In The Midst Of Battle
This story was conveyed to me by my grandmother, about an experience my grandfather had whilst based in Europe as a soldier during WW2. He never told the story first hand to anyone, apart from my grandmother and she only told me after much insistence when I was a teenager. Whilst some of the details are scratchy I shall tell it as best I can.
My grandfather was a soldier through and through. A very upstanding Englishman and citizen in the community in which he lived and a well respected person by all who knew him. During the early part of the Second World War he had been sent to Europe along with his two brothers. One brother had vanished in battle, the other sent to a separate station.
The incident in question took place one, cold winter night whilst he was maintaining a watch. I do not know the exact location, and apologize for that. One has to remember though that this story was told to me and being the third party details can be missed.
Anyway, the group he was with had been sent to an area based deep in a wooded forest. I never did found out what their reason for being there was. In the middle of a group of trees there was a watering hole, or small pond. He said that the night was bright enough he could see forest creatures moving to the water hole to drink. I am not sure how many other men where there nor how many may have experienced or seen what my grandfather had. If they did see it, nobody ever told him.
Regardless though, it appears that in the early hours of that night he was keeping gaurd. He was startled by something moving by the water hole and moved slightly closer to get a better look. Worried that it may be Germans, he was also very alert and careful not to be seen. However what he saw was not Germans. Whatever it was, stood semi upright like a human being. It was covered in hair, from head to foot. Long, shaggy black and brown strands that seemed to offer protection from the cold elements. It didn't walk like a person, but shuffled in a semi- crouched position. It's face was grotesque, similar to the gargoyles you find on old cathedrals and buildings. The fingers long.
It hurriedly made its way down to the water, checking to see that it was alone, had a drink and then scurried back into the trees.
That is all that was imparted to me and all that I guess he ever told my grandmother.
Whilst I would love to have heard this from him directly, it seems it shook him so much that he refused to ever repeat the story again. I was extremely close to my grandfather and whenever I approached the subject he would merely go very quiet and remind me it was something he didn't wish to talk about.
His life I am sure was changed, and I fully believe what he saw was real. He went out there to fight and got more than he bargained for in the midst of battle.