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Walter McCreery

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameWalter Adolph•McCreery
Used nameWalter•McCreery
Born13 August 1871 in Zürich (SUI)
Died8 November 1922 in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dôme (FRA)
AffiliationsBLO Polo Club Rugby
NOC(s) United States

Biography

Walter McCreery was born in Zürich, Switzerland, but despite that, and the fact that he was an American citizen, he spent most of his life in England. Following his older brother Laurence, who was also a good polo player, Walter went to Cambridge University and graduated in 1894 with a 2nd Class law degree. As a polo player, he represented the United States at the 1900 Westchester Cup. Due to his wealth, McCreery was able to indulge his love of equestrian sports, which included polo and foxhunting. He often played on a polo team of Cambridge graduates called the Old Cantabs, which was unbeaten for two years and won the Champion Cup at Hurlingham in 1900. He won the coveted Bledisloe Warwickshire Cup on three occasions, with Old Cantabs in 1899, Stockton House in 1903 and Friz Hill in 1904.

Two of McCreery’s sons, Richard and Walter, Jr., both became top American polo players in the 1920s, with Walter, Jr. a force on the California polo scene. Richard entered the military and became commander-in-chief of the British of the Rhône. The book The Last Great Cavalryman: The Life of General Sir Richard McCreery was about him, Both brothers served in the 12th Royal Lancers Division in World War I. Another son, Robert, a member of the 17th Royal Lancers, was killed by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) in the Ballyturn Ambush in May 1921. His youngest son, dramatist John Buchanan McCreery, was killed when he fell in front of a train at Euston Station, London in 1931.

In 1909 Walter McCreery went through a difficult time. He became violent and abusive and lunacy proceedings were issued against him in England. He escaped to Belgium and then to Los Angeles where, in 1912, after his family’s concerns for him, he was put under restraint and declared to be an incompetent person, Both the English and LA orders were eventually lifted.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1900 Summer Olympics Polo Polo, Men Olympic BLO Polo Club, Rugby 2 Silver Representing United States