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1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

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The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, in the province of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, from 30 July-7 August 1954. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952.

It was at these games that the "Miracle Mile" took place between Roger Bannister
Roger Bannister
Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CBE is an English former athlete best known for running the first recorded mile in less than 4 minutes...

 and John Landy
John Landy
John Michael Landy, AC, CVO, MBE is an Australian former Olympic track athlete. He was the second man to break the four-minute mile barrier in the mile run, and he held the world records for the 1500 metre run and the mile race...

 at Empire Stadium
Empire Stadium, Vancouver
Empire Stadium was a multipurpose stadium that formerly stood at the Pacific National Exhibition site at Hastings Park in Vancouver. Track and field and Canadian football, as well as soccer and musical events, were held in the stadium. The stadium was originally constructed for the 1954 British...

. This was the first time these two (and at that time the only two) sub-four minute mile
Four Minute Mile
Four Minute Mile is the first full-length album released by Kansas City, Missouri emo band The Get Up Kids.-Recording:The album was recorded in April 1997 on a budget of $4,000. It was produced by Shellac bassist Bob Weston in Chicago over the course of two and a half days. It was released by...

 runners appeared in the same race, and also the first time two runners broke four minutes in the same race. On the same afternoon, Jim Peters
James Peters (athlete)
Jim Peters was a long-distance runner from England. He broke the world record for the men's marathon four times in the 1950s. He was the first runner to complete a marathon under 2 hours 20 minutes – an achievement which was equated to the breaking of the four minute mile...

, the holder of the world best for the marathon, entered the stadium 17 minutes ahead of his nearest rival, but collapsed on his final lap, and never completed the race.

The games were attended by 24 nations and 662 competitors.

Participating teams


24 teams were represented at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Those competing for the first time are shown in bold
  •  Gold Coast (British colony)
  •  Hong Kong
  •  Kenya
  • '
  •  Pakistan
  •  Uganda

  • Medal table


    1  Kingdom of England 23 24 20 67
    2  Australia 20 11 17 48
    3  South Africa 16 6 13 35
    4  Canada 9 20 14 43
    5  New Zealand 7 7 5 19
    6  Kingdom of Scotland 6 2 5 13
    7  Southern Rhodesia 3 6 3 12
    8  Trinidad and Tobago 2 2 0 4
    9  Northern Ireland 2 1 0 3
    10  Nigeria 1 3 3 7
    11  Pakistan 1 3 2 6
    12  Wales 1 1 5 7
    13  Jamaica 1 0 0 1
    14  Barbados 0 1 0 1
     Hong Kong 0 1 0 1
     Uganda 0 1 0 1
    17  British Guiana 0 0 1 1
     Northern Rhodesia 0 0 1 1
    Total 92 89 89 270

    Bowls

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Singles Men Ralph Hodges (SRH) James Pirrett
    James Pirrett
    James Pirrett is a former lawn bowls competitor for New Zealand.At the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland he won the men's singles gold medal. In 1954 at the next British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver he won the silver medal in the men's singles.-References:...

     (NZL)
    Arthur Saunders (SAF)
    Pairs Men William Rosbotham & Percy Watson (NIR) Sam Gardiner & Richard Williams (CAN) George Budge & John Carswell (SCO)
    Fours Men South Africa (SAF) Hong Kong (HKG) Southern Rhodesia (SRH)

    Boxing

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Flyweight Men Dick Currie (SCO) Abe Bekker (NRH) Warner Batchelor (AUS)
    Bantamweight Men John Smillie (SCO) Gordon Smith (SRH) Abubakar Idi Garuba (NGR)
    Featherweight Men Leonard Leisching (SAF) Malcolm Collins (WAL) Dave Charnley
    Dave Charnley
    Dave Charnley was an English lightweight boxer considered to be one of the greatest British fighters in his weight class...

     (ENG)
    Lightweight Men Piet van Staden (SRH) Frank McQuillan (SCO) Brian Cahill (AUS)
    Light Welterweight Men Mickey Bergin (CAN) Aubrey Harris (SRH) Des Duguid (AUS)
    Welterweight Men Nicholas Gargano
    Nicholas Gargano
    Nicholas Gargano is a former English boxer, who won the bronze medal in the welterweight division at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia...

