Cecil Kershaw

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCecil Ashworth•Kershaw
Used nameCecil•Kershaw
Born3 February 1895 in Dhaka (Dacca) (BAN)
Died1 November 1972 in Worthing, West Sussex, England (GBR)
Measurements173 cm
AffiliationsRoyal Navy School of Physical Training
NOC Great Britain


Although Cecil Kershaw, or “K” as he was known to his friends, was a three-time national sabre champion, and fenced at two Olympics, it was as a rugby player that he was better known. A scrum-half, he played for Blackheath, the Royal Navy, United Services, Barbarians, and England.

Between 1920-23 Kershaw won 16 England caps and 14 of them saw him play alongside W. J. A. “Dave” Davies in what many regarded as one of the finest half-back partnerships ever seen in English rugby. In the 14 games they played together, England won 13 and drew one, against France in 1922.

Kershaw did his naval training at the Royal Naval College at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, and then at Dartmouth. He served on submarines in the Baltic Sea during World War I, and retired as a lieutenant-commander in 1931. He was recalled to service during World War II when he was promoted to captain and served on the planning staff for the D-Day landings in France. In addition to playing rugby for the Navy, he also represented them at cricket, hockey and squash.

Kershaw dovetailed his rugby career with a fine fencing one and competed at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. He was also the British sabre champion in 1920, 1925, and 1926. After the end of World War II, he enjoyed a successful business career.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Fencing GBR Cecil Kershaw
Foil, Individual, Men (Olympic) 7 p1 r1/3
Foil, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 5
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) =6 p1 r2/3
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 7
1924 Summer Olympics Fencing GBR Cecil Kershaw
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 5 p2 r1/3
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 3 p4 r1/4