Tributes to UEA academic who died in fire at house of 57 years

Vera Croghan, 89, who died in a house fire on Unthank Road in Norwich

Vera Croghan, 89, who died in a house fire on Unthank Road in Norwich - Credit: The Croghan Family

Tributes have been paid to a Swedish academic who taught at the University of East Anglia for more than 30 years and died in a house fire last week.

Vera Croghan, who was 89 and lived in Unthank Road in Norwich, died on Friday, December 11, following a blaze at the home she lived in for 57 years. 

Emergency services were called on Friday morning to the fire, with police confirming on Sunday that the body found inside had been identified as Mrs Croghan.

301, Unthank Road. Picture: Danielle Booden

The house on Unthank Road where Vera Croghan lived. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Now, in a loving tribute, members of her family have said: "Vera was a much-loved mum of four and grandmother of 10.

"She was a well-known and highly respected academic and was the author of the best-selling 'Teach Yourself Swedish' book.


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"She dearly loved Norwich and the local area and loved the house that she had lived in continuously for 57 years.

"She loved baking cakes from traditional Swedish recipes, often involving cardamom and cinnamon."

Vera Croghan proudly shows off a Swedish apple cake "Fyriskaka”

Vera Croghan proudly shows off a Swedish apple cake "Fyriskaka” - Credit: The Croghan Family

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A retired academic, Mrs Croghan was born in Sweden before moving to the United Kingdom after marrying an English academic. 

She moved to Norfolk after being appointed a lecturer in Swedish at the University of East Anglia in 1967.

She then remained on staff at the UEA for more than 30 years, during which time she also published several books about the Swedish language.

UEA pro-vice-chancellor of the faculty of arts and humanities Sarah Barrow said: “Vera Croghan was a well-respected and much-loved member of the UEA community.

"She was a respected author of language learning books and resources which students have found incredibly helpful over the decades.

"As one of the founding members of our academic community Vera will be very much missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”

Police are currently treating her death as unexplained, though a teenager has been detained under the Mental Health Act in connection with the incident.  He remains under investigation

Investigations are today continuing into the fire, which the police say is being treated as arson.

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