     (ENG)
    Rodney Litzow (AUS) Hendrik van der Linde (SAF)
    Light Middleweight Men Wilf Greaves (CAN) Freddy Wright (SRH) Bruce Wells (ENG)
    Middleweight Men Johannes van der Kolff (SAF) Arthur Crawford (SRH) Marcel Piau (CAN)
    Light Heavyweight Men Piet van Vuuren (SAF) Tony Madigan (AUS) Bill Misselbrook (CAN)
    Heavyweight Men Brian Harper (ENG) Gerry Buchanan (CAN) George Jenkins (SAF)

    Track

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Time Trial Men Dick Ploog (AUS) 00:01:12 Keith Harrison (ENG) 00:01:13
    Alfred Swift (SAF) 00:01:12
    Sprint Men Cyril Peacock (ENG) Tom Shardelow (SAF)
    Individual Pursuit Men Norman Sheil (ENG) 00:05:03 Peter Brotherton (ENG) 00:05:09 Robert Fowler (SAF) 00:05:07
    10 Miles Scratch Men Lindsay Cocks (AUS) 00:21:59 Keith Harrison (ENG) Don Skene
    Don Skene
    Donald "Don" J. C. Skene , is a Welsh former racing cyclist. He represented Wales at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games on several occasions, the first time in 1954 in the 10 km scratch race, the kilo and the rod race ; again in 1958 in the 10 km scratch race, the kilo and the...

     (WAL)

    Road

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Road Race Men Eric Thompson
    Eric Thompson (cyclist)
    Eric Gordon Thompson was a British Olympic cyclist. He died after cycling across Spain with friends in May 1996...

     (ENG)
    02:44:08 John Baird
    John Baird (cyclist)
    John Baird is a former racing cyclist from New Zealand.He won the silver medal in the men's road race at the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver.-References:...

     (NZL)
    NTT Bernard Pusey (ENG) NTT

    Fencing

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Foil Men René Paul (ENG) John Fethers (AUS) Allan Jay
    Allan Jay
    Allan Louis Neville Jay MBE was a British foil and épée fencer.One of the greatest fencers in British history, Jay competed in five Olympiads in both épée and foil, winning two medals.-National championships:...

     (ENG)
    Foil - Team Men England (ENG) Australia (AUS) Canada (CAN)
    Épée Men Ivan Lund (AUS) René Paul (ENG) Carl Schwende (CAN)
    Épée - Team Men England (ENG) Canada (CAN) Australia (AUS)
    Sabre Men Mike Amberg (ENG) Ralph Cooperman (ENG) John Fethers (AUS)
    Sabre- Team Men Canada (CAN) England (ENG) Australia (AUS)
    Foil Women Mary Glen-Haig
    Mary Glen-Haig
    Dame Mary Alison Glen-Haig DBE is a British fencer who competed in four Olympic games in 1948, 1952, 1956 and 1960. She was born in London, the daughter of William James, a fencer at the 1908 London Olympics...

     (ENG)
    Gillian Sheen (ENG) Aileen Harding (WAL)

    Rowing

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Single Sculls Men Don Rowlands
    Don Rowlands
    Donald David Rowlands is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the silver medal as part of the men's eight alongside crew members Donald Adam, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Bruce Culpan, Thomas Engel, Graham Jarratt, Edwin Smith and Bill Tinnock...

     (NZL)
    00:08:28 Sidney Rand (ENG) 00:08:43 Bobby Williams (CAN) 00:08:51
    Double Sculls Men Mervyn Wood
    Mervyn Wood
    Mervyn Thomas Wood, LVO, MBE, QPM was an Australian rower of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He was a four-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist. He later rose to become the Police Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force.-Biography:Wood was the youngest of four children born in...

     & Murray Riley (AUS)
    00:07:55 Bob Parker
    Bob Parker (rower)
    Bob Parker is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1954 and 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he twice won the gold medal in the men's coxless pair alongside Reg Douglas...

     & Reg Douglas
    Reg Douglas
    Reginald "Reg" Douglas is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1954 and 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he twice won the gold medal in the men's coxless pair alongside Bob Parker...

     (NZL)
    00:08:05 Donald Guest & Lawrence Stephan (CAN) 00:08:29
    Coxless Pairs Men Bob Parker
    Bob Parker (rower)
    Bob Parker is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1954 and 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he twice won the gold medal in the men's coxless pair alongside Reg Douglas...

