Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 121 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 121 )

  The following morning, after a hearty breakfast, I asked Mc Ginty to summon me a cab, we had already carried my steamer trunk downstairs, so I was all ready to go. Mrs Mc Ginty wished me something of a tearful farewell, her husband shook my hand and wished me a safe voyage. Then the cab arrived, my trunk was loaded and away we went.

Giles asked me, ‘Was I having second thoughts about this adventure that I was about to embark upon?’ ‘Only in respect of the fact that I have absolutely no idea where the Army will send me, but I’m sure I’ll survive, I have so far.’

My trunk had been taken aboard, and they were calling for the passengers to embark. I shook hands with Giles, then we hugged each other, ‘Go with god! he said, giving me his blessing. I thanked him, then turned to walk up the gangplank.

Once I was safely boarded, one of the ship’s Officers asked for my name and details, once he had them he said, ‘Aah! Yes, Doctor, I’m afraid you’ll be sharing with Lieutenant Updike of the Yeomanry, Cabin 112B.’

I located the cabin and knocked on the door, It was opened by a tall young man wearing a Yeomanry uniform. ‘Apparently, we are to share this cabin, I’m Doctor Jack, but Jack will do fine, I’m not one for formalities.’ I stated.

‘That’ll do for me, I’m James Updike, but Jimmy will be fine, If we are going to be stuck together in this tub, we might as well try to get along’ was his reply.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 120 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 120 )

  And to complete the meal, Mrs Mc Ginty once again excelled herself, by presenting my guests and myself with a winter fruit pudding topped with Chantilly crème, a veritable delight to the taste buds in every sense.

After everyone had eaten their fill and Mrs Mc Ginty had cleared the table to the hurrahs of my friends. Lizzie said, ‘ If you gentleman wish to have your port and cigars and male conversation, I will happily retire to the kitchen and attempt to pick Mrs Mc Ginty’s brains?’

‘I wouldn’t hear of it, Lizzie.’ I stated, ‘ You are a friend. and as such, you are more than welcome to stay and join us for a drink!’

We drank and conversed until late in to the night, Mainly about what my position might be, once I arrived in South Africa. I explained to them that I had little or no inclination, it was up to the caprices of my masters in the War Office.

I was looking forwards to it with a certain amount of trepidation, if I had just one inclination of my final destination, this might have turned to dread, but this all came later.

Fred and Lizzie Abberline said their goodnights and goodbyes, I can in all honesty say that I have never had a finer more supportive pair of friends. Fred shook hands and hugged me and wished me well. Lizzie hugged me, kissed me on both cheeks and then burst out crying. But then, this was a very emotional parting, none of us knew if we would ever meet again.

After the Abberline’s had left, Giles stated, ‘ I liked your friends, they are good people, you are lucky to have made friends like them!’ ‘ Believe me, brother, I am well aware of that fact!’ we retired to our separate rooms. Giles was coming to the docks with me to see me off, Fred wanted to come too, but his duties wouldn’t allow it.

 (C) Damian Grange 2018



The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 4

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 4

  With the demise of the Karlstadt’s the town grew and prospered. The inquiry in to the rebellion against the Karlstadt’s was handled with discretion, and as no one was left to plead on behalf of the Karlstadt’s, they were presumed guilty as charged and the town and surrounding areas considered themselves well rid of them.

Ten years passed and much to the dismay of the population, another young woman went missing from one of the out – lying villages. The people in power sought for excuses, Maybe she had run away, or been kidnapped by the gypsies, who proliferated in the area. Anything but admit, that once again they may have a Vampire in their midst. That was a thought too horrific to even contemplate.

It was just about this time, that I travelling on horseback, arrived at the ruins of Karlstadt Castle. I use the term ruins loosely, for despite the enraged attempts of the populace, the castle still stood, stark and foreboding.

The main gate was knocked off its hinges and somewhat charred by fire, as were some of the interior rooms, a few of the ceiling beams were also fire damaged. On viewing the castle with a soldier’s eye, I considered it was still a good defensible position, despite the amount of damage.

Being pragmatic and not a teenage siren, I decided to bed down for the night within the castle itself. It might not be the most hospitable place, but it offered shelter and warmth, or would once I had built a small fire.

I suppose that being a military man I had little need of home comforts and cared even less for superstition local or otherwise and so I rested my head on my saddle and settled down for what I hoped would be a good nights sleep.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 23

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 23

  Once we were dismounted and grooms had taken charge of our horses. My Father ushered me to his Headquarters, there I was to meet my relatives. or at least the ones residing in the camp.

