John Noel

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Baptist Lucius•Noel
Used nameJohn•Noel
Born26 February 1890 in Newton Abbot, Devon, England (GBR)
Died12 March 1989 in Ashford, Kent, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


John Noel was the official photographer and film-maker on the 1922 and 1924 Everest expeditions. At first, some of the established mountaineers, like George Mallory, were resentful of Noel’s presence, with Mallory saying on one occasion that he was: “interested in climbing the mountain and not being an actor in a film.” Mallory and others soon warmed to Noel’s talents, however, and his coverage of the expeditions did much back in Britain to arouse public interest in the Everest exploits, right up to 1953 when Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing became the first men to reach the summit.

Noel’s early love of mountains came when he spent one and a half years at school in Switzerland, and he then gained his Himalayan experience as a subaltern in the East Yorkshire Regiment, when he was based in Calcutta. He survived severe fighting in World War I and when he died two weeks after his 99th birthday, he was believed to have been one of the last survivors of the first British Expeditionary Force of 1914-18.


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