1948  London Summer Olympics

1948 Summer Olympics - Olympic Memorabilia

Winner Medals

1948 olympic winner medal gold 1 1948 olympic winner medal gold 2
1st Place: Gold Medal Material: Gilt Silver
    Weight 69 gr
2nd Place: Silver Medal Material: Silver
    Weight 65 gr
3rd Place: Bronze Medal Material: Bronze
    Weight 64 gr
Diameter: 51 mm Design by: Prof. Guiseppe Cassioli,
Florence, Italy
* 22.10.1865  + 05.10.1942
    Mint: John Pinches Ltd
Thickness: 4 mm Ribbon: None
Obverse: Victory seated above stadium.
Reverse: Winner carried by jubilant athletes.
Numbers of Medals: Gold:     138                    Silver:   136                        Bronze:   139
1948 olympic winner medal 1 1948 olympic winner medal 2
Images Copyright © by Ulf Ström
Victory ceremony for the women`s long jump, 1948
President of the IOC, Mr. J. Sigfrid Edstrom,  is handing the winner`s medal to
O. Gyarmati, N.S. de Portela and A. Leyman

   Prize Medals 1948

The design used in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Games for the Olympic medals, modelled by Professor Cassiole of Florence, was again used for the XIV Olympiad, with the alteration of the appropriate wording to " XIV Olympiad, London, 1948."
These were struck in silver-gilt, silver and bronze and the number required based on the number of events and therefore the number of eligible victors. It must be borne in mind that, in computing these numbers, the maximum number for team sports had to be produced, since any reserve of a prize-winning team actually taking part in the Olympic competitions is entitled to a medal.

Participation Medal

1948 olympic participation medal 1 1948 olympic participation medal 2
Material: Gilt Bronze Weight: 61 gr
Version: Silver Weight: 63 gr
Version: Bronze Weight: 63 gr
Diameter: 51 mm Design by: B. Mackennal / J. Pinches
Thickness: 5 mm Mint: J. Pinches, England
Obverse: City view of London over legend in three lines, Olympic rings below.
Reverse: Quadriga with triumphant winner dashing.
Presentation box
 Commemorative Medals 1948

The Executive Committee placed the production of the commemorative medals in the hands of Messrs. John Pinches, Ltd., and it was agreed by the Committee that the design of Sir Bertram Mackennal that was used for the 1908 Games should again be used for the obverse. The reverse bears the inscription " XIV Olympiad, London, 1948 " above the five rings of the International Olympic Committee and below a panel showing Big Ben and St. Stephen's Tower of the Palace of Westminster, a variation of the symbol of the XIV Olympiad. As every person entitled to a badge was also held to be entitled to a commemorative award, the numbers were related. The Executive Committee instructed the Technical Department to arrange the distribution of these and, chiefly for the purposes of identification, three types of box were designed to contain the awards, the definition being for the class of person to receive the medal.


1948 olympic winner diploma
BOZENA SRNCOVA, Gymnastics: 1st, team woman, Czechoslovakia

Size: 57,5 x 43,8 cm
Design by: unknown
Printed by: unknown
Signed by: IOC President Edström
President of the Games, Mr. Portal
Organizing Committee Chairman:
Lord Budrghley
Copies: unknown


  Badges 1948

The Executive Committee ruled at an early date that the badges to be issued to competitors and officials for the Games would be for purposes of identification and as souvenirs only and not to give admission to Olympic venues or other centres. The general principles that have grown up with various Olympic Games were followed in that the finish of the metal of which the badge was to be made would vary according to the category of person to whom it was issued. In addition the ribbon to be attached to the badges was to be distinctive to the group to which the wearer belonged, by colour or overprinting.