     & Reg Douglas
    Reg Douglas
    Reginald "Reg" Douglas is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1954 and 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he twice won the gold medal in the men's coxless pair alongside Bob Parker...

     (NZL)
    00:08:24 Tom Christie
    Tom Christie
    Thomas Hildred Christie is a former doctor and rower who represented Great Britain rowing at the 1948 Summer Olympics and twice won Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta....

     & Nicholas Clack (ENG)
    00:08:24 Dave Anderson & Geoff Williamson (AUS) 00:08:30
    Coxed Fours Men Lionel Robberds, Dave Anderson, Peter Evatt, Geoff Williamson & Mervyn Wood (AUS) 00:07:58 Bruce Culpan
    Bruce Culpan
    Bruce Ewen Culpan is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the silver medal as part of the men's eight alongside crew members Donald Adam, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Thomas Engel, Graham Jarratt, Don Rowlands, Edwin Smith and Bill Tinnock...

    , Kerry Ashby
    Kerry Ashby
    Kerry Ayling Ashby is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the silver medal as part of the men's eight alongside crew members Donald Adam, Murray Ashby, Bruce Culpan, Thomas Engel, Graham Jarratt, Don Rowlands, Edwin Smith and Bill Tinnock...

    , Murray Ashby
    Murray Ashby
    Murray Ashby is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the silver medal as part of the men's eight alongside crew members Donald Adam, Kerry Ashby, Bruce Culpan, Thomas Engel, Graham Jarratt, Don Rowlands, Edwin Smith and Bill Tinnock.-References:*...

    , Bill Tinnock
    Bill Tinnock
    William "Bill" James Tinnock is a former New Zealand rower.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the silver medal as part of the men's eight alongside crew members Donald Adam, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Bruce Culpan, Thomas Engel, Graham Jarratt, Don Rowlands and Edwin Smith...

     & Stanley Callagher (NZL)
    00:08:04 Geoffrey Page, Roderick Macmillan, Alastair Davidson, Maurice Legg & David Glynne-Jones (ENG) 00:08:05
    Eights Men Canada (CAN) 00:06:59 England (ENG) 00:07:11

    Men's events

    110 yd freestyle 56.5 58.5 58.7
    440 yd freestyle 4:39.8 4:41.5   Graham Johnston (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    4:43.3
    1650 yd freestyle   Graham Johnston (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    19:01.4   Peter Duncan (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    19:22.1 19:28.4
    110 yd backstroke 1:06.5 1:06.9 1:08.6
    220 yd breaststroke 2:52.6 2:52.6 2:52.8
    4×220 yd freestyle relay
    David Hawkins
    Gary Chapman
    Gary Chapman (swimmer)
    Gary Arthur Chapman was an Australian freestyle swimmer of the 1950s who won a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics...


    Jon Henricks
    Jon Henricks
    John Malcolm Henricks started his swimming career as a distance swimmer, scoring his first real successes in 1952 when he came in 3rd in the Australian 1500 meters, 2nd in the 800, and won the 400 meters. The distance work proved too arduous, perhaps due to a prolonged ear infection that kept...


    Rex Aubrey 
    8:47.6
    Allan Gilchrist
    George Park
    Gerald McNamee
    Ted Simpson 
    8:56.0  South Africa
    Dennis Ford
    Graham Johnston
    Peter Duncan
    William Steuart 
    8:56.3
    3×110 yd medley relay
    Cyrus James Weld
    David Hawkins
    Jon Henricks
    Jon Henricks
    John Malcolm Henricks started his swimming career as a distance swimmer, scoring his first real successes in 1952 when he came in 3rd in the Australian 1500 meters, 2nd in the 800, and won the 400 meters. The distance work proved too arduous, perhaps due to a prolonged ear infection that kept...

     
    3:22.0
    Frederick Lucas
    Buddy Lucas
    Frederick Ross "Buddy" Lucas is a former swimming representative from New Zealand.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won a gold medal as part of the men's 880 yards Freestyle Relay and two bronze medals in the 440 and 1650 yards freestyle races...


