Search

Obituary: International fencing champion worked as stunt double for Hollywood icon Errol Flynn

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 February 2014

Raymond Paul (right).

Raymond Paul (right).

Archant

A top-class British fencer who worked as a stunt double for Hollywood icon Errol Flynn has passed away, aged 85.

Raymond Paul (far left) with his brother Rene (far right), father Leon (centre, right) and an unknown fencer.Raymond Paul (far left) with his brother Rene (far right), father Leon (centre, right) and an unknown fencer.

Long-time Highgate resident Raymond Paul died on December 23 last year.

Along with his elder brother Rene, Raymond was one of a select band of British fencers to make a mark on the international scene during the 1950s and ’60s.

The brothers represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952 and in Melbourne in 1956, where Raymond, together with Allan Jay, reached the final of the Men’s Foil.

During these years, Raymond and Rene were the stars of British foil events, fighting under the banner of the Salle Paul club founded by their father Leon Paul, a French fencing master.

Raymond was a four-time British men’s foil champion, runner-up five times and open champion three times between 1951 and 1959. The brothers led Salle Paul to victory no less than 17 times in the British national team championships.

Raymond was part of the Commonwealth Games team that won gold medals in 1950, 1954 and 1958. In 1958, he also won individual gold.

Raymond also acted as a fencing double for film stars, such as Errol Flynn, in several classic films of the 1950s.

Raymond Rudolph Valentine Paul was born in 1928 to Leon and Anna, of French and Lithuanian origin respectively, who had settled in London.

Leon was a successful fencing master and Raymond and Rene were introduced to the sport at a very young age.

At the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Raymond was ­engaged to June Foulds, the British women’s 100m champion, who was also competing at the Games and won a bronze medal. She later won silver at the Melbourne Olympics.

The couple married in 1952 and upon the death of his father in 1963, Raymond and his brother took over the running of the family business started by his father in 1928.

Under their direction, Leon Paul Equipment Co Ltd became one of the largest manufacturers of fencing equipment in the world. The company pioneered the machine manufacture of fencing blades and was at the forefront of the introduction of electronic scoring equipment for foil, epee and sabre, which is now standard.

Raymond lived in Highgate most of his life and his home was the centre for the London fencing community.

His New Year’s Day parties were famous – always beginning with a football game on Highgate Fields involving over 50 people.

Raymond’s home in Highgate had a downstairs reception area replicating an ancient Roman dining hall, with ornate pillars, marble flooring and classical bust, while the marital bedroom was decked out to resemble scenes from Rudolf Valentino’s 1921 film The Sheik.

In 1970, Raymond and June divorced and two years later he married Barbara Jones. He is survived by Barbara, three children from his first marriage, Steven, Danielle, and Charlie, and a daughter, Anastasia, from his second marriage.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

Yesterday, 11:32

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Yesterday, 11:20

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

Yesterday, 10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

Yesterday, 10:33

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

Yesterday, 10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

Mon, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now