Estimates of the number of badges required were drawn up by reference to those numbers issued at Berlin and Los Angeles, and by correlating these figures against the anticipated attendance at the London Games. In addition to this, national governing bodies of sport in Great Britain were asked to give some idea of the number of officials that they expected would be required for the conduct of their sports. In retrospect, the number of badges provided was, within well-defined limits, reasonably accurate although due to a misunderstanding of the regulations applying to the sports officials entitled to badges, there was a certain amount of over-issue to this class of person, which necessitated the Organising Committee having to strike a few extra during the course of and directly after the Games.

The ribbon for all the badges was supplied by the makers with the exception of the special International Olympic Committee ribbon which was supplied to the Organising Committee as a gift. A schedule of the types of badges issued, together with the numbers and details of distribution, is included in the statistical section of this Report.

1948 olympic games badge

Distribution of Badges and Medals

A fundamental principle, agreed by the Executive Committee, was that where a person was entitled to a badge of more than one classification, he should be issued with that badge which indicated his highest rank within the Olympic framework. That is to say, a member of a National Olympic Committee who was also a member of the I.O.C., received the I.O.C. badge. The official of an Olympic Committee who was also a president or secretary of an international federation wore the international federation badge. 

(i) International Olympic Committee. The badges, commemorative awards and travel and stadium passes for members of the I.O.C. were distributed to these gentlemen in the folders placed before them at the Congress of the I.O.C. held immediately prior to the Games.

(ii) International Federation Officials and Judges. It was agreed that the technical representative of the national governing body of each sport should receive from the Organising Committee the badges and awards for the members of his international federation, together with the necessary badges and commemorative medals for the operating officials in each sport. It was clearly laid down that no issue should be made until the arrival of the president or secretary of the international federation in Great Britain. As the badges and medals were felt to be of some value from an historic point of view, the Organising Committee urged all national governing bodies to limit the issue of these articles to those officials who played an active part in the conduct of the sport. It was felt that if all officials from the most important umpire, referee or timekeeper down to those persons of lesser stature within the framework were to receive badges and medals, the value of both articles as mementoes would be seriously impaired. As all sports place the status of their various officials differently, even those having the same titles, it was impossible to lay down any hard and fast rules, but as far as possible it was suggested to the sporting associations that the line should be drawn where the officials ceased to require international federation approval to their appointment.

(iii) Visiting Delegations and Teams. The issue of badges, commemorative awards and travel passes was conducted by the Technical Department through an officer who interviewed the Chef de Mission of each team on arrival, and agreed with him by reference to the nominal roll provided, the number of each class of badge to which that team was entitled. The Chef de Mission was also responsible for collecting, in the name of his National Olympic Committee, the badges and medals for the Committee members and officials accompanying the team. When he had provided the information as to his requirements, he received a requisition form which he presented to the Technical Department Stores Officer and was issued with his quota of badges and medals. An exception was made to this procedure in the case of the competitors and officials for the yachting, equestrian, modern pentathlon, shooting, canoeing and rowing events, who were housed outside the London area. In these cases each Chef de Mission supplied the necessary information as before and informed the Technical Department of the name of an appropriate officer of his team at the appropriate outlying housing centre who should receive the medals and badges. The necessary badges and medals were then despatched from the Headquarters to Aldershot, Bisley, etc., and the issue made direct at that housing centre.

In the light of experience gained in the distribution of these items in the London Games, certain conclusions can be drawn. In regard to the issue of badges and awards to officials of federations and participating officials in the sports, it would be more satisfactory if these were issued by the international federation office set up for each sport. The success or failure of the distribution to national delegations depends upon the number of staff available in the Organising Committee offices, together with the amount of office accommodation allocated for this purpose. As many Chefs de Mission attend at the same time, a system of multiple interviewing and pre-arranged counter distribution is suggested in order that the visiting official may not be required to spend too much time at the Organising Committee offices in collecting his entitlement.

It is, of course, essential that the entitlement be properly established against certified nominal rolls submitted by the Chef de Mission. As the nominal rolls in the case of the London Games were those used for travel purposes, many names appeared of persons accompanying the delegations who were not entitled to badges, and consequently valuable time was wasted in determining which names must be removed from these lists.

