Hockey's Military Stories

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For many, Lockdown was an opportunity to have a ‘clear out’ and The Hockey Museum (THM) has received a tremendous amount of new material as a result.

Despite being closed for a significant part of the year, we received over 100 new collections. Among these:

  • The collection of late National League umpire Tarsem Chaggar;
  • A gift of master tapes and DVDs of coaching films was received from England international and Olympic coach Gavin Featherstone;
  • The remnants of the Hounslow HC collection arrived;
  • The doctoral thesis of Joanne Halpin: ‘Will You Walk into our Parlour?’: The Rise of Leagues and their Impact on the Governance of Women’s Hockey in England 1895-1939;
  • 23 volumes of Punch managazine containing 23 cartoons of hockey spanning 101 years from 1850 to 1951;
  • We received further material from the career of England’s World Cup-winning captain Anita White;
  • A loan of material relating to GB goalkeeper Harry Haslam, including a framed portrait painting and his Olympic gold medal; and
  • The library that already held nearly 2,000 books has received 40 more during the two lockdowns.


THM’s dedicated band of volunteers have continued to come in whenever we have been allowed to open, cataloguing material and making headway against our backlog.

Anita White jacket low res

Anita White's England blazer from the 1971 International Federation of Women's Hockey

Associations (IFWHA) World Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, 1971.

We have made great strides to collate all the magazines held by THM across the various collections, working to create full sets and identify gaps in preparation for forthcoming digitisation projects. We will be putting out appeals for those we are missing, so stay tuned.

THM’s commitment to collections and archiving was confirmed at the recent Trustees’ Meeting, held on Zoom of course, when it was agreed to increase Carli’s role as Collections Officer to three days per week from 1 January. Also, with the number of archives held by THM increasing, it was decided to advertise for a two-days-per-week Archivist to assist progress in this vital area. These appointments will need volunteer support, so if you’re interested in hockey heritage, do please make contact.

Tarsem Chaggar 01     Tarsem Chaggar 02
     
 Objects from the collection of umpire Tarsem Chaggar.

As part of the Hidden Histories Illustrated project, in partnership with Sporting Heritage and Illustrator Jessica Hartshorn, The Hockey Museum is excited to be included in The Christmas Calendar 'Match It' game.

We have 24 unusual objects from sporting museums across the UK and your task is to try and match the image to the clue. Can you match them all? Also, complete the colouring in sheet, which includes the sporting objects on the answer page. Click the image below to download the activities.

Large print version available.

 

Hidden Histories

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The Hockey Museum (THM) is delighted to announce that it has been successful in securing a £15,000 grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery Fund. The award is for a study to assess the feasibility of a mobile exhibition facility so that the stories and objects from hockey’s rich history can be shared more easily and more widely with the public.

THM have commissioned Tricolor Associates to work with its team on this exciting project, which has the potential to engage audiences with hockey heritage on a national and possibly even European level.

THM Trustee, Philip Kimberley who led the grant application said:

“THM is grateful to Arts Council England and the National Lottery for their support of the initial planning and feasibility work for a mobile hockey exhibition/experience. We are the custodians of a wonderfully vast array of heritage objects and historical stories, but outside of its exhibitions at major international tournaments, THM has lacked the ability to consistently and impactfully share these with the public. This opportunity to ask, listen, learn and get creative with the concept of a mobile facility begins yet another stage of THM’s innovative journey.”

Sarah Dowd, Director of Tricolor said:

“Tricolor is delighted to be working with The Hockey Museum to explore new, innovative options for engaging with players, families and fans in the hockey community and beyond. The museum shows real aspiration and a desire to disrupt how sports heritage is made accessible to different audiences, tapping into the heart of what makes sport playing and spectatorship so enjoyable and for some, a lifelong passion.”

For further information, please use the contact form.

The Hockey Museum (THM) is pleased to announce that one of its latest acquisitions is a set of coaching tapes produced by well-known international hockey coach Gavin Featherstone. Gavin has gifted to the museum the master tapes from 14 videos that he produced from the mid 1980s through to the mid naughties. As part of the gift Gavin has passed to THM the rights for us to use the extensive footage to help promote the activity of THM.

Gavin played for and captained England in 42 matches at all levels before becoming a coach. His coaching took him all over the world, including taking the USA and South African teams to the Olympic Games. It was his experience of coaching around the world that forms the basis of these amazing coaching tapes.

The tapes cover a wide-ranging subject list, incorporating Gavin’s very analytical and sometimes unique take on hockey. They are of an exceptionally high quality and include fascinating footage of matches that are not normally available. We will be presenting a full listing, including a few clips, in the new year.

