1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver, Canada, from 30 July to 7 August 1954. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952.

V British Empire and Commonwealth Games
BECG1954 logo.jpg
Host cityVancouver, Canada
Nations participating24
Athletes participating662
Opening ceremony30 July
Closing ceremony7 August
Officially opened byEarl Alexander of Tunis
Officially closed byPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Athlete's OathBill Parnell
Main venueEmpire Stadium
← IV
VI →

It was at these games that the "Miracle Mile" took place between Roger Bannister and John Landy at Empire Stadium. This was the first time these two (and at that time the only two) sub-four-minute mile 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, the holder of the world best time 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.[1]


Participating teamsEdit

Countries that participated

24 teams were represented at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
(Teams competing for the first time are shown in bold).

Medal tableEdit

Statue in Vancouver commemorating the "Miracle Mile" between Roger Bannister and John Landy

  *   Host nation (Canada)

1  England23242067
2  Australia20111748
3  South Africa1661335
4  Canada*9201443
5  New Zealand77519
6  Scotland62513
7  Southern Rhodesia2215
8  Trinidad and Tobago2204
9  Northern Ireland2103
10  Northern Rhodesia1438
11  Nigeria1337
12  Pakistan1326
13  Wales1157
14  Jamaica1001
15  Barbados0101
  Hong Kong0101
18  British Guiana0011
Totals (18 nations)928989270

Medal winnersEdit




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 (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 (ENG)   Rodney Litzow (AUS)   Hendrik van der Linde (SAF)
Light Middleweight Men   Wilf Greaves (CAN)   Freddy Wright (NRH)   Bruce Wells (ENG)
Middleweight Men   Johannes van der Kolff (SAF)   Arthur Crawford (NRH)   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)



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Time Trial Men   Dick Ploog (AUS) 00:01:12   Keith Harrison (ENG) 00:01:13
  Alfred Swift (SAF)
Sprint Men   Cyril Peacock (ENG) +not awarded   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 (WAL)

+ Lionel Cox did not receive a silver medal, the Australian cycling team refused to participate in the gold and bronze medal playoffs and were subsequently disqualified.[2]


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Road Race Men   Eric Thompson (ENG) 02:44:08   John Baird (NZL) NTT   Bernard Pusey (ENG) NTT


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Foil Men   René Paul (ENG)   John Fethers (AUS)   Allan Jay (ENG)
Foil – Team Men   England (ENG)
René Paul
Allan Jay
Ralph Cooperman
  Australia (AUS)
Ivan Lund
John Fethers
Rod Steel
  Canada (CAN)
Carl Schwende
J.A. Howard
Roland Asselin
Épée Men   Ivan Lund (AUS)   René Paul (ENG)   Carl Schwende (CAN)
Épée – Team Men   England (ENG)
René Paul
Allan Jay
Charles de Beaumont
  Canada (CAN)
Carl Schwende
Edward Brooke
Roland Asselin
  Australia (AUS)
Ivan Lund
John Fethers
Laurence Harding-Smith
Sabre Men   Mike Amberg (ENG)   Ralph Cooperman (ENG)   John Fethers (AUS)
Sabre- Team Men   Canada (CAN)
Carl Schwende
Leslie Krasa
Roland Asselin
  England (ENG)
Michael Amberg
William Beatley
Ralph Cooperman
  Australia (AUS)
Ivan Lund
John Fethers
Rod Steel
Laurence Harding-Smith
Foil Women   Mary Glen-Haig (ENG)   Gillian Sheen (ENG)   Aileen Harding (WAL)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Single Sculls Men   Don Rowlands (NZL) 00:08:28   Sidney Rand (ENG) 00:08:43   Bobby Williams (CAN) 00:08:51
Double Sculls Men   Mervyn Wood & Murray Riley (AUS) 00:07:55   Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:05   Donald Guest & Lawrence Stephan (CAN) 00:08:29
Coxless Pairs Men   Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:24   Tom Christie & Nicholas Clack (ENG) 00:08:24   Dave Anderson & Geoff Williamson (AUS) 00:08:30
Coxed four men   Lionel Robberds, Dave Anderson, Peter Evatt, Geoff Williamson & Mervyn Wood (AUS) 00:07:58   Bruce Culpan, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Bill Tinnock & Stanley Callagher (NZL) 00:08:04   Geoffrey Page, John Macmillan, Alastair Davidson, Maurice Legg & David Glynne-Jones (ENG) 00:08:05
Eight men   Douglas McDonald, Glen Smith, H.J. Zloklikovits, K.J. Drummond, Lawrence West, Ray Sierpina, Robert Wilson, Thomas Toynbee & Thomas Harris (CAN) 00:06:59   Alastair Davidson, Alan Watson, David Glynne-Jones, Geoffrey Page, John Pope, Joe Eldeen, M.G.C. Savage, Maurice Legg & John Macmillan (ENG) 00:07:11


