This torch was one of the 1688 torches designed and manufactured in the UK for the 'Relay of Peace' which took place before the 1948 Olympic Games. 1416 runners carried the Olympic flame 3160 km from the ancient site of Olympia in Greece to Wembley Stadium in London. The first runner Corporal Dimitrelis took off his military uniform before taking up the flame commemorating the sacred truce of Ancient Greece which was observed during the Ancient Olympics. This gesture highlighted the peace that Europe and the world was now entering after World War Two. Due to the war there had not been an Olympic games for 12 years and the games became known as the Austerity Games as no new venues were built.
The final torch in the relay lit the Olympic cauldron at Wembley Stadium and opened the XI Olympiad. This tradition is linked to the ancient Olympic Games where at the sanctuary of Olympia a flame burned permanently on the altar of the goddess of the hearth Hestia.
The torches from the 1948 Olympics were given as momentous to the runners and it is not known how many are still in existence. The inscription reads "XIVth Olympia to London with thanks to the bearer".