On Friday 18 August 2023, friends and family gathered together at the Museum to witness the official unveiling of a new display in honour of the late Jim Fox OBE, REME and Olympic hero.

Jeremy ‘Jim’ Robert Fox OBE OLY was a REME soldier who was promoted through the ranks, eventually retiring as a Captain. Jim was a keen sportsman and first trained in the modern pentathlon as a Lance Corporal in 1962. His talent for the sport was soon recognised and lead him to represent the Army and Great Britain at the Olympics, World Championships and Army International Competitions. At his fourth Olympic Games in Montreal, 1976, Jim competed with the Great Britain Team in the Modern Pentathlon Men’s Team event, helping to bring home a gold medal.

The vest worn during the event in Montreal was gifted by Jim to a fencing club charity auction many years ago. It has recently been generously donated to the Museum’s collection by the successful bidder of the auction.

Sadly, Jim passed away on 28 April 2023, aged 81. The donation of this vest gave us an opportunity to reflect on Jim's contributions to sport and the Corps by creating a display in his honour. The vest was specially conserved and framed by Textile Conservation Limited of Bristol to be placed on permanent display.

Attending the official unveiling were approximately 50 guests, including Jim's sister, Julia Smith, some of his fellow REME veterans and teammates, and a party from Pentathlon GB based in Bath. 

Introducing the unveiling was Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Stuart Cowen, the Museum's Business Manager and REME Charity's Veteran Engagement Officer, who met Jim many times over the years. Stuart discussed Jim’s life and career, and focussed on his sporting prowess as an all-round athlete and four-time Olympian. The culmination of the speech was the unveiling of the running vest Jim wore at the 1976 Olympics by the donor, Francesca Williams.

Visitors sat in chairs looking at a man giving a speech with a projector screen and a flag covering an easel to the side.

The unveiling was, unsurprisingly, very well attended.

A man giving a speech with a projector screen and an easel holding a framed vest to the side.

Others were invited to share their own memories of Jim during their service.

The video below recorded the moment of the unveiling:

Following the unveiling, all attendees were invited to a short service in the Lyneham Memorial Garden on our grounds, led by Padre Nathan King of MOD Lyneham, to further reflect on Jim’s life and achievements. A light lunch followed in the Museum’s conference room.

This was an excellent day and a fitting tribute to a man who made an enormous contribution to both British Olympic sport and the REME Corps.

If you would like to see the vest, it is now permanently on display in our Beyond the Uniform Gallery, which exhibits objects related to sporting success of REME individuals and teams. Book your visit online.

A framed vest, white with red and blue horizontal stripes across the chest, mounted on a wall with images on one side and a display case on the other.

The vest on display in our gallery, accompanied by interpretation prepared by the Museum’s Assistant Curator, Laura Stewart, and images of Jim during Pentathlon events.