William Pimm

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Edwin•Pimm
Used nameWilliam•Pimm
Born10 December 1864 in Bow, England (GBR)
Died18 July 1952 in Miami, Florida (USA)
Measurements168 cm
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3


William Pimm was the first Briton to win two shooting gold medals. It would be 76 years before this feat was equaled when Malcolm Cooper won his second gold in 1988. Between 1908 and 1912 Pimm took part in eight events, winning three medals, all in team events. In 1908 he was on the winning small-bore rifle team, 50 and 100 yards. A second gold followed four years later in the small-bore rifle, 50 metres prone, team event, and in the 25 metres disappearing target event he was on the team that won the silver to make up his tally of three medals. In that same silver medal-winning team was his son-in-law William Styles.

Pimm was the adjutant of the miniature shooting events for the 1912 Olympics and an interesting article in The Times shows that he was trying to recruit members for the individual 25 and 50 metres events for the British team via the newspaper. The article went on to say that successful applicants would have to undertake to pay their own expenses to Stockholm of around £15, and were invited to write to Pimm at his London address.

Pimm was a well known Victorian and Edwardian artist, well known for landscapes and portraits. He trained in Antwerp in 1885 where he met Vincent Van Gogh, and also met his future wife Louise Van Tongelen. Many of his works still sell at auction for several thousand pounds and he was at one time commissioned to paint the portraits of the Lord Mayor of London each year. His works have also hung in the Royal Academy. During World War One he was sent to the front line to draw pictures of the German lines on the Western Front.

Pimm emigrated to the United States in 1940 and lived with his daughter in Florida where he died in Dade County in 1952. Before he went to the United States Pimm lived in Sussex, as did his son-in-law William Styles. Both were hired by local golf clubs to shoot rabbits and keep them off the courses and there was a rivalry between the two men to see who could shoot the most each day!


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Shooting GBR William Pimm
Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 and 100 yards, Men (Olympic) 6
Small-Bore Rifle, 50 and 100 yards, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold
Small-Bore Rifle, Disappearing Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) =15
Small-Bore Rifle, Moving Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) 6
1912 Summer Olympics Shooting GBR William Pimm
Small-Bore Rifle, Any Position, 50 metres, Men (Olympic) 10
Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold
Small-Bore Rifle, Disappearing Target, 25 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
Small-Bore Rifle, Disappearing Target, 25 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver

Olympic family relations