New Book About GB’s 1936 Olympic Gold Medal Success – Pride & Glory

Advance orders are now being taken for the limited edition book Pride & Glory, of which only 1,000 copies will be printed. This 224 page book will be lavishly illustrated with photographs and memorabilia, much of which has never been published before.

The first 250 of these will be available individually numbered and allow subscriber’s to have their name printed in (price £19.99 + P&P). These will also come with a limited edition print of the victorious team. The other 750 copies (£14.99 + P&P) may also be purchased in advance. If any copies are not pre-ordered they will go on general sale in September 2011.

Rob Jovanovic has spent five years tracing the families of the GB team and constructing the players’ stories. His research has taken him from leafy southern England to 19th Century Glasgow, across the Atlantic to the great plains of Canada and back to the Nazi Germany of the 1930s before an unlikely ending in Nottingham.

The book rolls out the social and cultural background to the players’ route to the 1936 games. Stories of six-weeks working a cattle boat to gain passage across the Atlantic, stories of hardship on the prairies, stories of unlikely heroes. It details the sometimes complicated lead-up to the games and the political turmoil surrounding them. It takes the reader through the dizzying story of the games themselves before the book ends with the scattergun distribution of the players and their own personal endings. Just a few examples include Art Child who before the games had spent months ‘bumming’ around North America riding the rails for free and standing in line at the soup kitchen. After his hockey career was over he ended up as a member of the Canadian parliament. Gordon Dailley had an illustrious military career, being one of the first allies at Hitler’s bunker in 1945, he grabbed hold of the petrol cans that had been used to burn the Furher’s body, they are now in a Canadian museum. Later he opened the first safari park in Canada. Jimmy Chappell turned to cricket after hockey and once faced Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman. The list goes on.
Starting from the origins of hockey in the UK, including late 19th Century games on the frozen lake in the grounds of Buckingham Palace (the future Edward VII and George V among the competitors) the book gives social and sporting histories of the events that lead to the 1936 games: emigration to the new world and the subsequent return of the following generation due to the great depression. The Nazi involvement in the 1936 games and Hitler’s initial wish to play it down and appease the IOC and world at large. His allowing of Jewish players to skate for the German team, including the great pre-war star Rudi Ball who managed to survive World War II and was found wandering the streets of Berlin in 1945 by none other than British player Gordon Dailley while serving in the Canadian army. In the 1980s Archie Stinchcombe’s Hitler-signed passport was used to prove that the “Hitler diaries” were faked. Stories of news-writers being intimidated by the “brown coats”, of the British team being taken to the hearts of the German public and the tangential stories of the other members of the British team will be included.

The winning team members are now largely forgotten. But they shouldn’t be. In British terms they are the giants of Olympic History. Equals of Coe and Ovett, Abrahams and Liddle, Torvill and Dean. Actually, they aren’t equals in history, they should be placed at the head of the list. What they achieved and the opposition they had to overcome was far in excess of the aforementioned champions. This book is an immaculately researched volume. Alongside the author’s own extensive collection, the foremost British hockey historian Martin C. Harris has also provided a mass of information from his personal collection. Other sources include input from the families of numerous British players and management including those of Archie Stinchcombe, Alex Archer, Jimmy Foster, Carl Erhardt, Jimmy Chappell, Gordon Dailley, Jack Kilpatrick, Edgar Brenchley, Art Child and coach Percy Nicklin. These families have also expanded the author’s collection of artefacts by allowing use of private documents and photographs. The author has also visited Garmisch and unearthed rare film footage of the games which was thought to be long-lost.
Great Britain entered the 1936 tournament as massive underdogs, but after going unbeaten through seven games, surviving sometimes unsavoury off-ice disputes and playing the game of their lives against Canada they became Olympic, World and European Champions for the first and last time. This is the classic story of a group of men winning against all the odds. A group who didn’t want the glory or the riches that came with success, the winning was enough. This is the story of their Pride & Glory.

If you have any questions or for full details please visit or email Rob Jovanovic directly,

Rob Jovanovic is the author of over a dozen books on music and sport, he lives in Nottingham.


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