    Jack Doms
    Jack Doms
    Jack Doms is a former swimming representative from New Zealand.At the 1954 British Empire Games he won the gold medal in the men's 220 yards breaststroke. In addition he won the silver medal in the men's 330 yards medley relay with teammates Lincoln Hurring and Buddy Lucas.-References:...


    Lincoln Hurring
    Lincoln Hurring
    Lincoln William Norman Hurring was a swimmer from New Zealand. He won two silver medals at the 1954 British Empire Games - one in the men's 110 yards backstroke and another in the men's 330 yards medley relay. He represented his native country at two consecutive Summer Olympics, 1952 and 1956...

     
    3:26.6
    Jack Wardrop
    Jack Wardrop
    John Caldwell "Jack" Wardrop is a former Scottish swimmer. Wardrop won a silver and bronze medal at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver....


    John Service
    Robert Wardrop 
    3:27.3

    Women's events

    110 yd freestyle 1:05.8 1:06.3   Joan Harrison
    Joan Harrison (swimmer)
    Joan Harrison is a South African swimmer and Olympic champion. She competed at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, where she won the gold medal in the women's 100 m backstroke event.-Awards:...

     (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    1:08.2
    440 yd freestyle 5:11.4 5:19.6 5:21.4
    110 yd backstroke   Joan Harrison
    Joan Harrison (swimmer)
    Joan Harrison is a South African swimmer and Olympic champion. She competed at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, where she won the gold medal in the women's 100 m backstroke event.-Awards:...

     (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    1:15.2 1:17.4 1:17.5
    220 yd breaststroke 2:59.2   Mary Morgan
    Mary Morgan
    Mary Morgan was a young servant in the early 19th century in Presteigne, Radnorshire, Wales, convicted and hanged for killing her newborn child.While Morgan was from Glasbury, her story has been associated with Presteigne since her execution in 1805...

     (SAF
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

    )
    3:03.3 3:04.5
    4×110 yd freestyle relay  South Africa
    Felicity Loveday
    Joan Harrison
    Joan Harrison (swimmer)
    Joan Harrison is a South African swimmer and Olympic champion. She competed at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, where she won the gold medal in the women's 100 m backstroke event.-Awards:...


    Machduldt Petzer
    Natalie Myburgh 
    4:33.9
    Beth Whittall
    Beth Whittall
    Elizabeth Whittall is a former champion swimmer from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.When she was 18 years old and studying pharmacy at Purdue University, Whittall won two gold medals at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City. She won the 100 metre butterfly and the 400 metre freestyle events...


    Gladys Priestley
    Helen Stewart
    Virginia Grant 
    4:37.0
    Diana Wilkinson
    Fearne Ewart
    Jean Botham
    Valerie Nares-Pillow 
    4:41.8
    3×110 yd medley relay
    Helen Gordon
    Margaret McDowell
    Margaret Girvan 
    3:51.0  South Africa
    Joan Harrison
    Joan Harrison (swimmer)
    Joan Harrison is a South African swimmer and Olympic champion. She competed at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, where she won the gold medal in the women's 100 m backstroke event.-Awards:...


    Machduldt Petzer
    Mary Morgan
    Mary Morgan
    Mary Morgan was a young servant in the early 19th century in Presteigne, Radnorshire, Wales, convicted and hanged for killing her newborn child.While Morgan was from Glasbury, her story has been associated with Presteigne since her execution in 1805...

     
    3:52.7
    Jann Grier
    Judith Knight
    Lorraine Crapp
    Lorraine Crapp
    Lorraine Crapp is a former Olympic swimming champion representing Australia. She competed in two Olympic Games — the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 1960 Summer Olympics. She won two Olympic gold medals in 1956...

     
    3:55.6

    Diving

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    3 Metres Springboard Diving Men Peter Heatly
    Peter Heatly
    Sir Peter Heatly, CBE, DL is a retired Scottish diver and former Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation.Born in Leith, Heatly was educated at Leith Academy and studied engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He began his diving career with Portobello Amateur Swimming Club and was...

     (SCO)
    146.76 Tony Turner (ENG) 145.27 Jack Stewart
    Jack Stewart (diver)
    Jack Stewart is a former diving representative from New Zealand.At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the bronze medal in the men's 1 m springboard event. Four years later at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he won another bronze medal again in the men's 1 m...

