Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Kate Auchterlonie

Kate's funeral was on Friday 27th February, 2009 at the Crematorium on Thornhill, Cardiff. The family ask that donations in Kate's name continue to be sent either to Crisis - the national charity for homeless people - http://www.crisis.org.uk/ or to Brake - the road safety charity http://www.brake.org.uk/

If you would like to leave a tribute to Kate on this site please do so in the form of a comment. By clicking on the comments link - the word "comments" preceeded by a number -below - you will be able to read those already received.

Kate Auchterlonie who died on tuesday 17th February 2009 was the daughter of George Auchterlonie and Sue Wilshere. She is survived by her elder sister, Anna. Kate was educated at Ysgol Glantaf in Cardiff and in 2002 graduated from Exeter College, Oxford with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics. At the time of her death she was taking a foundation course with a view to doing a degree in chiropractic at the University of Glamorgan.

Kate had many interests. She was a talented musician and played the oboe and piano. She was a member of a number of orchestras including South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra and the University Orchestra at Oxford. She made one pop record with the Welsh band Picnic. Her lifelong love was horses. She took three gap years travelling the world grooming polo ponies, her special interest. She rowed, ran, and cycled. Her fitness reached extraordinary levels. As recently at the 14th February, 2009 - her 28th birthday - she cycled 100 miles. She had also taken part in Ras yr Wyddfa, a race up Snowdon.

She died in a road accident on 17th February 2009, at 9.15 am, cycling up Caerphilly Mountain. She will be missed.

A report on the funeral is here


  1. I first met Kate in New Zealand and then ended up working with her in the UK for JP. We had our ups and downs because we both have strong characters but through all that we had alot of fun including running out of fuel on a hill, broken windscrean wipers on the motorway and basically ruining the staff car we had. But we laughed alot and enjoyed working with the horses togeather. I kept in contact with Kate and had many an odd facebook chat about random subjects as well as serious educational ones. I will miss her grately and wish her family all my love. Have fun with all thoses horses Kate and go as fast as you can. Emily x

  2. I am deeply shocked by the news and she will be missed greatly. She was an extremely multi-talented girl who I believe could have achieved anything she turned her hand to. Razor-sharp wit and comic timing. Thank you Kate for some very funny memories and crazy nights out. I will miss you very, very much. Jo Cook xx

  3. Kate was a much loved member of our team who will be sorely missed. She will be remembered for her sharp intellect, quick wit and enthusiasm. She was a star to work alongside and while we were sad she chose to leave the team last September, we were glad it was to do something she loved.

    We enjoyed some fantastic days out as a team and photos can be viewed on the Nextbigthing group page on Facebook:


    We consider ourselves lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy so many fun moments together. Our thoughts are with Kate's friends and family.

    All at Nextbigthing xxx

  4. I didn't know Kate but this story in the echo touched me and its such sadness of the loss of such a great young girl with a whole active lifestyle ahead of her, my thoughts are with her family and such amazing friends she had! No words can describe how you all must be feeling after such a great loss. Much love at such a sad time to all who knew Kate, i can see she will be sadly missed. Thoughts and well wishes with you all.
    Toni and Christopher Thompson (Penylan.Cardiff)

  5. I only recently met Kate on the local cycle rides from Cardiff and despite only knowing her for a couple of months had got to know her quite well.

    She was such a lovely person to know - friendly, a great sense of humour - only just this Sunday whilst on the 100 mile ride, Kate said to me "Aren't people's legs really weird!!!"...maybe you had to be there?!?!

    I know she was well liked by everyone who met her for her personality and her gritty determination which impressed greatly. She will be sadly missed.

    All my thoughts are with Kate's family and friends.

    Roger (Cardiff JIF Cycling Club)

  6. Since meeting Kate in september, when we started uni, she has become an important part of my life. We spent many hours sat in the gallery, discussing lectures and more often a random selection of other topics. We ran together and Kates joy in getting out and running up hills re-inspired me back to a sport I have not done for several years. We talked of many events that we would like to do and snowdon cropped up time and again, it was a favorite of hers.
    Time with Kate was always enjoyable and I will miss her so much. my thoughts are with her family and friends, we have lost someone very special. matt

  7. Kate had a wonderfully dry sense of humour that left me in stitches. She had the ability to articulate what everyone was thinking but what few had the skill or courage to say. She was wonderfully observant and made the most insightful comments about people, situations and life. I admired her hugely and will miss her immensely.

    Despite being beautiful and having many incredible talents Kate was utterly self-deprecating. She barely even mentioned the many physical and mental challenges she set herself and attained. Just by googling her I have discovered a raft of extraordinary feats that I had no idea she had achieved - and I have known her well for ten years.

    As well as all of this, Kate was an incredibly thoughtful person. It sounds so stupid to write this now but she once got up at 6am, before work, to cycle to her aunt's house to source an electric whisk I needed for a supper party I was holding that night. It was a total surprise to me - how many people would have done the same for me - nobody, I'm sure.

    There is so much more to write but for now I just want to let her family and all the rest of her many friends now know that my thoughts are with you all.

    Alex Stephens x
    Exeter College, Oxford 1999

  8. This must be the hardest thing i have done in my life.... I have known Kate for a number of years.. I am truly grateful that she showed me some of the greatest dry humour i have ever experienced....

    I travelled though Aus and Nz with kate as well as spending the christmas period with her volunteering at a homeless charity(Crisis), she only showed love and affection for all those who came into her life....

    There wont be a day that goes buy, that i wont be thinking of her and her family xxxxxx

  9. Kate was a girl with many talents, who was always smiling whenever we saw her. She was always happy to help. She will be greatly missed by us and all at Ty'r person. Im sure Laddie will miss her dearly. Our sympathy goes out to Anna and her family.
    Love Kathryn,Natasha and Julie xxxxx

  10. Everyone will have special memories of Kate, here are mine. Apologies if I've written too much, I could have written so much more:

    I first knew Kate 14 years ago as Anna's younger sister at school. Initially I was petrified of her. Before too long however her sense of humor proved irresistible largely as I came to terms with the fact that she could cut me down at to size at whim if ever my ego ever got the better of me. I haven't always understood her sense of humor though, to this day I haven't fully deciphered the full repertoire of nicknames that she knew me by. What i did know, however was that she was great fun to be around. At school we often discussed music, whereby I'd pretend to have heard of bands whilst she cited song lyrics from memory. She was one of the least pretentious people i have met and when she expressed an opinion it was always well informed, albeit occasionally expressed bluntly. Some of my fondest memories involve lacing. We spent many an hour tormenting her cat, Pei, with a lace. Kate was a fine lacer. Just the other day she took the opportunity to lace my cat, Bubble.

