William Henry (swimmer)

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William Henry
Personal information
Full name William Henry
National team Great Britain
Born (1859-06-28)28 June 1859
St Pancras, London, England
Died 20 March 1928(1928-03-20) (aged 68)
St Pancras, London, England
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, water polo
Club London Leander SC

William Henry (28 June 1859 – 20 March 1928), born Joseph Nawrocki, was an English competitive swimmer and lifesaver who represented Great Britain in international competition.[1]

He was of Polish ancestry, and changed his original Polish surname Nawrocki to the English "Henry". He died in the Pancras district of London at aged 68.[2] He was a co-founder of the Royal Life Saving Society. As a swimmer he won a number of national and European championships. In 1906, at 46, he became the oldest ever Olympic medal winner in swimming as a member of the British men's 4×250-metre relay team which won the bronze medal. He won a gold medal in the 1900 Summer Olympics for Water Polo.[1]

Henry is an International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee. He was the swimming instructor for the British Royal Family, using the swimming pool at the Bath Club, Dover Street.[1] He helped to formalise the rules of water polo.[3] With Archibald Sinclair (1866–1922), he wrote a book on swimming for the Badminton Library.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Our founder, William Henry". Commonwealth Drowning Prevention. 
  2. ^ England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index: William Henry; Jan-Feb-Mar quarter 1928; Age: 67; District: Pancras; Volume: 1b; Page: 79.
  3. ^ Henry, William (2013). Water Polo: A Brief History, Rules of the Game and Instructions on How to Play. Read Books Ltd. 
  4. ^ Sinclair, Archibald; Henry, William (1916). Swimming. London: Longmans, Green & Co; 1st edition 1893; 4th edition 1903 

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