Douglas Godfree

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDouglas William•Godfree
Used nameDouglas•Godfree
Born16 October 1881 in Bedford Park, England (GBR)
Died5 August 1929 in Chelsea, England (GBR)
AffiliationsBritish Army, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Douglas Godfree served in the British Army for more than 28 years, and was still serving at the time of his death at the age of 47. After passing through the Sandhurst Military College, he joined the 21st Lancers at Dublin in May 1901 and remained with them until the regiment was disbanded in 1921. Three times he turned down promotion opportunities with other regiments to stay with the Lancers.

Apart from being an excellent and thorough soldier, Godfree was an excellent all-round sportsman. He played polo for his regiment, and won the Championship Cup for Heads and Posts at the Royal Naval and Military Tournament at Olympia in 1907, 1909, and 1910. In the latter tournament he also obtained two other firsts and three seconds. He also won the tent-pegging competition in 1911. Godfree competed in two Olympics, competing in the individual sabre in 1908 and 1912 and the Modern Pentathlon in the second of those Games. Godfree also won many rackets and lawn tennis championships during his time in the Army. Although he was sent abroad with the Lancers on many occasions, he did not see active service until February 1918 when he was attached to the 13th Hussars in Mesopotamia and during that short period of active service he was awarded the Military Cross, and was mentioned in dispatches. On leave from overseas duties, Godfree enjoyed nothing more than going big game hunting in Ladalk, India. At the time of his death he had attained the rank of major.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Fencing GBR Douglas Godfree
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 6 p3 r1/4
1912 Summer Olympics Fencing GBR Douglas Godfree
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) =4 p8 r1/4
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain DNS
Modern Pentathlon GBR Douglas Godfree
Individual, Men (Olympic) 10