14 February 2008
What a way to go
The fearful suicide of a Rear Admiral
'The London papers contain details of the terrible suicide of Admiral Versturme at Falmouth. It was noticed that he was depressed in spirits, and it was surmised that he was suffering great disappointment at the loss of a fortune he had expected would have come to him, but which went to a relative. After dining with his wife in the evening he adjourned with her to the drawing-room, and half an hour later the servant, hearing groans proceeding from this room, effected an entrance, and found both the Admiral and his wife lying on the floor. Mrs Versturme had fainted, and the Admiral was holding in his hand a poker which he had made red-hot and then thrust three or four times deep into his bowels. Medical assistance was soon at hand, and the sufferer received every attention, but he died about 4 o'clock next morning. Before his death he said, "It was on account of the whiskey I did it," and he presently added, "I commend my body, soul and spirit to Christ"'
- Evening Post, 2 April 1888
[Accessed via National Library of New Zealand's Papers Past]