“I’m pregnant!” Caroline Back, 19, announced to her soldier boy friend, Private Dedea Redanies, 25. The soldier, a Serbian serving with the British Swiss Brigade stationed at Shornecliff, Kent, was stunned. The implication was that he would have to marry her, and he wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

In fact, Caroline wasn’t pregnant. It was all part of a complex ruse she had dreamed up. Knowing that Redanies wasn’t happy about marrying her at least for the time being, she had set her sights on another soldier, and reckoned that her surprise announcement would scare off Redanies.

But a friend told him about her plot and he was furious. Armed with a knife, he went to her house at breakfast time and invited her to walk with him along the white cliffs, so that they could talk. Caroline agreed on condition that her sister Mary Ann, 17, came too. Later that day the girls’ bodies were found at a place called Steddy Hole on the outskirts of Folkestone.

Redanies wrote to Caroline’s mother telling her he had killed Caroline because she was sleeping around with other soldiers and he was determined to put an end to her immoral behaviour. He had also killed Mary Ann because she was a witness to her sister’s murder.

Before he was arrested Redanies stabbed himself, but recovered in Dover Hospital. He was tried at Maidstone Assizes on December 19th, 1856 and hanged at noon on Thursday, January 1st, 1857, outside Maidstone Prison by William Calcraft, before “a considerable number of persons.”