George Eric Fairbairn

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Olympic medal record
Men's rowing
Silver medal – second place 1908 London Coxless pair

George Eric Fairbairn (18 August 1888 – 20 June 1915) was a British rower who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics. He was killed in action in the First World War.

Fairbairn was born at Melbourne Australia, the son of Thomas Fairbairn, a pastoralist and his wife Lena Carmyle. He was also the nephew of rower Steve Fairbairn.[1] He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge[2] and rowed for Cambridge in the Boat Race in 1908. At the 1908 Summer Olympics, most of the Cambridge crew competed in the eight which won bronze medal, but Fairbairn went into the coxless pairs with Philip Verdon and won the silver medal.[3] In 1909 he missed the Boat Race because of illness.[4] Fairbairn also played rugby for Rosslyn Park F.C.[5]

During the First World War, Fairbairn served as a second lieutenant with the Durham Light Infantry and was killed in action, aged 26, at Bailleul. He was buried at the Bailleul Communal Cemetery nearby.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ the
  2. ^ Jesus College in the First World War Archived 6 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Sports Reference Olympic Sports – George Fairbairn Archived 2 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The Boat Race – 1909 Race Report
  5. ^ Richard Cable Case Study: Rosslyn Park's Unknown Soldiers BBC
  6. ^ Fairbairn, George Eric, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Retrieved 17 November 2017
  7. ^ "Olympians Who Were Killed or Missing in Action or Died as a Result of War". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2015.