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William Philo

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam•Philo
Used nameWilliam•Philo
Born17 February 1882 in Islington, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died7 July 1916 in near Albert, Somme (FRA)
AffiliationsGainsford ABC, Westminster (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


The son of London butcher Robert Philo, his father had to bring up the young William and his brother and sister, because their mother died when William was just eight. Philo left school at an early age to become a boy soldier and served in the South African War of 1899. He took up boxing in the Army, fighting with some minor success as a middleweight and was selected for the 1908 London Olympics, coming home with a bronze medal.

Philo left the Army in the Olympic year and worked as an engineer’s assistant. His boxing career came to an end shortly after his Boxing Day marriage, ironically, to wife Ellen as she was not happy about his pugilism, so he gave up the sport. He returned to Army duties on the outbreak of the War and served as a company sergeant major with the 8th battalion, Royal Fusiliers but was lost, presumed killed, in action during the Battle of the Somme.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Boxing GBR William Philo
Middleweight, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Special Notes