Gerard Anderson

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Gerard Rupert Lawrence "Laurie" Anderson (15 March 1889 – November 1914) was a British hurdler who participated in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and held the world record for the 440-yards hurdles.


Gerard Anderson was born in Twickenham, a village and a parish in Brentford district, Middlesex county in Greater London, England.[1] His parents were David Anderson (b. 1844), an Anglican prebendary, and Blanch Alice May Anderson (b. 1857). He also had a sister, Mona Constance Anabel (b. 1884), and a brother, Arthur Emilius David (b. 1887).[1] He attended Eton and Oxford University. He was the AAA champion at the 120-yards hurdles in 1909-1910 and 1912.[2] On 16 July 1910 at the Crystal Palace, Anderson set the first IAAF world record in the 440-yards hurdles with a time of 56.8 seconds.[2][3] Anderson took part in the Stockholm Olympics in 1912 and was favored to win a medal, but had an accident during the Men's 110 metres and was disqualified. Anderson's brother Arthur Anderson was also a noted track star and competed in the 100 metres competition as well as of the 200 metres event. After graduating university, Anderson became a manager at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.[2]

During the First World War, Anderson joined the British Army and gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant.[2] On 16 October 1914, he joined 3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn. Cheshire Regiment and he saw action with this unit in France and Belgium [1][2][4][5] On 7 November, Anderson was mortally wounded at Hooge, near Ypres. Also killed were Captain George Bertram Pollock-Hodsoll, a footballer who had played for Casuals and Corinthians (who had, on occasion, captained the Army team), and four enlisted men. Anderson's unit successfully repelled a German attack and captured twenty-five enemy troops.[5] There are differing accounts of Anderson's death from his wounds. Battalion records state he was killed on 7 November, the day he was wounded.[5] A sports biography places his death on 9 November [2] and records from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission place his death on 11 November.[1]

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