Shrewsbury School

JGH Lander (OS) Olympic and WW2 medals presented to Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club

Monday 7 October 2019

The Boat Club is greatly honoured to be presented with medals belonging to former Captain of Boats and Olympian John Lander, who joined the School in 1926. He is the only Olympic gold medallist to have been killed in action in World War 2.

The medals were presented at the Boat Club Dinner on 26th September by John Lander’s son, Gerry. He spoke movingly about his father’s achievements and about his own experience growing up after his father was killed on Christmas Day 1941 fighting in the Hong Kong Defence Force Artillery prior to their surrender to the Japanese.

As a pupil at Shrewsbury School, John Lander was part of the RSSBC crew that won the Ladies Challenge Plate at the 1924 Henley Royal Regatta. As a student at Cambridge University, he went on to claim a further four Henley wins, before winning gold with the GB Coxless Four at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.




Following Gerry Lander’s speech and presentation, last year’s Captain of Boats, Ben Holehouse, spoke passionately about the impact the Boat Club had on his time at the School. He urged all those present to make the most of the opportunities afforded to them.

The final speaker of the evening was Olympic Gold Medallist and Double World Champion Rebecca Romero, who has joined the School this term as a rowing coach. Her achievement in winning Olympic medals in two different endurance sports – silver in the Women’s Quad in Athens in 2004 and gold in the Individual Pursuit in track cycling in Beijing in 2008 – is quite simply mind-blowing. Her drive and determination were clearly evident as she spoke about the challenges she faced and shared some of the key traits she utilised in high-pressure situations. Her example will hopefully inspire some of those present to excel in whatever challenges they take on.

Mr Hundermark, Director of Rowing

To read more about Rebecca Romero and fellow RSSBC coach, Olympian and World Medallist Rebecca Chin and to see a short film where they talk about their first impressions of the Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club, please see the news article published on our website: Two former GB athletes and World Championship medallists join RSSBC coaching team


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