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Olympic Silver for Fencer Bill Hoskyns

Bill Hoskyns stays en garde for the local press

News 1964 1 mins Silent

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Olympian and British fencing champion Bill Hoskyns has returned from the Olympic Games in Tokyo with an individual silver medal in the épée event. Hoskyns missed the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 but helped Britain to a team bronze at the 1955 World Championships. Overall he competed in six Olympic Games from Melbourne in 1956 to Montreal in 1976 and won épée team silver at the Rome Olympics in 1960. No other British fencer has medalled at the Olympics since.

Hoskyns was épée gold world champion in 1958 and at the Commonwealth Games won a total of nine gold medals in épée and sabre with a silver medal in foil. He won four épée titles, three foil titles and one sabre title at the British Championships taking a total of 21 medals and only the second man to take all three titles at once. Hoskyns’ fencing career began up at Oxford University where he showed little interest in his agricultural studies and so graduated with a Fourth Class degree. He joked that his children would never be able to better this because Oxford University had adopted the national numbering system for degrees and a Fourth was no longer possible.