Stoker Petty Officer Leonard Albert Brigstock, 33, had more than a dislike for Chief Petty Officer Deggan. He hated him.

They were serving on a ship berthed at Chatham Dockyard. Deggan had reported Brigstock for a minor disciplinary offence, and the stoker took this badly. So badly that on JANUARY 19th, 1935, fortified by a few drinks and armed with a razor, he made his way to the chief petty officers’ mess where Deggan was alone and dozing. And there Brigstock cut the chief petty officer’s throat.

At his trial the stoker’s defence was insanity. Unconvinced, the jury convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to death. Leave to appeal was refused and he was executed.