As we entered the marquee, he bade the Officers present to introduce themselves, the first to come forward introduced himself as Edward Dillon, the eldest son and heir to my Father, then came his son, Sweeney, older than me but now apparently my nephew and so it went around the marquee. Some welcomed me, others seemed totally disinterested. But then I could imagine how they felt, I was the usurper in their midst.

Edward Dillon asked my Father, ‘What had he in mind for me, or more importantly, what was to be my position in the Regiment?’ My Father said, ‘He arrived with three men, make that up to thirty and see how he fares?’

Of course, the word passed around the various companies of the Regiment and all the misfits and malcontents were sent to join Conor’s unit. Fortunately his father had given Conor carte blanche to select only the men he wanted and reject the rest. The men who presented themselves were inspected by Conor and Black Michael.

The first man, although a big soldierly looking man stood slouching with his arms folded, ‘Stand at attention’ shouted Black Michael. I’ll not stand to attention for a bastard, Dillon or not!’ stated the soldier, whose name was Flaherty.

Naturally this was the signal to get the other ‘volunteers’ stirred up, it was easy to bad-mouth a boy, especially a stranger. Conor walked up to Flaherty and speaking quietly said, ‘Yes! I am a bastard, and you are going to be the first to find out how big a bastard I am, so choose your weapon and choose carefully, for I intend to kill you!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 119 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 119 )

  ‘We, that is the Police involved and myself, do have a file of possible suspects, including I might add, a member of the Royal Family. We are slowly and painstakingly attempting to build a case, but as you can probably imagine there are so many factors involved, It’s not a job that can be rushed,’ Replied Fred cautiously.

‘I had no idea you were that close?’ I smiled, ‘It’s a good job, I’m skipping the country!’ At that remark, we all laughed, but I could sense Fred studying me, maybe I’d said too much.

Fortunately I was saved by the entrance of Mrs Mc Ginty with the first course, which was a tureen of piping hot mulligatawny soup, which smelt quite enticing, served with hot rolls and butter. Mrs Mc Ginty served all the company then retired to the kitchen.

Lizzie rhapsodised over the soup stating, ‘That she had never tasted anything so wonderful!’ Fred and Giles also added their praises, bless you Mrs Mc Ginty.

After a reasonable interlude, the, dishes were collected, and the main course served. The main meal was roast turkey, with roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and accompanied by a port and cranberry sauce and completed by a selection of seasonal vegetables. And, once again Mrs Mc Ginty had done us proud.

The turkey was moist and literally melted in the mouth, The potatoes, roasted in goose fat were soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outer and the port and cranberry sauce was to die for. I was absolutely delighted and so I could see were my guests.

  (C) Damian Grange 2018



A message to all my friends and followers on WordPress


Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest
Wishing You A Very Joyous Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

I would like to thank all my friends and followers for their many kindnesses in this last year. Your many comments have been so supportive of my writing and I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me personally, other than to say a massive thank you to all of you, and to wish you every happiness in the coming year.

My last post of this year will be on Christmas eve and I will begin again on New Years eve. It has become necessary to take a short break due to pressure of work commitments.

Kind Regards Malkie

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Oberleutnant Lothar Seigfried Freiherr von Richtofen – German Ace 1894 / 1922

Richtofen was born on the 27th of September 1894, the younger more impetuous brother of Manfred, ” The Red Baron” whilst Manfred was a cautious tactical pilot, Lothar would jump in to the midst of any fight, often to his detriment.

Like his elder brother, Lothar began the war as a cavalry Officer with the 4th Dragoon Regiment. He had remained in the public gymnasium ( high school ), he was enrolled in compulsory military training at the Kreigsschule in Danzig, ( Gdansk Poland. )

On his own initiative when war was declared Lothar returned to his unit. Lothar was nearly cut down by sniper fire, while on patrol. In mid – October 1914 while stationed at Attigny, He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for valour. It was the only consolation that Lothar received for his cavalry service. The following month his regiment was transferred to the Eastern Front.

In February 1915, Manfred “rescued” his younger brother from the boredom of training recruits in Luben, and also encouraged him to transfer to the Fliegertruppe. He joined the German Army Air Service ( Luftstreitkrafte ) in late 1915.

He served from January 1916 as an observer with Jasta 23, occasionally observing for Otto Creutzmann and saw action during the battle of Verdun. He won the Iron Cross 1st Class in December and than began his training as a pilot.

His first posting as a pilot was the his brother’s Jasta 11 on the 6th of March 1917. An impulsive and aggressive flyer, unlike his cool and calculating brother, Lothar’s first victory claim followed on the 28th of March for an F.E.2b of No. 25 Squadron R.F.C. The German High Command were quick to appreciate the propaganda value of the two Richtofen’s fighting together to defeat the enemy in the air.

