Church-goers in Moreton Paddox near Leamington have offered their prayers to villager Margaret Pratt, whose husband Roger Pratt was murdered on their yacht in St Lucia last week.
The 62-year-old was killed on board the boat in the Caribbean on January 17 after reportedly defending his wife during a robbery. A post mortem on Monday found that he had been beaten and drowned.
Five men have been arrested in connection with the murder.
The Rev John Parker from Holy Cross church in Moreton Morrell said that although he did not personally know the couple, who had rented out their house, “Moreton Paddox was very much their home”.
He said: “Having heard the news that a British man had been murdered on Saturday, most villagers woke up on Sunday morning to find out that he was a local man. It’s been a huge shock for everyone.
“When Margaret does return home, the community here will give her all the support she needs. We said a special prayer for her during our service on Sunday.”
Police have reported that three armed men had boarded the boat, named the Magnetic Attraction, and attacked the couple before fleeing.
Mrs Pratt found her husband floating in the nearby waters. The couple were to taken hospital, but Mr Pratt was pronounced dead on arrival.
The couple had been travelling since July, when they left from Suffolk and headed for the Algarve, before navigating their way to the Caribbean.
They had been celebrating Mrs Pratt’s birthday when the attack took place.
Speaking on Sunday, Mrs Pratt’s sister Jenny Riley described Mrs Pratt, who had retired last summer just before the couple set off on their journey, as a “very strong person” who was coping well with her ordeal.
But Mrs Riley, who with her husband had visited the couple on their boat over Christmas near the island of Martinique, said: “We are totally shocked and shattered by the news.
“They had been planning this trip for years and had gained deep sea sailing experience by cruising extensively on the south coast and around Europe. To sail across the Atlantic and explore the Caribbean was Roger’s dream.
“They were both experienced sailors and had sailed dinghies and keel boats since they were children.
“This is a tragic, shattering end to their dream.”
Writing on their blog hours before the attack, Mrs Pratt said they had planned to leave the island some time before, but immigration checks had been delayed.
The murder took place in the constituency of St Lucia’s prime minister Kenny Anthony, who he personally visited Mrs Pratt on Sunday.