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Yithian

Parish Watch
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I've just been filtering through the vast repository of interviews that the Imperial War Museum has made available online.

The following are a number of examples of references to ghosts and the supernatural--some are fleeting, others more involved.

I have supplied a brief indication of what, when and where:

Ronald, Robert Marks
British stoker served aboard HMS Exeter in South Atlantic, 1939-1940. Was stationed ashore in the Falklands and saw the apparitions of his dead crewmates who had been killed during the Battle of River Plate in South Atlantic at the end on 1939. He had earlier been obliged to sleep in the bed of one of these men while wounded.

Reel 2 but Reel 1 required for context:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009020

Greggain, Lawrence
British NCO served with 5th Bn Borders in GB, France and Belgium, 1939-1940; served on anti-fifth column work with 4th Bn Border Regt in GB, 1941-1943; civilian lecturer with Dig for Victory Campaign and farmer in GB, 1943-1945. Encountered a naked black woman at night in an old school near Lowick.

Reel 1:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80018061

Harding, John Thomas
British civilian worked as shepherd and waggoner in Montgomeryshire, GB, 1910-1914. Trooper served with Montgomeryshire Yeomanry in GB and Egypt, 1914-1916. Discusses local agricultural and farming superstitions, ghosts (including 'Jack o' Lantern', a marsh light; a drowned baby crying ) and 'fairy music' (which sounded like a heavenly mouth-organ in the distance) in 1910 in Wales--he attributes this to newts!?

Reels 3 & 4:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80000379

Fergusson, William
British served with Gordon Highlanders Depot in GB, 1952; served with 1st Bn Gordon Highlanders in Malaya, 1952-1954. Briefly discusses unexplained bangs and ghost skeletons allegedly discovered in the walls in Fort George, Inverness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_George,_Highland

Reel 2:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80031117

Campbell, William Ian
British officer served with 2/12th Bn Frontier Force Regt in India, 1938-1940; served with 2/12th Bn Frontier Force Regt, 22nd Indian Infantry Bde, 9th Indian Infantry Div in Malaya, 4/1941-2/1942. Tells a 'ghost story' that took place at the Royal Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehradun . A gale blew up out of nowhere when he was sleeping in one of the towers. Allegedly a Sikh general's body (Harry Singh) had earlier (presumably in the first half of the nineteenth century) been stored in thos tower and the body 'displayed' to the local Pathans in order to give the appearance that he was alive. The subject's dog was much affected by the atmosphere here.

Reel 2:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80012954

Bale, Anthony Ronald
British schoolchild in Sheffield, GB, 1939-1945; NCO served with 1st Bn King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 28th Commonwealth Bde, 1st Commonwealth Div in Korea, 1951-1952. Briefly mentions distinctly hearing ghostly horses' hoofs and chains while on guard during the night at the Tower of London.

Real 1:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80017504

Brett, Fred
British private served with 1st Bn, Northamptonshire Regt in Italy, 1951; NCO served with 1st Bn, Royal Norfolk Regt in GB and Korea, 1951-1952. Briefly mentions an Australian soldier walking through the wall of the marquee and disappearing at night while he was on guard duty as a regimental police officer in Korea.

Reel 5:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80029640

Jim O'Neil
British NCO served with 1st Bn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, West Indies, GB, Kenya, Germany, Bahrain and Muscat, 1947-1968. Relates a guard witnessing ghosts walking from a cellar, across a parade ground and into another cellar at Whitfield Barracks in the New Territories, Hong Kong.

Reel 11 (numbering incorrect):
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80031209

James, Wyndham
British private served with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regt Depot in GB, 1940; NCO served with 16th Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, North Africa and Italy, 1940-1943; NCO served with 6th Bn Infantry Reinforcement Training Centre in North Africa and Italy, 1943-1945; NCO served with 159 Transit Camp in Italy, 1945-1946; NCO served with O Garrison Company in Italy, 1946. Speaks of Shadwell Court, his accommodation in Thetford in Norfolk in 1941, being haunted--his being warned of this fact by an old man--and his men subsequently moving out: unexplained knocking, the ghost of a black-clad woman. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001019

