A parcel sent by post to his parents’ home in Codsall, Wolverhampton, on Monday, May 3rd, 1948, intrigued Rex Farran. It was addressed to “R. Farran,” so he opened it. Inside was an omnibus edition of Shakespeare’s plays. There was more than that, however. The inside of the book was hollowed out and filled with dynamite. As Farran opened the book it blew up.

The explosion shattered the windows of the house and Farran was rushed to hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The parcel was undoubtedly intended for Farran’s brother, army captain Roy Farran, who was away in Scotland at the time, staying with friends. Earlier that year Captain Farran was acquitted at a court-martial in Jerusalem of the murder of a Jewish man, Alexander Rubowitz. Since then his life had been repeatedly threatened by the Israeli Stern Gang, which swore to follow him “to the end of the world.”

Captain Farran had a brilliant war record but he wasn’t a popular man in Israel, where he had been seconded to work with the Palestine Police. He later went to Canada, was elected to the Canadian Parliament and became solicitor-general.