Murder of Sir Jack Drummond

The shots in the night

Sir Jack Drummond, together with his wife Anne and daughter Elizabeth, was spending his holiday in France, travelling in his green Hillman estate car. On the evening of 4 August 1952 they arrived to the department of Basses-Alpes (now Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) and while near the village of Lurs they decided to spend the night right there on the roadside.

Less than 200 metres away was a farmhouse called La Grand-Terre inhabited by Franco-Italian family Dominici: Gaston Dominici, his wife Marie, their son Gustave, Gustave’s wife Yvette, and their baby son Alain. During the evening the Drummonds and their daughter contacted the Dominicis and later prepared for sleep. They did not have any sort of tent, so they layed down the sleeping bags next to the car.

During the night, about 4 AM the Dominicis heard the shots, Gaston Dominici later stated that he suspected that this could be the poachers, so he left the house and went to take care of his goats. About 5.30 AM Gustave Dominici stopped a passing motorcyclist, Jean-Marie Olivier, telling him that he found the bodies of dead Britons and asked him to get the police.

Police arrived with some delay. Anne Drummond was found shot near the car. Jack Drummond, also shot, was on the other side of the road, covered with sleeping bag. The body of their 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth was found 77 metres away from the car, down the path leading to the river. She was not shot, her head was smashed using some hard object. In the river Rock-Ola M1 carbine was found, later confirmed as a murder weapon - the bullets that killed the Drummonds were fired from M1 and the stock of this rifle was used to kill Elizabeth (and was broken during that action).

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