Your Circle: The Olympic Question

The debate still rages on regarding the photograph of the boys in tennis garb on the front steps of the Headmaster’s House.  The easiest question to answer was the location of the shot, it had been incorrectly labeled as the front portico of the Schoolhouse, but clearly it is the Headmaster’s House.  However that little nugget is the only piece of clarity that has emerged.

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Last month’s question, about this plaque in the Bingham Boathouse, resulted in a number of excellent replies and provided some additional information about the alumni and their connections to Groton and rowing.   The Groton crews were successful plying the waters of the Nashua, but the plaque also honors two of the individuals who went on to win Olympic gold medals at the 1956 games held in Melbourne, Australia, as part of the Team USA.  Charlie Grimes ’53 and Donald Beer ’53 rowed in the USA eight at the Ballarat venue. According to Arthur Armitage ’50 and Peter Berry ’72 the USA eight lost their first race, winning the repechage, which propelled them into the finals and on to the gold medal.

After serving as captain of the Groton crew team, John Higginson ’56 went on to Harvard College and served as captain for the 1962 Harvard crew as well, and he was briefly a part-owner of Kings Racing ShellsJim Sheffield ’55 noted that Nat Kingsbury ’58 was the  grandson of Howard “Ox” Kingsbury ’22, who rowed on the Yale 1924 Gold Medal Olympic Crew in France, rowing at the Bassin d’Argentuil venue with Jim’s father  Fredrick Sheffield ’20.

Congratulations to Henry Francis ’56.  He is this month’s winner!

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