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Left: Gavin directing training exercises for the tapes in Los Angeles, USA.

Right: A selection of covers from Gavin's coaching tapes.


Gavin visited THM recently to deliver the tapes, saying that he hoped they would add to the many treasures already in THM. In addition to his coaching, Gavin has already penned three books on hockey which are available from THM’s shop – please make an enquiry through our website contact form (select "THM Shop"):

  • The Hockey Dynamic: Examining the Forces That Shaped the Modern Game
  • That Ain’t Hockey - More a Way of Life
  • Hockey in the Blood

His new venture is in writing novels, with his first released this month. Titled Rhesus Positive, it is a suspense-fuelled thriller and is available via Amazon Books. A review of his new title appears on the Book Reviews page of our website.

As we arrive at Lockdown 2.0 in England and hockey's league season comes to an abrupt halt, we look back on a few of our favourite pieces of material collected during the first push and hopefully bring a bit of happiness and warmth in doing so.

You can find out more about The Hockey Museum's #CollectingCOVID contemporary collecting initiative here.

All images and video shared here with the permission of the club, school or provider.

 

Wick Ladies' HC

Wick Ladies' HC wrote a club song that inspired a virtual club music festival.  How's that for teamwork?

https://youtu.be/JAQvb3lqQ5k

 

Merton HC

Junior players from Merton HC in South London conducted a skills marathon (26 skills in 26 minutes) to fundraise for the NHS and NSPCC Childline. They raised a wonderful £700!

https://youtu.be/8tTaz4N4NsM

 

West Bridgford HC

Steve Lemotee of West Bridgford HC enjoyed some socially distanced dribbling around Nottingham without getting tackled.

V1062 Easter 2020 in Nottm Arboretum pigeons Steve LeMottee      V1068 Easter 2020 in Nottm Robin Hood statue Steve LeMottee      V1069 Easter 2020 in Nottm Tram Steve LeMottee
         
Left to right: Steve Lemottee in Nottingham Arboretum, dribbling around the city's Robin Hood statue, and being closed down by an on-rushing, heavy-set opponent.



10 Touch Challenge

The 10 Touch Challenge went viral complete with loo rolls and hockey got in on the action.

https://youtu.be/TgQ56flVaHs

 

Godolphin & Latymer School

Godolphin & Latymer School's girl's hockey team ran to fundraise for the NHS. They raised nearly £10,000!

V1171 Hockey Squad
 
V1172 NHS
 
Godolphin & Latymer School's girl's hockey team who ran 5km and used GPS to spell out a message of support in the process.



Big Night Spin Challenge

The Big Night Spin Challenge brought back memories of festival hockey games.

https://youtu.be/Xhosh8T4D2Y

 

Footscray HC

And our appeal even reached Australia with Footscray HC in Melbourne delighting us with a re-imagining (ahem) of John Lennon's signature tune.

Mercian House 1988
 
Mercian House in 1988, adorned with bunting and Union 'Jack' flag following the GB men winning the gold medal at the Seoul Olympic Games. Hundreds of passing motorists sounded their horns in appreciation.

 

The Curator and founder of The Hockey Museum (THM) Mike Smith was also the founder of the well-known hockey equipment supplier Mercian, back in 1974. The business moved to Woking in 1978 and its home and premises in Maybury Road became a well-known hockey landmark, both for players looking for equipment and the millions that passed by on the train.

Mercian’s home at 151-152 Maybury Road also became the spiritual home/birthplace of THM thanks to Mike’s deep interest in the history and heritage of our sport. He collected anything to do with hockey and with a warehouse at the rear of the premises he was able to store things! He set up a library and archive which many students of hockey visited long before THM became a reality in its own home in 2011, also in Woking.

Mercian prospered and moved to larger premises a year or so ago, meaning that Mercian House became redundant. Although, after 42 years of faithful service to hockey the building and site are to be redeveloped, a link will continue as the development is to retain the name of Mercian House. The cast nameplate that has adorned it for the past four decades will continue a link with our sport.

GBIITS SQUAD ON USA TOUR 1965

Back row: Jennie Braham (England); Joan Horne (Ireland); Maureen Short (E); Helen Weir (Scotland); Bridget Cannel (E); Thelma Hopkins (I); Valerie Sinclair (S).
Sitting: Mary Hyland (Wales); Janice Mitchell (S); Joyce Hunter (S); Mrs Hopkins, Manager (I); Nan Thomas (W); Ellen Toulson (E); Helen O’Neil (I).
Kneeling: Barbara Stacey (W); Janet Morgan (W).


