Brighton has a Scooter Weekend and all of these have been running successfully for several years, is that a good enough answer for you,’ He smirked.

With that resounding victory to the Mayor, the meeting was adjourned until the following week, everyone was to go away and formulate ideas for the towns themed weekend. As the Mayor stated, ‘Let your imaginations run wild, come up with something novel and unique, something that will draw the punters in!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Double in Trouble – Excerpt 40

Double in Trouble – Excerpt 40

  ‘For several reasons, the main one being that your Government is paying me handsomely for my participation in this operation. The other being, that in the short time I have known you I have become very attracted to you and I would die sooner than fail you!’ I stated sincerely.

As I had intended, my words had the desired effect, her attitude to me softened and she was back to the playful teasing Kat that I adored.

We embraced, and I suppose kissed and made up, it looks like it’s going to be another long hard night, and you can take that any way you like. Kat has already taken off her top and is unhooking her bra, I think its time to close this chapter, if only to spare my blushes.

I was woken, with a bit of a shock, Kat was shaking me and saying, ‘Listen, what’s that sound?’ Then it dawned on my slightly addled brain, It was an helicopter taxiing in to make a landing. The first of the bidders had arrived.

The helicopter landed, offloaded its passengers then flew back to whence it came. This then started recurring at roughly 30minute intervals, I had no doubt that this was something that Schultz had organised with his pilot friend. After about a half dozen trips the helicopter flew away and didn’t return. It would appear that all the bidders had arrived.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 38 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 38 )

  But let the harpies prattle on, The more they tease me, the more painful and tortured will be their final hours.

My main priority is my clinic at the Infirmary, whilst I am serving and curing the populace of Whitechapel. I am a man to be looked up too and sought out as a friend. Almost everyone in Whitechapel knew me or knew of me by repute.

They know that I endeavour to save and enhance lives, never take them. When I am ready to embark on my killing spree. I’m the very last person anyone in Whitechapel would suspect.

It was around this time that fortune for once favoured me. Two policemen turned up at the clinic, escorting Mc Ginty between them. They showed me a parcel of cutlery and one of them said, ‘Do you recognise this cutlery, Sir’ I did of course, it was my own.

‘What seems to be the problem, Officer?’ I queried. ‘We caught this man trying to pawn your silver, Sir,’ replied the policeman. ‘He is my valet, but unfortunately he’s not the brightest, I instructed him to take the silver to be cleaned and polished, there as obviously been a misunderstanding.’ I explained as best I could. ‘You may leave this matter in my hands, I will get to the bottom of this!’ I stated, they took their leave and left.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 2

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 2

  The title of Mayor, made him think he could perform carte blanche with any lady of his choosing, the ironic thing was that most of them let him. But then, this was Littlehampton where being Mayor was like having one’s own mini-kingdom, where you were Master of all you surveyed.

They were just about to postpone the meeting, when the Mayor came panting through the door, ‘Terribly sorry!’ he wheezed, ‘Emergency, I had to deal with it’ ‘ I seem to recall, we had one at the last meeting, If I remember correctly?’ said Sanjay Patel who coveted the Mayors position.

‘Well, as you know, I’m a man who’s time is in great demand, I’m sorry, but the needs of the town and its people must be met,’ Stated the Mayor as if he were making a campaign speech. ‘People or Ladies?’ questioned the Deputy Mayor, whose own wife was always praising the Mayors accomplishments, whatever they were.

‘But none of this is solving our immediate problem,’ interjected a frustrated Sanjay. ‘Don’t go getting all uppity on me, Sanjay, I’m quite certain that its nothing that we on the council can’t sort out to our best advantage.’ replied the Mayor.

‘Hoist the mainbrace! pass round the grog ration! England Expects! it would appear the Captain had finally woken up, he had been comatose for the first 45minutes of the meeting, as was his way, as usual too much grog before the sun sets over the yardarm, the silly old bugger was always the same. Nothing new to tell, five seconds later, he was back head down on the table, snoring loud enough to wake the dead.

‘Its a good thing, we are not taking a vote,’ Stated the Mayor, ‘I’ve just cottoned on to why the silly old bugger always abstains, he’s never awake long enough to vote!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Double in Trouble – Excerpt 39

Double in Trouble – Excerpt 39

  For once, Kat was strangely quiet, I hoped that she still wasn’t trying to make something of my apparent friendship with Sergei. At this stage of the operation I couldn’t allow friction to develop between us. I needed her to send the signal to Tommy to transmit that Palenkov had escaped and was on his way here.

We returned to our room, Kat was still strangely quiet, so unlike yesterday when all I wished was that she would shut up, I decided to ask what was wrong with her. ‘Is something wrong? you seem strangely subdued,’ I queried. ‘Its this whole thing, Its all going to be just too easy, its beginning to bother me, I don’t understand it, its just too perfect!’ was her reply.

‘What are you saying, that you think our plan rethinking? We know where the Warheads are, The safety suits are close by. Once the alarm is raised about Palenkov, we will have free rein to do our part, What do you think can possibly go wrong? I asked, confident of my reasoning.

‘Can I totally rely on you to do your part in this operation? she asked cautiously. So now I knew, she had seen me with Sergei and let her suspicions get the better of her.

‘Why would you consider otherwise, I came to you remember, you would have known nothing about this, If I hadn’t approached your organisation with the information,’ I replied ‘That is all true, but how do I know that I can trust you? she asked once more.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 37 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 37 )

  But I had no intention of rushing in to this like a lovesick youth. I was planning the demise of six women, yes! I did say six, Mary was to be my final victim. You may ask why? my answer, there is but a thin line ‘twixt love and hate, Mary crossed that line.

