Olympic Rowing Legend gets Blue Plaque

Jack Beresford commemorated in Grove Park Gardens

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John Beresford with Tracey Boorman of English Heritage after the unveiling.

Jack Beresford


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Olympic rowing champion Jack Beresford has been commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at 19 Grove Park Gardens, also known as Belfairs, where he lived from 1903 to 1940. The unveiling took place on 16th August with the Blue Plaque unveiled by his son, John Beresford.

The picture to the right shows John Beresford and Tracey Boorman of English Heritate holding a postcard showing Jack Beresford with his fellow sculler Dick Phelps in the 1930s which Jack sent to his mother at Belfairs. This was brought to the event by Phelps' son and given to John Beresford to mark the occasion.

It was during the time that he lived in Chiswick that Beresford competed in an astonishing five Olympic Games, most significantly the infamous Berlin games of 1936, where, at the age of 37, he won the double sculls with Dick Southwood ahead of the German crew; Beresford later described it as “the sweetest race I ever rowed in”.

Beresford won gold in the single sculls in 1924, coxless fours in 1932 and double sculls in 1936, as well as silver in the single sculls in 1920 and the eights in 1928. He was awarded the Olympic Diploma of Merit in 1949 and managed the British rowing team at the 1952 Olympics. His father won an Olympic silver medal in the eights in 1912.

His record of competing in five consecutive Olympic Games, and winning five gold medals at three of those games, has only been surpassed by Sir Steve Redgrave. It is likely that he would have competed in the games scheduled for 1940 which never took place due to the war which would have meant the establishment of a record never likely to be beaten.

August 16, 2005