Following hot on the heels of our Great Britain (GB) men’s centenary in the build up to National Sporting Heritage Day 2020, our stats project has revealed another distinguished occasion: the first, newly certified GB women’s matches.

The 55th anniversary was last week (more detail here), but its significance was only realised following new research by The Hockey Museum (THM). Previously, the test matches played by the Great Britain & Ireland Touring Team in the USA in 1965 were not considered official and did not count as GB-capped matches. So, not only did these matches take place before what was previously recognised as the first GB women’s match, but these women have now become the first GB players!

The problem is that we haven’t been able to trace them all – or their families – to give them the good news. We have located six of the squad: Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) and Valerie Crombie (nee Sinclair) from Scotland; Eirianwen (Nan) Thomas and Janet Hopkin (Morgan) from Wales; and Joan Priestman (Horne) of Ireland. They have all contributed to the telling of the story of the tour.

Following recent promotion, we received three more contacts – Helen O'Boyle (nee O'Neill), Ellen Jenkins (nee Toulson) and the son of Jennifer Stokes (nee Braham) who sadly died in 2012  but there are six still to trace. Can you help us?


Bridget Parkes
(nee Cannell; capped for England) – married just before the tour; at that time living in the Manchester area.

Mary Hyland (capped for Wales) – possibly emigrated to Canada.

Thelma Hopkins (capped for Ireland also in athletics) – married (McClernon) at end of the tour before emigrating to Canada.

Joyce Hunter (Tour Captain; capped for Scotland) – deceased, so looking for family connections.

Helen Weir (GK; capped for Scotland) – deceased, so looking for family connections.

Maureen Short (capped for England) – deceased, so looking for family connections.


You can use these links to the Facebook and Twitter social media posts to share and re-tweet. The wider we can reach, the greater our chances of success. Please take a moment to help.

 

Following the centenary of the first Great Britain (GB) men’s international match (vs Denmark) on 1 September 1920 at the Antwerp Olympic Games comes the 55th anniversary of the GB women’s team’s first international appearance on 9 October 1965.

This game occurred during a 63-day tour of the USA by a British and Irish team, nicknamed the GBITTs, comprising players from all four Home Nations.

The game against the 1964 US team was played on grass at Kent Place School, New Jersey, and resulted in a 5-1 win for the British team. Their highly impressive tour record against all teams was: played 24, with 22 wins, one draw and one defeat, 161 goals for and 13 against.

A further game against the 1965 US team, now designated as Great Britain’s second official women’s international, took place on 28 November 1965 at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, during the annual USFHA Tournament. It ended in a 4-4 draw. The tourists’ only defeat was a 2-1 reverse against Brandywine.

 

GBITT J Hornes Muckross Blazer Great Britian and Ireland Ladies tour of USA 1965     GBITT J Hornes Muckross cloth badge Great Britian and Ireland Ladies tour of USA 1965
 
Joan Horne's blazer from the Great Britain and Ireland tour of USA, 1965.
Image credit: Dublin City Library and Irish Hockey Archives.


The tour was sanctioned by the Women’s British & Irish Hockey Board but was self-financed by the players, although the Welsh members received £50 from their governing body. The squad comprised 15 players – four each from England, Scotland and Wales and three from Ireland, one of whom was from Ulster – plus a manager Mrs Hopkins, the mother of the Ulster representative Thelma Hopkins. They had no coach, physio or other support staff.

The squad was largely made up of existing internationals although a Welsh member, Mary Hyland, who replaced the English Jean Mead, was a Wales Reserve player with no previous senior caps and gained none after the tour. Three others – one each from England, Wales and Scotland – were from their nations’ Reserve teams. Four of the party, including the captain Joyce Hunter, a Scot, plus the manager, have now passed away, the whereabouts of four more are unknown and two are believed to have emigrated to Canada.

GBIITS SQUAD ON USA TOUR 1965
Back row: Jennie Braham (England); Joan Horne (Ireland); Maureen Short (E); Helen Weir (Scotland); Bridget Cannel (E); Thelma Hopkins (I); Valerie Sinclair (S).
Sitting: Mary Hyland (Wales); Janice Mitchell (S); Joyce Hunter (S); Mrs Hopkins, Manager (I); Nan Thomas (W); Ellen Toulson (E); Helen O’Neil (I).
Kneeling: Barbara Stacey (W); Janet Morgan (W).


The players had not met as a team before the tour; their first game together was in the first match against Long Island which they won 11-0. This was not their biggest win as they later beat Baltimore 12-0.

