Jim and Jack Lovelock 
South Canterbury school boys - young and fit who "smiled at miles."

Timaru Boys High School - ?1924

Jack Lovelock was a boarder at Timaru B.H.S. from 1924 to 1928.
Image courtesy of June. Her father is R.T. Richards. Posted 14 Dec. 2004.

Jim Lovelock 1917-1943

Jack's brother

LOVELOCK, James Benjamin "Jim"
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Unit Text: 75 Sqdn was reformed with NZ aircrew and aircraft just before the outbreak of WW ll . Memorial  poem
Age: 26
Date of Death: 01/09/1943.  Killed in action in WW2 during air raid over Germany.
Service No: 416324
Additional information: Son of John Edward Jones Lovelock and Ivy Evelyn Lovelock.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Runnymede Memorial, UK, Panel 197 - poem

Jim attended Timaru Boys High School and his name appears on the World War II Honour Board in the Memorial Library.

Jim Lovelock - photo taken in 1943 taken in England.
"Lovelock family photos"

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Jim Lovelock died during a raid over Berlin with seventeen other New Zealanders.  31 August 1943, was when the planes left England - Stirling bombers suffered especially high casualties that night with 17 Stirlings failing to return, including four from 75 Squadron. Four NZ'ers from 75 Squadron died when the Stirling bomber they were in was in crashed at Potsdam in the early hours of the following morning: The Short "Stirling" had a crew of seven:
Pilot, Keith McGREGOR, 21 (Waikouaiti), Flight Sergeant
Navigator, James LOVELOCK, 26 (Christchurch)
Bomb aimer, Bill KILBY, (William Adam Kilby) 40 (Wellington), Flight Sergeant
Wireless operator, James G. BAKER, 27 (Pokaka, National Park),  Flight Sergeant
Two survivors, Englishmen, bailed out, but at least one of them was captured. "No search has been possible by the missing Research and Enquiry Service because the location of the crash is in the Russian Zone." Jim was a navigator with 269 hours as navigator, having trained in Winnipeg, Manitoba under the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). His next-of-kin was his mother, Mrs I E Lovelock of Riccarton, Christchurch. There's a moving comment in Maxwell's book about James BAKER who married while he was training in Canada. Bill KILBY was actually born in 1903 but Maxwell's book says he gave his year of birth as 1910 on enlistment so the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists his age as 33.

Research

Reading Material

              Official History of the RNZAF online Sqdn 75 register

"Night after Night: New Zealanders in Bomber Command", by Max Lambert, published 2005, 459 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., map. This book covers the raid on 31 August-1 Sept 1943 on pages 269-272 and various other NZ'ers are mentioned  including one plane - again the pilot was a NZ'er: Killed: pilot, Doug HENLEY, 23, Auckland (mentioned in dispatches "for gallant service" during this raid on Berlin). "He (Henley),  75 (R.A.F.) Sqdn, fought a long fight to keep his crippled bomber in the air after savage attacks by night fighters ....... coaxing it back west of the Rhine .... but it kept losing height and when he saw hills ahead that he knew he couldn't clear, he ordered his crew out. Four jumped, two of whom lived. The two who died were both NZ'ers (names not given). Henley had no show of escaping and went down with his bomber, the cockpit area taking the brunt of the impact. The two gunners, one of them NZ'er Jimmy GRANT (who died in 1993), were still in the plane when it hit the ground. Remarkably both survived. ......" lots more on this particular crew.  All were volunteers.

There is another book which gives some more detail regarding the casualties on this Bomber Command operation. "For Your Tomorrow" volume 2 of 3 , pages 136-7 by Errol W. Martyn. The two crew of Henley's plane who died when their chutes failed to open were Clifford Arnold ROSS & Flight Sergeant (Air Bomber) Ian Hector Ross SMITH, age 34. The bomber crews paid a heavy price - 55,000 dead. Among this total were 1,850 New Zealanders, one in every three who served in Bomber Command as pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, wireless operators and gunners. 
During the war the RAF used 333 flying training schools.  Between 1940 and 1945 the scheme trained out aircrew from Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia and 5,609 from New Zealand.  Cobber  "Al" Deere service record  NZ Airmen Sqds. 464 and 487 Cambridge, NZ men and Airmen Brian McNamara  NZ Fighter Pilots Honour Roll

By Such Deeds Honours and awards in the RNAZF 1925 - 1999 by Group Captain C.M. Hanson, OBE, RNZAF (Rtd). 608 Pages

