John Gilmour, PoW, multi World Record breaker and inspirational Australian Masters athlete dies aged 99.

Those of us who travelled to the World Masters Athletics Track & Field Championships in Perth in 2016 were very privileged indeed to have witnessed this truly courageous athlete run his final race the M95 1500m, then aged 97.

As athletes, Officials and spectators stood and applauded his every step, some found it difficult to comprehend that here was a man who had spent 15 months in the notorious Changi Prison after Singapore had been overrun by the Japanese and more than two years as a slave labourer in Japan. On repatriation back to Australia, now only one quarter his own body weight and so emaciated that his eyesight was permanently damaged, he remarked that he “was  glad his eyes were so bad he couldn’t see the look on his mother’s face when she saw him” as he was helped off the ship.

The modest Scottish born gardener went on to become a prolific World Masters Athletics medallist and World Record breaker. He passed away during heart surgery on 1 August.

We send our condolence to his family.

Bridget Cushen