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Author Topic: The ghostly Highlander of Marchwood  (Read 774 times)
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« on: February 08, 2017, 08:29:44 AM »

Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 24 August 1907

Most people are acquainted with the rather gruesome legend of ghostly visitations at Netley Abbey, but that there is a ghost story connected with the powder magazine at Marchwood, on the other side of Southampton Water, people may not be aware.

The story is told by Captain H L. Ruck Keene, D.S.O., in the current issue of the "Wide World Magazine."

The officer was a member of the detachment which furnished the guard at Marchwood during the Fenian scare, at which time, seeing that there were about 3,000 tons of powder stored there, special precautionary measures, such as the placing of a gunboat in the stream, were taken. The year in which the "ghost" first manifested itself is not given, but it as during the Fenian sensation, which suggests a date, and the shock sent one man out of his mind, and inspired such abject fear in the minds of the other members of the guard that they offered one another half a crown a time to be relieved of sentry duty at a particular spot.

Matters came to such a pitch finally that an official inquiry was held, at which a soldier told a fearsome story of seeing a man, dressed in the uniform of a Highland Regiment, rise up out of the marsh, and walk through a wall towards the barracks, muttering as he went. Nearly every man who saw the figure, including the one whom it drove to lunacy, fired at it, and one sent his bayonet clean through the ghostly intruder.

The inquiry was inconclusive, and it was not till several years later that Captain Ruck Keene heard an explanation. Then, in conversation with an Highland officer, whose regiment had at one time furnished the guard at Marchwood, it came out that a member of the regiment had committed suicide by drowning himself in the creek, as the result of what he imagined, quite unjustifiably, to be persecution on the part of his officers.

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