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Hugh Boustead

Full name: John Edmond Hugh Boustead
Gender: Male
Born: April 14, 1895 in Nuwara Eliya, Madhyama, Sri Lanka
Died: April 3, 1980 in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Affiliations: South African Scots Regiment
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Modern Pentathlon


Born in Ceylon, the son of a tea plantation owner, he left at the age of nine for schooling in England.

Educated at a naval college, he was a midshipman in the navy but deserted to fight in the trenches of World War One with the South African Scots Regiment.

He was pardoned after winning the Military Cross at the Battle of Arles and later fought with the Cossacks against the Red Army on the Russian Steppes.

Recruited for the British modern pentathlon team for the Antwerp Games he finished in the middle ranks in all five disciplines and completed the event in fourteenth position. He was also boxing champion of the British Army.

His career as a diplomat, soldier and colonial officer saw him posted around East Africa and the Arabian peninsular and he fought in campaigns in both Sudan and Ethiopia.

Commander of the Sudan Camel Corps in the thirties, Boustead then led some of the forces that helped restore the Emperor Haile Selassie to the throne of Ethiopia. After World War Two he served for many years as a diplomat in Yemen.

One of his school teachers was the legendary mountaineer George Mallory and Boustead himself was an explorer and climber. He took part in an expedition to Kangchenjunga, the world’s third largest mountain, in 1926 and for the mapping ability shown during this trip, he was invited to take part in the unsuccessful 1933 British expedition to climb Mount Everest. He also took part in expeditions to map the Libyan Desert and the icy wastes of Greenland. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1965 and published his autobiography “The Wind of Morning” in 1971.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Men's Individual Great Britain GBR 14T

Men's Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank O PTS T
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Great Britain Final Standings 14T 66
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Great Britain Shooting 15 126
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Great Britain Swimming 11 6:18.2
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Great Britain Riding 16
1920 Summer 25 Antwerpen Modern Pentathlon Great Britain Running 7 15:05.0
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