Captain Frank Burdett had served in the Royal Artillery in the First World War and now, at the age of nearly 60, had settled down to a life of retirement in Wimborne Minster. Or perhaps he should have settled down to retirement.

For within a few months of arriving in Dorset the captain fell in love. And the object of his passion was Beatrice Holloway, the 18-year-old blue-eyed brunette daughter of a prominent local farmer, who willingly returned the old soldier’s love.

In December, 1929, Captain Burdett was summoned before the local magistrates. The charge was abducting Beatrice.

For the time being, though, there was to be a happy ending. The “abduction” charge specified that Captain Burdett wanted to marry Beatrice without her father’s consent, she being under the age of 21. But since the captain had made no effort to kidnap her and her parents now agreed to let their daughter make up her own mind, the magistrates dismissed the charge. They also gave consent for the couple to be married.

Captain Burdett was wedded to his girlfriend, more than 40 years his junior, on May 28th, 1930. They lived on happily in Wimborne where the captain passed his time making wooden articles for sale for the benefit of retired soldiers.

Sadly, this was to be a brief romance. Some sort of feud smouldered on between the old soldier and Beatrice’s parents, and five months after his wedding Captain Burdett decided he could stand his in-laws no longer. On the morning of Monday, OCTOBER 20th, 1930, he marched to their farmhouse and shot dead Farmer Thomas Holloway and his wife Louise. Then he walked 100 yards away from their farmhouse and shot himself.