Disaster struck when Kitty Lyon and her best friend, Violet Richards, went out for a walk along a track on the outskirts of Walsall.

Approaching a cattle arch they noticed a soldier standing nearby. As they walked past, the soldier raised a revolver and fired. Violet fell to the ground as Kitty ran off. The soldier gave chase, another shot rang out, and Kitty fell too.

Violet, badly wounded, saw the soldier walk up to Kitty, hold his gun close to her face, and fire again. He then walked over to Violet and, using the gun as a bludgeon, battered her until she lost consciousness.

Kitty was dead, but Violet eventually made a full recovery. The soldier was soon traced – he was Private Arthur Peach, 23, and his motive seemed to be theft, for which he was quite prepared to kill.

He was hanged at Birmingham on Friday, JANUARY 30th, 1942.