Despite the one defeat the captain Joyce Hunter said: “We can still claim a record – we never came off the field with a wet uniform, a tribute to US weather and our luck!”
The quality of the pitches they encountered was varied with some described as “like a ploughed field.”

24 games in 63 days, mainly along the East Coast, from Boston in the North to Virginia in the South and Chicago to the West, meant a lot of travel by air and on Greyhound buses. Accommodation was with families, some in very plush homes and in colleges, with roommates rotated to help in team bonding. All five tourists this writer spoke to were full of praise for the hospitality they received and the facilities at the college venues.

The food they enjoyed was also much praised with the generous helpings a great temptation. Fitness was maintained in runs rather than in gyms. Lobster at Hugo’s in Boston proved memorable while beef burgers and the 28 varieties of ice cream at Howard Johnson’s were favourites.

Despite the short down time between matches, the squad managed to visit many famous tourist places en route. At the outset they visited the World’s Fair in New York, a flight to Rochester gave them a view of the Great Lakes, and Niagara Falls was a highlight. In Washington they visited the Capitol, the White House and Arlington Cemetery, which they found very moving. Their final three days after the last game were based in a New York hotel and allowed visits to the Empire State building, the United Nations, Broadway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Greenwich Village – and the inevitable shopping. Some admitted to having to buy a larger suitcase for the return flight.

Following this highly successful tour, it would be some 13 years before a formal Great Britain structure was put in place to select and prepare a team to compete in the first women’s Olympic tournament in Moscow in 1980. Because of the boycott GB did not compete in Moscow and it was not until the 1988 Seoul Games that GB women made their Olympic debut.

 

GBITT US CAPTAINS AND CONSTANCE APPLEBEE
 
 GBITT and USA captains with Constance Applebee, the British-born
pioneer credited with bringing hockey to the United States.

 

Sheila Morrow, President of Great Britain Hockey, commenting on the anniversary event, said: “I have enormous pleasure and pride to add my congratulations to the pioneering group of women who represented Great Britain & Ireland on the 1965 tour and are now recognised as playing the first ever women’s GB matches and earning the first ever women’s GB honours caps.

“Those visionary officials who collaborated to ensure the tour went ahead, together with the players selected to represent GB, certainly paved the way for future squads and set a standard that all subsequent GB internationals have striven to emulate. As GB President, I look forward to meeting members of this first team as soon as practicable and giving public acknowledgement of their achievements.”

Scot Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) summed up the reaction of the players, twelve of whom will earn honours caps, saying: “I’m absolutely stunned at the news but delighted to get tangible recognition of our achievement after all this time.”

The importance of this USA tour in the annals of hockey history has been uncovered by the very thorough investigative work carried out by the volunteer statisticians at The Hockey Museum. It is amazing that prior to this study project no definitive playing records existed for the Great Britain teams. It was through the investigations that this 1965 tour became apparent and, as the Americans had advertised the two games as full internationals, it was obvious that GB had to consider including them.

The study is now complete with 415 women’s matches in addition to the 615 men’s matches. The records give full results of all matches, with goal scorers, match number and, most interestingly, the player numbers. The numbers for the tourists to the USA are easy to determine as they were the very first GB women’s internationals. The remainder, together with all the other fascinating information, will be announced in May 2021 when the GB teams preparing to go to the Tokyo Olympics will receive their international honours caps.

This will be followed over the next few years by definitive details of England players, hopefully in time for the World Cups, then a listing of all international matches ever played, some 29,000 of them. The Hockey Museum also has volunteers working on a listing of Umpires and Officials, the unsung heroes of our sport. Then we will turn our attention to the English National and Regional Leagues for which virtually no complete records exist.

 

If you fancy getting involved with this fascinating and rewarding work, please get in touch. Don’t be frightened off because you have no experience in statistics.

The writer is indebted to the five tourists who contributed to the composition of the story of the USA tour: Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) and Valerie Crombie (Sinclair) from Scotland; Eirianwen (Nan) Thomas and Janet Hopkin (Morgan) from Wales; and Joan Priestman (Horne) of Ireland. Their memories in recalling events 55 years ago were remarkable.


To continue our good work and to achieve our ambitions we really need your help. You can support our charitable museum financially by donating or becoming a Friend.

Please contribute to the creation of a world-class museum for hockey and help us to give hockey's history a future.

Click here to find out more.

 

To celebrate this year's National Sporting Heritage Day, Sporting Heritage have created a family treasure hunt showcasing the amazing sporting heritage collections available around the UK, including that of The Hockey Museum.

