Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 138 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 138 )

  Then much to my consternation, Arthur insisted on questioning me about my years in Whitechapel. It seemed like most people he was curious about my knowledge and theories concerning the Ripper.

These events happened twelve years ago and I had tried to erase them from my memory, but unfortunately, they keep coming back to haunt me. Much as I may want to deny the fact of the matter, I was Jack the Ripper, but that is for my ears only.

I had to grudgingly answer Arthur’s questions, or I may have drawn suspicion on myself, like Abberline, Arthur Conan Doyle was not a man to underestimate. it was only when we got down to the intimate surgical details that I felt a little uncomfortable, Arthur, like myself was an accomplished surgeon, on that basis alone I would have to be careful with my answers, less I let suspicion fall on myself.

I thought I had convinced him of the pointlessness of a Sherlock Holmes v The Ripper scenario. But he still insisted on gleaning every gory detail from me, I found it most unnerving. At what finally appeared to be the conclusion of his questioning, He stated, ‘And you are certain that this Jack creature is a surgeon?’

‘I would say so, Yes! everything I witnessed bought me to that conclusion, Abberline could not understand me when I said I was somewhat in awe of the mans skill, the speed he worked at and the conditions he worked under and the results were certainly to be admired.’

‘So you came to the conclusion, that the man himself must be a skilled surgeon, not a butcher, barber, mortuary assistant or medical student?’ ‘All I can say Arthur is that if you had seen the quality of his work you would have arrived at the same conclusion as I did,’ I stated honestly.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 12

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 12

  ‘Ok! I’m your man, what have I got to lose? only my life?’ I said, somewhat stating the obvious. ‘Would it be asking too much too know who I am leading on this foray?’ I asked the assembled sextet. The Doctor, looking a little uncomfortable stated, ‘I have volunteered to come with you, I have some knowledge of these creatures and I am also a marksman.’

Then the other priest spoke, ‘I am coming with you to represent the church, I am Father Michael, you may need my help in defeating these creatures,’ he spoke confidently and personally I was glad to have him with me, I instinctively trusted him. The blacksmith, Bruno growled, ‘ I go too, these creatures took my Maria, they owe me a life, I intend to take it.’

After a few hours preparation, I and my motley crew of heroes / volunteers left Karlstad to travel up the valley to the Castle. The Doctor and I were mounted, the Holy Father and the blacksmith walked behind us. The Father carried a large cross, which as he plainly put it, he intended to plant in the Castle yard.

Bruno also carried his own supplies, a haversack containing a dozen sharpened stakes and a mallet with which to hammer them in. Judging by the size of his mallet and his muscular arms, anything that crossed his path would be well and truly impaled.

After a few hours of uneventful travel, we were within sight of the castle, it looked exactly as I had left it on the previous day. Speaking as a stranger, with no knowledge of its history. I would have admired it for what it was, a fine piece of military engineering. A noble structure.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 30

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 30

  Sheridan had proved to be an excellent all-round marksman, and so had Flaherty once he had learned to hold his musket correctly. That left Conor with sex men who were not skilled with the musket, Conor decided to seek the advise of his advisors Shamus and Black Michael.

‘Should we keep them or replace them, its that simple.’ said Conor. ‘Personally.’ said  Michael, ‘ I have been watching them, they are loyal to this unit and are keen to learn, its just taking them a little longer.’ ‘What about you Shamus, what is your opinion? asked Conor.

‘Is six out of thirty, such a big thing, what I would suggest is you promote Sheridan and Flaherty and make them responsible for their training, that will leave us free for the bigger picture,’ replied Shamus, voicing his opinions.

‘Fair comment!’ said Conor, ‘ I want a word with my Father, I want to borrow a couple of drummers. Drummers.’ said Michael, ‘Whatever for?’ Because I want the enemy to know that we are coming, If we march like the British, wear red coats just like them, march to the beat of the drum. Their allies will think that we are British come to relieve them, not to attack them,’ stated Conor explaining the basis of his plan to his companions.

‘I like it!’ said Shamus, ‘It’s a fine wee plan,’ ‘ I approve too,’ said Michael, ‘Its so simple, it can’t fail. ‘ It works like this, get close enough, fire two accurate volleys at close range to thin out the enemy, the charge and take the position. That is why I insist on accurate fire, it is crucial to the plan, that with the volleys we decimate the enemy’s forces,’ stated Conor.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 137 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 137 )

  ‘I can understand your misgivings, but even as we speak, there is a lady, a Miss Emily Hobhouse, who has started a charity to help the Boer wives and children. She is coming here on a fact finding mission and she will report her findings, there will be no cover-ups and she will not be silenced, she has many friends in high places,’ explained Arthur.

