UPDATE: Academic In Boat Tragedy

UPDATE: A body has been recovered from the Thames, believed to be that of Dr Walford.

academic Boat Cambridge capsize dead death dr dr rex walford thames tragedy


A body, believed to be that of missing academic Dr Rex Walford, has been recovered from the River Thames.

It was discovered near Weybridge on Sunday, but has not yet formally been identified.


The underwater search for Dr Walford has officially been called off. Police divers have been unable to locate Dr Walford despite a three day effort.

Peter Freeman, a student at Homerton college who took some of Dr Walford’s courses in Madingley Hall,  has expressed his sadness at Dr Walford’s passing: “It was a great pleasure and privilege to be taught by the late Dr Rex Walford.

“Rex’s courses at Madingley enjoyed a substantial regular following, due as much to his great personal charm, infectious enthusiasm and sense of both humour and fun, as to his erudition.

“He will prove irreplaceable and a great loss to the Institute of Continuing Education.”

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service will continue to search the river for Dr Walford.

January 4th

It is suspected that an eminent Cambridge academic died after a boating accident on the River Thames last weekend.

Dr Rex Walford OBE, 70, was one of six people aboard a fibreglass boat that capsized on The Thames at around 7.30pm on Sunday.

Four of the passengers managed to swim to safety, but Dr Walford and his friend, music executive Keith Lowde, were tragically unable to reach the shore.

Mr Lowde’s body has since been recovered, but police divers were unable to find Dr Walford after a second full day of scouring the waters. It is feared he is dead.

Dr Rex Walford is still missing.

The boat was taking passengers from Pharaoh’s Island, in Shepperton, Surrey, to the mainland. The small island can only be reached by boat and has 18 luxury homes on it, one of which was owned by Mr Lowde.

Dr Walford is the former head of Cambridge University’s Department of Education and a lecturer in geography and Director of Studies at Emma.

In his spare time, Dr Walford is a keen musician and directed more than 80 plays and musicals, including some of his own work at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He is an experienced and active member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators of Great Britain, and has written and lectured extensively about plays and stage musicals.

Both his family and the University declined to comment until the search for Dr Walford is concluded. A neighbour of the family, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “It’s very sad news. I know they have lived here for a long time. They were a very friendly couple.”