Frederick Humphreys (athlete)

Frederick Harkness Humphreys (28 January 1878 – 10 August 1954[1]) was a British tug of war competitor and sport wrestler who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, and in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.[2] He was also a constable in the City of London Police, collar number 970, as were two of his brothers.[2][3]

Frederick Harkness Humphreys
1908 British tug of war team.jpg
The 1908 City of London Police team that won the gold medal in 1908. (Back row - left to right): Frederick Merriman, John James Shepherd, Edwin Mills, Albert Ireton, Frederick Goodfellow, Frederick Humphreys
(Front row - left to right): Edward Barrett, H. Duke (Captain), William Hirons
Born(1878-01-28)28 January 1878
Died10 August 1954(1954-08-10) (aged 76)
Ealing, London, England
OccupationPolice Constable
Known forOlympic Gold Medalist - Tug-of-War
Olympic medal record
Men's Tug of war
Gold medal – first place 1908 London Team
Gold medal – first place 1920 Antwerp Team
Silver medal – second place 1912 Stockholm Team

He was part of the British team City of London Police which won two gold medals in 1908 and 1920 and the joint City of London Police-Metropolitan Police "K" Division British team which won a silver medal in 1912.[2] There were no games in 1916 due to World War I.

The 1912 silver medallist team from Great Britain (left to right; back row - Joseph Dowler*, Alexander Munro *, Edwin Mills, John James Shepherd, H. Stiff, Frederick Humphreys; front row - Walter Tammas *, Walter Chaffe[4]*, Thomas Peel *, Matthias Hynes *, John Sewell ; * = Metropolitan Police, all others City of London Police)

He also competed in wrestling, and took part in demonstration bouts around Europe and the United Kingdom.[2] In the 1908 Olympic Greco-Roman super heavyweight competition he was eliminated in the first round and in the freestyle heavyweight event he was eliminated in the quarter-finals.[5]

In May 2013, some of his medals, including the 1912 silver and 1920 gold, as well as family photographs, were shown on an episode of a BBC television programme by two of his great-nieces. They stated that the whereabouts of his 1908 gold medal are unknown.[2][6]


  1. ^ "Frederick Harkness HUMPHREYS".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chepstow Racecourse 1". Antiques Roadshow. Series 35. Episode 22. 5 May 2013. BBC. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Frederick Humphreys". Olympedia. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  4. ^ Captain and Trainer
  5. ^ "Antwerp 1920: Tug of war and a 72-year-old medallist".
  6. ^ "Chepstow Racecourse 1 ‹ Series 35 ‹ Antiques Roadshow".

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