Richard James William Cremlyn: 1926-2022

We are sorry to announce that Richard Cremlyn has passed away. The following obituary is courtesy of his family.

Richard arrived at Trinity Hall Cambridge in 1953 having been awarded a fellowship from the University of Wales to study Nucleotide Chemistry under Professor Lord Todd ( nicknamed Lord God!).  He had spent six years studying at Swansea College where he gained a BSc in 1950 and then a PhD in1953 in research of steroid chemistry. He gained his Doctorate in 1956.

He loved his time in Cambridge and often returned to Alumni open days and annual dinners. In fact it was the love of Cambridge that was one of the reasons for marrying me as it was my home town. We were fortunate to have our Marriage  blessed by the Rev. Professor Owen Chadwick, the Chaplain at the time, in 1986, in the little College Chapel and a wonderful reception in the College afterwards.

Richard had a very distinguished  academic career. Through his research and writing he  became a Doctor of Science in 1981 having written at least one hundred and fifty research papers. He also wrote four books on Chemistry. The first two were to enable students to grasp modern concepts in research in Organic chemistry. The third one was an introduction to Organosulfur chemistry which outlines the role of sulfur in biological systems. This was invaluable to students, lecturers and industrial researchers alike. He gained a considerable international reputation in the field of Organosulfur chemistry as a reagent for synthesising potentially new pesticides and antibacterial drugs. He was hired by companies like Shell and others as a consultant.

His final book on Chemistry was the definitive book on Chlorosulphonic Acid: A Versatile reagent, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2002. He was awarded Emeritus Professorships at both the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Essex. This enabled him to continue his research. The depth and breadth of his expertise meant that Richard’s counsel continued to be sought by his peers around the  world.

In his retirement he wrote a different book entitled “Science and Religion:  two Pathways to Truth.” Sadly it wasn’t published professionally, but a friend kindly printed a copy and it was presented to him on his 90th Birthday. He was quite overwhelmed.

The final words given by the Reverend John Richardson at his funeral were: “Just as the Scientist is working to seek the truth so is the Christian also. Therefore a Scientist can be a Christian and a Christian can be a Scientist!”

Written in Memory of my dear husband Richard who died on Christmas Eve, 2022,  by his wife Janet.