In 2020/21, the Museum’s temporary exhibition space was filled with stories of the Corps’ exciting sporting endeavours. Since then, we have been very fortunate to receive some unique memorabilia to the collection that celebrates the success of individuals from REME.

Captain Jim Fox OBE

Addendum: We were incredibly saddened to hear of the recent passing of Jim Fox OBE and would like to express that, although this article was written before this news, we feel it perfectly describes Fox's successes and how proud we are to tell his story. 

At the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Sergeant Jim Fox REME won the gold medal in the Modern Pentathlon Men’s Team event. The vest worn for the event was gifted by Jim to a fencing club charity auction many years ago and has recently been generously donated to the Museum’s collection by the successful bidder of the auction, Francesca Williams from Lincolnshire.

Close up of a white vest with 3 red, white and blue horizontal stripes across the middle, a white rectangular patch over the top with union flag and reads " Olympic Games 1976, Great Britain ".

This vest was worn by Jim Fox as he won gold in the Modern Pentathlon Men’s Team Event and was recently donated to the Museum. 2022.114.

Consisting of five events, modern pentathletes must compete in fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting and cross country running. From 1956, REME’s involvement in the sport saw members of the Corps represent the Army and United Kingdom at all levels. Starting in 1962, Jim Fox made significant contributions; competing in the Olympics, World Championships and Army International competitions. To date, Jim is the only British pentathlete to have competed in four Olympic Games: 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976.

A man in army dress uniform and hat riding a horse which is jumping over a fence. The man wears a bib with the number 5.

Lance Corporal Jim Fox, British Modern Pentathlon Champion, 1963. E:13.0543.

Two people in fencing kit are in the middle of a fencing match. Others wear fencing kit and sit at tables in the background watching on.

REME Modern Pentathletes, 1970. E:06.0690.113.

White satin triangular pennant with point downwards, three loops at the top for hanging. Embroidered onto the front is a shield, red and navy, a banner reading Modern Pentathlon and 1962.

Lance Corporal Fox was part of the REME Training Centre Team that were presented this pennant after achieving third place at the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) Championships, 1962. 1963.537.

Not only were Jim Fox’s contributions to modern pentathlon in the Corps significant, he was also instrumental in initiating REME’s wheelchair marathon event at West Court, raising money for charity. It set a precedent for similar events around the country throughout the 1980s.

Metal circular plate with silver patterned edge and gold coloured in the centre. Reads " wheelchair marathon runners up 1993 "

The 1993 Wheelchair Marathon runners-up trophy. E:96.0092.76.

Staff Sergeant Becky Hoare

Staff Sergeant Becky Hoare has had many successes as a triathlete. Becky unveiled the Museum’s temporary exhibition with Jim Fox. The display included a custom bike used by Becky as she won the World Military Ironman Champion title in 2016. Following the exhibition, Staff Sergeant Hoare generously donated the bike to the long-term collection.

From setting new UK records in 2010 at the World Ironman Championship, Staff Sergeant Becky Hoare has gone on to compete in events such as the Norseman Xtreme and the Celtman.

Two photographs. Left is of an orange bicycle taken from the back, in view is the pedal gear and front of the bicycle. Right is a woman in cycling gear outside with the orange bicycle next to her, other bikes in the background.

Left: This custom bicycle was made for triathlete and World Military Ironman Champion, Staff Sergeant Becky Hoare. 2022.25. Right: Staff Sergeant Becky Hoare at Ironman Lanzarote. © SSgt Becky Hoare.

John Walker

After taking up Archery in 2013, John Walker has gone on to achieve great success. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, John won gold medals in both of his events: the Men’s individual Compound (W1) and Team Compound (W1) archery events. He also won gold, silver and bronze medals at both European and World Championships between 2015 and 2017. 

Photo of archery equipment, including a mannequin with specialist para-athlete brace on the shoulder/chest, a quiver to the side and bow laying in front.

Team GB Archery Equipment used by John Walker at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. 2022.26.

With thanks to Jim Fox OBE and his family, SSgt Becky Hoare and John Walker.

Every effort has been made to ascertain the copyright ownership of the material in this article. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns regarding the copyright ownership of the material included.

Laura Stewart, Assistant Curator. Published in The Craftsman, May 2023.