Alexei Letenock was a 30-year-old Russian serving as a private with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and stationed with his unit in Sussex. On DECEMBER 6th, 1916, the corporal in charge of his hut reprimanded him for singing and being rowdy late at night, and Letenock stabbed him to death.

At his trial at Guildford Assizes his defence was provocation – he said he thought the corporal was about to attack him. The judge, however, told the jury that no such provocation could reduce the crime to manslaughter, and Letenock was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

But on March 19th, 1917, the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that the judge’s direction to the jury on provocation was flawed. The appeal judges then substituted a manslaughter verdict and jailed Letenock for 15 years. At the end of May 1928 he was released on licence and deported to Russia.