He may have been a soldier, he was aged about 30, he was dressed in a light trench coat and he certainly had a gun. The night of February 11th, 1920, he robbed Acton railway station’s ticket office, and as he was attempting to break open the safe he was surprised by a night watchman and a policeman.

The burglar fired at the night watchman then fled in the direction of Gunnersbury Park, with the policeman in hot pursuit. He took refuge behind a tree and as the policeman approached he fired three times.

The night watchman, who had stomach wounds, survived, but the policeman, PC James Kelly, 34, died eleven days later, on Sunday, February 22nd. The meagre description of the killer wasn’t enough and a trail that scarcely existed soon ran cold.