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Frank Dove

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFrancis Sydney "Frank"•Dove
Used nameFrank•Dove
Born3 September 1897 in Holborn, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died10 February 1957 in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England (GBR)
Measurements175 cm
AffiliationsUniversity of Oxford, Oxford (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Frank Dove was of mixed race. His father hailed from Sierra Leone while his mother was English. His father was an Oxford-educated barrister and Frank followed in his father’s footstep. He was originally educated at Cranleigh boarding school from 1910, where he was secretary of both the football and cricket XIs. He was also a member of the school’s highly successful gymnastics team that were regular winners of the Public Schools Gymnastics competition at Aldershot. After Cranleigh, where he was one of the college’s first black students, Dove, like his father, went to Oxford (Merton College) to study law, and also became a barrister.

Dove was called up into the Army Service Corps in November 1916, originally as a trainee motor vehicle driver, but after joining the Royal Tank Corps as a dispatch rider, he was sent to France in 1917 where he fought in the Battle of Cambrai, one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. He was injured during the fighting and subsequently was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery. After resuming service, Dove obtained a commission into the Cadet Unit of the RAF.

Dove was demobilized in 1920 and returned to Oxford to continue his studies and his sporting activities, where he was not only a fine athlete, but an excellent boxer and won his boxing Blue in 1920. He then went to the Antwerpen Olympics that year, where he was beaten by the eventual heavyweight silver medalist Søren Petersen of Denmark. An accident shortly before the 1921 Varsity match prevented Dove, who was then captain of the Oxford University Boxing Club, from winning his second Blue.

Although he never won an ABA title, Dove did win several regional ABA titles and was still winning them beyond the age of 48, where he dovetailed his boxing career with his work as a barrister. He later became a boxing judge and referee, and was a member of the Battersea Amateur Boxing Association. Dove died after being involved in an accident with a motor vehicle in Wolverhampton in 1957.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Boxing GBR Frank Dove
Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) =5

Special Notes