(Source document:   Official Report 1948,  page 75, 76)


1948 olympic games poster

List of all Official Badges 1948:
Arena, Manager
Chef de Mission
Housing, Manager
IF, President
IF, Secretary
NOC, Member
NOC, President
Official, Athletics
Official, NOC
Official, Basketball
Official, Boxing
Official, Canoeing
Official, Cycling
Official, Demonstration
Official, Equestrian
Official, Fencing
Official, Football
Official, Gymnastics
Official, Hockey
Official, Modern Pentathlon
Official, Rowing
Official, Shooting
Official, Swimming
Official, Weightlifting
Official, Wrestling
Official, Yachting
Organizing Committee, Executive
Organizing Committee, Grand Count
Participant, Athletics
Participant, Basketball
Participant, Boxing
Participant, Canoeing
Participant, Cycling
Participant, Demonstration
Participant, Equestrian
Participant, Fencing
Participant, Football
Participant, Gymnastics
Participant, Hockey
Participant, Modern Pentathlon
Participant, Rowing
Participant, Shooting
Participant, Swimming
Participant, Weightlifting
Participant, Wrestling
Participant, Yachting
Spare, Emergency use
Team, Assistant
Team, Manager
  Poster 1948

An official poster was produced in connection with the Games. As there was not time to stage a competition for the design of the poster, the choice rested between a few designs submitted to the Executive Committee.

As regards production and distribution, 100,000 copies of the official poster were printed (50,000 double crown, 25,000 crown and 25,000 double royal). Estimates were obtained for distribution, but the cost was prohibitive. It was decided to organise free distribution, and this was done by the Press Department.

The first step was to approach the governing bodies in Great Britain of the seventeen sports concerned in the Games. These bodies accepted quantities varying from 400 to 2,000, covering a total of nearly 10,000 for distribution among branches and affiliated bodies. All travel and tourist agencies with offices in London were approached, as also were all airlines with services operating to and from Britain. This accounted for a further 6,000-7,000.

A circular letter from the Director of Organisation inviting co-operation in the distribution was sent to the Town Clerks of nearly 300 towns and cities in Great Britain, and to the Directors of Education of all counties. This was followed by parcels of posters with varying numbers in proportion to the size of the towns or district concerned. The response was excellent. Only three towns failed to co-operate, and a large majority promised to display the posters on corporation vehicles, in schools and sports pavilions, and in public places in their areas. Every London Borough was covered, and each area in which sections of the Games were to take place was given special attention. In addition, every housing centre was given a generous supply. Repeat orders were being received right up to the time of the Games, and the whole 100,000 were eventually distributed.

Source document:   (Official report 1948, page 112)

Design by: Walter Herz
Size: 37 x 47 cm (small)
Copies: 25.000
Size: 50 x 64cm (medium)
Copies: 25.000
Size: 74 x 104 cm (large)
Copies: 50.000


Olympic Games London 1948

 picto used during the London 1948 games

Torch Relay


Art Competition



picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london


Weight lifting

picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london



picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london



picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london
picto olympic games 1948 london

High diving



Postage Stamps

4 special postage stamps were published
First Day: 29. Juli 1948
Engraver: ?
Designer:  Percy Metcalfe, Abram Games, Stanley D. Scott und Edmund Dulac
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No.
Michel No.       Edition
 2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
495 237 155.350.000
 3 P violet
496 238   32.554.000
 6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
497 239   24.397.000
 1 sh brown
Winged Victory
498 240   32.187.000
1948 2   1948 1letter
First Day Cover


   Postal Facilities

The main Olympic Post Office at Wembley was well sited in the Stadium grounds on one of the main approaches to the Stadium. It comprised a public office of about 670 square feet, with a counter 29 feet long to accommodate six clerks, a public telephone hall of about 520 square feet, a telegraph instrument room of about 950 square feet, and several small rooms for clerical work, messengers and cloaks amounting to about 530 square feet. The busiest periods were the three hours before the afternoon session at the Stadium and the hour or so after the last event. Little business was done between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on most days. Temporary Post Office facilities were provided at Torquay. A counter 18 feet long was installed and a posting box was erected near by. Poste Restante facilities were provided at all Games Post Offices and used extensively. Business started soon after 8 a.m., reaching its peak between 9 and 9.30 a.m. Business was then quiet throughout the day.

