Sunday, 6 October 2019

Godfrey Brown - PGS Gold Medal Olympian runner

  John Hanson ( 1942-1949 Student ) writes -

"After returning from my National Service we made our first encounter with the headmaster of Worcester RGS - a former Purley boy by name of Godfrey Brown.   
I believe you would be aware that he won a Silver and a Gold at the Berlin 1936 Olympics!  Taffy Williams knew a lot about him saying that he was the best sprinter in the UK at that time!   He (Brown) told us that he should have won the 400m and was leading round the last bend by several metres when he glanced round so he eased off a little.  That was his downfall, he was nearly at the tape when he heard the noise of fast feet and an American (named Williams I think) overtook him! 
  At school and elsewhere he was known as Mr Brown or Godfrey.  Secretly the boys called him "God"
  In the quartet that won the 4x400m gold there was another Godfrey - namely Godfrey Rampling (Yes the father of film Star Charlotte Rampling!)  He had competed in the same event in the 1932 LA Olympics....and also won a Silver!

  Rampling was born in 1909 and died in 2009 he did achieve 100 years in the latter year."
GB 4 x 400-meter relay 1936 Olympic gold medalists Godfrey Brown, Frederick “Freddie” Wolff, Godfrey Rampling and William Roberts. 

Godfrey Rampling 1909-2009

1 comment:

Martin Jones said...

An interesting piece, thanks John. I must admit I had never heard of Godfrey before and his name has not appeared in any of the info on the school produced by George Winter and others. Also Wiki shows Godfrey as being educated at Warwick school and being head boy there in 1933/4. A move perhaps? However I recall the name Mr Brown as Headmaster of Worcester RGS, and since this was where the Old Boys cricketers stayed when they were on their annual Worcester tour, there has to be a connection. I will add Godfrey to my forthcoming blockbuster book on my Purley days, watch this space!

Fas et Patria

Please explore the world of Purley Boys School 1914-1988. Feel free to leave your memories and comments on the photos.

There is a search function too - see the box top left ? Just enter a keyword and all the articles or photos that match will appear from the archives.

Many thanks - Nick Peaty - mail me at

If any of you are tempted to make a donation to help with the long term upkeep of this site then please click the Paypal Donate Button below.

 Grateful thanks to those of you who have sent funds in the past