Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 157 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 157 )

  ‘So you are also philanthropic with your time and knowledge?’ she asked. ‘Of course, why develop skills if you are not prepared to use them for the betterment of the common man or woman. I plan to run free clinics for the poor, subsidised to a certain amount by my more affluent patients.’ I stated quite candidly.

‘ I am really looking forward to starting work with you, your ideas of caring are very similar to my own. It shouldn’t be only the rich and privileged who receive treatment,’ she stated passionately, I knew I had made the right choice. ‘I feel certain that we will make a good team.’ I stated.

‘I am going to pay a visit to Division11 at Whitechapel, the Inspector there is a very close friend of mine. I have worked for the Police before, mainly on the Ripper murders, but we have a repartee, I may get a little work from them. Their own surgeons are often overworked and sometimes inadequate.’ I explained.

‘So, basically, we are open for whatever business comes our way?’ She queried. ‘Yes, I suppose that sums it up, I will turn no one away who requires my services!’

Later that afternoon, as I had said I would, I made a visit to Division 11. My old friend Sergeant Shine was manning the front desk. ‘Its a pleasure to see you Doctor, I hope that life has been kind to you’ was his friendly greeting. ‘Everything is fine, thank you for asking, is Inspector Abberline available?’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

ernst udet

Oberleutnant Ernst Udet – German Ace 1896 / 1941

  Ernst Udet was born on the 26th of April 1896 in Frankfurt un Main in Germany. Udet grew up in Munich, where he was known from early childhood for his sunny temperament and his fascination with aviation. In his youth he hung out at a nearby airplane factory and an army airship detachment. In 1909 he helped found the Munich Aero Club. After crashing a glider he and a friend constructed, he finally flew in 1913, with a test pilot in the nearby Otto Works which he often visited.

Shortly after the beginning of World War One, Udet attempted to enlist in the Imperial German Army, but was rejected being only 5.3ins tall. Later that month when the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil – Club appealed for volunteers with motorcycles. Udet applied and was accepted. Udet’s Father had given him a motorcycle when he had passed his first year examination, and along with four friends, Udet  was posted to the 26th Wurttembirgishen Reserve Division as a messenger rider. After injuring his shoulder when his motorcycle hit a bomb crater from an artillery shell explosion. He was sent to a Military Hospital and his motorcycle was sent for repair. After being discharged from the Hospital, Udet failed to locate the 26th Division, so he opted to serve at the vehicle depot in Namur.

During this period, he met Officers from the Chauny flying sector, who advised him to transfer as an aerial observer. However, before he received his orders, the army dispensed with volunteer motorcyclists, and Udet was sent back to the recruiting officials. Udet tried to return to the fighting, but he was unable to get accepted for either the pilot or the air mechanic training that the army offered.

To Be Continued…………………….

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 156 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 156 )

  ‘Would it be presuming too much if I called you by your Christian name, if we are to be colleagues it would be nice to be a little more informal’ I said. ‘ I have no objections to that at all, you may call me Jenny,’ she replied.

‘Then Jenny it is, unless in front of patients, in which case it is Miss Johnson. You may call me Jack, Doctor or Doctor Jack, depending on the circumstances.’ ‘I’ve no problem with that at all, I realise we must exercise decorum in front of the patients.’

‘Will you be free to commence your duties on Monday morning at 9a.m.’ I enquired. ‘I have no problems with that, I look forwards too it.’ was her immediate reply. ‘I doubt that I will have any patients for you, but we can I am sure spend some time together sorting out a system of patients appointments and records that is agreeable to both of us.’

‘I have already placed an advert in the Medical Press, stating that I have just returned from the War in Africa and I am opening a new Medical Practice in Whitechapel. Prior to my Military service I was Resident Doctor at the Whitechapel Infirmary.’

‘By that, I take it that you are relatively well- known in the area, a reason that patients may come to you?’ queried Jenny. ‘Yes, I have a certain reputation as a healer in this area, particularly among the poor and needy.’ I replied.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 21

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 21

  My first thought was why was he visiting that part of the Castle, was he searching for something? or had he a liaison with someone and that was the agreed meeting place? I had no idea, all I knew was that the plot was thickening, amd I was no closer to a solution than on the previous day.

We moved down the stairs as quickly as we could, avoiding the more obvious obstacles and soon reached Bruno’s corpse. I turned him over so that I could see his features, he had several cuts and abrasion no doubt caused by the fall. But they were no concern of mine, but the wounds on his neck and the blood congealing there were, the only thought I had was Vampire!

