1952: Trooper Dennis Hatt of the 8th Hussars arrived home in Swindon following Korean War service. Waiting for the 20-year-old at the family home in Cricklade Road were his delighted parents, Mr and Mrs Arthur Hatt. Although he modestly insisted he had not seen as much action as some of his comrades, he admitted having been well within range of heavy enemy shelling.

1962: A six-coach diesel train on which a smallpox victim travelled from Birmingham to Cardiff a few days earlier was brought to Swindon to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The man, a visitor from Pakistan, was diagnosed with the disease after reaching Cardiff, and the ensuing outbreak claimed 19 lives.

1972: The Adver announced Covingham’s first organ transplant, hastily explaining that the organ in question was a pipe instrument which had been moved from the old St Paul’s Church in the town centre, which had been demolished a little over seven years earlier. The organ’s new home was the St Paul’s Church Centre.


1536: Henry VIII, 44, fell from his horse while jousting and was unconscious for several hours. Experts believed this triggered his mental instability.

1773: Captain Cook’s ship Resolution became the first to cross the Antarctic circle.

1874: The original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, died within three hours of each other, aged 62.

1880: Slapstick king Mack Sennett, creator of the Keystone Cops, was born in Quebec.

1899: Chicago Mafia mobster Al Capone was born in Naples.

1912: British explorer Captain Scott reached the South Pole - only to find the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived a month earlier.

1977: Double murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad at Utah State Prison.

1983: Start of BBC’s Breakfast TV with Frank Bough and Selina Scott.

1991: US-led allied air forces launched Operation Desert Storm, the campaign to expel Iraqi invaders from Kuwait.

2010: Former Iraqi minister Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, was sentenced to death for ordering the Halabja gas attack in 1988.

2017: Human traffickers exploited Europe’s refugee crisis to make £2-4 billion during the previous year, according to European Union’s law enforcement agency.


James Earl Jones, actor, 87; Joanna David, actress, 71; Sharon Duce, actress, 68; Paul Young, singer, 62; Jim Carrey, actor, 56; Shabba Ranks, singer, 52.