Duncan Mackinnon

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDuncan•Mackinnon
Used nameDuncan•Mackinnon
Born29 September 1887 in Paddington, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died9 October 1917 in Ieper (Ypres) (BEL)
Measurements82 kg
AffiliationsThames Rowing Club, Putney (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Duncan Mackinnon, was educated at Rugby and Magdalen College, Oxford, and it was only after going to Magdalen that his rowing skills came to the fore. He went on to become of the finest oarsmen seen at Oxford, and was a member of the Magdelen four who remained together for three years, winning all the major events. They were entered as the Magdalen “second four” at Henley in 1907, but won the Visitors’ and Wyfold Cups, and in 1908 won the Wyfold again, along with the Stewards’ Cup, before going on to win the Olympic title. He had not yet won his Blue when he won an Olympic gold medal in the coxless fours in 1908, although he subsequently rowed in the Cambridge boat in 1909, 1910 and 1911, winning each time, and was president of the Oxford University Boat Club in 1910. Mackinnon also rowed with the Magdalen eight in the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley in the three years from 1909, beating Jesus College in the 1910 and 1911 finals. Magdalen were also Head of the River in the Summer Eights at Oxford. In the five years he competed at Henley, Mackinnon lost only two races.

On leaving Oxford, Mackinnon became a partner in the family business in Calcutta where he also served with the Calcutta Light Horse, but returned to England on the outbreak of war. He served in Gallipoli before a transfer to the Scots Guards and a posting to France in August 1917, where he saw action on the front line, but just two months later was killed in action near Langemarck. His older brother William had been killed in action five months earlier whilst serving with the London Scottish.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Duncan Mackinnon
Coxless Fours, Men (Olympic) Magdalen College Boat Club 1 Gold

Special Notes