Tragic fall led to death of community stalwart, inquest hears

Emma Billingham

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Emma Billingham

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Tragic fall led to death of community stalwart, inquest hears

Patricia Burstall

A tragic fall after returning home from choir practice caused fatal injuries to a much-loved campaigner, historian and author, an inquest has heard.

Patricia Burstall, 80, fell by the back door of her Bisham Road home on Monday, March 14, and lay outside unconscious all night, the inquest was told.

She was found on the Tuesday morning by a milkman who called the emergency services.

Miss Burstall was taken to Wexham Park Hospital, where she was found to have a fractured skull with bleeding on the brain.

Neurologists decided that an operation would not be the best course of action for her and a palliative care plan was created.

She passed away at the hospital on Friday, March 18.

At the inquest on Wednesday, May 11, at Reading Town Hall, Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford concluded the fall was accidental.

“Sadly we will never fully know the events that led to her fall, but it is the fall that caused the injuries,” he said.

Well known in the community, Miss Burstall was the main organiser of the annual Bisham Open Gardens for more than 20 years.

She had also received the British Empire Medal last year for voluntary service to the community and was a member of the Marlow Choral Society.

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