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A terrible shock


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Where do I start?


My eldest sister called me earlier today from Shropshire.

This morning her husband (they were separated) was driving to a sheepdog trial.

Apprarently he had a massive heart attack at the wheel, veered across the road and crashed into a lorry. He has died.


I can hardly believe it. I'm stunned.

I never, NEVER thought this would happen. He was only just 64.


Ken was one of what you would call nature's gentlemen; a lovely bloke, a very hard worker (he was a farmer, a country man) and completely without guile.

I always got on with him very well and enjoyed his company; even after their amicable separation he would regularly visit my sister and help her in the garden and lots more, right up to 2 days ago.

Though he ended up living with another partner they never did get divorced, which now complicates things.


My sister is ok - I've offered to go up there, 4-hour drive, but she says not right now.

There has to be some sort of RTI (Road Traffic Incident) investigation and a post-mortem.....my God.


A terrible shock. I really could not have ever dreamed this would happen.

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Sorry to hear about his passing.


Coincidentally I'm on the same state of shock you are, one of my best friends little brother went to the hospital to check on a mass growing on his foot, doctors did a biopsy, they also found a blockage in his lungs, they did not let it him go home but rather straight into the ICU one week later he's dead at 38. I guess he was very sick and just did not know it.


He was married and had two young boys. I'm very shocked.

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I'm very sorry to read this. I had to look up the word "lorry" to see what that was and oh my - that's terrible on so many levels. Unexpected surprising deaths are always a shock to hear as opposed to someone who has been ill or battled a cancer or some other disease for a long time and are, in my humble opinion worse because one was not steeled or prepared in some ways for it to occur. My brother who passed unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm 10 years ago at the young age of 54 is an example I can site on a very personal level. I feel sorrow for your news and hope that in the days ahead as family and friends gather as we do when someone passes that the comfort of hoping he did not suffer endlessly can bring some small measure of peace to all of you. My prayers are with you and yours.

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Suddenly losing someone you care about at any age is always difficult. My condolences. I jut lost an old work partner who was 68. The only bit of advice I can give is to cherish your loved ones and close friends so regrets will be less. My wife was rushed to the ER last week and ended up with a three day hospital stay. That was a real shock, and reality check. She is only 61. Fortunately she has recovered and the prognosis is good. God Bless all those family members and friends we have lost.

Kenny V

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So many of us here that are in our 60's to 70's or beyond. It is truly sad to hear more and more stories of health problems and now a death. I guess that's life. I see so many people on these forums who could use prayer for them selves and for their family's. Very sorry to hear of your loss jdgm. One really never knows what to say at a time of sorrow. Mankind is like a flower. Here one day, and gone tomorrow. I guess I never understood that till after I retired from work. My how fast time travels and we never know when our time is up?

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Yeah, I think we all need to recognize how frail we are in this world - and consider our actions to others in recognition of that.


My best wishes to not only JDGM's sister, but also to the other partner caught in the difficulties of legalities in today's world in all of our nations. Brother, may good will from all of us here be reflected in your own family's circumstances. And may remembering a solid countryman without guile be the long term memory rather than pain of loss and its aftermath.



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Many thanks to all for your kind words.

I called my sister this morning and she is dealing with it well. His partner has family staying with her too now.

Seems his father went in a similar way - massive and completely unexpected heart attack in his mid-60s. Too young!

But a terrible shock - someone you know/love goes out in the morning and that's the last time you see them - they don't come back in the evening.

He has left his mark on the landscape however. After the farm was sold (he was a tenant - sheep farming) he did a LOT of work around the area - tractor driving, fencing (he was an expert at 'living' fences, i.e. cutting hedgerows so they would grow into well-defined fences and borders), shearing, fieldwork - you name it - if it was agricultural, he did it. He lived by the seasons and the sun, the wind, the rain and snow.


God Bless all those family members and friends we have lost.

Kenny V



My how fast time travels and we never know when our time is up?

And yes again.


And may remembering a solid countryman without guile be the long term memory rather than pain of loss and its aftermath.



I hope it will be thus. He was a Shropshire man through and through.


Thanks again and my best wishes to all.

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I hope forum members will excuse me and understand why I have bumped my own thread.


My brother-in-law's name has been released today and this tribute has appeared in local newspaper the Shropshire Star:





'The family of Ken Gwilliam today paid tribute to the 64-year-old, who died in an accident at Leebotwood, near Church Stretton, on Saturday.


Mr Gwilliam, who lived in Clunbury, south Shropshire, was pronounced dead at the scene following the crash on the A49, as it passes through the village north of Church Stretton, at 7.45am.


He was described by described by relatives as a “true countryman”.


A statement from the family read: “Ken was a lovely kind man that did not have a bad bone in his body. We all loved him so very much and he will be truly missed.


“He was true countryman and his knowledge of the countryside was second to none. A proper stockman, shepherd and a man who cared for his dogs and his love of trialling.


“He would help any one out he came across. He loved south Shropshire and where he lived, and will be sadly missed by all his family and friends that knew him.”




Police are appealing for any witnesses to the accident to come forward, or anyone who saw Mr Gwilliam’s Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck or the Volvo heavy goods vehicle involved in the collision beforehand.


Mr Gwilliam’s truck was travelling northbound when it collided with the lorry, whose driver was not hurt, which was moving in the opposite direction.'



More detail is coming out; there was an almost identical accident in the very same place only 24 hours before. However the road was not busy then, so that driver went across the road and through a hedge with only very minor injuries and a bit of shock.


Ken will be much missed not only by our family, but by everyone who farms in the Clun Valley.


And he would be astonished to read about himself on a guitar forum!


Take care folks.

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