'Jack' Lumsdaine was born in Shanghai 31 January 1923 to Arthur Henry Vere Lumsdaine and Gladys Valentine Lumsdaine, nee Ghys. He first played rugby in Shanghai in 1940 aged 17. He only played in Shanghai for a few months before volunteering to go to England in early 1941 to join the RAF. By the end of the War he was a Squadron Leader who had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the War he stayed with the RAF. A natural athlete, at 6ft 3" he learned to Fence and after 12 lesssons had become good enough to join the English Fencing team. This contributed to him representing Great Britain in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki in the Modern Pentathlon. He came fifteenth in the tournament. His best finish was 7th in riding. He also finished 14th in Fencing, 16th in swimming, 23rd in shooting and 36th in his worst event, running.
He died on a frozen lake in Québec, ejecting too late from a Canadair CL-41 Tutor jet trainer he was testing for the Royal Canadian Air Force on 29 March 1966 aged 43.
John Leon Sydney Lumsdaine (1923 - 1966)
The photograph above is of the rugby team of the 'A' Company Shanghai Volunteer Corp at the time that Lumsdaine played in the team in the Autumn of 1940. Sadly no names were identified against the photograph and so I cannot be certain that he features in this team photo. Do you know better?