Reel 12:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80024594

Elliot, George Dennis
British private trained at Durham Light Infantry depot in GB, 1932-1933; served with 1st Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1933; private served with 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry in India, Sudan and GB, 1933-1939; private served with 6th Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1939-1940; private and NCO served with 50 Div Headquarters in GB, France and Belgium, 1939-1942; NCO served with 70th Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1942-1943; NCO served with 10th Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, and North West Europe, 1943-1946. Discusses his early work in a mine as a pony driver at Shotton and Wheatley Hill Collieries and his ghost sighting on the site of an earlier man's death. He was moved to a different area, and a miner was killed at the coal-face the same night. Frustratingly, the ghost is not described.

Reel 2:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80010380

Ashurst, George
British NCO served with 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1914-1915; served with 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers at Gallipoli, Egypt and on Western Front, 1915-1916; served with 16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1916-1918. Describes the 'Tontine Ghost', some kind of poltergeist, claimed to be the ghost of a thief ("George ????") who was hanged and buried nearby. Can anybody make out the name?

Reel 1:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009658

Hubble, Terrence Lionel
British NCO served with 1st Bn Black Watch in GB, Germany, Korea, Kenya, Cyprus, Oman and Northern Ireland, 1950-1977; civilian Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London, 1979-1999. Alleges that he and others saw the ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh while serving as a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London. Adds an amusing anecdote of his relating the tale to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Describes this at some length along with other sightings of a supernatural nature.

Reel 31:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80032303

I shall dig up more in the future.
 
Last edited:
Evetts, John Fullerton.
British officer served on secondment with Iraq Army in Iraq, 1925-1928; commanded British Troops with Headquarters, Palestine Command, British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan in Palestine, 1935-1937; commanded 16th Infantry Bde in Palestine, 1937-1939. Tells the story of his haunted house in Jersualem.

Reel 2:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80004411

Wilson, Kenneth Henry
British officer served as pilot with 620 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1944-1945. Tells of a haunted Nissen hut at RAF Dunmow in 1944.

Reel 2:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80023497

Dales, Arthur Edward
British schoolchild evacuee from Kingston upon Hull to Bridlington in GB, 1939-1940; schoolchild and bicycle messenger for Air Raid Precautions in Kingston upon Hull, GB, 1941-1943; private served with No 188 Detail Issue Depot, Royal Army Service Corps in GB and North West Europe, 1944-1947. Talks of his time at headquarters in the Bishop's Palace, Bayeux in 1944 and its supposed haunting.

Reel 5:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80014199

Daunt, Ivan Decourcy
British private served with Pioneer Platoon, Headquarters Coy, 4th Bn Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regt, 132nd Infantry Bde, 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Div in GB, France, Belgium and North Africa, 10/1939-1/1943; private and NCO served with Pioneer Platoon, Headquarters Coy, 4th Bn Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regt, 161st Indian Infantry Bde, 5th Indian Infantry Div in India and Burma, 2/1943-8/1945. Tells of industriously faked hauntings and genuine fears in Starkey Castle near Borstal, 1934-35.

Reel 1
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80019409

Austin, Tom
British and officer served as pilot flying Wellington III and Stirling with 199 Sqdn based in GB and operating over North West Europe, 1942-1943; served as flying instructor flying Wellingtons with No 17 Operational Training Unit, GB, 1943-1945; served with 619, 189 and 97 Sqdns, RAF based in GB, 1945-1946; served with RAF Volunteer Reserve and mobilised, 1951-1952; served as photographic interpreter with 7010 Reserve Flight, RAFVR, 1953-1982. Tells briefly of a haunted Nissen hut at RAF Coningsby, 1945-6.

Reel 11
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80027854
 
Looking forward to reading through these.
 
Neary Tom
British private served with 4th Bn East Lancashire Regt in France, 1940; NCO served with 1st Bn East Lancashire Regt in GB and North West Europe, 1940-1945. Mentions two comrades' experience of a grey lady in the long gallery of Bisham Abbey near Marlow in 1940.

Reel 2
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80018208
 
Looking forward to reading through these.

There's no transcription, alas, and the interface is a bit clunky for those interviews that take up dozens of reels, but I adore listening to the variety of accents and, indeed, the variety of the subjects' lives.