The special issues of 2½d., 3d., 6d. and 1/- commemorative stamps were on sale at all Post Offices in the country. Those affixed to letters posted in the posting boxes in the Stadium grounds at Wembley were cancelled with a special Olympic Games commemorative cancellation stamp. Consequently, the Olympic Post Office was thronged with people buying stamps and completing letters for the post and much more public office space than that provided was necessary at times, particularly on the first day. On the whole, however, the provision made for counter service was reasonably satisfactory. About 40 per cent. of persons using the Office were from abroad and the services of an interpreter provided by the Post Office in the public office were much appreciated.

A small public office was also provided in the Stadium itself, alongside the positions allotted to the several cable companies. This office was primarily for the convenience of press correspondents wishing to send messages to places in Europe served by Post Office telegraphs, but little use was made of the facility. The office was open only when events were in progress and for one hour before and after.

The Organising Committee kept the Post Office informed of the location of the various teams for the re-direction of mail and cables. About 3,000 letters per day were dealt with in this way ; there were about 150 parcels in all. Mail and telegrams were delivered to the Camp Commandant at the appropriate housing centre and he assumed responsibility for delivery to the individual competitor or team official. This arrangement worked well. 5. There is no philatelic department in the British Post Office and no special arrange ments were made for the benefit of philatelists in connection with the issue of the Commemorative 2½d., 3d., 6d. and 1/- stamps and 6d. air letter forms except that posting boxes in the Wembley Stadium grounds were specially marked in French, Spanish and English to indicate that items posted therein would be stamped with a special Olympic Games postmark. Only unregistered items, which were suitable in size and make up for passing through an ordinary stamp cancelling machine and which were posted in these boxes or handed over the counter at the Olympic Games Post Office at Wembley, bore this special postmark. The Olympic Games stamps were on sale at all Post Offices in the United Kingdom from July 29, 1948 ; they were withdrawn from sale on December 31,1948.

(Text from Official Report 1948, page 101)

The Olympic Games special postage stamps from GB with overprint: Bahrein
First Day: 29. July 1948
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No.
Michel No. Edition
2 1/2 a  on  2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
63 62  ?
3 a   on    3 P violet
64 63  ?
6 a    on   6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
65 64  ?
1  r    on  1 sh brown
Winged Victory
66 65  ?

The Olympic Games special postage stamps from GB with overprint: Kuwait
First Day: 29. July 1948
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No
Michel No Edition
2 1/2 a  on   2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
76 77 ?
3 a   on         3 P violet
77 78 ?
 6 a on         6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
78 79 ?
1  r  on         1 sh brown
Winged Victory
79 80 ?
1948kuweit 11948kuweit 2
  stamp1948 5359


The Olympic Games special postage stamps from GB with overprint: Tangier
First Day:  29. July 1948
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No.
Michel No. Edition
2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
257 27      101.965
3 P violet
258 28      100.638
 6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
259 29      101.175
1 sh brown
Winged Victory
260 30        96.100


The Olympic Games special postage stamps from GB with overprint:  "MOROCCO AGENCIES" Morocco
First Day: 29. July 1948
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No.
Michel No. Edition
25 c on 2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
178 149    107.309
30 c  on 3 P violet
179 150    100.020
60 c on 6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
180 151      94.278
1 Pta on 1 sh brown
Winged Victory
181 152      93.304

  stamp1948 5360

The Olympic Games special postage stamps from GB with overprint: Muscat
First Day:
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No
Michel No Edition
 2 1/2 P ultramarine
Globe and Laurel Wreath
 ?  27  73.998
3 P violet
 ?  28  72.226
 6 P bright purple
Olympic Symbol
 ?  29  68.904
1 sh brown
Winged Victory
 ?  30  66.867


Special Postmark:  Olympic Games Wembley. GT. Brit.


