The middle of the Great War, when carnage was all about, seems an unlikely place for a serving soldier to be tried for murdering another soldier virtually within sight and sound of the enemy trenches. But thats what happened to acting corporal Alexander Chisholm, 31, of the Royal Engineers.
Chisholm had been rowing with Lance Corporal Robert Lewis, about work and early knocking-off time. Both men had accused each other, it seemed, of falsifying the company accounts.
Chisholm decided to take the law into his own hands. On May 4th, 1915, at Bailleul while on active service, according to the charge sheet, he took up the firing position with his 303 rifle and shot Lewis dead from 20 yards. He was tried by court-martial at Armenti?res six days later and seven days after that, on Monday, May 17th, 1915, he was hanged in the asylum at Armenti?res at 6.10 a.m.
Chisholm was the only condemned soldier hanged on the Western Front during the Great War, all the others being shot.