Pentathlon GB

Scope and Content

The material covers the period 1923 to 2017. It is divided into nine sections:

Section A, Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain/Pentathlon GB, contains items relating to the UK governing body and its successor Pentathlon GB. These include committee minutes, constitutional documentation, training and coaching literature and handbooks. Correspondence in this section covers topics such as the organisation of international events, funding cuts, youth engagement initiatives and testing for prohibited substances. There is also a comprehensive collection of periodicals and publications covering the period from 1960 to 2006. After 2006 the volume of printed literature declined as the Pentathlon GB website became the main channel of communication with members. There is a small amount of regional material mainly consisting of committee minutes and newsletters.

Section B, Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIMP), is comprised of material relating to the international governing body for modern pentathlon. It contains documentation relating to statutes, regulations and rules, the annual meeting of congress, competition organisation and associated administrative papers. A series of periodicals and other official publications and promotional literature cover the period from 1960 to 2009.

Section C, Armed Forces Modern Pentathlon Organisations, contains material representing the branches of the UK armed forces with a modern pentathlon association, but focuses particularly on the Army Modern Pentathlon Association (AMPA) and the Combined Services Modern Pentathlon Association (CSMPA). The section includes committee minutes, administrative papers, newsletters and a range of material relating to the management of the Army Modern Pentathlon Training Centre, later the Southern Region Centre of Excellence and the National Training Centre for Modern Pentathlon.

Section D, Civilian Modern Pentathlon Organisations, comprises material relating to UK civilian modern pentathlon clubs arranged alphabetically by the name of the club. Records relating to the Lewisham Lions (Sealions) Modern Pentathlon Club are of particular significance. Material ranging in date from the 1950s up to the 2000s, includes correspondence, committee records, administrative papers, reports, newsletters and circulars.

Section E, Press Cuttings, contains both collections of press cuttings, covering the period from 1948 to 2003, and loose press cuttings covering the period from 1924 to 2014. The 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia are both well represented.

Section F, Research, Histories, Exhibitions & Biographical Material, consists of material gathered by individuals and groups concerned with creating exhibitions, writing histories and promotional pieces or establishing an archival resource. It includes documentation associated with a display to mark the 50th anniversary of Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIMP) in 1998, and short histories and explanatory texts relating to the sport of modern pentathlon. In addition the section contains biographies and biographical material relating to various prominent figures in the modern pentathlon world.

Section G, Photographic Material, comprises a wide range of modern pentathlon related prints, negatives and transparencies covering the period from 1924 to 2008. Individual pentathletes, teams, competitions, both in the UK and overseas, training sessions, publicity campaigns and other events are all well represented. There is a substantial amount of material that it has not been possible to date. There are also a small number of personal photographic collections assembled by Leslie Wieler, Robbie Phelps and Errol Lonsdale.

Section H, Competitions, the largest in the collection, contains material covering the period from 1912 to 2011 relating to modern pentathlon competitions of all types; regional, national and international, male and female, junior and senior. Based mainly on material assembled by the Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain (MPAGB), collections of material from other sources such as the Army Modern Pentathlon Association (AMPA) and Lewisham Lions (Sealions) Modern Pentathlon Club have been incorporated into this section. It includes a large amount of detailed results data, lists of participants, competition programmes and papers associated with organisational and administrative matters. There are also team manager briefings and reports, and some images, press cuttings and ephemera. Material relating to a number of tetrathlon, triathlon, and biathlon competitions are also included in this section.

Section J, Ephemera, is composed of items, with a promotional or commemorative function, associated with individual pentathletes or with modern pentathlon competitions and organisations. It includes neckties, pennants, posters, clothing and trophies. There are also two official's cloth arm bands used during the 1948 Olympic Games in London and items of official British Olympic team strip worn by pentathletes competing at the 1952 and 1976 Olympic Games.

Administrative / Biographical History

OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF MODERN PENTATHLON

Modern Pentathlon was the brain child of Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) one of the founders of the modern Olympic movement. It was his long held ambition to introduce to the Olympic programme a competition that would be the ultimate test of the truly all round athlete requiring moral qualities, skill and physical ability. The sport was finally adopted in 1911 at the fourteenth session of the International Olympic Committee in Budapest and made its Olympic debut the following year at the fifth Olympiad in Stockholm, Sweden. The competition (for men only) took place over six days; the order of the five events was shooting, swimming, fencing, horse riding and running. In addition to the men's individual competition, a men's team competition was held at each Olympic Games from 1952 to 1992. The first women's individual competition was held at the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney, Australia. Over the years the rules relating to the modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games have changed frequently. At the present time there are individual men's and women's competitions, each held over a single day consisting of fencing, swimming, horse riding and a combined run and shoot event.