Advertise:   Heiko Volk, Olympia-Philatelie


 A. Season Tickets

At previous Olympic Games, it had been possible to purchase season tickets enabling the holder to see any of the events. Such season tickets had been " transferable " but, owing to the simultaneous holding of several events, a situation had arisen whereby reserved accommodation was not used, and at the same time people were turned away. The popularity of the Games is such that this system could no longer be justified and it was decided that season tickets would not be available for London, 1948.

1948 olympic games ticket


B. Series Tickets

It was felt that it should be possible for persons from other countries to come to the Games with the certainty that they could see a competitor taking part in his event. It was, therefore, decided to sell books of series tickets for each sport, giving admission to every session of that sport, and to give priority to applications for these books. This system did not include the Football and Hockey preliminaries, in which matches took place simultaneously, or Water Polo, as distinct from Swimming and Diving. In arriving at these decisions, the Committee was influenced by the fact that there is an overwhelming demand for admission to events of outstanding interest, often to the exclusion of the bona fide sportsman, who is also interested in the sessions in lesser demand. It was considered that those who are sufficiently interested in a sport to attend all the sessions, should have priority. The system of series books covered this point. The series book consisted of separate tickets for the same seat for all sessions of one sport.

tick1948 282 5466

C. Admission by Ticket only

Reports were received on the probable demand for tickets from both home and overseas sources and these indicated that the demand would be heavy. To set aside any specific proportion of the accommodation for payment at the turnstiles on the day, would, it was thought, create anomalies and possibly disappointments. By printing tickets for all seats and standing places, it was possible to keep the sales position in clear perspective and to provide the best and simplest box office service to all applicants for tickets. For those sports, such as Football, Water Polo and Hockey, in which preliminary matches had to be played and for which the draw would not be made until shortly before the Games, it was decided that admission should be at the turnstiles.

D. Pricing

There had been a change of values since the previous Games, and it was difficult to arrive at a clear assessment of costs and to reconcile these with reasonable charges for admission. It was decided that a minimum receipt from sales of £500,000 should be the aim and the box office staff was instructed to fix the prices of admission with this figure as an objective. They had, however, to keep in mind that support for different sports varies, and that, while some events would produce capacity attendances, others would not be well patronised. The final pricings approved by the Executive Committee represented a total capacity value of approximately £850,000.  

1948athleticsfullticketjuly30 500

E. Allocation of Tickets

It was decided to reserve half the tickets for overseas applications. These were divided between nations according to estimated requirements, based on probable team strength, travel facilities, currency problems and national interest in the Games. These reservations were entered upon the seating plans in national blocks for each session of each sport and at all prices.

The remaining 50 per cent. was divided into one third for the clubs and members of the National Governing Body of the sport concerned, and two thirds for the general public in Great Britain. The preliminary work in connection with the organisation and administration of the admission tickets was undertaken by the Finance Committee, at whose meetings on this subject representatives from Wembley Stadium Box Office attended in an advisory capacity.

( Source document:  Official Report 1948, page 129)

Numbers of visitors:   1.247.300


 There are  11 Vignettes known
  1948 1  

Picture Postcards

pc1948 10
pc1948 21
pc1948 5451

Identity Card


The Executive Committee decided that the precedent of the Berlin and Los Angeles Games should be followed and that Olympic Identity Cards should be issued to all competitors and those officials intimately connected with the conduct of the various sports and teams.

The design and preparation of the Card was the responsibility of the Technical Department and it was planned to fulfil two main functions. It had to be a pass to allow competitors and officials access to those stadia where they had a right to watch events and, of course, to the dressing rooms of the stadium where they themselves were competing, and also to housing centres.

