PEOPLE in Calne and pupils at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham have united in grief for the loss of Ellie Gould who died at her home on Friday, May 3.

Ellie, 17, a sixth former at Hardenhuish School, was found with a severe knife wound at her home on Springfield Drive.

Paramedics had battled to save her after they were called at 3.15pm to reports of a medical emergency at the house.

A 17-year-old boy from Calne appeared in Bristol Crown Court on Thursday (May 9) charged with the murder of Ellie Gould.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons because of his age, was remanded in custody and a pre-trial hearing has been set for Thursday, June 6.

A provisional trial date has been set for Monday, October 28 at Bristol Crown Court.

Hardenhuish School head teacher Lisa Percy said: “The Hardenhuish community is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Ellie Gould.

“Ellie was a talented, popular and much loved member of our school community who will be dearly missed.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Ellie’s family at this devastating time. We recognise that the coming days and months will be difficult for us all and we are determined to support each other with the help of our partner agencies.”

Calne mayor Cllr Glenis Ansell said: “On behalf of the town council, I send our deepest condolences to the family of the young girl who lost her life so tragically on Friday. Our hearts go out to you at this difficult time.”

St Mary The Virgin Church in Calne has become a central point for people to remember Ellie and to leave messages of condolence and to light candles in her memory.

Team rector, the Rev Bob Kenway said: “I think the whole town has been badly affected by what has happened.

“We have opened the church during the day so people can come here and have a quiet place to remember Ellie.”

When Ellie was a Year 7 pupil at Hardenhuish School she took part in a fundraising event to raise money in memory of another girl. She and classmates raised money for Jemima’s Gift, a fund set up to celebrate the life of ten-year-old Jemima Prees from Colerne who died in a skiing accident.

She was also an enthusiastic member of the school’s show jumping team and competed in a number of events at West Wiltshire Equestrian Centre near Holt.

A Centre spokesman said: “We didn’t know Ellie personally but we know she competed here and we were all very shocked by what happened.”

Acting Inspector Don Pocock, of Calne Police, also shared the local community’s sense of shock and sadness about a young life ended. He has hand delivered letters to people living close Ellie’s home, asking them to contact police if they have any concerns because of the impact on the town.

A/Insp Pocock said: “I completely understand the impact that this tragic incident has had on the community of Calne and the wider community in Chippenham where Ellie went to school.“Calne is a small, close-knit community and I am sure Ellie family and friends will take a great deal of comfort from the hundreds of messages of support they have received.”