Henry Morshead

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHenry Treise•Morshead
Used nameHenry•Morshead
Born23 November 1882 in Tavistock, Devon, England (GBR)
Died17 May 1931 in Pyin U Lwin (MYA)
NOC Great Britain


Henry Morshead was educated at Winchester College and then the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. His brother Owen, who also attended Woolwich, later became the librarian at Windsor Castle for over 30 years. Henry was gazetted as a second-lieutenant into the Royal Engineers in 1901. He then went to India and worked for the Public Works Department before joining the Survey of India. He served in France 1915-19 where he was promoted to major, was wounded, mentioned in dispatches, and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

On his return to India in 1920 Morshead served with the Waziristan Field Force, and in 1921 was appointed deputy superintendent to the Survey of India. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and went on two Everest Expeditions. The first was the 1921 reconnaissance expedition, and the second was the following year, when he reached around 25,000 feet (7,620m) before sickness and severe frostbite prevented him joining other members of the expedition who came within 1,800 feet (549m) of the summit. Upon return to India he had to have several digits removed surgically.

Morshead was promoted to superintendent to the Survey in 1926, and in 1928 was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Engineers. After all his gallantry and mountaineering exploits, Henry Morshead met an unfortunate end when he was murdered in Burma (now Myanmar). At 8am on the morning of 17 May 1931 he went for a ride on his pony. Later that day the alarm was raised that something was amiss when the pony returned home rider-less and bloodstained. Morshead’s body was found in a nearby jungle the following day with severe gunshot wounds.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Winter Olympics Alpinism GBR Henry Morshead
Alpinism, Open (Olympic) Mixed team 1 Gold

Special Notes