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Harold Maurice Abrahams (1899–1978) by A. R. Coster, 1924 [after winning the 100 yards at the AAA championship at Stamford Bridge, London, on 21 June 1924] Getty Images – A. R. Coster

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Abrahams, Harold Maurice (1899–1978), athlete and civil servant, was born at 30 Rutland Road, Bedford, on 15 December 1899, the youngest in the family of two daughters and four sons of Isaac Klonimus (1850–1921) of Vladislavovka in Russian-occupied Poland and his wife, Esther Isaacs...

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Alexander, William Whiteway (1852–1933), athletics administrator, was born on 3 December 1852 at Park Hill Farm, Andover, Hampshire, the younger son of James Whiteway Alexander (b. 1821/2), who later became an inn-keeper. Most of his boyhood was spent on the Isle of Wight...

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Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

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Anthony, Donald William James [Don] (1928–2012), athlete, sports administrator, and historian, was born at 43 Middle Ope, Watford, on 6 November 1928, the son of George Anthony, bricklayer, and his wife, Annie Eva, née Starkey. Educated at Watford grammar school, he excelled at sport, playing for ...

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Applegarth, William Reuben [Bill] (1890–1958), athlete, was born at 3 Union Street, Guisborough, Yorkshire, on 11 May 1890, the son of Henry Applegarth, a journeyman grocer, and his wife, Harriet, née Bulmer. Soon after his birth the family moved to Kentish Town, London...

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William Reuben Applegarth (1890–1958) by unknown photographer, 1912 © Popperfoto/Getty Images

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Bailey, Emmanuel McDonald [Mac] (1920–2013), athlete, was born on 8 December 1920 in the village of Hard Bargain, Williamsville, Trinidad. He was educated at Tranquility Boys' School in Port of Spain (of which his father, Charles McDonald Bailey, was headmaster) and Queen's Royal College for Boys...

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Emmanuel McDonald Bailey (1920–2013) by unknown photographer, 1952 ANL / Rex Features / Shutterstock

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Bennett, Charles (1870–1948), athlete, the third son and fifth child of Henry Bennett and his wife, Peggy Kerley, was born on 28 December 1870 on a farm at Shapwick, near Wimborne, Dorset, where his father worked as a labourer. Nothing is known of his childhood; he later worked as a railway engine driver at ...

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See Women athletes between the world wars

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Board, Lillian Barbara (1948–1970), athlete, was born in Addington Hospital, Durban, South Africa, on 13 December 1948, the second of the three children of George Board, a builder, and his wife, Frances Eleanor, née Hamnett. She had a twin sister, Irene, born fifteen minutes after her. Her parents had emigrated from ...

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Lillian Barbara Board (1948–1970) by unknown photographer, 1968 © Empics

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Christopher William Brasher (1928–2003) by unknown photographer, 1956 © Popperfoto

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Brasher, Christopher William [Chris] (1928–2003), athlete, journalist, and businessman, was born on 21 August 1928 in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of William Kenneth Brasher, a Colonial Office engineer, and his wife, Katie Howe Brasher. His family moved to Jerusalem and then, when ...

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Brown, (Arthur) Godfrey Kilner (1915–1995), athlete and schoolmaster, was born on 21 February 1915 in Bankura, Bengal, India, the fourth child and third son of the Revd Arthur E. Brown, principal of Bankura College, Bengal, and his wife, Gertrude Parsons. His parents met at ...

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Bruce, Clarence Napier, third Baron Aberdare (1885–1957), athlete, was born in London on 2 August 1885. He was the second son of Henry Campbell Bruce, second Baron Aberdare (1851–1929), and grandson of Henry Austin Bruce, first Baron Aberdare and home secretary. His mother, ...

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Guy Montagu Butler (1899–1981) by unknown photographer, 1932 © Getty Images

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Butler, Guy Montagu (1899–1981), athlete, was born at Church Hill, Harrow, Middlesex, on 25 August 1899, the only son of Edward Montagu Butler (1866–1948), assistant master at Harrow School, and his wife, Gertrude Mary, née Fair (d. 1945). He was born into a family with sporting prowess: his father won blues for cricket and athletics at ...

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Cameron, Alexander Anthony (1877–1951), athlete, was born at Lochtreig Head, Kilmonivaig, in the district of Lochaber, Inverness-shire, on 1 April 1877, the son of Donald Cameron, shepherd, and his wife, Mary McMillan. His father was quite a small man, but his mother's McMillan...