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Ray Barkway

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameRaymond Charles "Ray"•Barkway
Used nameRay•Barkway
Born24 August 1924 in Uxbridge, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died1 July 1956 in Prees Heath, Shropshire, England (GBR)
AffiliationsAchilles Club, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain

Biography

It was unfortunate for hurdler Ray Barkway that, at the time he reached his peak, Britain had two other quality hurdlers in Peter Hildreth and Jack Parker. Barkway attended Watford Grammar School, before going to Exeter College Oxford. He was an athletics Blue in 1948 and only an accident sustained while playing rugby prevented him from winning a second Blue in 1949. Having competed at the 1948 Olympics, he moved to Manchester University in 1950. That year he lost by inches to Hildreth in the AAA 110 yards hurdles final. A few months later, while coaching the Summer School at Loughborough College, Barkway was selected for the British team to go to the European Championships at Bruxelles. In 1951, he won his only international medal when he took the 100 metre hurdles bronze in the World Student Games at Luxembourg behind fellow Briton Paul Vine and the West German gold medalist Günther Thielmann.

Sadly, Barkway lost his life at the age of 31. At the time he was a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and was piloting a Royal Navy Avenger Torpedo Bomber on a training mission in Shropshire when it crashed into a field at Crab Tree Farm, Prees Heath near Whitchurch. Barkway and his co-pilot were killed, but the third member of the crew survived, unlike a cow from the farm, who also met his demise. On the same day that Barkway died, two passenger planes collided over the Grand Canyon killing over 100 people.

At the time of his death, Barkway was the physical games master at Clifton College, Bristol and it was Barkway who fired the silver Smith & Wesson revolver to start the historical race at Iffley Road, Oxford, in May 1954, when Roger Bannister, a fellow Oxford Blue, broke the four-minute barrier for the mile.

Personal Best: 110H – 14.9 (1950).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Ray Barkway
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 4 h1 r1/3

Special Notes