British Executions

William George Hudson

Age: 26

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 May 1903

Crime Location: Fulwood Barracks, Preston

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


William George Hudson was convicted of the murder of Harry Short and sentenced to death.

He shot Harry Short in the head while he was asleep in bed at Fulwood Barracks near Preston on Tuesday 17 February 1903.

William Hudson had been out most of the night and returned to the camp the worse for drink and making threats to do for Harry Short. Harry Short had previously reported William Hudson for insubordination, disobedience of orders and striking a non-commissioned officer but at the court-martial he was acquitted. This caused a grudge for which William Hudson had been heard to repeatedly say he would do for Harry Short.

A gunner said that in the canteen after the court-marshal on 5 February 1903 he had heard William Hudson say that he would 'do' for Harry Short.

William Hudson had partially undressed when he returned to camp and then left his quarters in his stocking feet. When he returned he had a carbine in his hand and told his bed mates that he had shot Harry Short.

One of the men that he had been out with that night said that when they got back to camp they had all got undressed to sleep except for William Hudson who had remained in his shirt, trousers and stockinged feet. He said then that William Hudson went to his box but he didn't know what for and then went off and that when he returned three or four  minutes later with a carbine he had said to him, 'I have done for Short. Give me a pull through, quick'. He said that he then put the carbine behind a vacant bed and went to sleep.

Harry Short was found dead in the morning.

It was heard that William Hudson and his two friends had each had about fourteen glasses of beer and three small whiskies each during their night out.

William Hudson had been a gunner and Harry Short a Bombardier in the 7th Depot, Royal Field Artillery based at Fulwood Barracks, Preston.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/80, HO 144/706/107446

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 25 April 1903

see Western Daily Press - Monday 11 May 1903

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 12 May 1903

see Lincolnshire Echo - Saturday 07 March 1903

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Friday 27 February 1903