James Crowden (1927-2016)

by Sally March

James Crowden (1948), who died on 24 September 2016 aged 88, was an Olympic oarsman (coxless fours) in Helsinki in 1952. He was devoted to East Anglia, an indefatigable supporter of local and national charities and of the College, and instrumental in the restoration of both Ely and Peterborough cathedrals. He was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire for a decade from 1992, and an honorary Fellow of Pembroke College.

The College would like to offer its condolences to James’s family and friends.

1949 Sculls Winner James Crowden

James was a passionate member of Pembroke College Boat Club, first as a rower, then as a coach. He won the Colquhoun Sculls in 1949 and the Ladies’ Plate and Goblets at Henley during PCBC’s annus mirabilis of 1951. He rowed at 3 for the Cambridge Blue Boat in the Boat Race in 1951 (won easily) and 1952 (lost by a canvas). He was President of CUBC for the 1952 Boat Race. James also rowed in Goldie Boat which represented Great Britain at the European Games in 1950, coming 3rd, and winning the European Championships in 1951. After graduating James regularly returned to coach the Men’s 1st VIII, including the 1976, 1977, 1978, 1985 and 1986 Mays Head of the River crews.

Photo: James Crowden, winner of the 1949 CU Colquhoun Sculls