Fred Kirkham

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Fred Kirkham
Frederick Angus Benfield

(1937-04-05)5 April 1937
Died25 October 2007(2007-10-25) (aged 70)
EducationNewington College
OccupationNSW Police Officer
NSW District Court Judge
TitleHis Honour Judge Fred Kirkham
Spouse(s)Janet Anne (Jan)
Children2 sons, 2 daughters
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing  Australia
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1956 Melbourne Eight

Fred Kirkham (born Frederick Angus Benfield, 5 April 1937 – 25 October 2007)[1] was an Australian Olympic-level rower, songwriter and judge.

Early life[edit]

Kirkham was born in Leichhardt, New South Wales and attended Newington College (1945–1953).[2] During his adolescence he was known as Fred Benfield but reverted to his mother's maiden name as an adult.

Olympic representation[edit]

At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Victoria, Kirkham rowed in the Bronze medal winning men's eight.[3]

Police and legal career[edit]

For twenty years Kirkham served as a member of the New South Wales Police Force. Kirkham served as a uniformed officer for several years before training to join the NSW Police Drug Squad.

After completing his HSC at the age of 30, Kirkham attended night school to complete his Law degree. He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1974 and practiced mainly in the area of personal injury. After 14 years at the Bar he was appointed a Judge of the District Court of New South Wales in 1988 where he served until his retirement.[4]

Music career[edit]

In 1963, Kirkham co-wrote The Delltones' hit song Hangin' Five with Ben Acton.[5]

Community activities[edit]

He served as President of the Old Newingtonians' Union at the time of its Centenary (1995–1996).[6]


  1. ^ SMH Death Notice
  2. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 13
  3. ^ ABC - Olympics
  4. ^ Bar News/The Journal of the NSW Bar Association (Syd, 2008) pp 78
  5. ^ Pop Archives
  6. ^ Newington Across the Years, A History of Newington College 1863 - 1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 347

External links[edit]

  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Fred Benfield (full name: Frederick Angus Benfield-Kirkham)". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22.