Hockey's Military Stories

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Captain Cox stick 02 low res
 
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 the most important in existence. As stated on the engraved plate it was used in 1926, so it will actually be a few years older. In THM’s collection we have sticks going back to the 1890s and before, but it is the provenance and story behind this stick that make it so special.

It was owned by Captain H V M Cox, an officer in the British Army in India after WW1. He served in the 8th Punjab Regiment. British servicemen were responsible for introducing hockey to India during the previous decades. By the mid 1920s the popularity of hockey was such that an international tour was proposed, the full details of which are included in a fascinating article by Dil Bahra (click here).

 

Indian Army Hockey Team tour of New Zealand 1926
 
Indian Army Hockey Team in New Zealand 1926.
Photo credit: Thakar Singh family collection & SikhsinHockey.com.

 

The touring party was made up of 17 players, four of whom were British Officers. They played 21 matches in New Zealand (NZ) which included three games against the NZ national team that had previously only played against Australia. With one win, one draw and one loss, honours were even. These three matches were later included in India's national playing records and this team formed the basis of the amazing Indian team that went on to win Olympic gold in 1928, 1932 and 1936. The British Officers that took part retrospectively became international hockey players for India.

Whilst they would never have known of this elevated status, it would be wonderful to make contact with their descendants. They included Capt. Cox, making his stick perhaps the only tangible relic of India's first ever international match.

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

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Lieutenant Eric Walter Poyntz Westmacott RN

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