     (NZL)
    144.98
    10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Men Bill Patrick (CAN) 142.7 Kevin Newell (AUS) 142.06 Peter Heatly (SCO) 141.32
    3 Metres Springboard Diving Women Ann Long (ENG) 128.26 Barbara McAulay (AUS) 127.74 Irene MacDonald
    Irene MacDonald
    Irene Margaret MacDonald, OBC was a Canadian athlete, sports executive and broadcaster from Hamilton, Ontario...

     (CAN)
    126.19
    10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Women Barbara McAulay (AUS) 86.55 Eunice Miller (ENG) 79.86 Ann Long (ENG) 79.53

    Weightlifting

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Bantamweight - Overall Men Maurice Megennis (ENG) 281 Frank Cope (ENG) 276.5 Keith Caple (AUS) 274
    Featherweight - Overall Men Rodney Wilkes
    Rodney Wilkes
    Rodney Adolphus Wilkes is a former weightlifter from Trinidad and Tobago. Nicknamed "The Mighty Midget" he remained relatively unknown outside of local competition until he won the gold medal at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia...

     (TRI)
    313 Jules Sylvain (CAN) 297 Ron Jenkins (WAL) 279
    Lightweight - Overall Men Vern Barberis (AUS) 347 George Nicholls (BAR) 344.5 Jan Pieterse (SAF) 333
    Middleweight - Overall Men Jim Halliday (ENG) 362.5 Lionel de Freitas (TRI) 342 Julius Park (BGU) 338
    Light Heavyweight - Overall Men Gerry Gratton (CAN) 403.5 Louis Greeff (SAF) 367 Bruce George
    Bruce George (weightlifter)
    Bruce Ronald George was a weightlifting competitor for New Zealand.He won the silver medal at the 1950 British Empire Games in the men's -75 kg or middleweight division. At the 1954 British Empire Games he won the bronze medal in the men's -82.5 kg event.-References:...

     (NZL)
    353.5
    Middle Heavyweight - Overall Men Keevil Daly (CAN) 399 Lennox Kilgour (TRI) 392 Joseph Barnett (ENG) 376.5
    Heavyweight - Overall Men Doug Hepburn (CAN) 471.5 Dave Baillie (CAN) 453.5 Harold Cleghorn
    Harold Cleghorn
    Robert Harold Cleghorn was a weightlifting competitor for New Zealand.He won the gold medal at the 1950 British Empire Games in the men's 110 kg division...

     (NZL)
    421.5

    Wrestling

    Event Gold Silver Bronze
    Flyweight Men Louis Baise (SAF) Fred Flannery (AUS) Muhammad Din (PAK)
    Bantamweight Men Geoff Jameson (AUS) Muhammad Amin (PAK) Ian Epton
    Ian Epton
    Ian Epton is a wrestler from Zambia, which was then the British colony of Northern Rhodesia.He competed at the 1954 British Empire Games, and won a bronze medal for wrestling in the Men's Bantamweight class. The colony did not compete again in what is now called the Commonwealth Games until the...

     (NRH)
    Featherweight Men Abraham Geldenhuys (SAF) Herb Hall (ENG) John Armitt
    John Armitt (wrestler)
    John Charles Armitt was a former wrestler from New Zealand.He competed at the 1950 British Empire Games where he won the gold medal in the men's 62 kg grade. At the next British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver he won the bronze medal in the same event.-References:...

     (NZL)
    Lightweight Men Godfrey Pienaar (SAF) Ruby Leobovitch (CAN) Dick Garrard
    Dick Garrard
    Richard "Dick" Edward Garrard, OBE was an Australian Olympic wrestler.Garrard was born on 21 January 1911 in Geelong, Victoria. In a thirty year career, from 1926 to 1956, Garrard lost only nine of 525 bouts, making him Australia's most successful sport wrestler ever...

     (AUS)
    Welterweight Men Nick Loubser (SAF) Abdul Rashid (PAK) Ray Myland (ENG)
    Middleweight Men Hermanus van Zyl (SAF) Jim Christie (CAN) Harry Kendall (ENG)
    Light Heavyweight Men Jacob Theron (SAF) Bob Steckle (CAN) Dan van Staden (NRH)
    Heavyweight Men Ken Richmond (ENG) Keith Maltman (CAN)

    External links