Hope you find something to which you enjoy listening.

Is anybody able to make out the surname of the hanged man in this account?

Ashurst, George
British NCO served with 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1914-1915; served with 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers at Gallipoli, Egypt and on Western Front, 1915-1916; served with 16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1916-1918. Describes the 'Tontine Ghost', some kind of poltergeist, claimed to be the ghost of a thief ("George ????") who was hanged and buried nearby. Can anybody make out the name?

Reel 1:
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009658

A Tontine haunting rings a bell. I think it's an 'established case', although I haven't had a chance to research it. Perhaps @DrPaulLee might be able to say something about it.
 
Mundy, Pierrepont Rodney Miller:

British officer commanded 6th (Tanganyika) Bn King's African Rifles in Tanganyika, 1929-1935; served with 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers in Malta and Palestine, 1935-1938; commanded 1/4th Bn King's African Rifles in Uganda, 1938-1940; commanded 1/4th Bn King's African Rifles, 21st (East African) Bde, 11th African Div in East Africa, 1940-1941. Relates the mental and physical effects of a witchdoctor's curse on an African CSM under his command. Also goes on to mention a witchdoctor having removed a tumour from a sick man's spinal cord.

Reels 3 to 4
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80003819

Hall, Douglas Basil
British civilian served as District Officer and Provincial Commissioner with Colonial Service in Northern Rhodesia, 1930-1958; served as Governor of Somaliland, 1958-1960. Discusses Bemba traditions, taboos and curses in Northern Rhodesia and examples of their effects known to him.

Reel 2
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80014869

Anonymous:
British civilian nurse in GB, 1939-1942; theatre sister served with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, 71st General Hospital in Tunisia and Italy, 1943-1945; served as nursing officer in India, 1945-1946. Mentions her experience with African pioneers in Italy, who danced themselves into a trance. Also discuses a death caused by a curse and having personally been the subject of hypnosis.

Reel 3
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80017701
 
Small, Kenneth
British schoolchild in Kingston upon Hull, GB, 1939-1945; civilian responsible for creation of permanent memorial to American servicemen killed during Exercise Tiger on Slapton Sands, GB, 4/1944. Narrates how he heard the 23rd Psalm being sung by an unknown singer in a two-man Beaufighter aircraft over the Irish Sea while based at RAF Valley on Anglesey. The flight was en route to RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. The pilot subsequently revealed that he had lost visibility and been flying on insufficient fuel to redirect and that he considered them lucky not to have crashed.

Reel 1
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80011271
 
Small, Kenneth
British schoolchild in Kingston upon Hull, GB, 1939-1945; civilian responsible for creation of permanent memorial to American servicemen killed during Exercise Tiger on Slapton Sands, GB, 4/1944. Narrates how he heard the 23rd Psalm being sung by an unknown singer in a two-man Beaufighter aircraft over the Irish Sea while based at RAF Valley on Anglesey. The flight was en route to RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. The pilot subsequently revealed that he had lost visibility and been flying on insufficient fuel to redirect and that he considered them lucky not to have crashed.

Reel 1
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80011271
Thank you so much for these very interesting tapes. You’ve really gone above and beyond to share these gems which offer such an interesting insight into the days of Empire. Quite apart from the supernatural they are fabulous nuggets of history beautifully narrated by the men and women concerned.

I've very much enjoyed listening.
 
Quite short account:

Court, Alfred John​

British trooper trained with 60th Training Regt, Royal Armoured Corps at Tidworth and Bovington Camps in GB, 1941-1942; trooper and NCO served with 3rd Royal Tank Regt, 8th Armoured Bde, 10th Armoured Div in North Africa, 1942-1943; NCO served with 3rd Royal Tank Regt, 29th Armoured Bde, 11th Armoured Div in GB and North West Europe, 1943-1945

Describes how tank driver Jack Barnes had an accurate premonition of the day and nature of own death prior to Operation Goodwood (Normandy, 1944) and how his mother attended a séance after the war, communicated with her deceased son and somehow knew he was killed by a head wound despite not having been told.

REEL 6
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80015583
 
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