Men's eventsEdit

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle   Jon Henricks (AUS) 56.5   Cyrus Weld (AUS) 58.5   Rex Aubrey (AUS) 58.7
440 yd freestyle   Gary Chapman (AUS) 4:39.8   Jack Wardrop (SCO) 4:41.5   Graham Johnston (SAF) 4:43.3
1650 yd freestyle   Graham Johnston (SAF) 19:01.4   Peter Duncan (SAF) 19:22.1   Gary Chapman (AUS) 19:28.4
110 yd backstroke   John Brockway (WAL) 1:06.5   Lincoln Hurring (NZL) 1:06.9   Cyrus Weld (AUS) 1:08.6
220 yd breaststroke   Jack Doms (NZL) 2:52.6   Peter Jervis (ENG) 2:52.6   Alan Hime (ENG) 2:52.8
4×220 yd freestyle relay   Australia
David Hawkins
Gary Chapman
Jon Henricks
Rex Aubrey
8:47.6   Canada
Allen Gilchrist
George Park
Gerald McNamee
Ted Simpson
8:56.0   South Africa
Dennis Ford
Graham Johnston
Peter Duncan
Billy Steuart
3×110 yd medley relay   Australia
Cyrus Weld
David Hawkins
Jon Henricks
3:22.0   New Zealand
Frederick Lucas
Jack Doms
Lincoln Hurring
3:26.6   Scotland
Jack Wardrop
John Service
Robert Wardrop

Women's eventsEdit

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle   Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 1:05.8   Virginia Grant (CAN) 1:06.3   Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:08.2
440 yd freestyle   Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 5:11.4   Gladys Priestley (CAN) 5:19.6   Margaret Girvan (SCO) 5:21.4
110 yd backstroke   Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:15.2   Pat Symons (ENG) 1:17.4   Jean Stewart (NZL) 1:17.5
220 yd breaststroke   Elenor Gordon (SCO) 2:59.2   Mary Morgan (SAF) 3:03.3   Margaret Grundy (ENG) 3:04.5
4×110 yd freestyle relay   South Africa
Felicity Loveday
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Natalie Myburgh
4:33.9   Canada
Beth Whittall
Gladys Priestley
Helen Stewart
Virginia Grant
4:37.0   England
Daphne Wilkinson
Fearne Ewart
Jean Botham
Valerie Nares-Pillow
3×110 yd medley relay   Scotland
Helen Gordon
Margaret McDowell
Margaret Girvan
3:51.0   South Africa
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Mary Morgan
3:52.7   Australia
Jann Grier
Judith Knight
Lorraine Crapp


Event Gold Silver Bronze
3 Metres Springboard Diving Men   Peter Heatly (SCO) 146.76   Tony Turner (ENG) 145.27   Jack Stewart (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 (CAN) 126.19
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Women   Barbara McAulay (AUS) 86.55   Eunice Miller (ENG) 79.86   Ann Long (ENG) 79.53


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 (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   Tony George (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 (NZL) 421.5


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 (NRH)
Featherweight Men   Abraham Geldenhuys (SAF)   Herb Hall (ENG)   John Armitt (NZL)
Lightweight Men   Godfrey Pienaar (SAF)   Ruby Leobovitch (CAN)   Dick Garrard (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)


  1. ^ "Commonwealth Games Federation - 1954 Commonwealth Games - Introduction". www.thecgf.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  2. ^ "AUSSIES BOYCOTT GAMES CYCLING Thu 5 Aug 1954 Page 1". Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW). 1954.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
V British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by