At first the sport of modern pentathlon at an international level was administered by a sub-committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under the title Comité Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne Olympque (CIPMO). A separate governing body for modern pentathlon, the Fédération Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (FIP), was founded at a meeting in Sandhurst, Berkshire, UK, on 3rd August 1948. In 1949 the CIPMO was disbanded and the IOC ratified the FIP, but under the title Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), as the sport's international governing body. From this time onwards the number of international modern pentathlon competitions held around the world began to increase.

National governing bodies existed in a number of countries from an early stage. The Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain (MPAGB) was founded in 1923. In 2003 the MPAGB was incorporated and rebranded as Pentathlon GB governing modern pentathlon in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Modern Pentathlon Association was also incorporated in 2003 and was replaced in 2014 by Pentathlon Scotland.

The organisation and growth of modern pentathlon in the UK reflected developments happening overseas as the sport steadily became more popular. The armed forces were at the forefront of modern pentathlon from the outset, with military personnel dominating in terms of both management and participation, but from the late 1950s civilian involvement gradually increased and youth competitions were introduced to encourage wider take up. It was not until the 1970s that women really began to compete seriously at domestic and international level.

Arrangement

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

SECTION A: MODERN PENTATHLON ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN/PENTATHLON GB

SECTION B: UNION INTERNATIONALE DE PENTATHLON MODERNE (UIPM)

SECTION C: ARMED FORCES MODERN PENTATHLON ORGANISATIONS

SECTION D: CIVILIAN MODERN PENTATHLON ORGANISATIONS

SECTION E: PRESS CUTTINGS

SECTION F: RESEARCH, HISTORIES, EXHIBITIONS & BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL

SECTION G: PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

SECTION H: COMPETITIONS

SECTION J: EPHEMERA

Conditions Governing Access

NOT ALL THE MATERIAL IN THIS COLLECTION MAY YET BE AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATION. ENQUIRIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO:

THE ARCHIVIST LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF BATH CLAVERTON DOWN BATH BA2 7AY

Acquisition Information

The material was assembled over a number of years by Ed Egan and Andy Archibald on behalf of Pentathlon GB (formerly the Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain). It was deposited at the University of Bath Library in a series of instalments beginning in 2009.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection can be found on the University of Bath, Archives and Research Collections homepage.

Archivist's Note

We are very grateful for the work and support of Andy Archibald, Terry Bunyard, Mike Egan, Monty Mortimer and John Woodbridge in making this material available. In addition we acknowledge the assistance of former USA pentathlete William Vendl. We also acknowledge the assistance of Malcolm Heppolette, pictorial archivist at REME Museum of Technology.

Separated Material

Some related digital material is kept with this collection but has not been catalogued. This consists of some DVD recordings of modern pentathlon competitions held in the late 2000s. There is also a memory stick with photographs and scanned documents compiled by Andy Archibald. Some of the material on this is to be found in the collection and is catalogued, but it also includes material that is still in private hands.

Access is possible but enquiries should be addressed in the first instance to:

THE ARCHIVIST LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF BATH CLAVERTON DOWN BATH BA2 7AY

Conditions Governing Use

NOT ALL THE MATERIAL IN THIS COLLECTION MAY YET BE AVAILABLE FOR REPRODUCTION. ENQUIRIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO:

THE ARCHIVIST LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF BATH CLAVERTON DOWN BATH BA2 7AY

Accruals

It is hoped that additional material will be deposited. Supplementary catalogues will be created as the need arises.

Related Material

In addition to a small collection of official Olympic reports from the 1960s and 1970s there are also the following titles available in the searchroom:

Smelling of Roses A biography of Jim Fox by David Hunn, Ward Lock Limited, London, 1980.

A Full Life by Lt. Gen. Sir Brian Horrocks, Collins, 1960.

Sporting Rhapsody by Hylton Cleaver, The Anchor Press, Ltd., 1951.

Monkey Business by General Sir Cecil Blacker, Quiller Press, 1993.

Bibliography

Modern Pentathlon A Centenary History: 1912-2012 by Andy Archibald, Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd., 2012. Modern Pentathlon 1912-2012



is the website of Andy Archibald author of Modern Pentathlon A Centenary History . It also contains more recent material.