Family of first ever Olympic boxing champion looking for his gold medal

The family of the first ever Olympic heavyweight boxing champion are trying to trace his gold medal.

Bill Pease wants to find out what happened to his uncle, Albert Oldman’s medal after his death in 1961 at his home in Everleigh Gardens, Upminster.

He said: “He was someone that I remember from my childhood and we always knew that he won an Olympic gold medal.

“It is something that we are really proud of, but I don’t remember seeing his gold medal.”

Albert won the Olympic heavyweight title when boxing was first introduced in the 1908 Olympics when he was just 24.


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He qualified for the finals after knocking out his first rival within a minute.

He then came up against the reigning ABA champion, Sydney Evans, who he beat within two minutes.

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Bill, from Warwickshire said: “He didn’t really speak about it but everyone in the family knew.

“I don’t think the Olympics was such a big deal in those days and it wasn’t given as much hype as today.”

Albert’s boxing career started when he worked as an escort for King Edward V11 while in the Household Cavalry.

In 1903 he won their heavyweight championships, before going on to win the middleweight title of the Brigade of the Guards at Windsor.

After leaving the army, he joined the City of London Police and in 1909 he established himself as the King of the Heavies of the police force.

Albert then went on a world tour with other boxing greats including Gentleman Jim Corbett and Jack Jonhson.

In Australia, he teamed up with another boxer to set up a boxing school, before returning home after the outbreak of World War One.

Albert’s other claim to fame was that he helped American novelist Jack London to do his research for his book The People of the Abyss.

The pair slept on the Embankment and in the doss houses of East London and Albert was even mentioned in the novel.

Bill believes that after Albert’s death his medal was passed on to one of his nephews.

He is also trying to piece together the missing parts of his uncle’s life for a family tree.

Bill said: “I am not really a sports man but it’s a good feeling to know that my uncsle was the first Olympic gold medal winner.”

Residents can also find out about researching their own family tree at the next meeting of the Havering Branch of the East of London Family History Society at Trinity Church in Gaynes Road, Upminster on September 1 at 2pm.

Visitors will be given a talk by Mike Brown about the real Dad’s Army.

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