Harold Annison

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarold Edward•Annison
Used nameHarold•Annison
Born27 December 1895 in Hackney, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died27 November 1957 in Lancing, West Sussex, England (GBR)
Measurements183 cm
AffiliationsCroydon Swimming Club
NOC Great Britain


Harold Annison mainly excelled as a middle- and long-distance freestyle swimmer, competing at Antwerpen in 1920 and Paris in 1924 in the 400 and 1500 freestyles, advancing to the second of three rounds in all four events. His only medal, however, was a bronze in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay in 1920. Four years later Annison also competed as a water polo player at Paris. He was also an excellent long-distance swimmer, making the podium at the British Championships in the River Thames swims in 1921 and 1924, finishing third and second respectively behind winner Jack Hatfield on both occasions. Annison won ASA freestyle titles at every distance except five miles and was also the 1920 National Salt-Water quarter-mile champion. His first title was at the age of 18 in 1913 when he prevented Jack Hatfield winning all the freestyle titles that year, by winning the 100y. He made his England debut soon afterwards.

Annison was later employed as a baths manager and in 1934 became the first manager of the new Brighton Aquatic Stadium. In 1936 he devised a 10-mile relay race that involved ten swimmers who would be a mixture of sprinters, middle- and long-distance swimmers. That same year his book Swimming, an instructional book for swimmers of all standards, was published and became part of the Pitman Games and Recreations series. Harold’s brother Reggie was also a fine swimmer and the two siblings played alongside each other in the Croydon SC water polo team.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GBR Harold Annison
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r1/4
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 5 h2 r2/3
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 3 h2 r2/3
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 3 Bronze
1924 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GBR Harold Annison
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r2/3
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r2/3
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 5
Water Polo (Aquatics) GBR Harold Annison
Water Polo, Men (Olympic) Great Britain =10