On the morning of 22 June 1922 Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson left his home in London to unveil a war memorial at Liverpool Street railway station. When he returned at 2.30 that afternoon, two young men, Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, were waiting for him. What happened next is best described in Reggie Dunne’s own words:
Joe went in a straight line while I determined to intercept him [Wilson] from entering the door. Joe deliberately levelled his weapon at four yards range and fired twice. Wilson made for the door as best he could and actually reached the doorway when I encountered him at a range of seven or eight feet. I fired three shots rapidly, the last one from the hip, as I took a step forward. Wilson was now uttering short cries and in a doubled up position staggered towards the edge of the pavement. At this point Joe fired once again and the last I saw of him he [Wilson] had collapsed.
Dunne and O’Sullivan subsequently shot three pursuers (two policemen and a civilian) in their attempt to escape, but, fatally slowed by Joe O’Sullivan’s wooden leg, they were caught shortly afterwards. They were tried, convicted and, on 10 August, hanged in Wandsworth Prison.