Sydney Battersby

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Sydney Battersby
1908 Thomas Battersby.JPG
Battersby in 1908
Personal information
Full name Thomas Sydney Battersby
Nickname(s) "Syd"
National team  Great Britain
Born (1887-11-18)18 November 1887
Platt Bridge, Wigan, United Kingdom
Died 3 September 1974(1974-09-03) (aged 86)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Wigan Swim Club

Thomas Sydney Battersby (18 November 1887 – 3 September 1974) was an English competition swimmer who represented Great Britain in freestyle events at two consecutive Olympic Games in the early 20th Century.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics hosted by London, he won a silver medal in the men's 1500-metre freestyle, finishing second with a time of 22:51.2, behind fellow Briton Henry Taylor (22:48.4), and ahead of Australian Frank Beaurepaire (22:56.2).[1] He also advanced to the semifinals in the 400-metre freestyle.[2]

Four years later at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, Battersby won a bronze medal as a member of the third-place British men's team in the 4×200-metre relay. He also reached the semifinals of the 400-metre freestyle and 1500-metre freestyle.[2]

During the course of his competitive swimming career, Battersby set four world records in freestyle events, including the 400-metre, 330-yard, 440-yard and one-mile distances.[3] Battersby had a reputation for physical toughness; at the 1908 Olympics, he continued to swim at the end of the 1500-metre event – a shorter distance than the imperial mile – in an attempt to break the world record for the mile freestyle. He fell short of breaking the world record, but did set a new British national mark.[4]

He was born in Platt Bridge, near Wigan, Lancashire, England, and died in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.[2] He was posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 2007.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1908 London Summer Games, Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Sydney Battersby. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honourees, Sydney Battersby (GBR). Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  4. ^ David Prentice, "Merseyside's 100 Olympians: No. 43 Thomas Sydney Battersby", The Liverpool Echo (14 June 2012). Retrieved 19 May 2015.

External links[edit]