Bert Johnston

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHerbert Arthur "Bert"•Johnston
Used nameBert•Johnston
Other namesHarry Johnston
Born16 April 1902 in Dulwich, England (GBR)
Died5 April 1967 in Harold Wood, England (GBR)
Measurements179 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsHerne Hill Harriers, Mitcham (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Starting as a miler, Bert Johnston finished third at the AAA Championships in 1923 and improved to take second place in 1924 before winning the English AAA title. On moving up to longer distances, he placed second in the AAA 4 miles in 1926. In winning the 5K against France in 1926 he set a new UK record. Johnston had an exceptional record at the Kinnaird Trophy meeting where he was a winner for six successive years: mile (1923-24) and 3 miles (1925-28). He later became one of the world’s leading marathon coaches and was a major influence in the success of Jim Peters, Stan Cox, and Fred Norris. He was a founder member of Hornchurch Harriers and spent his working life in the insurance business.

Personal Bests: Mile – 4:21.8 (1926); 3000 – 8:45.2 (1924); 2 miles – 9:36.4 (1924) ; 5000 – 15:00.4 (1926); 4 miles – 20:49.4 (1926).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Bert Johnston
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Bert Johnston
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 8