Facts About Wally…

Two great scullers, Ernest Barry and Wally Kinnear

The other day, someone left a comment on an old entry about William ‘Wally’ Kinnear of Kensington Rowing Club, who hundred years ago became Olympic champion in the single sculls at the Stockholm Games. The question is short: ‘Does anyone know how tall Wally was and what he weighed at his peak?’

The question goes to HTBS’s Tim Koch, rowing historian and member of Auriol Kensington RC in London. Tim, who right now is doing research and will produce a 5,000 word piece about Wally in time for the centenary of his Olympic win, writes,

Wally’s weights given in the Henley programmes were 12 stone 10 pounds for 1910 and 12 6 for 1911 and 12 5 for 1912. I do not think he was much over 6 foot (his oldest son was 6’4”). I have downloaded WDK’s Service Record from the First World War. As he was 36 when he enlisted in 1916, he served in England as a lorry driver for the Royal Naval Air Service. In 1918 the RNAS was amalgamated with the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force. Thus he served with the Royal Navy and the RAF. The record says height – 6 foot and 1/2 inch, chest – 40 inches (not big!), hair – brown, eyes – blue, complexion – fresh. The attached picture above shows that he did not possess the biggest legs that sculling has ever seen.

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