Hockey's Military Stories

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Surbiton Hockey Club are not quite the oldest club in the world but they do have the oldest and most complete ‘club archive’; unless you know better, of course! Their minute books go back to 1874 together with copious press cuttings and a complete collection of their club newsletter from its inception in 1928 right up to the present day.

Surbiton have now agreed to put these valuable archives into the custody of The Hockey Museum (THM). Curator Mike Smith said: “It is a tribute to Surbiton HC that they have managed to retain these valuable archives across nearly 140 years and they will be a true gem in our growing collection.” Because of THM’s growing relationship with the Surrey History Centre and the fact that Surbiton is a Surrey club, it is hoped that we will have this amazing collection professionally archived very promptly.

Amongst the Surbiton archive is one book that relates to Molesey Hockey Club, one of the very original clubs in England. Molesey HC did not survive but one of its members, Mr S G Dobby, kept a record of their activities. He went on to join Surbiton HC, just down the road, and handed his record over to his new club. It is a miracle that such an item should have survived.

It is also an amazing coincidence considering the article on the oldest hockey photographs. In the space of a couple of months we have received the record of Molesey HC and the photo of East Molesey Ladies HC; two separate clubs, neither of which survived, but from the same Surrey village.

Hockey's Military Stories: An Introduction

This research project was prompted by the enormous interest and publicity that has surrounded the centenary of the start of WW1. We knew that many, indeed thousands, of hockey players were involved and that many lost their lives. The stories do not just relate to serving men but also those...

India's First International Match: Indian Army Team Tour to New Zealand, 1926

India's First International Match: Indian Army Team Tour to New Zealand, 1926

  Captain H V M Cox's hockey stick from the Indian Army Hockey Team tour to New Zealand in 1926.The engraved plate reads:1926 Indian Army Hockey Team v New Zealand.390 goals for. 37 against.Stick used by Captain V M H Cox throughout the tour.   This stick is one of...

Lt Campbell: The First Hockey Player To Die In WW1

Lt Campbell: The First Hockey Player To Die In WW1

Lt Charles Arthur Campbell   It seems highly likely that Lt Charles Arthur Campbell was the first hockey player to make the ultimate sacrifice in WW1 as there were so few others killed, officers or soldiers, before the Battle at Mons. Lt Campbell was born in London but grew up...

Hockey Heroism At The Only Major Sea Battle Of WW1

Hockey Heroism At The Only Major Sea Battle Of WW1

Once the First World War had begun it became obvious that the Royal Navy, traditionally the pride of the British Nation for centuries, would have to play a vital role in what would become both a domestic and global conflict or perish in the attempt. Not for nothing is the...

Lieutenant Eric Walter Poyntz Westmacott RN

Lieutenant Eric Walter Poyntz Westmacott RN

Perhaps the first Naval hockey player to become a casualty of the Great War? Lieutenant Eric Walter Poyntz Westmacott RN was on the left wing for the Royal Navy in 1912 and in 1914 he was reported as "the best player in the Navy team". That was to be his...

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