‘I apologise for doubting you, but I’m just a poor general practitioner, I don’t mingle with the rich and famous the way that you appear too.’ ‘It’s fine!’ said Arthur, ‘In your position I would probably have reacted in a similar way, you may have not mixed  with the famous but what about your brushes with the infamous?’

‘Infamous?’ I repeated, not understanding where this conversation was leading. ‘Yes Infamous! weren’t you based at the Whitechapel Infirmary during the Ripper’s reign of terror, and were you not involved in his pursuit?’ ‘I was, I admit involved, but purely as a second opinion by Inspector Abberline, a man for whom I have a great deal of affection and respect, Why do you ask?’

‘I was contemplating a Sherlock Holmes story where Sherlock apprehends and unmasks the Ripper, I’m sure it would be popular, after all he was never apprehended.’ ‘I hate to burst your bubble, but if anyone is to apprehend Jack the Ripper, it will be Inspector Frederick Abberline of Division ‘H’. He is still investigating a number of suspects, he will not cease until he has his man. I am not decrying your fictional detective, but Fred Abberline is the real thing, a dedicated man.’

(c) Damian Grange 2019



To all my friends and followers on WordPress

 I have been absent due to a short illness and some technical problems with my router, this has been replaced by a more current model and I will re-commence posting this Friday, the 22nd. I apologise for any inconvenience I may have caused my followers and would like once again to thank the ones who contacted me with their concerns during my absence, Bless you all.

Kind Regards Malkie

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 136 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 136 )

  After leaving the Commandant’s office, I made my way to the makeshift hospital for a confrontation with Arthur. I was furious that he had not explained about the Commandant’s condition. I burst in to his office shouting, ‘ Damn you, Arthur, why didn’t you warn me?’

‘Because I wanted you to see first-hand what you were up against, what did you think of the creature, Sorry!’ he stifled a grin, ‘Our Commandant!’ ‘Are you the one supplying his opiates?’ I almost accused. ‘Not guilty, I suspect he has a contact at the Cape and they come via the Mail wagon, but thinking is one thing, proving it another,’ replied a very subdued Arthur.

‘I’m sorry , its not on, that I should accuse you, I was just so shaken by his condition, he appears to be a man living on borrowed time!’ I apologised. ‘And with the pain, and the opiates that he is obviously self administering, the man is slowly spiralling in to madness, with the inmates of this camp, his victims,’ was his reply.

‘Is there nothing we can do to stop him?’ I implored Arthur. ‘Unbeknown to anyone here, I have already put the wheels in motion, I have sent a list of my complaints in pamphlet form, and because of my fame as an author, people will take notice. It is a damning indictment of General Kitchener’s policies toward the Boer’s and Governmental disinterest.’

‘You think the power of your name, will reach to the corridors of power and allow improvements to be made out here. I applaud your generosity of spirit but aren’t you being a little over confident.’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold – Germany’s Iron Knight 1891 / 1920 Pt.6

  Berthold had an Albatros D.III prepared as his assigned aircraft, It’s guns were tested for synchronisation. It was painted with his personal insignia, a mid blue fuselage with scarlet cowling and his own white winged sword of vengeance either side of the fuselage. all of his squadron mates followed his example, the only difference being the personal insignia. On the 24th of March, Berthold resumed his successful air assaults and was credited with four victories by mid-April. On the 24th of April he engaged a Caudron R.9 until driven back to base with a bullet through his right shin. This wound added more chronic pain to his misery, and caused him to return home to convalesce from 23rd of May to the 15th of June. By now his narcotics addiction was an open secret to his squadron mates.

From reports received, Berthold deduced that his squadron’s performance had declined and believed that this was due to the lack of in-air leadership. In early August he returned to his old training facility in Grossenhain and wrangled a medical certificate from its Doctor. Berthold returned to his unit to await the paperwork, to discover that he was being transferred to Jagdstaffel 18 ( Fighter Squadron 18 in Harelbeke, Belgium on the 12th of August. On the 18th of August he was finally certified to begin flying again. Prior to Berthold’s arrival Jagdstaffel 18 had had little success; their new commander promptly organised training even as they were going on combat missions. Shortly after assuming command, Berthold once again pitched his idea of using fighters en masse; 4th Armee headquarters responded by grouping Jagdstaffelen 18,24, 31 and 36 into an ad hoc Jagdgruppe 7 with Berthold in command. He shot down a Spad on the 21st of August, raising his tally to 13, it was the beginning of a string of aerial victories, during September he scored fourteen more victories bringing his total to 27. On the 2nd of October he scored his 28th victory his final one of the year.