    After school we went on holiday to Nepal and India together. She was a pleasure to travel
    with and never moaned despite some seriously sub standard accommodation. At one point we were trekking in the Himalaya and a leach found it's way on to her hand. Screaming, she grabbed a rock from the floor and began pounding the leach into submission, unfortunately the said leach was still attached to her hand and arguably the rock was doing more damage
    to Kate than it. This beating combined with screaming continued for what seemed some time. The leach thought better of it and had long since hopped off. Instantly, Kate was calm and apologised to our guide "Sorry, I rather over reacted there!". She duly carried on walking up the hill as if nothing had happened...maybe you had to be there! It's also worth noting that, on the same trip, she managed to capsize a canoe in a hilarious fashion. Maybe that was a sport she wasn't annoyingly good at?

    Subsequently, I was fortunate enough to attend university with Kate, at the college opposite.
    For the year that we overlapped she seemed to me to be constantly busy, be it rowing, orchestra, occasionally academia and spending Thursday nights at the Zodiac paying homage to Burt Bacharach and Andy Williams. She took the time to come and see me when i lived in north oxford and kept in contact whilst she travelled. The teenage girl that scared me so when I first met her had become a close friend and a very loyal, caring one at that. It was great having her here in London last year and like everyone i wished I'd seen her more often, but I am SO very grateful for the time I did get to spend with her. I am incredibly fortunate to have known her. I will miss you dearly Kate.

    Love always, Stouffer.

  11. Kate Was A Kind, Quiet Funny Girl With Many Talents. She Was Loved So Much By Everyone At Ty'r Person, And Will Be Missed. She Was An Intellegent Girl, With Her Whole Life Ahead Of Her, And Our Support And Sympathy Goes Out To The Auchterlonie Family.

    Love Beth, Jayne And Ed

  12. I have never met you Kate nor did I know you but I passed you that dreadful morning and it is something I will never forget. I just wish there was something I could have done to help you and therefore help your family. No one knows what they must be going through right now but I just needed to say how you’re in my thoughts and you will always mean something to me. Your friend who you never knew, Claire Haile xxx

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  14. I only knew Kate from September 2009 onwards on the Chiropractic course, she was always happy & had a great sense of humour- always a delight to sit with during a brief lunch between a hectic university schedule.
    Many times we travelled back to Cardiff in company on the train.
    I will always remember Kate, and i know given the chance she would have excelled in Chiro & become a fantastic Dr that would be caring, kind and above all approachable.
    Looking back now i think of any times that we shared together or jokey emails & messages, you were always somebody that could put a smile on a face after a long day.
    You will be missed so much, and classe will be incomplete without you, your seat could never be filled as you truly were one in a million.
    Praying for your wellbeing & that you are in a better place now.
    You will forever be in my prayers & thoughts...a tragic morning took away somebody very special and gifted.
    I think we will all forever think "if only..." you really are going to be missed Kate.
    Rest in peace dear friend...

  15. Our thoughts go out to the family. love Michele Chris, Aaron, Dominic.

  16. Just wanted to add one more comment:

    Daft Punk was already a night to rem, me and u kid, without a care in the world, lovin life. But now it will be a night I will treasure forever and look back at the zillion photo's with a big, mischievous smile. U rocked gf! (Still can't believe u put me on your shoulders! The view was good up there tho ta! Sorry about the neck injury!). Again I will miss those nights and the non stop banter very much...I wish we could do it again 'One More Time'. Lots of love always, ur 'Peter Pan' mate xxx

  17. I did not know you Kate. I only met you when you were a fading on Caerphilly mountain on Tuesday morning. I read about your life and the wonderful personality you were and I wish I'd have the opportunity to meet you. My babi and I have left some beautiful daffodils for you on the mountain. I know that you are a star that will shine brightly in the night's sky - forever. God Bless.

  18. Like Alex, I met Kate at Exeter College in Oxford and had the immense pleasure of knowing her for almost ten years. I have always regarded her friendship as a great privilege; though friendly and very sociable, she was a private person and to be close to her was something for which I am hugely grateful.
    Everyone remembers her sense of humour, which was legendary in college and the envy of everyone. With great charm and the lightest of touches she could bring any ego back into line, and equally she could brighten any situation with a single comment. She was formidable, but also hugely sympathetic and intuitive, had the courage to make your own feelings clear to you and the kindness to understand you.
    Kate was enviable in so many ways: her considerable attractiveness, which drew so many admirers but which always seemed to escape her own notice; her stylishness (to my wedding last year she wore a strapless striped dress with yellow shoes and rainbow eyeshadow, which no one else could have pulled off); her intelligence. Kate and I both felt that we struggled with our courses at Oxford, but I thought her much more perceptive and sharp than most other people there.
    During her time in London, her office was miraculously across the road from mine and we saw each other most weeks. I will always be grateful for that time we had together. On the last occasion before she returned to Wales, there were no lengthy goodbyes; just a shrug, a grin, a hug, and a "I'll see you soon, of course." I'm so glad that this was my parting from her, and that there are so many happy memories over the years to draw from.
    My thoughts are very much with her family, and hope that these tributes to a uniquely wonderful person will be some comfort to them.

  19. Kate and our son, Sion Elis, were in Bro Eirwg primary school together and so they went back a long, long way. I first became friends with her father, George Auchterlonie, many years ago when I was doing street theatre with him in Adamsdown, and I am shocked and saddened to hear of Kate's tragic death at such a young age. My wife, Sally, and I want to send our heart-felt condolences to George and his entire family.

    Emlyn Williams

  20. I had the good fortunate of meeting Kate through a mutual friend and had the pleasure of sharing a house with her in London for over year. I became very fond of Kate and will always remember our deep and meaningfuls which always seemed to take place on the staircase on our way up to bed. We would sit on the stairs chatting about anything and everything for hours! As you have all mentioned Kate had an amazingly sharp wit and was at the same time the kindest, softest most thoughtful girl. It breaks my heart that she was snatched away at such a young age with so much life ahead of her.
    My thoughts are with Kate's parents and sister and all her friends.

