Hockey's Military Stories

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By Mike Smith

Two collections that have arrived at the Museum have actually been with us for over twenty years.

They were collections given to us as a ‘fledgling set-up’ but, with the loss of our first home in Milton Keynes, they were never updated and sorted. This fascinating job is now being done and revealing some remarkable treasures.

Fortunately, these two large collections are one each from men’s and women’s hockey. How grateful we are to those far-sighted hockey enthusiasts who retained all their hockey possessions.

The women’s collection was passed to us at the time of Marjorie Pollard’s death and is a fascinating insight into the women’s game from its start right through to the 60’s/70’s. As editor of Hockey Field she had a privileged access to the game and that is now passed to us. Amongst the gems are the oldest known women’s photo, some films from the 1930’s, lots of books as she was a prolific author and masses of stuff from her times editing Hockey Field.

From the men’s side came Bob Mason’s collection. Bob was England Team Secretary throughout the 1970’s and collected material from before and after he was team secretary.

He too had a good library but the jewels were his England and GB men’s teams and results records. Over many years he painstakingly compiled a complete record of all matches, including team lists, scorers, umpires, management, etc, and then cumulative results against all the nations. A remarkable piece of work that will be invaluable in our statistics section.

February 2014

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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