Heavy Boys?


Two weeks ago, HTBS received a question from ‘David’ who writes: ‘I’m doing a bit of research and wondered if you know or could take an educated guess at the heights (and if possible rowing weights) of the following rowers: Jack Wilson, Ran Laurie, Dickie Barney, Bert Bushnell, Hugh ‘Jumbo’ Edwards, Jack Beresford, and Dick Southwood ~ Many thanks, David’

I started to flip through pages in my rowing books, while Tim Koch began looking in The Times archive’s Henley Royal Regatta (HRR) reports. Weights are easy to find in the HRR programmes Tim writes, ‘but heights are more difficult. One way to find out these oarsmen’s heights is to try to find their military records which record such things’.

Here is what Tim found when it comes to the rowers’ weights (in stones and pounds / pounds / kilograms):

D.J. ‘Jack’ Wilson (Henley Royal Regatta 1934): 12.11 / 179 / 81.2

W.G.M. ‘Ran’ Laurie (HRR 1934): 13.4 / 186 / 84.4

B.H.T. ‘Bert’ Bushnell: 10.8 / 148 lbs / 67  Height: 5’10” / 178

 H.R.A. ‘Jumbo’ Edwards (HRR 1932): 13.7 / 189 / 85.7

 Jack Beresford Jnr (HRR 1939): 11.9 / 163 / 74

 L.F. ‘Dick’ Southwood (HRR 1934) 12.10 / 178 / 80.7

Tim and I have to confess we are not sure who ‘Dickie’ Barney was, so if David, or someone else could inform us, we would be grateful. Thank you!


  1. Re your note on “D.J.” Jack Wilson, his initials are J.H.T. Wilson, regarding his height, he never struck me as particularly tall, around 6 foot maximum, cetrainly not like the giant oarsmen of today..but I may be able to find out…

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