After learning he was going to be demoted, an Army’stalwart’ (56), committed suicide at Beachy Head.

  • Jonathan Payne, a soldier in the Army of Northern Ireland, was killed while on his way to Beachy Head (Sussex)
  • Inquest hears that Army stalwart was suffering from undiagnosed PTSD
  • He was concerned about his future in the army, according to the court 
  • To receive confidential support, call Samaritans (116123) or visit 

After learning that he was being degraded, an Army “stalwart” committed suicide. An inquest was held.

Jonathan Payne, 56, was taken from Southampton in Hants to Beachy Head in Sussex the day before he died.

According to his wife, he seemed fine and was feeling well in the morning. It is believed that he received confirmation from his new job the day before he traveled to Sussex.

A squaddie was said to have suffered from flashbacks and PTSD during his service in the forces.

On March 4, 2013, he was discovered dead by the Coastguard near Eastbourne at the foot of the Cliffs.

Soldier Jonathan Payne (pictured) took his own life after suffering with undiagnosed PTSD and worrying about the future of his role within the Army, an inquest into his death has heard

Jonathan Payne, Soldier (pictured), took his own death after suffering from undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and worried about his future in the Army. An inquiry into his death was held.

Eastbourne Town Hall inquest revealed that Mr. Payne had been deposed by his Army unit not too long before his death.

According to Tod Stewart, a police sergeant reported that Mr. Payne was missing from Hampshire following his demotion due to structural changes within the army.

To trace Mr Payne, vehicle checks were made to Beachy Head. He was then recovered by the Coastguard, PS Stewart stated.

Inquest revealed that Mr Payne was a soldier on a very difficult tour of the army in 2013, and had been suspected to be suffering from undiagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder. [PTSD].

Sarah Payne was his wife. She told the coroner that they were deeply committed to one another. His generosity and his role as stepfather was an inspiration to me.

According to Mrs Payne, he was becoming distant with flashbacks and night terrors becoming a common occurrence over the past eight months.

Mr Payne, 56, went missing from his home in Southampton and was found by the coastguard hours later at the bottom of cliffs near Beachy Head in Sussex (pictured) earlier this year

56 year old Mr. Payne went missing from Southampton. The coastguard found him hours later, at the foot of cliffs, near Beachy Head.

She stated that Mr. Payne served 35 years in the military, but was concerned about his future.

The morning of March 4, Mrs Payne informed the court that her husband had said, “love you” and “see you later”, when she left.

They also talked on the telephone at 2pm that same day, and he sounded fine.

However, he disappeared later. Vehicle checks led Mr Payne to Beachy Head. He was then found by Coastguard personnel.

Before joining the team full-time, Mr Payne was a reservist in 165 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC. He had served for fifteen years.

On March 4, 165 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC posted a post on Facebook by his coworkers, “It’s with great sorrow that we announce the death of WO1 Jonathan Payne.”

Tributes paid to Mr Payne say he was well-known, lied and respected across the military community and his wife described him as a 'very generous' man and step-father to her children

Many tributes have been paid to Mr Payne. They say that he was well-known and respected in the military community. His spouse described him to be a very generous man, step-father and step-father for her children.

Jonathan was, undoubtedly, a stronghold of the Regiment.

“He was well-known, loved and respected by the Regiment and Brigade as well as the community.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us and our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are for his loved ones.”

Alan Craze from East Sussex ruled that Mr Payne committed suicide.

We have reached out to the Ministry of Defence for comments.

Call the Samaritans at 116123 for confidential assistance or visit