Group Captain S. C. Elworthy became Station Commander at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, in 1943, from which three squadrons of Lancasters operated. New Zealanders were scattered throughout the RAF units, joined the RNZAF. Many trained under the Empire Air Training Scheme in Canada.  I know my neighbour Jack (JKM) from South Canterbury was first stationed at Edmonton in Canada and then McLeod in Alberta, to do pilot training. Gaining his wings he sailed for England on the “Louis Pasteur” in Jan. 1943 going on to Desford for familiarization on the Operations Training Unit at Canfield.  His wife Peggy was Irish. They met in Brighton, East Sussex, where she was nursing. He first flew Beaufighters and radar-equipped Blenheims. In early 1944 he joined the 488 Squadron at Bradwell Bay, Essex,  flying Mosquitoes and Typhoons in active service. His squadron of night fighters gave cover to their Bombers on operations over Europe. The Squadron was then transferred to France, Belgium and Holland and continued to provide cover.  He loved to fly, even owned his plane after the war, a Tiger  Moth.  Buried in Burkes Pass.  Desford is a village in Leicestershire, UK. has a large manufacturing plant outside the village, Caterpillar Inc. The location of this was previously a grass airfield developed in 1939 as a first stage flying school for the RAF. The majority of planes used were De Havilland Tiger Moths which were single engined bi-planes. An early form of flight simulator was also used at Desford.


Jack Lovelock 1910-1949

It has been said that he was the first major athlete to run with his head as well as his legs.
A notably relaxed runner, he owed much of his success to his mastery of tactics.

Jack Lovelock won the 1500 metres at the1936 Berlin Olympic Games setting a world record 3 minutes 47.8 seconds and was the winner of New Zealand’s first Olympic gold medal in athletics. "An astonishing race in which the first five all broke the Olympic record."  The commentator, and a friend, Harold Abrahams, famously lost his BBC poise and broke every broadcasting rule: "Lovelock leads! Lovelock! Lovelock! Cunningham second, Beccali third. Come on, Jack! A hundred yards to go! Come on, Jack!! My God, he's done it. Jack, come on! … Lovelock wins. Five yards, six yards, he wins. He's won. Hooray!!" The Video, Arthur Porritt is seen there as Jack receives his potted oak. Arthur Porritt, won Olympic Bronze medal for New Zealand in the 100m at Paris 1924, was the manager of the New Zealand team at the 1936 Olympics and a later Governor General to New Zealand. Porritt also was a friend and surgeon. The film Chariots of Fire based on the true story of two British athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Englishman Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson). In the film, the 100m bronze medallist is a fictional character called 'Tom Watson'. The real medallist was Arthur Porritt, who represented New Zealand. Porritt, b.1900, refused permission for his name to be used in the film, allegedly out of modesty. Porritt was a house surgeon at St Mary's Hospital, London where Jack also did his medical training. Diary entry The race. Cartoon Lovelock, ruled the waves, he shook some "lovely locks" to win the three miles. Video.


His stride, 1936. Singlet no. 467 Berlin Olympics.

"Increase your stride" Jack would say, giving encouragement to fellow runners.

Jack attended Temuka Primary, Fairlie from 1919 to 1923, Timaru B.H.S. and University of Otago, and went to Oxford, England in 1931 on a Rhodes scholarship. He participated in the 1932 Olympics in L.A.. There, he placed 7th in the mile final. He won the gold in the one mile at the 1934 Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) in London.  In 1934 he set a world record for the mile of 4 min 7.6 sec. A gold medalists in the 1936 Olympics in the 1,500-metrer. He retired from running in 1936 to pursue his medical career but remained active as a sports writer for various magazines and newspapers. Dr. Lovelock died when he had a dizzy spell and fell beneath the subway train in Brooklyn, NY at age 39. He was a Manhattan doctor at the time of his death on December 28, 1949. Lovelock's mementos are on display in the Memorial Library at Lovelock's former high school. Other gold medallist from Timaru B.H.S. include Patrick Vernon Boot and Dick Tayler.

"That is the sort of race which one really enjoys to feel at one's peak on the day when it is necessary, and to be able to produce the pace at the very finish. It gives a thrill which compensates for months of training and toiling. But it is the sort of race that one wants only about once a season." 1933 Jack Lovelock, diary entry in a world record time of 4:07.6  at Princeton.  Bill Bonthron, USA came in second, ran a 4:08.7 for the mile, also under the world record of 4:09.2.

