Philip Plater

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePhilip Edward V. G.•Plater
Used namePhilip•Plater
Born6 June 1866 in Kensington, England (GBR)
Died12 May 1943 in Wimbledon, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Philip Plater shot a new World Record and earned the Olympic title in the prone small-bore rifle event at the 1908 Olympics, but he had to rescind his title only a few days later as he was not officially in the competition. The limit for entrants per nation in all individual shooting events was 12. But the entry forms for George Barnes, the eventual bronze medalist, were lost, and Plater was named as the 12th British entrant in his place. However, an extension of the deadline for entries was made and Barnes’s application was eventually accepted. On the day of the competition, the British team officials lost count of the number of British shooters who had competed in this event. With only half an hour to go before the time limit, they called on Plater to shoot, thinking he was the 12th British shooter in the small-bore rifle when, in fact, he was the 13th - one beyond the limit. In varying light, a gusty wind, and fine drizzle, he fired his 80 rounds in less than 30 minutes, scoring 391, the leading score and a new world record. In the initial results issued by the National Rifle Association, and published in The Sporting Life, Plater was listed as the winner.

But the error of Britain having 13 competitors was then discovered and it took several days to sort out the error. It was not certain if Plater’s or Barnes’ mark would be deleted from the official results, but eventually Plater was declared an unofficial entrant and not given an Olympic medal. But in October 1908, Philip Plater was presented a special gold medal and a record diploma by the British Olympic Council.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Shooting GBR Philip Plater
Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 and 100 yards, Men (Olympic) AC
Small-Bore Rifle, Disappearing Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) =15
Small-Bore Rifle, Moving Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) 5
1912 Summer Olympics Shooting GBR Philip Plater
Military Rifle, Three Positions, 300 metres, Men (Olympic) 86
Military Rifle, Any Position, 600 metres, Men (Olympic) 5