Christopher Warner on sporting figures in conflict
In his poem ‘Dulce et decorum est’, Wilfred Owen reflects upon his experiences in World War One to capture the horrors of trench warfare. The haunting imagery describes an especially chilling glimpse of those afflicted by poison gas – men such as Welsh rugby star ‘Clem’ Lewis.
Henoch displayed a natural all-around talent in several sports, making her future accomplishments even more impressive, considering the few opportunities available for female athletes at the time.
Handsome and charming, Wilding embraced a life full of adventure that also involved racing motorcycles across both hemispheres.
Temporary 2nd Lieutenant Donald Bell, relying on adrenaline and instinct, led two men from his company through the mud of no-man’s land, firing his revolver with one hand and hurling a well-aimed Mills bomb with the other.
On 28 June 1914, the 12th annual Tour de France began in Paris with the blast of a starter’s pistol. The same day, another gun killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, setting in motion World War I.
The Chicago-born ‘slider’ became the youngest Olympic gold medallist ever as a 16-year-old at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St Moritz. Four years later, while serving as his country’s flag bearer, he piloted Team USA to another victory in Lake Placid.