Jack was born 5 January, 1910 in Lankeys Creek, Crushington, a mining village, three miles from Reefton. His father, John Edward Jones Lovelock, was a sharebroker who had gone to Crushington as a mining battery superintendent. When Jack was very young his family moved to Temuka, where he attended primary school and then to Fairlie. Jack's father, John E.J. Lovelock, born about 1864 in Gloucester, England, managed the branch office of the Mount Cook Motor Company, but he died in 1923 at the age of 55 in Fairlie and was buried at the Fairlie Cemetery, when Jack was only 13 years old. In 1924 he went as a boarder to Timaru Boys' High School, where he was to remain until the end of 1928. He ended up as a head perfect and dux of the school. It was here that he really emerged as an athlete. In 1929 he went to Dunedin to study medicine at the University of Otago and continue to participate in middle distance running. His mother, Ivy Harper Lovelock, had bought a house at 38 Warden Street in the Dunedin suburb of Opoho, and the family resided there for several years.  E. J. LOVELOCK, Jno. age 27. male, travelled to New Zealand on the ocean steamer Kaikoura from London to Wellington, New Zealand in 1895, this is probably Jack and Jim's father.  


A newspaper cutting from Jack Lovelock's albums, showing him at a farewell function at his old school, Timaru Boys' High School, before he departed for England to take up a Rhodes Scholarship in 1931.Caption for cutting reads `His old school cheers the latest Rhodes Scholar. J.E. Lovelock, this year's Rhodes Scholar, carried shoulder high by the present-day pupils of his old school - Timaru Boys' High - on the occasion of his "send-off"'.
 Photographer is Havelock Williams. ATL

Descendants of John Edward Jones Lovelock
Family History  notes

John Edward Jones Lovelock married (1) Olive Ellen Emma Griffiths 12 Sep. 1904 in Nelson, NZ, daughter of Henry Griffiths and Eliza. She was born about. 1885 in Kumara, and died 04 June 1906 in Belgrove, Nelson Province. He married (2) Ivy Evelyn HARPER 21 Dec. 1907 in Greymouth. She was born about 1881 in Christchurch, New Zealand, and died 02 Oct. 1963 in Hastings. Nickname: Janet or Jane.
Children of John Lovelock and Ivy Harper are:
2. i. Olive Harper Lovelock, b. 30 Sep 1908, Crushington, NZ; d. 18 Sep 1996, Rotorua, New Zealand.
3. ii. John Edward Lovelock, b. 05 Jan 1910, Crushington, Reefton; d. 28 Dec 1949, New York, New York.
iii. James Benjamin Lovelock, b. 01 May 1917, Temuka; d. 01 Sep 1943, Germany.


John E.J. Lovelock headstone, Fairlie Cemetery. 
"Lovelock family photos."

At Fairlie, the pupils have always participated in athletics and cross country events with the country pupils usually coming in first over the townies. On the wall in the high school corridor there was a framed black and white photograph of Jack Lovelock sprinting down the Olympic track at Berlin. It was an incentive for me, my father, and many of the pupils past and present to run. The late Bill Perry, a classmate of Jack Lovelock, wrote a poem in November 1990 for the opening of the Jack Lovelock Gymnasium at the Mackenzie College formerly called the Fairlie District High School.

Jack Lovelock
The Lovelocks came to Fairlie
With Olive, Jack and Jim
Olive, she was beautiful, but Jack!
Was a thoroughbred and kept in running trim.

He must have known, while still a boy
That someday he'd be great
For running seemed his greatest joy
And the records he'd create

At Timaru and Oxford
Rhodes Scholar and a sport
Respected too at boxing
In many rounds he fought.

At the Olympic Stadium
Beside the river Havel
Lovelock wins the gold
New Zealand's running marvel

Hitler in his royal box
One hundred thousand t cheer
The most perfect race
Of Jack Lovelock's career

At Fairlie we are proud of jack,
ANd of his records at the track
Could he but see our College gym?
That we have built to honour him

In conclusion let me quote
What A.E. Housman wrote
"To an athlete dying young"
"Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honour our
Runners whom renown outrun
And the name dies before the man."

Photo taken by Margaret Todd, May 2007.
The beautiful crystal Lovelock Chalice is on display behind extra thick glass in the Memorial Library, T.B.H.S.

 

He ran with a stopwatch in his hand.

