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Piece of WW1 shrapnel

Found on RNR's pillow after a nearby battle.

My mother had two ghost stories, one relating to Royaumont Abbey, and one to the house in Camberley the family rented in 1937, while my father attended the Royal staff College at Aldershot. She also had another decidedly spooky story relating to Royaumont.

  1. Apparently Royaumont was near the site of some well-known battle of old, and on clear moonlit nights the inhabitants would hear all the noises of cavalry being assembled in preparation for the battle - jingling of harness, stamping of hooves, shouted commands, neighing horses and so on, but when they looked out nothing could be seen. The interesting thing about this story is that it was - in her account - a group experience, shared by most, if not all, of the residents.

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  3. On several occasions while we were living in Camberley, my mother saw an old man in a raincoat walking down the hall. He didn't say anything, and when he came to the end of the hall he walked straight through the wall and disappeared. This story was unusual in that on each occasion it occurred during the daytime.

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  5. At one stage the battle moved quite close to Royaumont, and there was heavy bombardment nearby. The vibration from this caused a stone to move away from one of the walls, revealing a cavity behind it. In the cavity was a skeleton, and in the earhole of the skull was a plug of lead. My mother's explanation was that the owner of the skeleton had been murdered by pouring molten lead into his ear while he slept.

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  7. At about the same time she awoke one morning after an air raid to find a lump of shrapnel on her pillow beside her head. This is shown above roughly life-size. It is part of the rifling band of a shell, and is about 80 * 40 mm, and weighs 116 gm.

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017

Ghost stories