Gerard Rupert Laurie Anderson (15 March 1889 – November 1914), universally known as “Twiggy”, was a British hurdler who participated in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and held the world record for the 440-yards hurdles.
Life[edit | edit source]
Twiggy Anderson was born in Twickenham, then a village and parish in Brentford district, Middlesex county in Greater London, England. His parents were the Rev David Anderson, an Anglican prebendary, and Blanche Alice May Anderson (nee Laurie). He had two sisters, Gladys and Mona Constance Amabel , and a brother, Arthur Emilius David. He attended Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. On graduating he was elected to a Fellowship of All Souls College. He was the AAA champion at the 120-yards hurdles in 1909-1910 and 1912. On 16 July 1910 at the Crystal Palace, Anderson set the IAAF world record in the 440-yards hurdles with a time of 56.8 seconds. 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 was also a noted track star and competed in the 100 metres competition as well the 200 metres event. After graduating university, Anderson became a manager at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.
During the First World War, Anderson joined the British Army and gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant. On 16 October 1914, he joined the 3rd Battalion, attached to the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and he saw action with this unit in France and Belgium  On 7 November, Anderson was shot and mortally wounded in the heart, aged 25, 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. 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. A sports biography places his death on 9 November  and records from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission place his death on 11 November.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- ANDERSON, GERARD RUPERT LAURIE. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Laurie Anderson Archived 2 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine.. Sports-Reference.com
- G.E. Conway. "Officers of the 1st Battalion, Killed in Action, August - December 1914". Grandad's War. http://grandadswar.mrallsophistory.com/officer_died.html#anderson. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- ENGLAND LOSING ATHLETES; Many Prominent in Sporting Circles Die on Battle Fields. New York Times. 1 Dec 1914
- G.E. Conway. "1 st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment War Diaries (August to December 1914)". Grandad's War. http://grandadswar.mrallsophistory.com/files/War%20Diary.pdf. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
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