Harold Abrahams 1899-1978
Immortalised in the film "Chariots of Fire", Harold Abrahams was born at 30 Rutland Road in Bedford, the youngest of a family of two daughters and four sons and he became one of Britains most famous Olympians claiming gold in the blue ribbon event if the 100 metres in the Paris Olympic games of 1924, he was the first British runner to win this event.
Harold attended Bedford School, then Repton School, London and then to Cambridge University where his sporting talents developed strongly and in his three years there he won eight titles in the annual athletic competitions against Oxford in the events of the 100 yards, 440 yards and the long jump.
On Sunday 6th July Abrahams beat the might of American sprinters in the final of the 100 metres with a time of 10.52 seconds. He also win a silver medal for his part in the relay race. He retired from athletics in 1925 through injury. He became an Athletics Administrator and a journalist with the Sunday Times and BBC. Awarded the CBE in 1957, Abrahams died in January 1978 at Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield.
On Sunday 8th July 2012 after the Olympic torch passed through Bedford, a plaque was unveiled at 30, Rutland Road, on the wall of the house which stands on the site of the house where Harold was born.
The Newspaper Cuttings Collection, Local Studies Library, Bedford Central Library.
Sons of Bedfordshire: Harold Abraham in Library Link Magazine Summer 2006 pp.12-13
Harold Abraham by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2012
Page last updated: 22nd January 2014