Niall Pawsey, a twenty-year-old law student, drowned in the river Thames near Kingston Bridge last Thursday.
The final year student, originally from Wyman’s Brook in Cheltenham, was was very popular amongst his peers at Kingston University.
Chris Dingle, Kingston University Students’ Union president elect, said: “Niall was a fantastic enthusiastic person who was the life and sole of Kingston Hill. He was fun and vibrant and will be sorely missed.”
A memorial service for Mr Pawsey was held yesterday at Hannaford’s Bar where he was a regular patron. The Reverend Stephen Williams, Chaplain of the University of London, lead prayers at the service which began at 2.00pm.
Mourners clutching flowers spilled through the doors of the Kingston Hill SU Bar. Students paid their respects to their absent friend by sharing their fond memories of Mr Pawsey with the group which included friends, classmates and university staff who declared him to have been a ‘presence’ and a shining light’.
Mr Pawsey’s girlfriend Sinead Holland, a Kingston University biology student, wept as she thanked people for attending the service.
Chris Dingle invited those present to contribute to a fund that the bar staff intend to use to mount a plaque bearing Mr Pawsey’s name behind the bar.
A book of condolence was available for people to sign and was to be passed on to Mr Pawsey’s family following the service.
Professor Matthew Humphreys, Head of Kingston Law School, said: “Staff and students at Kingston Law School are shocked and saddened by Niall`s untimely death.
“A number of lecturers in the School have contacted me to let me know how positive and enthusiastic Niall was in all his doings with us.
“He made a real difference to the School – both in his studies and in the broader life of the School.
“He will be very much missed and we feel it a terrible loss.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends.”
Over 90 people had confirmed that they would attend the service via Facebook where friends and classmates left touching tributes to Mr Pawsey.
One said: “RIP Niall, such a good person taken at such a young age. My love goes out to all of his family and friends.”
Another said: “You were a great guy heading for great things Niall, I’ll always remember your cheeky smiling face.”