The night was dark and the storm was coming in so strong. The gale force winds were blowing the waves high into the side of the island on which the lighthouse sat.  So many thoughts went through his mind after he had pulled the trigger. He didn’t know why he did it, Hugh was his friend. Why did he shoot him?  Robert was afraid and knew he had to leave, the storm was raging, but in desperation he took the small sailboat and hoped that it would make it to the mainland. He fought the storm and finally reached the other side. 

It was an early in the morning and today was the day, his dad had promised him they would go to the lighthouse and have a picnic, just them. Dave was so excited he was up before his dad and had already packed their lunches. They walked to the pier and took the boat over to the Island. He was so excited to have this day with his father.  They kicked the football around before they sat on the bank to eat their lunch.  The young lad asked his father why the Lighthouse Keeper Mr. Clark, had not come out to talk to them, he always came out when they were there. They finished their lunch and went to see him, the door to his house was open so they walked inside, calling his name. But of course there was no answer. They found him with a towel wrapped around his head and he was eternally sleeping in his bed. But where was the other keeper, where was Mr Robert Dickson?   The police were called and they quickly decided that Mr. Robert must have been the one that had done this awful deed. 

Many wonder to this day, what happened on that stormy night that drove him to murder Mr. Hugh Clark.   Mr. Dickson even tried to make his get away in Mr. Clarks car. He was later caught in Yorkshire and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to be hanged for this murder. The High Court of Dumfries later changed his punishment to life in prison. There are many opinions of what really happened on the Island of Little Ross, but only two men really know the truth. 


The lighthouse built in 1843 at the mouth of Kirkcudbright bay. In the 1900s the 29 acre island was home to the lighthouse keeper, under keeper and their families. It was said that 16 people lived on the island and their food was provided by the vegetables they grew in their gardens, a dairy and the piggery. Mr. Clark and Mr. Dickson were relief lighthouse keepers only their while the principle keeper was on holiday. It was manned until the murder, in 1961, it was changed to automated. It can only be accessed by boat or helicopter and it is not connected to any electrical grid, its electricity is supplied by solar panels and small wind turbines. 

What a sad ending to Lighthouse Keepers on Little Ross as the murder of Mr. Clark was such a tragedy that the whole town of Kirkcudbright was effected by it.