Alzheimer’s and miscommunication revealed after missing British man rescued

Photo via KhaoSod and SiamRath

Dong Yen Police Station officers rescued a British man who claimed he was abandoned at a temple in the Isaan province of Udon Thani. His wife later clarified the situation and revealed that he suffers from Alzheimer’s.

A police officer at the Kam Chanote Temple in the Ban Dung district of Udon Thani province accompanied the 82 year old British man, Henry Duckford, to Dong Yen Police Station yesterday, January 30, late at night. Duckford claimed he was abandoned by his family at the temple after a heated argument.

According to the police, Duckford visited the temple with his alleged boyfriend Wanchai, who reportedly abandoned him there due to an angry outburst. The foreign man said his home was in Maliwan 2 Village in the Mueang district of Udon Thani province.

Officers initially planned to book a hotel for Duckford to stay overnight and travel back home in the morning but he refused stating he wanted to stay at the police station as it was the safest place. To facilitate his journey, officers took Duckford to Ban Dung Police Station, closer to his home and equipped with public transportation.

However, instead of going home, the British man ended up at Bandung Crown Prince Hospital in the Ban Dung district with wounds and scratches on his face. The hospital successfully contacted his family and discovered that the incident was a miscommunication.

Thai boyfriend

Duckford did not have a Thai boyfriend. He has a 60 year old Thai wife named Wanchai. Due to the name Wanchai being more common for men, police officers might have mistaken the wife for a boyfriend, given the language barrier.

Wanchai appeared at the hospital this morning, January 31, to take her British husband home. She insisted that the family did not visit the temple and did not have any argument. Her husband has Alzheimer’s and walked to the temple by himself, over 10 kilometres away.

Wanchai stated she searched for Duckford the whole night but could not find him until the hospital contacted her in the morning. He claimed that a group of four to five Thai men physically assaulted him, but Wanchai suggested he might have made up the story due to his Alzheimer’s and might hurt himself in some way.

Wanchai explained that they lived in England and came to Thailand on January 9 for a holiday. The family had two houses, one at Maliwan 2 Village and another in the Ban Laoluang community in the Bandung district. They lived at the Maliwan 2 Village house and moved to the other house on January 28.

Wanchai clarified that they moved to another house for Duckford’s safety because her husband often sneaked out of the house and drove a car. Her husband also had a fear that people around him were trying to harm him, even claiming that medical workers at the hospital were attempting to hurt him.

Wanchai assured SiamRath that she would take her husband home and take better care of him to prevent him from sneaking out again.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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