1936 trophy makes way to New Zealand

July 8, 2005 Union-Tribune News Service
A crystal trophy presented by Adolf Hitler to 1,500-metre gold medalist Jack Lovelock at the 1936 Berlin Olympics reached New Zealand on Wednesday after a 69-year delay. Lovelock, a New Zealander, decided after his run to leave the trophy in the care of a 14-year-old boy working at the Olympic village. He said it was too cumbersome to carry on the long sea voyage to New Zealand. The boy kept the trophy, engraved with a Nazi swastika, throughout World War II. But after Lovelock died in 1949, it passed in auction to a private collector. The crystal vase came up for auction again this year and was bought on New Zealand's behalf by a soft drink company. The company refused to divulge the purchase price but said it ran to tens of thousands of dollars. The trophy will be displayed at Lovelock's old school, Timaru Boys' High School, which already houses his gold medal and an oak tree grown from a sapling also presented to Lovelock.

Sporting History 27 October 2005,
Lovelock Cup heads south.
The Jack Lovelock Cup, successfully brought home by Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand Ltd, is heading to Timaru. The Cup, presented to Jack Lovelock as a prize of honour for his momentous win in the 1500m men's final at the 1936 Olympic Games, is an important piece of New Zealand sporting memorabilia. It had been lost for more than 60 years when it came up in a German auction early 2005. Coca-Cola with the support of Jack's College, Timaru Boys High, and the New Zealand athletics community went to auction and successfully won it back for all New Zealanders. "We are aware of the enormous privilege and indeed the responsibility that the custody of this significant part of New Zealand sporting heritage brings," says Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd Managing Director, George Adams. "It is not an obligation that we take lightly. Therefore, we undertake to care for the Cup in perpetuity and to ensure that the Cup is available for all fellow New Zealanders to visit." The Cup will be on display at Timaru Boys High School from Thursday, 27 October 2005 as part of their collection of Lovelock memorabilia. Timaru Boys High Rector, Kevin O'Sullivan, who was at the formal welcome of the cup's return to New Zealand in July, said the cup will be on show with the gold medal and now mature Oak tree also presented to Jack for his win at the Berlin Olympics. We, like Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand, don't take this task lightly and will ensure the Cup is kept safe at Timaru Boys High but will work with Coke to display it at various appropriate sporting events throughout the country. "We assure you that the Lovelock Cup has come home for good," said Mr Adams.


Fairlie country side. "Lovelock family photos."

Streets, playing fields, gyms, tracks and sports bars have been named after Jack and inspire. 

The Jack Lovelock Track, a 8kms shingled road, 1½ hour walk, runs between the top of School Road and Nixons Road, on the outskirts of Fairlie. Jack was dux of the Fairlie Primary School and attended Fairlie District High School before becoming a boarder at TBHS. There is also a Jack Lovelock athletic track in Mt Albert, Auckland where Arthur Lydiard motivated boys.  "To win you have to put in the miles," said Lydiard.

Many have put pen to paper to write about Jack.

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

Lovelock, John Edward (Jack), 1910-1949
Papers - 1924-1948, 31 volume(s)
Reference Number : MS-Group-0012
Diaries and scrapbooks of New Zealand middle distance runner and Olympic Gold Medalist at the Berlin Games in 1936. Small yearly diaries, giving brief details of daily training and activities, cover period 1933-1935. Twenty-five larger volumes contain photos, newspaper clippings, newspaper and periodical articles written by Lovelock for 1924-1948. For the years from late 1931 to the end of 1935 these volumes also include journal accounts of his races, written up and expanded from his briefer diary entries. Includes volume of clippings concerning Lovelock's visit to New Zealand in Oct-Dec 1936; pamphlet titled `Athletics for Health' by J E Lovelock (1937) and the Official Report of the XIth Olympiad 1936, presented to Lovelock by the British Olympic Association.
Collection Series : 1 Diaries, 2 Journals and scrapbooks, 3 Published material
Donor/vendor - Donated by Timaru High School Board, 1986 (86-130)

Tobin, Christopher Lovelock, New Zealand's Olympic Gold Miler / 1984. Dunedin: McIndoe, 1984. : 72 p. : ill., Bibliography.  This book focuses on Lovelock's training diaries and his running career.

Athletics for Health : running theory & practice written and published by himself., Jack Lovelock.  Runner 

The Oxford Book of Athletic Training, Track and Field by Duncan, Sandy, and Bone, Kenneth Forewords By Jack Lovelock and Roger Bannister. Publisher: London: Oxford University Press, 1958, London, 1958. 93pp

Timaru Herald  12/01/2010  "Greatest miler in the world" by Claire Allison

Come on, Jack!
by David Colquhoun, the Turnbull Library's curator of manuscripts.  Listener story

As If Running on Air: The Journals of Jack Lovelock, edited by David Colquhoun (Craig Potton Publishing, 2008).  Throughout his running career Lovelock kept a remarkable series of journals and diaries, until now unpublished. As If Running on Air reproduces his journals from late 1931 to the end of 1935 and extracts from his 1936 training diary. There is an entry for every race: some are brief, little more than notes; others are eloquent and reflective. Collectively they constitute a unique record of a sporting life in the 1930s and offer insights into what it took to make a world champion.