I dispatched Franz, to fetch the remainder of our party. At this point I felt the need for the Doctor’s so-called expertise on these creatures. Were the human or inhuman? would a bullet stop them? or had we to find other means to combat them.

In all my years of soldiering, this was the first time I had come up against an adversary that I didn’t understand, why Bruno? surely the lovely Karina would have been more to the Vampire’s taste, or am I once again missing something?

The Doctor looked up after completing his examination of Bruno’s corpse, ‘It certainly looks like the work of a Vampire, In my Opinion,’ he stated confidently, ‘Bruno was definitely bitten by a Vampire.’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 2

The Diamond King – Excerpt 2

  The younger man, Henrik de Klerk, had only been with the Commando a short time, but Hans had chosen to watch over him, until he was more capable of doing it himself. It was not hard to see that Henrik was totally exhausted. So Hans lifted him on to his own horse and  led him by the halter.

They went this way for several miles, but Hans found it both tiring and restricting. He stopped for a breather and tried to figure a way out of their predicament. He had decided on a solution. They would separate, he would give Henrik the horse and the water canteen and point him in the direction of the nearest settlement where he would find help and hope that the British were not waiting there.

At least this way, Henrik had a fair chance of survival, carry on as we are, and both our lives are in jeopardy, thought Hans. He had hunted and prospected this area for years and knew that there was water within a hard days march. He was willing to take that chance. And so the die was cast, Henrik went his way and  went mine. Maybe our paths would cross again, but only fate knew the answer to that question?

I adjusted my rifle and my pack, and set out to clear the bushveldt and reach the mountains. It was hard going trudging along in the hot sun. I had given all our water to Henrik, his need seemed greater than mine, but now I was beginning to have second thoughts.

Under normal circumstances, the distance that I had to cover would not have been a problem, but with exhaustion setting in and the heat of the sun overhead, my prospects of survival were not looking so good. I had to get a grip of myself and keep heading for the nearest water.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 155 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 155 )

  Two more applicants later, and still no one that I could work with. I was beginning to think that maybe I should try another agency, as yet this one had failed to impress me. I had taken a short recess for a cup of tea and an opportunity to re-think my strategy. Was it my own inadequacy as a prospective employer that was at fault ? I really have no idea?

And so, enter, applicant No.6, a Miss Johnson, She was a little younger than I had expected, but she appeared to have the necessary experience. I took to her immediately, she was very open and obviously used to dealing with people.

She showed no hint of shyness, just professional competence, The Interview went well and I offered her the position, But asked her if there were any question’s she wanted to ask me.

‘I will admit that I was a little unsure whether to apply or not, After all the bad press that Whitechapel has received in recent years, Jack the Ripper etc’ she stated.

‘Jack retired years ago, to my knowledge, and you would have nothing to fear from him, his victims were of a much lower class. But if you want it, the position is yours? have you anything more of relevance to tell me’ I replied.

‘I am not sure if it is relevant but I have some nursing experience, I can do bandaging, slings, tourniquet’s I can also check temperatures and blood pressure’ she stated confidently.

This was so much than I had hoped for, A receptionist / secretary and stand by nurse if necessary. The waiting had definitely been worthwhile. She was exactly what I had envisaged.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest


Capitaine Georges Marie Ludovic Jules Guynemer – French Ace 1894 / 1917 Pt.3

  Guynemer failed to return from a combat mission on the 11th of September 1917. The previous week had been one of mechanical problems with his aircraft and others he had borrowed. At 8:30a.m. with rookie pilot Juan Bozon-Verduraz, Guynemer took off in his S.P.A.D. S XII, S504 No.2. His mission was to patrol the Langemark area. At 9:25 near Poelcapelle, Guynemer spotted a lone Rumpler, a German observation plane, and dove  toward it. Bozon-Verduraz saw several Fokkers above him, and by the time he had shaken them off, his leader was nowhere in sight, so he returned alone. Guynemer never came back.

Capitaine Georges Guynemer was confirmed as missing in action by his squadron commander Major Brocard; It was officially announced in Paris by the French War Department on September the 25th 1917. Unofficial conformation came from a German pilot who was captured after being shot down behind the Canadian Lines on the evening of the 29th of September. A German sergeant from the 413th Regiment swore that he had witnessed the crash and had identified Guynemer’s corpse, he also certified that the French Ace had died from a bullet through the head, with other injuries including a broken leg and a finger shot away. The German party retrieving the body was driven away by allied artillery fire before they could remove or bury the body. The details released by the French War Department were unclassified and became public knowledge as described by one of Guynemer’s comrades.