    Sophie xx

  21. Alun hemington-gorse19 February 2009 at 15:08

    I don't know Kate but I'm a cyclist who knows those roads well and I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. Having lost a brother and sister in law in tragic circumstances last year I want to offer my support to those bereft. It's an incredibly hard time for you and my heart goes out to you all. It will get easier as time passes but you will never forget Kate.

    It sounds like Kate crammed more into her tragically short life than most do in a lifetime. Her parents must be so proud of her. She must have been a wonderful person.

  22. I didn't know Kate but Anna, her sister was in the same year as me at Ysgol Glantaf. My thoughts are with the family at this sad time. She seems that she lived life to the full doing what she loved doing. I hope you draw strength from each other and remember Kate at her happiest.

  23. i didnt no kate but ive just been looking at her pics on face book,kate ad so much lust for life,and so much more life to live..god bless kate and her family x

  24. Kate, I didn't know you but I passed you that terrible morning on the mountain and I haven't stopped thinking of you since. From reading about you, you seem such a wonderful person who achieved so much in an action-packed and well-lived life. You are obviously so well loved by your family and your friends and the loss of you must be unbearable most especially for your parents and sister. Nothing a stranger can say will bring any comfort to all those who mourn you but I wanted to pass on my condolences and to say my thoughts are with you all. Clare Coombes

  25. I knew Kate as a pupil at Ysgol Bro Eirwg I was a dreaded teacher and loved her energy as a tiny one. Those eyes, that frown, and then that smile to make my day !!! So much to give and so much potential even then, and now to read how much she achieved. Cysga'n dawel cariad fach.
    Cariad mawr to all family and friends.
    XX i ti Anna
    Anna Roberts

  26. I didn’t know Kate but am a colleague of Sue, Kate’s mother. It sounds like Kate had the same energy and enthusiasm as her Mum and managed to fit a lot into her tragically short life. I am a cyclist and recently cycled across South Wales with my son. I cannot imagine the awful loss that you will be feeling. I understand that the photograph was taken as part of Sue’s portrait photography for her night class. It is a beautiful photograph and it is very brave of you to put up this blog. My thoughts are with you.
    Ian McD

  27. Kate was lovely witty and beautiful. When I first met her I wanted to be with her as she was very sexy, however she was way too smart for that!! We had so much fun as a polo crew and she was there for some of the best times of our lives. We'll never forget the secret missions. We're all over the world but we're always together, a different breed. When we lose you we are weaker. Love always Cappo.

  28. I met Kate a couple of times through her sister Anna. From just a couple of meetings it was easy to see that Kate was such a beautiful person, highly motivated with a can do attitude. It seems from reading the posts that Kate crammed more into her short life than most do in a lifetime. Kate is an inspiration!
    To Kate's partents and her sister Anna:
    Those we love don't go away,
    They walk beside us every day,
    Unseen, unheard, but always near,
    Still loved, still missed and very dear.
    Gabrielle, Catherine & Anthony (Wheeler). Xx

  29. Kate...hadn't seen you for a few months but I was up for that drink with the guys..absolutely gutted.

    Articulate, observant, witty (too witty!!), optimistic, genuine, fit (in both senses). I often felt you hid your intelligence as if not to make us designers feel stupid..that was sweet. Appeared for a while you didn't know what to do with your career, was obvious to me once you found something you liked that intelligence would only result in complete success.

    You must have past my house on Tuesday, I regularly drive and cycle on that road...I won't forget you in a hurry...you leave me no choice!! :) you could have at least called in for a cuppa!! not to be.

    Sincerest condolences to all family and friends...hwyl fawr am nawr te Kate...
    xx Jp and Linh

  30. With many fond memories from the OUPC days. XX Matt Penley.

  31. Kate bach, it's the saddest thing, you've gone and i didn't get to say tra-laa. My time at Black Sheep was made so much brighter by the (slightly surreal) conversations we shared, mocking each other's musical tastes and the great Breakfast Tea vs Fruit Tea debate... It'd be so nice to share one of your horrible fruit teas with you again! We'll miss you. Cariad mawr, Aled x x

  32. Don't really know what to say. Gutted...totally, totally gutted. You're my little sis, and a best friend. Gonna miss you so, so much, I'll never forget you. Extra scoops all round when i see you next! Gxxx

  33. i was at glantaf with kate, and more recently hung out with her while she was living in london. I was so saddened to hear the news- she was the sort of person who made you feel honoured just to even know her. all my love to her family. cariad, Harri

  34. A few of us went out last night in your honour. We shared stories and agreed that you were perfect. You were in a league of your own when the rest of us were in league one mid table.

    Just to say what a pleasure it was to have known you. I actually found you inspiring and we should all take inspiration from your drive, passion and enthusiasm for life. For some reason every time I think of you the band divine comedy spring to mind. You really liked them didn’t you! In fact, I think I’ll put them on now.

    Cariad mawr Bazx

    Ps – I’ll have to dig out that awful picnic record tonight!!

  35. Dear Kate

    It was such a pleasure to spend that time getting to know you the other week. As I said to your sister shortly afterwards, I found you to be inspiring, calming & incredibly beautiful. Despite only knowing you a short while, some people really do touch you in life and you did this for me. I pray that one day I will have the pleasure of getting to know you better. For now, I promise you that I will do everything I can to help Anna through this time as I know she loves you dearly.

    With much love, Bex. X

  36. I Kate.

    Dy hynod wedd mi welwn ar bob machlyd,
    Yn cofio’n gynnes pan roeddwn ni ynghyd,
    Yr hwyl a ddes di cadwn yn ei’n enaid,
    A’th llais yn dal i ganu trwy bob ysbaid.

    Mor ifanc a mor hyfryd - creulondeb oedd dy golli,
    Ond er dy fod ti wedi mynd, rwy’t yn para efo ni,
    Yn yssu i bob gwanwyn ddod yn gynt,
    Er mwyn rhedeg efo’r ceffylau yn y gwynt.

    Pob cariad i ti yn y byd gerllaw,
    Wrth wrando fe glywn ni dy alaw,
    Pan ddaw yr amser fyddwn yn cwrdd eto,
    I gyfnewid straeon wrth i ni gyfleidio.