Click the map below to visit the Sporting Heritage website and begin your treasure hunt.

 

NSHD Treasure Map Final

https://youtu.be/sR_WV0JNIsI


The Hockey Museum in Woking has had a first sight of a 1920 Olympic gold medal. It was won by Harry Haslam OBE, the Great Britain (GB) hockey goalkeeper at the Antwerp Games, and is on loan to the Museum from the Haslam family, together with memorabilia, including an oil painting of Haslam, his Antwerp participation medal and civilian medals.

 

Harry Haslam display 04     Harry Haslam display 05
     
Harry Haslam display 06      Harry Haslam display 08 
The Harry Haslam display at The Hockey Museum.   


The medal and memorabilia was on display at a private presentation at the Museum on 5 September, the centenary of the close of the 1920 hockey tournament, attended by ten of Haslam’s descendants - socially distanced, of course. They received a personalised tour of the Museum and Haslam's GB honours cap from triple Olympic hockey goalkeeper Simon Mason. It was a wonderful event with three generations of Haslam's descendents present and the children clearly delighting in the experience.

 

blogimage2    blogimage1    blogimage4
 Harry Haslam’s honours cap is presented to his great grandson Richard Ottaway by triple Olympian Simon Mason.   Christopher Ottaway, descendent of Harry Haslam, wearing the honours cap commemorating his relative’s hockey appearances (caps) for Great Britain.   Francesca Ottaway wearing her great, great grandfather's honours cap. 

 

Richard Ottaway, great grandson of Harry, said:

"The day was truly memorable for all of us; the cap really is a thing of beauty, significance and status. My daughter Francesca was really taken in by everything. I never want to force anything on her so when sporting and family heritage is able to be passed on in this way it is very pleasing. You captured some wonderful photos – infinite thanks for everything."

Harry Haslam has been designated as GB men’s player number one. The official launch of honours caps to current and past GB international hockey players will be held at an FIH Pro League weekend in London next May.

 

Gold medal Antwerp 1920 front     Gold medal Antwerp 1920 reverse

Harry Haslam’s gold medal from the Antwerp Olympic Games of 1920.

Font: left / Obverse: right

 

The Antwerp medal is of gold gilt, unlike the 1908 London Olympic gold medal also held on loan by the Museum and looks more like silver. It is believed this less expensive metal was used be-cause money was scarce so soon after World War One.

On the obverse of the medal, a tall, naked athlete, holding in his left hand a palm leaf and a laurel crown, symbols of victory. On the reverse, the Antwerp monument, commemorating the legend of Brabo, hero of the city, throwing into the river the hand of a giant who had been terrorizing shipping.

If you are a former GB player, we are interested in talking to you about our plans to make available honours caps to you and your peers. Please get in touch via the website contact form.

Are you tech savvy and understand the power of social media?


Are you plugged into hockey’s diverse community?


Do you have a marketing/fundraising background?

The Hockey Museum (THM) needs you!

THM’s Board of Trustees is currently looking to bring new skills onboard. THM is the world’s only museum dedicated to the sport of hockey and we want to build a Board that better represents the diversity of the hockey family as well as expanding our skill set.

The physical museum that houses our collections is located in Woking, Surrey; however, we are now developing our online collection and resources to become digital by default within five years. We are building strong online partnerships with both England Hockey and The International Hockey Federation.

The museum is run by a small permanent staff team who are supported by over forty regular volunteers and a Board of Trustees. We are seeking to recruit one or two new trustees who would wish to be part of our exciting project as we continue to grow and promote THM.

Being a trustee of THM is a voluntary role and trustees are expected to attend four board meetings per year. As THM is a very small museum, trustees are necessarily required to be more involved in the museum’s operations and most trustees carry out a specific role based on their skills and experience. This will require some extra work outside of general trustee duties as carried out for board meetings; this work may be undertaken remotely.

You do not need to be a hockey player to be a trustee. We are seeking enthusiastic people who can add value to our museum by applying their skills and experience to help us lead THM into the future. We are committed to progressing towards achieving gender parity and greater diversity on our Board and we are particularly keen to receive applications from BAME communities. We have noted that the age profile of the Board is another element of diversity we wish to address.

If you have the relevant skills or experience in the areas identified above, we would love to hear from you. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or email your CV and a one page letter detailing why you are interested. The closing date for applications is Monday 26 October 2020.

Hockey's Military Stories: An Introduction

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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

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Lt Campbell: The First Hockey Player To Die In WW1

Lt Campbell: The First Hockey Player To Die In WW1

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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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