Guynemer was lionised by the French Press, who made him a national hero. The French Government encouraged the publicity to boost morale and to take people’s minds off the terrible losses in the trenches. Guynemer was embarrassed by the attention, but his shyness only increased the  public’s appetite to know everything about him. Guynemer’s death was a profound shock to France, nevertheless he remained an icon for the duration of the war. Aged only 22 at his death, he continued to inspire the nation with his advice, “Until one has given all, one has given nothing”

The credit for shooting down Guynemer was attributed to Lt.Kurt Wissemann of Jasta 3, who was himself killed in action on September 28th 1917. Guynemer’s final victory tally was 54. His awards included The Legion d,honneur, Croix de Guerre and Medaille Militaire.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 154 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 154 )

  I have a feeling that my last statement was all that was needed to convince Giles of my intention to succeed in my new venture. He gave me his blessing to the venture. I spent the remainder of the day with my Brother, then returned to London on the morning train. I had enjoyed spending time with Giles, but I was eager to get things moving with regards to my surgery.

On my return home, I informed the McGinty’s of the alterations that I would require, and the reasons why, as usual they took it all in their stride. In the afternoon, I ventured in to the city and visited a secretarial agency, I informed them of my requirements and they assured me that they had several young ladies that could well be perfect for the position that I was offering. I arranged for them to send the applicants the following morning.

The first applicant, a Miss Baxter arrived at 9a.m. prompt, I introduced myself and then proceeded to explain to her what the job entailed. Then she proceeded to tell me in a very abrupt manner, what she was and was not prepared to do. I was under the impression that I was the one offering the position and here she was interviewing me. I thank a definite no for Miss Baxter.

The next applicant, arrived just before 10, a Miss Nolan, she had a quiet, almost shy personality, almost the total opposite to her predecessor, unfortunately she had very little experience with patients, or with people in general or so it seemed. I liked her, but once again it had to be a no.

As you can possibly imagine, by now I was getting to feel a little frustrated, I have a picture in my minds eye of the perfect applicant. I just pray that she arrives sooner, rather than later.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 20

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 20

  Father Michael came over and sat beside me, he too had noticed the plotting and wondered what might happen next. All I could say was sleep with one eye open and I would do the same, not to be taken literally of course.

Once again, the Castle had a surprise in store for me, but it was the last one I would have expected. When I awoke, Bruno was missing. I shook the Doctor awake and asked him if he knew his whereabouts. He answered in the negative.

Where the hell was he? and what was he up to? I had no idea, but how would it affect  the rest of us. They were all my concern, and I was responsible for their safety, damn the man, where was he?

When the others had full awoken and had breakfasted, Bruno had still not made an appearance. I suggested that we split in to two groups and search for him. I was still unsure of whether this was some ploy on his part to get his hands on Karina, for whatever purpose he planned.

I paired Father Michael with the Doctor and kept Karina and Franz with me, I thought in that way, I could ensure her safety. I, in any case was getting rather fond of her, much to my surprise, I have never been much of a Lady’s man. This was something new to me and I found it all rather perplexing.

Karina spotted Bruno, he was lying hunched over at the foot of the Castle wall. The way he was lying suggested that he had either fallen or been pushed off the battlements. One thing for sure, Bruno would not be bothering anyone again.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Diamond King – Excerpt 1

The Diamond King – Excerpt 1

  The two riders had ridden almost non-stop for the last three days. They had studiously avoided all settlements and townships on their route. Previously they had been proud members of Hennie van Groot’s Commando, until it had been decimated  by the machine guns and rifles of the British army.

They were fleeing to the mountains to escape what they believed was pursuing British Cavalry. But they were sadly mistaken, the war was over. The remainder of their comrades in the Great Boer Army had already disbanded and returned from whence it came. The two men were Bitter -Enders, determined to fight the British until their last breath.

Now it was just a matter of time which collapsed first, the men or the horses, Then it happened as they knew it must, one of the horses stumbled on a patch of uneven ground and threw its rider. The other rider halted his horse and went to the aid of his companion.

His comrade, a younger man, with little more than stubble beard, was exhausted but only a little shaken by the fall. On examining the horse however, his comrade made the decision that it was no longer any use for their purpose. Not wishing to alert the enemy with a rifle shot, he took out his hunting knife and slit the horse’s throat. The horse fell to the ground, spasmed and died.

The older of the two men, Hans Pieterson, had been a member of The Commando since the beginning of the conflict. He was in his mid-twenties, a tall stocky man, coloured mahogany by the sun. Prior to the war he had been a hunter and sometime prospector and knew the area that they were heading for like the back of his hand. He had long hair and full moustache and beard and appeared much older and wiser than his years, but confidence can have that effect.

(C) Damian Grange 2019