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Woman killed on safari
A HUSBAND has spoken about his wonderful wife after she was killed in an accident while they were on holiday in South Africa.
Richard and Marjorie Moore were nearing the end of their two week break where they had been tracing relatives when the accident happened.
Mr Moore had gone to church while his wife had gone on safari with a tour.
The vehicle the party was travelling in failed to negotiate a steep slope and overturned. She was one of three tourists, including another Briton, killed in Sunday's crash.
Mr Moore, 76, of Cambridge Close, Lawn, said Marjorie, 67, was a "wonderful woman."
She had arranged to go on a game drive at the Shamwari Game Reserve a private reserve spread over an area of 50,000 acres halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province.
He said: "We're actually staying in Port Elizabeth. She was the only one from our hotel that went.
"They arranged to put her on this special tour. I wanted to go to church instead and as a result I survived."
He said he had waited in vain for his wife to return but the next thing he knew was an official inform him she had been killed in the accident.
He said: "They told me the vehicle in which she and six other tourists were being driven around the reserve I think it was an open top Land Rover failed to make it up a slope.
"It rolled backwards and overturned.
"Marjorie and two other women one British and one South African were killed instantly. The other four passengers were treated for minor injuries. Only the driver escaped unhurt."
Mr Moore, who was yesterday being comforted by managers at the Mantis Collection, the owners of Shamwari, said: "The worst thing is that I can't remember the last things we spoke about. She just went off for the day, and now she will never be back."
He said however that he held no ill feelings against the trip organisers and said he had accepted it was an unavoidable accident.
Mr Moore, a retired master grocer who ran a shop in Newbury for many years, had to identify his wife's body.
"Doing all these arrangements, like going to the morgue, in a way I think it's helping me learn to live with it," he said.
Mrs Moore, who worked at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham for 40 years, latterly as housing officer, was his second wife.
The couple had no children together although Mr Moore has several children by his first wife.
He said she had several nephews, nieces and great nephews and nieces.
The couple met through their mutual interest in genealogy and had been married for 27 years.
"We were both doing it before we got married. We met through the interest. In fact we're quite well known for it in Swindon. We lecture on it," he said.
Before travelling to South Africa, Mr Moore said they had researched their family tree to track down long lost family members.
He had discovered he had a relative who settled in the country in 1820.
"I found one cousin, I phoned him up and we met and had a wonderful time. He lives in Port Elizabeth. He's a pharmacist, he has four shops and his wife is an attorney".
South African police, who have launched an investigation into the accident, also revealed the identity of the second Briton killed in the accident on Sunday as Sharon Bryant.
According to police, Mrs Bryant was in South Africa with her daughter and son-in-law. Police were unable to say where in the UK she comes from.
The South African fatality has been named as Eileen Crocher.
Danie Malan, the managing director of the Mantis Collection, said: "Any death is a shock but nothing like this has ever happened to us before so you can understand how shocked we all are.
"The police have taken custody of the vehicle. We have also opened our own investigation with an independent investigator."
"She will be hugely missed"
friends and colleagues have paid tribute to Marjorie, who was a leading member of the Wiltshire Family History Society.
Society member and close friend, Beryl Hurley from Devizes said: "She survived cancer about 14 years ago and she loved life. They enjoy travelling all over the world.
"It's been a huge shock to everyone.
"She was always willing to help anyone, it was no trouble at all and she will be hugely missed by everyone, particularly in the genealogical world."
Fellow member Doreen Scott said: "I had huge admiration for Marjorie, she was devoted to family history, and what she didn't know about the subject you could write on a stamp, she was an oracle of the family history world.
"She had a great sense of humour and she was always very helpful."
June Perrin, a director of the London-based Society of Genealogists said: "Marjorie's death is a huge loss to the genealogical world, she was renowned across the globe for her expertise and had lectured on the subject in many different countries, she will be sorely missed."
Neighbours Joyce and Michael Nash, had known Richard and Marjorie for 18 years and were looking after their home while they were on holiday.
Mrs Nash said: "It's just been a huge shock, they had been talking about this trip for a long time. She was full of life, and loved travelling, I remember Marjorie saying they were looking forward to getting out of the cold."
A popular retreat for tourists
The Shamwari Game Reserve is one of South Africa's most prestigious reserves and hit the headlines two years ago when golfing superstar Tiger Woods took his then girlfriend, Swedish model Elin Nordegren, there to propose to her.
Woods and his friends had booked in to Shamwari for four days in November 2003 after playing in the President's Cup golf tournament.
The Mantis Collection, owns eight game reserves and boutique' hotels including Shamwari, which it says has "received numerous international awards" and is the "ultimate African adventure and conservation effort coupled with responsible tourism" with "luxury accommodation" in six different lodges. Its website also boasts that "Shamwari's highly trained game rangers, with skilled service staff will ensure a memorable adventure, personalised to your needs".
It is a private game reserve positioned on the eastern cape of South Africa.
It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in the Eastern and Southern Cape and is situated along the Bushmans River, halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.
Shamwari is steeped in settler history and boasts five eco-systems, enabling the support of many forms of plant, animal and bird life.
The reserve was set up by Adrian Gardiner who wanted to conserve the region's wildlife.
Adrian purchased the land in 1990 meaning it to be used as a family retreat, but after reading historical accounts of the area he decided to return the land back to its natural state.
The Shamwari Game Reserve opened in 1992 and quickly began to re-establish the flora and fauna of the pre-Settler era.
Since 1992, 5,000 head of game have been bred and re-introduced, and the reserve now employs 250 people.