I have the intent to be a killer, but not the method, although in fairness I have many methods at my disposal. But I want this to be personal, I want them to see death coming, The last thing they will see is me, Fear the reaper, for he bears my name.

I intend to fully learn about each of them, their habits, their weaknesses, then when I feel the time is right. I will take them, one by one and return them to their maker.

I have their names emblazoned in my memory, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Liz Stride, Annie Chapman, Catherine Eddowes and for my piece d’accompli Mary Jane Kelly. They are all on their own roads to hell, is it such a crime to help then on their way, I think not.

Dear reader, if you are considering that I may be insane? Perish the thought, I am a wronged man, cold, calculating, maybe but certainly not insane.

If I even contemplated for one moment that might be the case, I would gladly take my own life, all I seek is the vengeance that I believe these creatures owe me. A debt payable in blood.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Air Aces of World War One

Major Willy Coppens – The Belgian Balloon Buster 1892/1986 Pt.2

Finally on the 25th of April 1918, he scored his 1st victory, by shooting down a Rumpler 2 seater. On the 8th of May, he finally realised his metier by shooting down in flames 2 more balloons.

A week later using his same tactics of close range fire, Coppens cut a balloon loose from its ties. It bounced up beneath him carrying his Aircraft with it, after his Aircraft fell off the balloon Coppens re-started his engine and flew clear. The balloon sagged and exploded in flames.

Later when on another attack run, he got shot at from the balloons defenders. He parked his plane on the top of the damaged balloon, turned off his engine so that his propeller wouldn’t get damaged and waited until the balloon descended, then re-started his engine and flew safely away.

From then on, Coppen’s record was spectacular, Between April and October 1918 he was credited with destroying 34 German observation balloons and 3 Aircraft, that was almost as many as the other Belgian Aces combined. Unlike most fighter pilots of the time, who used .303 calibre or 7.92mm machine guns, Coppens used a larger bore Vickers Machine gun.

In June 1918 he was promoted to Sous – Lieutenant, thus becoming an officer. His royal blue Aircraft became so well known, That the Germans took special pains to dispose of him. On the 3rd of August he shot attacked a balloon that was booby-trapped with high explosives that when detonated from the ground came close to killing him. The flaming wreckage of the balloon fell on the German Officers who were awaiting his demise, killing the majority of them.

On his final fight on 14th October 1918, Coppens downed a balloon over Praatbos and was attacking another over Torhout when he was severely injured by an incendiary bullet, smashing the tibia of his left leg and severing the artery.Coppens managed to crash land near Diksmuide, where he was taken to Hospital and his leg amputated.

For his wartime service to his country, he was Knighted becoming Willy Omer Francois Jean Coppens de Houthulst. Houthulst named for a forest in his squadrons operating area.

Coppens was awarded medals, by six of the allied nations and virtually every award that a grateful Belgium could bestow upon him. A fitting tribute to an outstanding Aviator.

Observation balloons were a thorn in the side of any opposing army. In that they could observe troop movements and forecast advances before they happened. They were guarded by anti- aircraft batteries and were not that easy a target, therefore downing them was important.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 1

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 1

  The town council of Littlehampton by the Sea was having a panic session.Trade in the town had fallen drastically and people no longer saw the town as their first choice for a holiday by the sea, Drastic measures must be taken.

All the council were sat waiting, as was his way, the Mayor was fashionably late. and as per usual the meeting had proceeded without him.

‘Let us be perfectly frank!’ stated the Deputy Mayor, ‘The name of  the town Littlehampton, does us no favours, it sounds like the Mayor’s shrivelled appendage, the one he can’t see for his enormous stomach.’

‘That sort of talk is in bad taste, there’s a lady present,’ objected the treasurer. ‘It’s quite alright,’ said the old spinster Miss Mellors ‘ I’ve seen it all before!’ ‘I’m sure the old bat is going deaf?’ said the Deputy Mayor. ‘What is wrong with my hat?’ said Miss Mellors. ‘Nothing my dear, it looks perfectly delightful!’ Replied the treasurer trying to get back to business.

Sanjay Patel, who due to his numerous business interests in the town had managed to secure a seat on the council, raised his voice to state his own opinion, ‘When is something going to be done about this ridiculous state of affairs, we are all losing money, doesn’t anybody care, am I the only one here who does?’

‘Of course, we are all concerned,’ agreed the treasurer, ‘But what do we do?’  ‘I would have thought that was obvious,’ Stated Sanjay, ‘We have to find a relatively inexpensive way of promoting the town.’ ‘No decisions can be made until the Mayor gets here?’ stated his deputy, ‘Where the hell is he, It’s time he was here.’

The Mayor was apparently almost on his way, he was pulling up his enormous Y-fronts after gallantly attempting to service the Treasurers wife, a lady of even more ample proportions than his own. Attempting to make love doggy fashion to a lady with a more than ample rear, when you, yourself have a somewhat ample stomach, does tend to present some interesting logistical problems, but after several near misses, he managed to grasp her rather matronly bosoms and using those for leverage, penetration was achieved, a few grunts and moans and she had achieved her climax once again.

The Mayor to give credit where its due, was a crass overweight braggart, but he must have something as a string of middle- aged married ladies would attest. He took advantage of any and all opportunities.

(C) Damian Grange 2018