  37. From all the team at STOP (Trafficking UK), we send our deepest sympathy in memory of Kate, to her family and friends. She worked closely with the charity and we are proud to have had this association. Juliet Singer CEO

  38. I dont know what to say here really... Kate was always the one who made an effort with me and made me feel like we were all a family, on those many boxing days when we were playing silly games and drinking too much wine. When I met her last year in London with my Dad and her Mum with her new blonde short hair she looked amazing - all grown up. I didnt know her as well as I should have done, and now I never will. I give my love to her family, her mum Sue, her dad George and my Dad. xxxx

  39. Suzanne (Summers) Daniel21 February 2009 at 17:07

    Kate and Anna were my first 'charges' as a nanny. There is a special place in my heart and memory for both girls. I still have a photo of Kate riding one of our ponies up the lane near my parent's farm, she can only be about four years of age. It's good to know that she continued to love horses the way I did. My heart goes out to Sue, George and Anna.

  40. Although we were never to meet Kate our thoughts go to her family. It is so sad to see so much potential lost to the world.

    Jackie & Richard Rudd (fellow guitarists with George)

  41. I didn't know Kate, but I know people who knew her well. As a fellow cyclist (although by no means as proficient), I feel profoundly moved by her loss.

    Cysga'n dawel, Kate Auchterlonie.

  42. Kate.

    As you ballon my private space
    I encompass the mother mystery.
    A dart of Caerphilly Hill
    Finding it’s ark.

    The house is still. I look out
    Of sunshine into waiting air.
    Your food is in the fridge, idle
    In ordinariness and love.

    A portrait is ready to be framed
    But walls are gone.
    It must stand afresh
    Beside the snatch of grief.

    And you are back, where you’ve
    Always been, riding towards
    The unseen, the knowing glance.
    Hold me now, picture me smiling.

    Morgan and Jen x

  43. Caroline & Colin Kirkpatrick & family21 February 2009 at 23:01

    We have been truly saddened to hear of Kate's cycling accident a few days ago and wish to extend our deepest sympathy to her family and close friends.
    We were lucky enough to have Kate come and stay with us for several weeks from January 2003 here near Gisborne, New Zealand - she was grooming polo ponies for us, and playing some polo as well. She loved life, and loved what she was doing and has always kept in touch with us since then - letting us know what she had been up to and asking how things were her in NZ. When she was packing up to leave here, on her way to Garangula Polo in Australia, and then she went on to Zurich with some horses from there, she didn't have room in her suitcase for some books, so she left them with us - no doubt hoping that she would return to fetch them one day. One book I have sitting in front of me as I write this and has "To Kate" from "Peter Dec 2002" written inside the front cover and is "Real Cardiff" by Peter Finch. I feel I should return this to her family as it is obviously sentimental, especially now. I am not sure that I should put my contact details on to this note, but my email address is in her 'address book' and if you could forward me an address I would like to send the book 'home'.
    We are thinking of you, her family, at this sad time and will always have lots of happy memories of a lovely young lady whose company we had the pleasure of for several weeks a few years back.
    from Caroline and Colin Kirkpatrick and familly

  44. Martyn Heritage-Owen22 February 2009 at 11:51

    Hi, As a new cycling friend of Kate this news has come as a terrible reminder to live life to the full.

    Whenever I saw you, I was impressed with your enthusiasm and it was clear that you had some talent combined with a happy smile. You had fitted in both as a personal and athletically in a very short space of time.

    Reading of your accomplishments its clear that you were a woman of many talents and I'm sure many of us are the poorer for your passing.

    Today's short tribute at the start of our Sunday morning ritual is a fitting reminder that we had taken you to our hearts.

    Farewell. Martyn (Cyclopedia coffee crew). :)

  45. I meant Kate, though Gareth about three years ago a remember lots of fun times especially the night we went to seeing the Lost Prophets

    I am deeply shocked and my sympathies our with the family - I hope it all goes well on Friday my thoughts are with you

    Rob xx

  46. Helo
    Dont know what to say I taught Anna in Bro Eirwg when she was 4/5 and Kate when she was 7/8 Love Love Love to all her friends and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  47. Charlotte Manners23 February 2009 at 18:29

    I met Kate back when we were 15 years old in the Cardiff County Youth Orchestra. We spent many an hour giggling and being silly together in ridiculously long rehearsals and sharing a room on many tours abroad! We even developed stupid pet names for each other! We stayed in contact all through our university years and used to moan to each other over emails complaining about having no money, rubbish boys and having too much work to do! When she went travelling we continued with our emails back and forth and she never was too busy to be there when i needed her.
    I always admired her love for life and her get up and do attitude. She used to inspire me to go after what i wanted and believe in myself.
    I'll always regret that due to busy lives in the last 5 years we have not seen as much of each other as we could have. I always figured that we had time, sadly that was not the case. Kate was a truly lovely person who I will never forget. She was a wonderful friend who can not be replaced.
    Sleep peacefully Kate,
    love Charlotte

    Dear Fran,
    Thank you for being a caring, thoughtful friend who was always there for me and made me laugh so hard my sides would ache. I will miss you everyday and never forget the fun we had.
    Love Marlene x

  48. Gregg bennett ( Foundation Mech engineering)23 February 2009 at 19:57

    I met kate at university, and never a day went by were u she lacked enthusiasm and a will to working well..you will be missed not only by myself, on behalf of the foundation engineering students at glamorgan, we will all miss you kate, you were a fantastic friend and great inspiration..Myself and the engineering students offer their support and love to the family at this time and our greatest sympathy..

    Gregg Bennett & students whom study foundation Engineering

  49. Sue (Kate's mum)23 February 2009 at 23:32

    I want to thank everyone who has shared their thoughts and memories of Kate on this blog. It is a great comfort to know she had so many good friends and to discover so many things we never knew. There will be a great emptiness in the lives of many people.


  50. I met Kate (and Anna) many years ago through our mutual love of horses. Two little scraps of girls getting hauled round a field and an arena by a big old ex race horse called Laddie, who knew more than a trick or two to get the better of everyone.

    Kate, the last time I saw you was a few years ago - and you were still riding that beautiful horse.

    My thoughts and condolences are with your parents and Anna.