In addition it had to act as a valid passport and travel document for Olympic competitors and officials, for it was felt that this would greatly assist National Olympic Committees not only in the crossing of frontiers, but also from the point of view of Customs facilities in the United Kingdom. These considerations made it necessary that the document should be easily recognised and hard to imitate.

Certain box office considerations had to be met in the design of the card to avoid abuse for gaining admission to the complimentary stands reserved for competitors and officials. Every effort was made for the scrutiny of the card by arena and stadium stewards to be as simple as possible, and yet retain reasonable control. The card was designed to show on its first page the sport with which the holder was connected and the category in that sport to which he or she belonged, together with photograph, signature and full name. How the card operated as far as spectator use is concerned is dealt with under the complimentary ticket section. The scrutiny of the card for admission to the dressing rooms was especially strict.

As regards the use of the Identity Card as a travel document, the Aliens Department of the Home Office of His Majesty's Government gave great assistance and guidance as to the lay-out of the second page giving the agreement of the holder's own government, and the third page which gave the certified details of the holder.

H.M. Government agreed to allow the Identity Card to serve as a valid passport of entry into the United Kingdom, subject to the following provisos :

(i)   That the government of the country of origin of the holder should also agree to its use as a travel document for both inward and outward journeys.

(ii)   That the card should be valid for one journey only in each direction.

(iii)   That before the team of any country using the card as a travel document started its journey to London, a complete list of those persons to whom the card had been issued by the appropriate National Olympic Committee should be submitted to the nearest British Consul or Passport Office in order that the nominal roll could be checked by the U.K. representative.

The Government also agreed to waive visa fees for persons travelling on the Olympic Identity Cards, where these were still in force.

Where the first proviso was not met, the visiting competitors and officials had to travel on ordinary passports. National Olympic Committees were circularised as to these conditions and the onus of approaching their own governments was placed on them. Specimen cards were forwarded early in 1948, and the National Olympic Committees requested to make the necessary representations as soon as possible to their governments. Due to national regulations governing the issue of passports, some countries were unable to accept the card as a valid travel permit and, where this condition applied, the third page of the card was left blank. Even where competitors and officials travelled on normal passports, the Identity Card operated on arrival at the port of disembarkation in Great Britain as a Customs clearance certificate for the individual. As some of the teams, whose governments had been prepared to recognise the Card as a travel document, crossed in their journey to London the frontiers of certain countries who did not recognise it, they also had to be provided with normal passports, unless they came direct to London by air as, in fact, happened in one case.

Thirty nations accepted the Card as a valid travel document, which justified its use for this purpose.

identity 1948 1

(Source document: Official Report 1948,  page 72 )

Identity Cards

The problem of providing all competitors and officials with an Identity Card which might act as passport and also give easy admission to the holder where he was entitled to be admitted while at the same time avoiding abuses and errors, was very difficult to solve. Negotiations had to be entered into with the Foreign Office (Passport Department) and eventually the Identity Card illustrated was issued to the National Olympic Committees and their Chefs de Mission.


Passes on stiff cardboard with coloured background were prepared for all types of operating personnel and staff. These were all numbered and there was strict control of their issue at headquarters.

Use of Identity Cards

For competitors and sports officials, the method of admittance to the stands to which they had a right of entry was by Identity Card, and stewards at the Empire Stadium were instructed that all Identity Cards bearing the name of a sport on the first page and any category other than those catered for in Stands A, B and C (only about six in number), would admit the bearer to the Competitors' Stand.

At other venues the stewards had only to check that the name of the sport shown on the Identity Card was that which was taking place in the arena concerned, and coupled with the provision already made for the main stadium as to category, the bearer was allowed to enter. The fact that all Identity Cards bore the holder's photograph was a safeguard against abuse of this method of admission. Since the Identity Card was a document of some value to the holder, it was thought that there would be little chance of unauthorised persons gaining admission to the Competitors' Stands.

(Source document: Official Report 1948,  page 132 + 140 )

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