Jack Lovelock : athlete and doctor / Graeme Woodfield. 1935- 
Fellow Timaru Boys' High School old boy Dr Graeme Woodfield embarked on a comprehensive study of Lovelock. Woodfield has examined the many facets of Lovelock- athlete, doctor, journalist, soldier, family man and, drawing on the contributions of several specialists, completed what is virtually a forensic investigation of this famous New Zealander. Besides dealing with Lovelock's brilliant running and under-rated medical, military and journalistic contributions. Woodfield has written of the accidents that affected his life after 1940 and has dealt thoroughly with the theory that he committed suicide. He now offers the most comprehensive and readable account of this New Zealander's life.

The legend of Lovelock. Author: Harris, Norman, 1940- Publisher: Wellington : Reed, [1964].

The man from nowhere & other prose / James McNeish ; photographs by Helen & James McNeish & Marti Friedlander. Author: McNeish, James, 1931- Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Godwit Press, 1991. Covers the author's life in Berlin, Sicily and New Zealand, with sections on Jack Lovelock and Jean-Marie Tjibaou.

Timaru Herald 16 July 2013

The Lovelock Oak

Each of the 129 gold medalists at the 1936 Olympics were presented with an oak as a gift from the German people. Lovelock's oak was planted in home soil on his return, in the grounds of the Timaru Boys' High School and continues to flourish. Seedlings have been propagated each year and planted around the province in honour of South Cantabrians who have gone the extra mile for the community. The English oak, Quercus robur, was planted in October 1941. In 1979 it was 13m in height with a girth of 170cm. This tree is poorly sited and it's growth rate is below average but it is a historic tree a tree of national interest.


A photograph from Jack Lovelock's albums, showing the medal ceremony for the 1500 metres at the 1936 Berlin Olympics with Lovelock on the dais are his long-time rivals: Luigi Beccali of Italy, who came third, in the front, and Glenn Cunningham, USA at the back. Second from left is Arthur Porritt, the New Zealand team manager. Lovelock is holding the oak seedling given to all winners. It is now a very big tree at his old school, Timaru Boys' High School. ATL

Photo taken by Margaret Todd, May 2007.


Lovelock's Statue

Jack Lovelock Statue to be unveiled
Wednesday, 13 November 2002

A life-size bronze statue of one of the New Zealand’s greatest ever sportsmen Jack Lovelock will be unveiled at his old school Timaru Boys’ High School tomorrow night. Lovelock was dux, head prefect and athletic champion of the school at the school the late 1920s before going on to win a 1500m gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He is the only New Zealander to have held both the mile and 1500m track world records, a feat that eluded Peter Snell and John Walker. His 1936 gold medal 1500m run was one of the highlights of the Berlin Olympics. The bronze statue in the grounds of Timaru Boys’ High is a match for the Bob Fitzsimmons statue that graces central Timaru. Fitzsimmons was a world heavyweight boxing champion. Artist Margauritte Windhausen was commissioned to create both statues. The funding for the Lovelock statue came from the late Joe Wilson, a Timaru old boy who died earlier this year. "In his final months, Wilson ensured all was in place for his dream to be fulfilled. Lovelock visited his old school after the 1936 Games. His array of medals and the oak tree presented to him on the victory dais still grace his old school," Mr O' Brien said. His family have gifted to deposited at the school a special collection of items relating to his career. They include his valuable diaries and sporting trophies. Among the items in the school’s priceless collection are the trophy posthumously awarded to him recently as New Zealand’s sports champion of the 1930s and the 1500 metre Olympic gold medal he won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. A stopwatch presented to Lovelock by commentator and Olympic gold medallist Harold Abrahams is also among the collection.

Photo taken by Margaret Todd, May 2007. Photo taken by Margaret Todd, May 2007.
The statue is situated outside the TBHS Memorial Library, North Street, Timaru. Note the oak leaves around the base from the large Lovelock Oak tree.

 

NZ Sportsperson of decade
1900s: 1905 All Blacks
1910s: Anthony Wilding
1920s: George Nepia
1930s: Jack Lovelock
1940s: Bert Sutcliffe
1950s: Yvette Williams
1960s: Peter Snell
1970s: John Walker
1980s: Sir Richard Hadlee
1990s: Danyon Loader

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project