John Beresford

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Graham Hope de la Poer•Beresford
Used nameJohn•Beresford
Born5 December 1866 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England (GBR)
Died31 January 1944 in Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, England (GBR)
AffiliationsFoxhunters Hurlingham, (GBR)
Title(s)The Honourable (thru 1910), 5th Baron Decies of Decies (after 1910)
NOC Great Britain


John Beresford played in only one of Foxhunters Hurlingham’s three games at the 1900 Olympics when he replaced the American Foxhall Keene in the semi-final win over the Bagatelle Polo Club of France. That same year Beresford was on the England side that beat America 8-2 in the unofficial Westchester Cup match. Beresford’s other successes including winning the Ranelagh Open Cup, Irish Open Cup and the Inter-Regimential Tournament with the 7th Hussars in both England and India.

Beresford was born on 5 December 1866, the same day as his sister, aged three years and eight months, died. He was educated at Eton and then served with the 7th Hussars between 1887 and 1910, reaching the rank of Colonel. He was twice mentioned in despatches following action in the Matabele Relief and the Somaliland Campaign. He was awarded the DSO in 1904. Between 1912 and 1944 he was a Representative Peer for Ireland in the House of Lords. He also held the post of chief Press Censor of Ireland and was invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1918.

Until 1910 he was styled as The Honourable John Beresford but, following the death of his older brother, he became the 5th Lord Decies. of Decies in the County of Waterford. Shortly before he became the fifth Lord Decies, he announced his engagement to Helen Vivien Gould, the sister of another Olympian Jay Gould II who was the grandson of railroad magnate Jay Gould. Helen was just 17 at the time of the engagement, Beresford 44. They married in 1911.

In addition to polo, Beresford played cricket, went hunting, was an expert show jumper and was a keen follower of horse racing as the owner of several horses and was for some time a steward of the Irish Turf Club. He was also a keen sailor on the Solent and was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. But, perhaps, he was better known in Britain and Ireland as a champion for fighting the cause of the tax payer and from 1922 was director of the Income-Tax Payers’ Society. He also represented North Hammersmith on the London County Council.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Polo GBR John Beresford
Polo, Men (Olympic) Foxhunters Hurlingham 1 Gold

Olympic family relations


Previously misidentified as one John George Beresford, born 10 June 1847 in Dover, Kent and died 8 May 1925 in Washington, District of Columbia.