Book Haunted Inns and Hotels in Basingstoke and Deane

The Crown

Newbury Road, Newbury, Berkshire, Kingsclere

In 1944, during the Second World War, American troops were based outside Kingsclere. The local residents held them responsible for a series of burglaries and rapes in the village. On one occasion, ten GIs were ordered back to camp from the village for shameful behaviour. They went to their barracks, armed themselves with rifles and ammunition and returned to the Crown Inn. They took up a firing position behind the church wall, opposite the pub, with opened fire. Two of the Military Police, Coates and Anderson, expired, as was the proprietor, Amelia Napper and several customers wounded. Because this was wartime, it was reserved as a military secret, although nine of the ten soldiers were convicted at a court martial at Thatcham. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. Often there is the muffled and ghostly sound of rifle fire around the pub. The ghosts at the Crown are Amelia Napper and the two military policemen. Both men were firing back on the raiders when they were shot and killed. Subsequently, General Eisenhower ordered his second-in-command to apologise to the village.