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Jack Goldswain. British Lightweight Champion

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:50 pm
by David Goldswain
Jack Goldswain (22 July 1878-5 Nov 1954) was born in Bermondsey and after losing two fingers on his right hand in a machine at The Metal Box company, took up boxing as a flyweight in a tournament at the Lambeth School of Arms, winning four fights in a day and the tournament. Jack turned professional in the mid 1890's and compiled a good record mainly in venues including The Ring at Blackfriars, Wonderland at Whitechapel and the National Sporting Club in Covent Garden. In 1906 he beat Fred Buckland and Jabez White and was recognised as the Lightweight Champion of Great Britain. During his career he fought in America where he lost to Packey McFarland, recognised as the best fighter never to be a world champion at the time. He also travelled to Paris France to fight the legendary Georges "Orchid Man" Carpentier , June 1911, losing by knockout in the 4th round. ( It is notable that Carpentier fought and knocked out two British Heavyweight Champions during his career knocking both out in one and two rounds, Carpentier fought mainly in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions, losing in his challenge against legendary Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey in 1921). In December 1911 Jack fought Stoker Green and broke his left arm in the fourth round, Jack realised his injury was severe and went forward throwing his right cross to knockout Green and win the fight.
After losing several flights with Young Joseph, (disqualified when challenging for the Welterweight championship), his career was in limbo, he finally did beat Joseph in 1913, but was disqualified for continuing to punch at the end of the 5th round, Joseph sensing his impending demise refused to come out for the 6th round and was awarded a "No Contest" draw.
Jack fought in the First World War in the 1st Surrey Rifles and Middlesex Hussars, rising to the rank of Sergeant, and boxed until 1919, his record of 134 fights winning 82 , drawing 12 (including so called"No Contests" when fight ended with both men still standing), and losing 40.
To my knowledge Jack ended his days at The Metal Box company, collecting the plates and cutlery in the staff dining room, and passed away in 1954 aged 76. He was my Grandfathers Uncle making Jack my Great Great Uncle, I am very proud and privileged to be related to a Bermondsey Icon, and named my youngest son Jack in his honour.
Photos below of Jack in his prime.
Thanks for reading this and please keep the Bermondsey Boy site going strong. David Goldswain.

Re: Jack Goldswain. British Lightweight Champion

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:53 pm
by kiwi
Hi David, great story and pictures of your Great Great uncle Jack Goldswain. Not only were these men boxers they were also brave soldiers who done their bit for the country and us.
Jack Goldswain 1915, Bermondsey born boxer, 1st Surrey Rifles. Sergeant Taylor, Dick Burge, Dai Roberts, Duke Lynch, W.W. Turner, Jack Goldswain and L-CPL Pat O'Keeffe, 26 May 1915, all boxers.  X.png

Prominent boxers who have joined the Colours.
Sergeant Taylor, Dick Burge, Dai Roberts, Duke Lynch, W.W. Turner, Jack Goldswain and L/CPL Pat O'Keeffe, 26 May 1915.

Re: Jack Goldswain. British Lightweight Champion

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 10:41 pm
by David Goldswain
Wow ! Not only has this photo previously never been seen by me or our immediate family, but the line up is manned by such an array of the top calibre pugilist of the day, Jack is certainly in the company of champions of the area and era.
One other strange yet true facts is that it was taken on 26th May 1915. Exactly 44 years to the day I was brought into the world at Guys Hospital. How can I get a copy of the photo please?
David Goldswain.