“Insanity, alcoholism, and a neglect of God,” were the reasons put forward at the trial of Private William Dixon, 28, for shooting Corporal William Brett, 30. Dixon had been reported for insubordination and, brimming with rage, he picked up his service rifle and fired it at point-blank range at his victim.

He was sent for trial at the Old Bailey because the government of the day wanted military murders to be tried as quickly as possible in London. It was thought that this would serve as a deterrent to recalcitrant soldiers.

The jury took only five minutes to find Dixon guilty, and he was hanged on Monday, September 6th, 1869, in Winchester Prison.