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Henry Stallard was born in the last year of Queen Victoria's reign. The eldest of three brothers, he was christened Hyla Bristow Stallard. Not surprisingly, from his schooldays, he enjoyed more happily the name ‘Henry.’
Stallard went up to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1919 where his extraordinary talent as an athlete led to his becoming one of the greatest middle-distance runners that England has ever produced.
Slightly built, a lifelong non-smoker and virtual teetotaller, he trained intensively and always remained remarkably fit. In his sixties, he could be seen running in Hyde Park. In 1920, he was selected for the four-man team from Oxford and Cambridge which set a new world record by beating America in the 2-mile Pennsylvania Relay. For three successive years, Stallard won the mile for Cambridge against Oxford—a feat still unequalled—and he became the only athlete in British Amateur Athletics ever to win the mile, the half-mile and the quarter-mile. Little wonder then that he was chosen to run for Great Britain in the 800 and 1500 m races in …