Tom Askwith

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas Garrett "Tom"•Askwith
Used nameTom•Askwith
Born24 May 1911 in Cheam, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died16 July 2001 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England (GBR)
AffiliationsPeterhouse Boat Club, Cambridge (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Tom Askwith was educated at Haileybury School in Hertfordshire before going to Peterhouse College, Cambridge. At University he became a two-time Blue as a member of the winning crews in 1932 and 1933. In the first year, the Cambridge eight represented the Leander Club at Henley, and won the Grand Challenge Cup. Askwith won the Diamond Sculls the following year, and was also a two-time Olympian. At the peak of his sporting career Askwith appeared on a Gallaher cigarette card, an honour reserved for only the top sporting heroes of the day.

After leaving university with an engineering degree, Askwith worked for the Whitbread Brewery in 1933, but moved to the Colonial Service in 1935 and was posted to Kenya. He did much to improve community life within the country and helped improve education for Africans, as well as promoting the emancipation of women. He was in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising. Askwith retired in 1961, and spent a year (1962-63) as a United Nations community development advisor in Afghanistan before undertaking a similar position with the British Government in Turkey (1964-66). When he eventually returned to Britain, he ran courses for people going to live and work abroad for the first time. Askwith also found time while on leave in Britain, to act as a coach to the Powerhouse Boat Club, and in 1956 coached the Ladies’ Challenge Plate winning crew at Henley. Between 1995-98, he had three books published, all about his exploits abroad.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Tom Askwith
Eights, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 4
1936 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Tom Askwith
Eights, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 4

Special Notes