Workmates for many years on a mineral railway at Ingleby Greenhow, north Yorkshire, Hubert Dalton, 39, and Francis Ward, 68, also saw each other most Friday nights at their village pub. So the regulars were surprised when Ward didn’t turn up for his usual pint or two on the night of Friday, OCTOBER 3rd, 1924. Dalton was there playing dominoes, but he said nothing about his friend’s absence.

The next morning Ward was found battered to death in a field beside Dalton’s home. A bloodstained hammer discovered nearby turned out to belong to Dalton, and a medical examination revealed that the victim’s throat had been cut several hours after his death.

Ward had been about to go on holiday. His pockets had been turned out, and his holiday money and two watches were missing. The watches were found in a haystack near the crime scene, and Ward’s purse was discovered hidden in Dalton’s outhouse.

Later on the Saturday Dalton was found wandering on the railway where he worked. He had a throat wound, and on collapsing he was taken to hospital.

He claimed to have no recollection of attacking Ward, but his defence of insanity was rejected by the jury at his murder trial at Leeds Assizes. Sentenced to death, he was executed at Hull Prison on June 10th, 1925.