    With much love, Beccy x

  51. I had the great pleasure of spending three years with Kate at Exeter College where I have some very happy memories of amusing times at Div Road. Kate was fantastic company, had a great sense of humour and was inseparable from George, Matt, Will, Freddy and Alex who I know will miss her hugely. A trip round to their house before the zodiac was always a great night out.

    Kate was also immensely talented, beautiful, clever and no nonsense (a characteristic that I particularly admired!). I always had immense respect for her that she went off to pursue her dreams with polo ponies around the world while the rest of us got sucked into corporate jobs in the city. I hadn't seen Kate for a few years - in fact the last time was, I think, a rather amusing day in London when Matt and Sarah came to visit - but I was horrified to hear the tragic news and know that she will be so very sadly missed by everyone who knew her. I will be thinking of all her family and friends.

    With lots of love

    Sophie xx

  52. hey pirate!! here is my procrastination for the summer i promised you.... im goin to sgp this year.. no bestival im afraid.., ill be hugely thinkin of you.

    rest in peace hey!x

  53. I worked with Kate's mum, Sue, years ago and though we haven't seen each other in many a long year I wanted to express how very sorry I was to hear this devastating news - and to say that I am thinking of her and all Kate's family at this very sad time.

    Mike James

  54. I wish I could have got to know Kate better, she was down to earth, welcoming, hilarious and unjudgemental. It's a great loss.

  55. Kate had been an acquaintance for several years before we became true friends after she took up fell running with Gwilym and me at the beginning of 2006.

    On countless runs, over the Garth, in the Beacons and our training runs on Snowdon last year, we have been in many challenging situations together. It will surprise no-one to learn that, however hostile the conditions, however arduous the route, she would never take a backward step. Always positive, always competitive, always… Kate. The astonished admiration on the faces of lesser mortals as she ran past them on steep hills was a source of great amusement to me and quiet enjoyment for her.

    Though, characteristically, she would never admit it, she was on her way to becoming a formidable fell runner, in spite of the frustrating injuries of the past two years.

    I was proud to call her my friend, and her loss leaves a gulf in the lives of those fortunate to have known her.


  56. Kate was a bright and lively young lady. I will really miss her in class. My love to her family. God Bless.

    Gaby x

  57. I didn't know Kate but I did work at the rough centre over the christmas period. Very sad news.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Kate's family and friends.

  58. I never met Kate but also volunteered for Crisis 2008. Reading these comments the thought has struck me how sometimes it seems the most amazing, beautiful people often get taken from life early... perhaps they are like shooting stars... I would have loved to have known you Kate... with my deepest sympathies to your family and all your friends. Rest in peace.

  59. I too never met Kate but also volunteered for Crisis Christmas 2008. To give so much and to be taken so soon, we can't get into words. Again I would have loved to have known you, Kate.

  60. To all of Kate's family and friends, please accept my heartiest condolences on her tragic departure.

    The very fact that she was so involved with helping others reflects her selfless devotion to those less fortunate.

    Im sure that she is currently receiving the divine rewards for her selfless acts to serve humanity.

    May her soul rest in traquility

  61. Hi I didn't know Kate, but was saddened by this news. My best heartfelt wishes go out to her family!

  62. Sincerest condolences to all who knew Kate. i never met her, but my brother may have; he volunteered with Crisis last Christmas.
    Please contact Roadpeace asap if you haven't yet:
    Marie Vesco's family & friends wish they had done earlier, following her death in a collision last June with 2 cars on the A23.

    "to die young, sign that one is loved by the Gods"- London, J.

  63. I was obviously sad to read of this sudden loss and extend my condolences to Kate’s family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who especially knew her and hope that the memories of her life and inspiration shown in all that she did provides the occasion to celebrate her life.

    Gordon Owen
    Advice Manager – Centre 2
    Crisis Christmas ‘08

  64. I didn't know Kate well, having met in London briefly and again as we camped in the mud at Bestival last year. But her dry sense of humour, wit, sparkle and intelligence left their mark on me. This is a cruel loss and is very sad.
    Goodbye Kate,

  65. Cardiff JIF Cycling Club27 February 2009 at 21:22

    Some of the more observant amongst you may have noticed a large cycling group present today !
    This is because Kate had recently decided to increase her commitment to cycling beyond her normal commute. With this in mind Kate started to ride with a group of competitive cyclists from the Cardiff Ajax and Cardiff JIF clubs. ( And yes, that’s right, Cardiff Ajax and Cardiff JIF! )
    These two clubs ride together from Cyclopaedia cycle shop on Saturday mornings and from Maindy Pool on Sundays.
    Little did Kate know that she was destined to be an almost instant hit with this amorphous group of individuals. From all walks of life they are united by, obviously a love of cycling, but, much more importantly a determination which enables them to complete in one of the hardest and most demanding of sports.
    To achieve our individual obsessive compulsive objectives, this band of mavericks needs to operate as a well honed team and to do this we tend to cycle in a 2 by 2 formation with the front 2 riders ploughing into the wind to protect the riders behind. After, say 5 minutes, the 2 front riders move to the back of the formation and the next 2 take on the arduous duties. Quite often the pairs become rearranged. As a result cycling is the perfect medium for Speed Dating. Except there is rarely any Dating and sometimes there is not much Speed…..
    But, there is a lot of conversation between these pairs of randomly generated riders. And because everyone is exerting themselves there is not always a lot of time for pleasantries, so ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’. There is nowhere to hide and you tend to discover the real person quite quickly in this environment.
    Enter one Kate Auchterlonie into a male dominated cycling group. On November 15th 2008 she first turned up at Cyclopaedia and was entrusted to one of the old grizzled hands.
    “Kate, this is Grumpy (as Kate soon irreverently nicknamed him), Grumpy this is Kate, this is Kate’s first group ride, please can YOU look after HER if she can’t keep up”. At the time Grumpy was sporting a cast for a broken wrist, and cycling with a recently broken shoulder, rib and cheekbone. Kate’s first of many humourous observations was that shouldn’t Kate be looking after Grumpy….?!
    Kate surprised us on that first ride as she wasn’t dropped – cycling lingo for being left behind. She only faded ever so slightly towards the end of the 40 mile bike ride having climbed the main hill quicker than most. We exchanged knowing glances….
    She was a natural – she was blessed with talent, and determination. She was obviously extremely physically fit, was a communicator, and possessed an incredibly perceptive sense of humour.
    Kate was also a compassionate, intelligent listener. She had to be when the “lycra fitties”, as she called them, were queuing up to ride next to her.
    Within weeks Kate was not only completing the Saturday and Sunday rides, she was also volunteering for some of the additional mid-weekly rides and in fact at the end of the week when we would tot up our various mileages, Kate was invariably up there with the serious guys, having cycled 200 miles plus.
    Come February she completed the annual 75 mile and 100 mile rides. The 75 mile ride involved cycling over the barren Penderyn Moor in near blizzard conditions. The 100 mile ride was almost a formality after the cold, bitter 75. Kate was looking forward to putting all her training to good use by entering her first bike race in March.
    Kate graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She added a Doctorate in Sarcasm, Humour, Comedy and Ego-deflation, all rounded off with a wonderfully economical, rapier-like eloquence, delivered with just a trace of a disarming smile.
    There was no come-back from a Kate put-down.
    Is it any wonder that Kate Auchterlonie, pocket battleship extraordinaire, has so moved, so many, hardened South Wales cyclists in such a short period of time.
    Once Auchterlonie’d, ………..never forgotten!

