After going to the cinema in Marlborough, Wiltshire, Nurse Muriel Fawden met a friend, June Lay, and together they began to walk up the hill towards Savernake Hospital. This was September 1943, in the midst of wartime and with the black-out still operating.

So it is unlikely that in the darkness they noticed Private Lee Davis of the US Army, until he was very close to them. They had reached the top of London Hill when they heard a shout: “Stand still or I’ll shoot!” Frozen to he spot, they turned and saw the soldier, and he was pointing a rifle at them.

He ordered them to climb through a barbed-wire fence into a field, but June made a break for it. As she ran Davis fired and she fell dead.

Muriel too had tried to run, but Davis caught her. He dragged her into a field and assaulted and raped her for several hours.

She was allowed to escape with her life, and after she had been interviewed by police the weapons of the entire US company stationed nearby were examined. Davis was identified and executed at Shepton Mallet on DECEMBER 14th, 1943.