Northern Ireland Ghost Stories

The Protector

My father, a Carrickfergus man, was a Royal Navy officer during WW2 and one day he and several companions were sitting in the Ward Room discussing what they would do when the war ended. He said it was a fruitless discussion since nobody knew when it would end or even if any of them would survive it. One of the men said that my father would certainly survive and my father asked how he could possibly say that. The man explained that in times of crisis and/or danger a figure could be seen, by him, standing behind my father, protecting him. The figure, said the man, was wearing some kind of old uniform, was soaking wet and carried one white glove. My father was a somewhat sceptic and dismissed the story. Some time later he wrote to his mother and mentioned the story. She sent back a photo of my grandfather who had been a Captain in the Merchant Marine during WW1. My frather showed the photo in the Ward Room and the man recognised my grandfather as the protector … my grandfather was lost at sea during the war! My father felt this was something anyone could easily have found out and remained unconvinced. There remained the single white glove about which there was no explaination until my grandmother remembered that on her wedding day my grandfather intended to wear white gloves, apparently a navy tradition. He could find only one glove so carried it at the ceremony. My father was totally unaware of this story until then. Oddly, when my mother and father were married, he too could not find both cloves and so carried one during the service. Two follow ups: My grandfather had a best friend who was also in the Merchant Marine and when the friend heard of his death he came to Carrickfergus to see my grandmother … and he subsequently married her. And all the men in the Ward Room survived WW2.


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