  66. I met Kate last September when we both began the MSc Chiropractic course at the University of Glamorgan. I was impressed by her determination in committing to retrain for something she obviously believed would be enjoyable and a challenge. Her determination also helped convince me that I had made the right decision in changing career and joining the programme.
    Kate was extremely bright, had a great sense of humour and was a fun person to have in your class. She was also regularly to be seen in the gym, and I was aware that she was a very keen cyclist. I had no idea that she was such an accomplished musician aswell; or that she was a flunt Welsh speaker. We were all looking forward to getting to know Kate more and more over the next few years. Sadly that now won't happen.
    There will be a hint of sadness on that day in July 2013 when we finally graduate. A funny, attractive and intelligent young woman who would definitely have passed with flying colours and gone on to be a great chiropractor will be missing. My thoughts and condolences are with Kate's family for such a tragic and untimely loss.

    RIP Kate

    Andrew Robson

  67. Pei or Weep? No contest. The one with the tail fur cut in a chamfer wins hands down.

    We fixed your roots, no one saw

    Fly with the fleet foxes, Kate, you can do it, keep on little star, ride with the wind

    Peter x

  68. These are the songs played at Kate's beautiful Wake.

    Kate's Pick n Mix;

    1 Fleet Foxes – He Doesn’t Know Why
    2 The Divine Comedy – Tonight We Fly
    3 Euros Childs – Ar Lan y Mor
    4 Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret
    5 Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
    6 Vampire Weekend – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
    7 Jack Johnson – Better Together
    8 Laura Marling – Tap at My Window
    9 Ibiza Dance Party – No Limit
    10 Robyn – With Every Heartbeat
    11 Ben Folds Five - Philosophy
    12 Florence and the Machine – You Got the Love
    13 The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Time Warp

    Kate's Pick n Mix (Extra Scoops);

    1 Air – Ce Matin La
    2 Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
    3 Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Poodle Rockin’
    4 The Divine Comedy – Songs of Love
    5 Suede – The Wild Ones
    6 Scatman John - Scatman
    7 Weezer – Buddy Holly
    8 Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
    9 Scooter – Faster Harder Scooter
    10 Beck – The New Pollution
    11 Hot Chip – Over and Over
    12 Golden Silvers – Arrows of Eros
    13 Daft Punk – Digital Love
    14 Jeff Buckley - Grace
    15 Lostprophets - Last Summer

    I texted Kate; 'How good was Euros Childs?!'

    'Mor dda a crumpets a chaws, pwdin sbwng a chwstard, gwyliau yn yr haul, hufen ia, ffeindio papur ugain punt ym mhoced hen got. Dyna faint more dda.'

    'As good as crumpets with cheese, sponge pudding with custard, a holiday in the sun, ice cream, finding a twenty pound note in an old coat's pocket. That's how good.'


  69. I know Kate's Mum and heard of Kate's activities through her. What an amazing girl , so full of life and sparkle.From what I know of Kate I expect she's in Heaven telling God and the Angels to get on their bikes and horses!
    What an absolute tragedy but what a life well lived.

  70. I never met Kate but was a volunteer Driver who 'delivered' & collected personnel to the Acton Rough Sleepers centre last Xmas. I am also a cyclist. I could just imagine what a bright ray of joy, humour & hope Kate would have brought to all those people she met, rode & worked with. How tragic, how very tragic. My prayers are with her family. God bless you Kate. Rest in peace.

  71. To Kate's family: Though I've worked at Crisis for several years, I did not know Kate but I know it must be a time of deep grief for all her family. I would like to offer you my condolences and my blessings that you'll find the strength to carry on and know that she is in a good place.

  72. Kate Auchterlonie

    Kate was lovely… witty…. and beautiful.

    Her great intellect and charm won the hearts and trust of so many people around the world.

    She could put a smile on anyone’s face.

    I loved her very much…. she was a trusted and loyal friend to me, and many others here today

    I first met Kate in 2003 in a remote Australian town called Harden in New South Wales.

    It was here when spending the next 3 months sharing our lives in a isolated community, I learnt a lot about Kate and of her sporting abilities.

    I was always drawn to Kate - like many of you here.
    She was strong and talented…

    In those early days… I didn’t realize just how deep her talents ran.

    When she first arrived on the polo scene there were PLENTY of admirers who fancied THEIR chances with Kate.

    It was with great entertainment, to myself and others who, watched the international polo stars with their macho moves and very large egos…. FAIL.

    Kate was FAR too intelligent for any of them.

    An Oxford graduate in politics… philosophy… AND economics.

    They never had a chance!!

    And I suppose it makes me wonder how Kate and I ended up friends…

    I am sure she is smiling down now, at the fact her dyslexic… polo-playing friend is standing here today speaking to an audience filled with scholars… and academics!

    Kate gained respect from everyone.

    … its one thing to demand respect… but another to gain it… she did the latter.

    She did this with her honesty and her ability to see things for how they were.

    She was wonderfully observant and made the most insightful comments about people… situations… and life.

    I know you will all agree that her great intellect and charm could bring any ego back into line.

    She won over the toughest of critics.

    But Kate was always humble…. and with that self-dep-re-cating humor… she had everyone in stitches.

    …not just in the polo community… but also in the many other world’s Kate inhabited.

