William Edwin Pimm Resident Of Alfriston Sussex

A Memory of Alfriston

This is a story about William Edwin Pimm 1864-1952 who lived in the village in the 1930’s and went to Miami in 1940. He won Gold & Silver medals in the 1908 & 1912 Olympic Games

William Edwin my Great Grandfather, Born 10th of December 1864 at 4 Eglington Road, Bow, Middlesex, he was a well-known Victorian/Edwardian painter, he studied at Antwerp in 1885 where he frequented with Vincent Van Gogh, and was lover to Louise Van Tongelen, (later divorced 1917 ref PRO) It is believed that she got pregnant, then his father James Norris Pimm said that he should get married as soon as possible. They were married at St Mary's Church Staines Middlesex in October 1888. William Edwin was very talented, he got commissions to paint the Lord Mayors of London, which was every year, he had his worked displayed in the Royal Academy, and Suffolk Street galleries. He was still doing portraits up to the time of his death.

He represented Great Britain in the 1908 & 1912 Olympic Games, for small-bore rifle shooting, he won Silver in 1908, and Gold in 1912 London. During the WW1 he was sent to the front lines to sketch out the German Lines on the Western Front, he lived in at the Manor House close to the Market Cross in Alfriston, Sussex, between the wars, and then he moved to Miami, Florida in 1940 from Liverpool to New York to live with his daughter, he died in 1952.

From the mid-twenties to about 1935, William lived in the village of Alfriston, Sussex, which sheltered a colony of artists. He worked in a studio above the ancient George Inn and was later a tenant in the "Manor House". He enjoyed the local shooting and owned one of the first cats-whisker wireless sets in Alfriston.

As a world-class shot William was a member of the England small bore rifle team at the 1908 and 1912 Olympics, winning two gold medals and a silver, plus a sixth place in the individual moving target event. A fellow-member of the team was his future son-in-law William Kensett Styles, who won gold in 1908 and silver in 1912, William also settled close by in Seaford and died in 1940.

William was a skilled guitar player long before the instrument became identified with rock groups, giving memorable musical evenings for his relatives and friends.

Among William's many accomplishments was figure-skating at which he was considered the best of the family. In those times the sport comprised cutting actual figures - double, triple and. quadruple jumps were unheard of. Many today would be surprised to learn that the Thames in the 1880's froze in winter.

William I understand played practical jokes. When one of his brothers came to stay, they were broke, there was an antique shop close by, he suggested that he go into the shop and say that you like an expensive piece of furniture and would like a drawing of it, do you have a picture of it? He replied there is an artist in the village who could do this, William was called did the sketch and got paid for, so they went out to the pub and had a drink and meal!!

He also was in a film set as an extra, which was located in the Market Square, a title with ‘The? Red ?’ in it. There was also rivalry with his son in law William Kensett Styles who lived at Seaton, both were Olympic class marksmen they were hired by the golf clubs to shoot the rabbits, and there were side bets who got the most.

If anybody has any info on William Edwin Pimm please let me know.

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