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Arthur Farrimond - Olympic Runner

Arthur Farrimond was born on Sept 30th 1893 to James and Margaret Farrimond at 9 Hill Street, Hindley, Lancs. He won his first race at the age of seventeen at the Westhoughton town sports in 1910. He joined the Bolton club then Leigh Harriers in 1911. In February 1914 he became a medal winner in the Junior East-Lancashire cross country championships.

When war broke out he was a commercial traveller for Messrs. J.Smith & Co., wine & spirit merchants. He enlisted in the 9th Royal Scots on November llth 1914. While serving in France he won the French medallion in a l½ mile race for his regiment. He reached the front line in January 1915 where he was wounded in the knee; he was again wounded in the stomach in August 1916 as a result of a bayonet charge, and made a full recovery while in Ward 16 of the Merry Flatts Hospital, Govan, Glasgow.

In March 1915 one of his letters home was published in the local newspaper, speaking of his ordeal in the trenches and also saying he had made up his mind to try and get to Berlin in 1916 for the Olympic Games, but unknown to him, there would be no 1916 games and he would not resume his training until 1919, too late even for the 1920 games. Arthur married Emily Birch in 1922 and also regained his running fitness after the war and was becoming well known as a distance runner. He still won one mile races at Abergele and Whitehaven. He ran 2nd in the 1923 and 1924 Manchester marathons, and it was from these races that he was selected to run for Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympics.


Arthur Farrimond Medal 1924 Arthur Farrimond medal reverse

Commemorative medal from the Paris Olympics 1924.

The medal is on display in the Exhibition Space at Westhoughton Library.
The commemorative medal was awarded to all competitors

Arthur was the second Britain to finish in Paris and had to suffer the last few miles with a twist of his ankle, which he received trying to avoid a civilian who would insist on running along side him. There were 58 entrants representing other world countries in the race and it was no small achievement to finish seventeenth in an Olympic marathon.

Arthur returned home to his job as an electrician in the employment of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company. He continued to run in races for the next fifty years with the club. In later years Arthur ran a newsagents shop at Westhoughton.

Arthur died in November 1978 aged 85 years old, his ashes being in the family grave at Hindley cemetery. His wife Emily died in 1984 aged ninety. They had no children.


Cross Country

1914 3rd Junior

1921 4th Senior

1922 7th Senior

1923 3rd Senior

1925 20th Senior

1926 4th Senior


1923 2nd man Sporting Chronicle

1924 2nd man Sporting Chronicle

1924 17th Paris Olympics

1924 5th man Sporting Chronicle

1925 4th man Sporting Chronicle

1928 16th man Sporting Chronicle

Other Major Races

1914 4th Northern Cross Country (junior)

He won a gold medal for the first man home in an unplaced team.

1925 4th Northern Counties Senior Ten Mile Track Championship

1929 4th in the Rivington Fell Race


Arthur Farrimond Royal Scots
Private Arthur Farrimond, B.E.F.
Regt. No. 2774
12th Platoon, C Coy
9th Batt Highlanders, The Royal Scots
Arthur Farrimond with trainers

H R Clarke (left) and Arthur Farrimond (right)

Arthur trained with Clarke to improve his speed for his Olympic marathon. Their trainer, Jack Clarke, Harry's brother stands behind them, March 1924

Arthur Farrimond GB Vest
Arthur in his Great Britain Olympic Vest, 1924
Arthur Farrimond Rivington

The winners of the 1929 Rivington Fell Race
From left to right:

T P Campbell of Salford, G W Bailey(Buxton) who later ran for Salford, S Dodd (Chester) Wirral Harriers, and Arthur Farrimond of Leigh Harriers AC.