    And there WERE MANY “Secret Worlds of Kate”!

    ….. It was only last week I learnt of her pop record with Picnic?

    (It’s not surprising she kept that one to herself!)

    She had SO MANY talents…. and yet was SO modest about her abilities and achievements......

    ….. Well except the one time….. I went water-skiing with her in Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

    For those of you who do not know me I am rather competitive!

    But I found out on this trip that Kate too likes to take first prize.

    Neither of us had water-skied before.

    In I went… confident in my ability… and after about ten attempts I rose proudly on two skis.

    To my horror Kate emerged… second attempt, and then went on to ski around the lake!

    Without a word… just that Kate LOOK and signature smile… she put me well and truly in my place!

    Kate had great physical prowess…

    A runner, rower, cyclist, and horse rider…. her fitness reached extraordinary levels.

    I have watched Kate handle the most challenging horses in difficult situations… to say she was an excellent horsewoman is the highest praise.

    … and she was.

    Her gentle… calm… but strong character made her a natural.

    Plenty of people spend a lifetime around horses but fail to understand them… Kate had this rare ability and everyone knew it.

    The physical and mental goals she set for herself were truly amazing.

    Even in the scorching heat of an Australian summer… and some of the harshest conditions she managed her team’s horses with the highest professional standards… and without complaint.

    She chose to be with horses…. despite her outstanding academic qualifications… because it was her passion.

    Kate was a generous person… she did a lot for other people and showed love and affection for all those who came into her life.

    When I told her about working for the homeless charity, Crisis, over Christmas… it struck a chord with her.

    She wanted to get involved immediately. Giving up her Christmas Eve and day to bring some happiness and love to those who needed it.

    Her sympathy and intuition gained her the trust of everyone… including the homeless people she met, who intern felt safe to open up and tell her of their life stories

    To have had Kate listen and care about your life… is perhaps one of the most precious gifts anyone could be given.

    I think all of us here today share that gift.

    My thoughts and deepest sypothies, and all those that have had the privilege of meeting you kate, will always be with you, and your family, and we will celebrate your life in the same way that you lived it.

  73. i never knew her but still wish all the family and friends the best, and hope that you all remember that given time some of the pain really will heal, and the happy memories will keep you strong throughout xx

  74. As Kate’s uncle, I had the privilege of saying a few words about Kate at the service on Friday. Inevitably they were inadequate.

    As Friday unfolded and friends joined with family, arriving from as far away as Hong Kong and Shanghai, and spoke of how Kate had touched their lives in so many different ways, a fuller picture emerged than I think anyone could have imagined. I am particularly grateful to Ryan who made it clear how professional and highly prized she was as a polo groom in her gap years, and how sensitively she dealt with the homeless at Christmas.

    Kate was clever and witty and modest and lovely and loving, and sometimes a bit of a family challenge, but always our beautiful Kate who will leave a gaping hole in our lives.

  75. Helo Llipryn Llwyd,

    I've been thinking for a long time of what I should write on here. People have written and said such lovely things about you that I can't really add to them. All I want to say is that I miss you, like you wouldn't believe. You were a very good friend, one of the best ones and I can't express in words how sad I feel; I just hope you know how much I cared.

    I hope you're having fun up there and that you've found yourself a fittie. Feel free to come back and haunt me (no funny business though).

    Caru ti. x

    P.S. Say hello to Clym Yeobright from me, diolch o galon. x

  76. Journeying back the next day – still intoxicated – the reddleman came upon a little boy gathering whortleberries in a hollow. The boy was Jonny Nunsuch and he proceeded to narrate to the wayfarer how a beautiful Kate was celebrated the day before. The scene within, it seemed, had not quite been a customary one. Everyone standing about the room, having recently proceeded from the service, had either been family or part of an intricate knot of friends. Some were friends from school, some from Christminster, the Antipodes or other seats of learning; some from employment, past and present, and others from teams to which she had belonged, all in tribute. There being present too were Fairway, Grandfer Cantle, Humphrey, Christian and all the furze-cutters. Beneath the stout beams of St Peter’s, in the middle of the room, was thrown a colourful collection of pic’n’mix with extra scoops all round. This gathering being of course but a fraction of the folk whose lives she’d illum’d. When afternoon came people began to disperse, to gather on the green and to go their own ways once more.
    It was some hours later and the reddleman, restless now, frequently stretched his eyes ahead to gaze over the stony tract that he had yet to traverse. Although he knew that beyond the prehistoric landscape of the heath there were fine fields and quaint mazes, decked with all kinds of wild flowers- the milk-white mayblooms, bluebells, cowslips, lilacs, ragged-robins, daffodils, and so on, for now stretched before him was the long laborious road, dry, empty, and white. It was open to the heath on each side, and bisected that vast dark surface like the parting-line on a head of black hair, diminishing and bending away on the furthest horizon.
    At length he discerned, a long distance in front of him, a moving spot which appeared to be a vehicle, and it proved to be going the same way as that in which he himself was journeying. The reddleman watched this form as it diminished to a speck on the road and became absorbed in the thickening films of night. He then took some hay from a truss which was slung up under the van, and, throwing a portion of it in front of the horses, made a pad of the rest, which he laid on the ground beside his vehicle. Upon this he sat down, leaning his back against the wheel as if considering the next step that he should take.

  77. Really missing you today Kate, you came into my thoughts & again i felt that feeling i felt when i first had the news of your departure. Still can not believe it all theese weeks on...i really wish you were still here- you were such an inspiration. RIP forever Kate, you will never be forgotton. x

  78. Really missing you today Kate, you came into my thoughts & again i felt that feeling i felt when i first had the news of your departure. Still can not believe it all theese weeks on...i really wish you were still here- you were such an inspiration. RIP forever Kate, you will never be forgotton. x

  79. i met kate whilst travelling in new zealand - she was kind, thoughtful, amazingly talented and had a fabulous sense of humour - she is a true inspiration to me and i shall never forget her.

  80. I produced Kates pop record with Pic Nic and she recorded several tracks playing oboe and singing chorus back in 1997 at Big Noise Studios Cardiff, there were several TV performances a radio session and photo shoots with Pic Nic. Although in school at the time the quality of the solos she played helped give the music a class. Her record/picture even made it into Melody Maker and Dance magazines. She was very pretty inside and out. I no longer have much to do with the Welsh music scene and only saw her story on the news today,I was very sad someone so talented was taken so young. There are about a dozen tracks she was involved with, which would have made a nice LP at the time,but the band split I think after going to UNI and Huw Stephens decided to be a DJ! The Pic Nic sessions were some of the craziest I ever recorded, she was indeed a stunner and very talented. Doubt anyone will note all this as its a few months since her passing but I just stopped by out of respect.. I never knewwhat a 'Chwenci Da' was as they had some Ysgol Glantaf slang going on..
    xx Johnny R (Recordiau R-bennig 1990-2005)

  81. I had not heard of Kate before today, when I read the BBC Wales news story. If she was as generous of spirit and deed as her family have been in relation to the driver of the car, then I have no doubt that her passing was a great loss.

    As the father of a young daughter, you have my profound sympathy and utmost respect. I do not know that I could be so compassionate and generous.

    You have confirmed my belief in basic human decency.

  82. I hadn't seen Kate since we were in school together (Glantaf) all those years ago.

    By reading the messages,hearing the stories and looking at the pics, her family and friends are missing a beautiful, witty, very funky and intelligent woman, my thoughts are with them


  83. I just learned of Kate's tragic accident, and haven't seen her since she was a little girl,laughing lots. I feel very sad although it's great to see how she has touched the lives of so many people. My thoughts and love to all her family,

  84. Thinking about you!! .... Big up yeah!!

  85. A year ago today that very tragic accident happened and such a wonderful person was taken - leaving so much heartache to everyone Kate mattered to. A truly beautiful and remarkable young lady.... always remembered.
    Sending love, and strength to Kate's family - today and always xxx

  86. Thinking of Kate and her family ,friends today xxx

  87. Love you Kate and miss you

  88. I never personally met Kate, but I knew her sister and met her dad while they were in South Africa many years ago. Even so, I am truly shocked by the knowledge of her passing. From reading all these memorials its not hard to see what an amazing woman she was and that she is sorely missed. My condolences along with my thoughts and prayers are with Kate's family.

  89. Always thinking of you and your family Kate, but even moreso this week. Lots of love xxx

  90. xxxx thinking of you Kate

  91. Still think of you and your family who must miss you so unbearably xxx

  92. The years will pass by, but thoughts of you will remain. Thinking of you and your friends and family, as always xxx

  93. Still feeling the loss. X

  94. Lots of love to Kate's family and friends again today - as always. Forever in my thoughts xxx

  95. It's difficult to believe it's been 5 years today. You're never far from my thoughts - lots of love to Kate's family and friends, as always xxx

    1. Hello Stef
      I don't know who you are but I am so glad that you have remembered Kate each year.

      Sue (Kate's Mum x)

    2. Hello Sue,
      I always will. My love to you all
      Stef xxx

  96. Coeden Kate – Kate’s tree
    Today (with the help of Caerphilly Borough Council Landscape Department) we planted a tree Coeden Kate (Kate’s tree) on Caerphilly Mountain at the foot of the hill where near where the accident happened. It is an acer (platanoides drummondii) which should have a variegated green and white leaf if it grows true. The last of Kate’s ashes (plus a few milk bottle gums from the pick and mix!) will help the tree grow, so it really is Kate’s tree. A lovely wooden chestnut post has the words” Coeden Kate” routed into it. Hopefully the post will last as long as the tree. We also planted some daffodils at the foot of the tree. Five years on and it doesn’t get much easier – only different. The many kind messages from friends and family do help - knowing that Kate is not forgotten.


  97. The rambler who, for old association or other reasons, should trace the forsaken coach-road running almost in a meridional line from Bristol to the south shore of Wales, would find himself during the latter half of his journey in the vicinity of some extensive woodlands, interspersed with apple-orchards. Here the trees, timber or fruit-bearing, as the case may be, make the wayside hedges ragged by their drip and shade, stretching over the road with easeful horizontality, as if they found the unsubstantial air an adequate support for their limbs. At one place, where a hill is crossed, the largest of the woods shows itself bisected by the high-way, as the head of thick hair is bisected by the white line of its parting. The spot is lonely, but lately much improved x.

    Giles Winterborne, Budmouth 1887.

  98. The daffodils are coming along beautifully around Kate's tree - I hope you don't mind, but I placed a little something there today. My daughter chose the posy and where to place the heart. You're all in my thoughts today, and always. Lots of love xxx

  99. The daffodils are coming along beautifully around Kate's tree- I hope you don't mind that I placed placed a heart, and a little posy there today (chosen by my daughter). You're all in my thoughts today, and always. Lots of love xxx

  100. Love to you all, and thoughts with you all - today, and as always xxx

  101. An annual message doesn't reflect how often you're thought of Kate. Sending love and strength to family and friends today: as always xxx

  102. I didn't know Kate but I have become part of the fell running scene in South Wales and her story was recounted to me by a fellow fell runner in 2010. I was very moved by everything that happened and think of her quite often prompted by nothing I can put a finger on. I have visited this page many times but thought that I can't add anything. All I can say is that a beautiful person was lost to a quite outstanding family.

  103. Thinking of Kate today. XX

  104. Still thought of so very, very often ❤.
    Love and thoughts are with Kate's family and friends today, and always will be xxx

  105. I recently found pictures of my backpacking days in New Zealand in 2005- and thought of Kate. We were sharing a room in a hostel in the North Island when she persuaded me that i should go on an organised kayaking tour with her. When we got in the kayaks and pushed out into the sea- she turned to me and said 'you've never been in a kayak before, have you?' I said 'Kate, i can't even swim!' Such was her zest for adventure that she had persuaded me before I even had a chance to think!
    I'll always remember her laughing at my concentration- as i was determined not to fall in! But i knew she would have helped me if i had. She was a lovely girl- and i'm sure there are many more people who met her for brief interludes like me-who will remember her joy and her laughter.

  106. I thought of Kate this morning as I was waiting in the sunshine for my bus to work. I have no idea why she came into my mind at that time.

    I Googled her on my phone and came across this website, which I didn't know existed until just now. It has been a thoughtful hour or so as I've read all the posts and many of these comments, and it has prompted me to fondly remember the time I knew her when she lived in London.

    I wanted to post this to show that, even after all these years, Kate's memory lives on. Her star is shining brightly.