Tears for Chippenham victim of cows’ attack
11:36am Thursday 8th November 2012 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Family and friends turned out in force to remember animal lover Sandra Wiltshire, the Chippenham woman who died after she and her dog, Bruce, were trampled by cows while out walking near their home.
Bruce, an 11-year-old Golden Labrador, also died following the tragedy on October 11 and a picture of him adorned the inside pages of the order of service for Mrs Wiltshire’s memorial service.
Following a cremation at West Wiltshire Crematorium, Semington, a memorial service was held at Christ Church, Derry Hill, on Monday.
Mrs Wiltshire, 68, a retired accounts clerk, grew up in Studley and went to Derry Hill School.
The service, attended by more than 100 people, heard Mrs Wiltshire had a passion for dogs and donkeys.
Friend and neighbour Clive Rathband gave the eulogy and said Mrs Wiltshire walked her succession of Golden Labradors along the fields by the River Avon where she and Bruce were fatally injured.
She had owned Bruce for nine years and before that she owned Ben and Whisky, all rescue dogs.
Mr Rathband said: “Sandra always stopped to talk to other dog walkers. She loved every dog she met and carried treats for them.”
Mrs Wiltshire and her ex-husband, George, who still lived with her in Carrick Close, loved to spend time in Ladram Bay in Devon.
Mr Rathband said: “Sandra’s greatest love was to walk Bruce along the cliff tops there.
“She enjoyed life to the full and loved going out. ”
Mrs Wiltshire loved choral singing and had sung with a number of local choirs as well as at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
“This tragic accident will leave a hole in all our lives. We will miss Sandra and Bruce going for walks.
“We miss you and love you so much but we take comfort that you are not in pain and in God’s hand and are walking together in an even more beautiful place,” Mr Rathband said.
Reverend Ann Massey, vicar of Derry Hill, said: “No one will ever really know what happened in that field where Sandra was walking. She was there doing what she thought was the right thing.
“Sandra’s was a story that made the national press. My hope and prayer is that her story will have saved lives elsewhere and will do so in the future. We live in a world where danger is not always recognised.
The hymns sung were All Things Bright and Beautiful and Give Me Joy in My Heart.
Mrs Wiltshire’s mother, Brenda Beint, gave two readings. She read Song by Christina Rossetti and Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.
Donations were collected for the Labrador Rescue Trust in Dorset and The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon.