A woman whose grandfather died in mysterious circumstances says it was wrong that he was buried in unconsecrated ground.

Sally Phillips discovered an article in the Malvern Gazette from 1914 about the death of her grandfather William McPherson, who was found with a nine-inch cut across his throat in the River Severn.

The obituary told of how Mr McPherson, who lived in Gloucester Place, worked as an engineer alongside his brother Frederick near the market hall in Malvern.

Mrs Phillips, who was born in Malvern in 1940 and lived there until her early 20s, said: “I have recently become interested in researching my family’s history and a distant cousin of mine had this cutting from the Malvern Gazette which told William’s story.

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“The inquest ruled suicide, but I found it odd that there was no evidence suggesting he had killed himself.

“Because of the ruling, he was buried in unconsecrated land and I think that was wrong. My grandmother lived in shame for the rest of her life because of it.

“It is a real mystery and I wondered if anyone in Malvern might know more about it and what happened. I am hoping we can get my grandfather’s remains re-interred.

“I looked into the description of the wound, a nine inch cut from ear to ear, and it seems unlikely he could have done that himself.

“It would be easy for someone else to do it, but doing it to yourself?

"I just wanted to tell the story and raise that it was wrong that he would be buried in unconsecrated ground."