During a dogfight on the 10th of October 1917, a British bullet ricocheted within the cockpit of Berthold’s aircraft and entered his arm at an angle that pulverised his right humerus. Berthold overcame the handicap of half severed ailerons and managed to remain conscious long enough to make a smooth one-handed landing at his home airfield. He passed out after landing, his unconscious body was lifted from his aircraft and rushed 5 kms to the field hospital at Courtrai.

To Be Continued………………

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 135 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 135 )

  I really don’t know what I expected the Commandant to be like, but to say I was shocked would be an understatement. He was a small colourless man, he looked ill, His skin was like parchment and his eyes were discoloured and watery.

I had come here prepared to loathe him, but now that I had seen him, I rather pitied him, he was obviously not a well man. I was surprised that Arthur had not prepared me for this, I wanted to hate him but instead found myself pitying him.

I felt like I was looking at a dying man, He was obviously addicted to opiates of some kind, either morphine or opium at a guess. Perhaps Arthur just wanted another unbiased opinion, I suppose it made sense.

Then the Commandant spoke in a harsh raspy voice, ‘So, are you another do-gooder, come to plague me reports on how I run my camp?’ ‘I was sent here to assist in the welfare of the inmates, I have not been here long enough to form an opinion, but what little I have seen leads me to believe that unless certain steps are implemented you could sooner or later have a full blown typhoid epidemic on your hands!’

‘So, a few more Boers die, they are prisoners, it is to be expected,’ he replied nonchalantly. ‘But they are prisoners in your care, don’t you feel any remorse, they are Women and children, not fighting men,’ I replied angrily.

‘You Doctors are all the same, you come here trying to tell me how to run my camp, well I am the Commandant here, I have the power of life and death not you!’ was his answer. I was beginning to understand now why Arthur had not prepared me for this meeting, He wanted me to understand just what a tyrant we were dealing with, he has to go!

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 11

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 11

  The local Priest, he who had enlisted me, started to offer an explanation, ‘Are you aware of the history of Karlstadt and its castle?’ he enquired of me. ‘I am aware of the happenings of ten years ago. when the people rebelled and ended the Karlstadt Dynasty,’ I tried not to sound too judgemental, I wasn’t present at the time, so I had no right to judge anyone.

The Mayor suddenly seemed to come out of his reverie, ‘Both mine and Bruno’s Daughter were taken and killed by these creatures, we have had peace and prosperity for ten years but now these creatures are back, from the grave or from hell itself!’ he stated sadly then slumped back in his chair, a broken man, haunted by memories of the past.

It was all starting to slowly come together for me, it seemed they had in mind a Vampire hunting expedition. And I, as a military man had been chosen to lead it. I have fought thugs in India, Kaffirs in Africa and Russians in the Crimea, but vampires were something of an unknown quantity to me. But in my personal experience the stopping power of an Enfield rifle would stop most things, natural or otherwise. I wondered when and who was going to break it to me, I had a feeling it would be sooner rather than later.

The Priest opened his mouth to speak, here it comes I thought to myself, any time now, ‘We need a leader, a man with experience to lead an expedition to the Castle and root out and destroy this evil presence, once and for all!’ ‘And you have decided amongst yourselves that I am that man, am I right?’ ‘If you accept the task, you will have our eternal gratitude.’ stated the Priest.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 29

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 29

  ‘I would not! Sir, the reason why I deserted I was unjustly flogged, for a crime I did not commit, It was just another way of abusing me because I am of the Catholic faith,’ He stated. ‘So, fighting alongside me and my men, you may get your revenge, is that it?’ asked Conor seeking to get at the truth. ‘Yes, Sir, I was unjustly treated and seek recompense,’ stated Sheridan.

‘Well!’ said Conor, ‘You can start by helping the others with loading and firing, I want them all up to your standard or somewhere close.’ Now with Sheridan as well as the others showing how it must be done, progress was starting to be made. Conor’s aim, although he had told no one, was to have his unit doing accurate and speedy volley fire, to emulate their enemy, the British.

He also planned, possibly utilising Sheridan’s knowledge to have them marching like a British unit. What he had in mind was a Ruse de Guerre or trick of war, his idea was that his unit to all intents and purposes would appear to be British Reinforcements, with their red coats and black facings, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Later in the day, Lords Dillon appeared, and showed interest in the training that Conor was giving his recruits. He didn’t understand Conor’s ideas, but also acknowledged that Conor was a younger man with fresh ideas, and that he may well come up with something useful.

By the close of the second day, the majority of Conor’s recruits, could load and fire twice in a minute, and hit the target or somewhere close. Conor felt quite elated, he had asked the impossible and his men had responded, and several of them had excelled.

(C) Damian Grange 2019