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Montevideo, May 22nd 2024 - 14:38 UTC

 

 

Louis Charles Baillon, the first Olympic gold medal for the Falklands, London 1908

Wednesday, April 17th 2024 - 10:05 UTC
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Louis with the English field hockey team, gold medals in 1908 Summer Olympics Louis with the English field hockey team, gold medals in 1908 Summer Olympics
Louis Charles Baillon joined the Army Service Corps, as a lieutenant, in 1914 and saw service in France before he left the army in 1920 Louis Charles Baillon joined the Army Service Corps, as a lieutenant, in 1914 and saw service in France before he left the army in 1920

Argentina is usurping the name of Falkland Islands born Louis Charles Baillon, as the first “Argentine Malvinas” Islander to win a gold medal in the London 1908 Summer Olympics, 'mistakenly' playing for the wrong side, the English field hockey national team. Such are the reports in some Buenos Aires media who insist in considering Louis Baillon an Argentine, born in the Falklands, (Fox Bay 1881) and who left the Islands forever in 1888 when he was seven years old.

His father had migrated to the Falklands where he was involved in sheep farming, but in 1888, after marrying a local lady, and with several children decided to return to his family's home in Northamptonshire.

Louis, second son of the Baillon family, soon established himself as a good all-round sportsman, excelling not only at hockey but also at football and he played county tennis. At the 1908 Olympic hockey tournament at the White City, Baillon played as a full-back for the England team, which was one of the four home countries representing Great Britain at the Games. He played in all three of England's games, against France, (10/1); Scotland (6/1) and Ireland and he won his Gold medal when the English hockey team beat Ireland in the final by eight goals to one.

Baillon married Mildred Isobel Green (1881-1949) in 1910, in the Roman Catholic church in Bedford. Mildred was, like her husband, an England hockey international. A local newspaper commented that bride and bridegroom were 'well known in the vicinity, and particularly in sporting circles. Mr. Baillon excels in every branch of sport, and as a hockey player he has earned special distinction'

Louis Charles Baillon joined the Army Service Corps, as a lieutenant, in 1914 and saw service in France before he left the army in 1920. He continued playing hockey during his time in the army and was still playing well into his thirties.

After World War I he got a job as a manager with the Phipps Northampton Brewery Company (the oldest brewery in the UK). He later became a director and then Chairman of the company.

Mildred and Louis Baillon had four sons and a daughter. Two of their sons, Paul Abbott (1914-1940) and Mark Rodney (1916-1940), were both killed in action in World War II. Louis passed away on September 1965 in Northampton.

Finally the Buenos Aires media points out that Louis Baillon was the only Malvinas born to win an Olympic gold medal, the first Argentine to become an Olympic champion and exclusively so far for another country, England.

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  • FitzRoy

    So, not Argentine at all then? Typical of Argentina, childish idiocy at play, as usual!

    Apr 20th, 2024 - 08:56 am 0
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