ERIC LIDDELL (1902-1945)
Eric Henry Liddell was born on 16th January 1902 in Tientsin (Tianjin) I North China, second son of the Rev. & Mrs. James Dunlop Liddell who were missionaries with the London Mission Society.
He was educated from 1908 to 1920 at Eltham College, Blackheath, a school for the sons of missionaries. Eric, with his older brother Rob, were left at their boarding school while their parents and sister, Jenny, returned to China.
During the boys’ time at Eltham College, their parents, sister and new brother Ernest came home on furlough two or three times and were able to be together as a family – mainly living in Edinburgh.
In 1920, Eric joined his brother Rob at Edinburgh University to read for a BSc in Pure Science. He graduated after the Paris Olympiad in 1924. To find out more about his life in Edinburgh click here.
Athletics and rugby played a large part in Eric’s University life. He ran in the 100 yards and the 220 yards for Edinburgh University and later for Scotland. He played rugby for Edinburgh University and in 1922 played in seven Scottish Internationals with A.L. Gracie.
Eric crossing the Japanese lines in approximately 1938
As a result of having insufficient time for both running and rugby, he chose the former, aiming for the 100 meters in the Paris Olympics. When he learned that the heats were to be run on a Sunday, he switched to the 400 metre competition as he was not prepared to run on a Sunday. He won a gold medal for the 400 metres and a bronze medal for the 200 metres at the Paris Olympics.
ERIC LIDDELL (A SPORTING NATION)