Charles-Louis Leopold-Alfred de Beaumont-Klein represented Great Britain ias a fencer in three Olympic Games and was a leading figure in the administration of the sport for many years.
He was born in Liverpool on 5th May 1902, the son French-born Louis Beaumont-Klein and his wife Kathleen Mary. His father, as the Reverend Doctor Klein, was a prominent speaker in the city, associated with the Unitarian Church on Ullet Road. At the time of Charles’ birth the family was living at Montfort House, 26 Alexandra Drive L17, a sizeable mansion suggesting that their financial position was not merely based on a clerical stipend. They seem to have left the city in the early 1900’s, Charles living most of his life in London.
He began fencing whilst an undergraduate at Cambridge and developed his skills further when living in Milan for a number of years as the pupil of Giuseppe Mangiarotti, the greatest exponent of the épée in his day. He won the British épée championship three years running from 1936-38, capturing the title again aged 51 in 1953. He represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games of 1936, 1948 and 1952, captaining the fencing team. He won Gold Medals in the individual épée at the Empire Games of 1950 (Auckland) and 1954(Vancouver) and a Gold as a member of the sabre team in 1950.
De Beaumont’s involvement with fencing stretched beyond competing as he was for over 40 years a key figure in the administration of the sport. He was the Honorary Secretary of the Amateur Fencing Association for twenty years and in 1966 was elected President, a position he held for the rest of his life. He was also vice-president of the British Olympic Association. His contribution to sport was recognised in 1959 when he was awarded an OBE. He also wrote a number of books on fencing.
He made his living as an antique dealer in Kensington and, as with fencing, he contributed much to the profession in a variety of roles. In 1966 he was elected president of the British Antique Dealers’ Association [BADA] and shortly before his death he was elected to the presidency of the International Federation of Antique Dealers, a post he sadly did not live to occupy. The BADA awarded him their gold medal for distinguished services.
He died on 7th July 1972 at Knightsbridge, aged 72.
The De Beaumont home when Charles was born in 1902.
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