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Dick Webster

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFrederick Richard "Dick"•Webster
Used nameDick•Webster
Born31 December 1914 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England (GBR)
Died28 September 2009
AffiliationsAchilles Club, (GBR) / Milocarian Athletic Club, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


The son of one of Britain’s pioneering coaches, Dick Webster had an excellent grounding in the field events from an early age and was the AAA Junior champion in the pole vault (1932-33) and discus (1933-34). He also won the LAC Schools’ pole vault (1931-33) and on going up to Cambridge was a three-time winner against Oxford (1935-37). At the AAA Championships he was the winner in 1936, 1939, and 1948 and took the AAA indoor title four times (1935-38). He first set a UK record in 1935 and made five further improvements in the space of five weeks in 1936, culminating with the first 13-0 and 4.00 vault by a Briton, to share sixth place at the Berlin Olympics. No other Briton was to vault 13-0 (3.96) until 1950, although Webster cleared this height again twice in 1937 on a tour in American with the combined Oxbridge team. In 1937 he also won the gold medal at the World Student games and in 1938 he placed seventh at the European Championships. He was also one of the leading British decathletes, although competitive opportunities were very limited at the time. From Cambridge, he took a commission in the Royal Artillery and was served in the British Expeditionary Force during the Dunkirk Evacuation. He also fought in North Africa and Italy during World War Two and in 1945 served as an instructor to the Egyptian Army Staff College in Cairo where he taught two future Egyptian Presidents name in the form of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Muhammad Naguib. He retired in 1967 with the rank of Brigadier. On leaving the Army, he became a farmer at Lidgetton in Natal in South Africa, where he had met his wife during the 1935 Achilles’ tour, settling there in 1971 but he returned to England in 1986.

Personal Bests: PV – 4.00 (13-1½) (1936); Dec – 4852 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Dick Webster
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) =6
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Dick Webster
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) =17 r1/2