12th August 1927
A minister was found dead at Icart Point
Walkers made a gruesome discovery when hiking through St Martins in August 1927. They stumbled across the body of the Reverend Ivan Dingley Ross, a Wesleyan minister who had formerly been a missionary in China.
He had been deputising on the Guernsey Wesleyan Circuit at the time in advance of taking up an appointment in Llangollen in North Wales at the time. A razor was found next to his body on the path at Icart Point, and it was clear that he had died from a deep slash across his throat.
Suicide, not murder
Despite his unusual and unpleasant death, the minister’s demise was ruled to be suicide. His sister gave evidence at an inquest held the following day to say that he suffered from depression and nervous strain.
Reporting his death, the Chichester Observer noted,
The distressful condition of affairs in China and the ultimate closing down of the Central China University – the interests of which he had much at heart, having been the first Wesleyan representative on the staff – preyed on his mind, and early on the morning of August 11th, he was found dead, with a self-inflicted wound, on the cliffs at Guernsey.
Contemporary newspapers put his age at between 30 and 40 years. He was married with two children. He had been a member of the Wesleyan clergy for 15 years and had left his post in China due to ill health, which had improved by the time of his suicide.
The Wesleyan Church believes that suicide is wrong.