University boat race winner dies aged 90

3:26pm Wednesday 6th October 2010

By Lawrence Dunhill

A BOURNE End man who rowed for Cambridge University in the 1940 Boat Race has died.

Edward Hawthorne, 90, lived in various riverside homes in Cookham and Marlow before moving to Riversdale in Bourne End.

The father-of-two died of heart failure on September 27.

Mr Hawthorne and his late wife Dinnie were a regular feature in the life of the River Thames - out and about in an electric launch fitted out to his own design.

In 1990, he was made chairman of the Users Group of the Electric Boat Association and worked hard to foster the development of electric boats on the Cookham to Marlow reach of river.

At the age of 70, he began researching the story of electric boating during the Victorian and Edwardian period, which culminated in the publication of his book “Electric Boats on the Thames 1889-1914” published in 1995.

His son David, who lives in Bourne End, said: "He was stoic, tenacious and quietly determined to the end of his life. He possessed a brilliant mind and clarity of thought.

“A true gentleman in all senses of the word, kind to his friends, generous to the people he met, a loving father and devoted to his wife Dinnie".

Mr Hawthorne was born in Ealing and went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Mechanical Sciences.

He rowed in the winning boat in the unofficial University Boat Race in Henley in 1940.

During the war, he served at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough and as part of the Combined Intelligence Team in Germany.

After the war he worked at various power plants, becoming managing director of a technology management firm in 1965.

He was also appointed as a consultant to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris and worked also for the EEC in Brussels.

Mr Hawthorne attended Hedsor Church and helped and was instrumental in raising money for a considerable refurbishment and the installation of a new organ.

He and Dinnie also hosted Hedsor Fair at their home in Riversdale for many years and he was an active member of the Probus Club of Bourne End and Cookham, becoming chairman in 1993.

He leaves another son, Malcolm, who lives in Teddington.

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