Taken his part in what the British termed “Bloody April” Lothar had scored 15 more victories by the beginning of May. When his brother went on leave, Lothar assumed command of the Jasta.

To Be Continued……………..

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 118 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 118 )

  But I had to shake myself out of these morbid thoughts, we had guests arriving shortly, they weren’t coming to see a man wracked by doubts. They were coming to say their goodbyes to a good friend.

The Abberline’s arrived, and my mood soon changed, Lizzie would allow no sorrow on this night, this night was a celebration of friendship and good fellowship, there was no time for morbid thoughts of past or future.

Fred, trying hard to stifle a smile, said, ‘Mmm, so you are an officer now you will get an idea how my life is, you are either totally wrong or just too late?’

‘Ignore him, Jack, he’s only jealous ‘cos the Met won’t let him go, not that I’d trust him to be loose in Whitechapel, never mind bloomin’ Africa!’ intoned Lizzie voicing her opinion. My brother, Giles sat with a bemused smile on his face, obviously fascinated by the double-act that was my good friends the Abberline’s.

Giles interceded with, ‘I feel sure that a man of your husband’s undoubted knowledge and other qualities could not be spared, you should feel very proud of him!’

‘I am very proud of him, I know that one day soon, hopefully in the not too distant future my Fred will apprehend Jack the Ripper, he has this list of suspects that he is gradually whittling down, old Jack thinks he’s in the clear but not with Fred Abberline on his trail.’ Lizzie stated proudly.

‘Is that true? asked Giles, ‘That you have an idea who this dastardly miscreant is?’

(C) Damian Grange 2018

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 3

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 3

  The word had spread, more and more people were joining the revolt. It was no longer an organised protest, now just a discordant mob of miscreants that wanted blood and would settle for nothing less, some were alcohol fuelled, others by their thirst for revenge, but they all had a common goal, destroy the Karlstadts.

Anders Karlstadt and his Mother, The Countess appeared on the castle wall above the gateway and ordered the mob to disperse. If they persisted in their actions they would be punished and their ring leaders would surely hang for rebelling against their betters.

On hearing this threat the mob went wild, hurling whatever debris was too hand at the Karlstadt’s above. The Countess fell injured when a stone struck her on the forehead, Anders in an effort to defend her, pulled a pistol from his coat and fired into the crowd, his shot injured one of the townsfolk. The retaliation was swift and decisive, Anders was cut down by a hail of stones and musketry.

With no one left to antagonise, the crowd turned their attention on the castle itself. They attacked the gate until by sheer weight of numbers they managed to force it aside and gain entry to the castle interior. Once inside they gathered up the bodies of the Karlstadt’s and staked them through the heart, the time honoured method of disposing of the Vampire species.

Then  to be certain they were rid of them for good, they burned the corpse’s. Then stormed through the castle burning wherever the went. Their intention being to cauterise the place of evil forever, Purification by fire!

Then they attacked the very foundations of the castle itself, but to no avail. The castle had been built to last and withstand invasion from whatever source. They managed to get a few bricks to topple over and they knocked a few tiles off the walls, but nothing of a serious or lasting nature. And so, the castle stood as a reminder of their work that day. They had done as they intended, or so they thought?

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Conor Dillon – Beginnings Except 22

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 22

  ‘So what of my future?’ I asked, ‘Do I have one?’ I was still unsure of my position. ‘You are my son, bastard or not, you will have my name and if you will, you can fight besides myself and your other relatives here in Germany.

‘That I will happily do, if you can find employment for my comrades and I, but I don’t expect nor seek preferential treatment.’ I stated honestly. ‘ I can assure you that preferential treatment is the one thing you will not be getting, there are already too many Dillon’s in this Regiment, so watch your back, some of your relatives will not take kindly to your presence here,’ he warned me as graciously as he could.

‘So am I likely to get shot in the back?’ I asked my new found Father. ‘Nothing as subtle as that, but in the heat of battle, things happen, just be wary of  who you befriend, the man may shake your hand with one hand and plunge a dagger in your chest with the other,’ He reminded me.

We left the French encampment and after roughly half a days ride arrived at the encampment of my Father’s Regiment. The first thing I noticed was how orderly and busy everything seemed. All the tents were in orderly rows, and the area seemed very tidy not like the slovenly French encampment. I should not have been surprised, I had heard that my Father was a strict disciplinarian.

In the centre of the encampment was my Father’s Headquarters, more of a marquee than tent, it had a small personal area and the rest was where the Officer’s dined and discussed strategies.

(C) Damian Grange 2018