Hockey's Military Stories

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The Hockey Museum building 13 High Street Woking        The Hockey Museum library
     
The Hockey Museum First XI exhibition 01   India womens national team visiting The Hockey Museum exhibition at World Cup 2018

 

Position: Charity Trustee
Organisation: The Hockey Museum
Location: UK, Surrey, Woking
Closing date: 27 August 2021
Job Type: Voluntary

 

Are you an experienced professional looking for an opportunity to actively contribute to the development of a young, vibrant and rapidly expanding museum?

The Hockey Museum opened in 2012 and has a growing collection of objects and archive material from England, the rest of the UK and from abroad. The Museum, based in Woking, Surrey, is primarily a volunteer-led organisation with about 30 volunteers who support the museum (physically and virtually) to undertake numerous activities, plus a further 25 volunteers around the country who work on specific projects.

We gained Museum Accreditation in 2018 and have embarked on the implementation of an ambitious, audience-centred Strategic Action Plan which focuses on storytelling and digitisation to increase the Museum’s sustainability and future growth. The museum is a champion of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) within its collections and project work and is working with England Hockey to improve awareness and understanding.

 

Who Are We Looking For?

The current board of nine Trustees is looking to expand and recruit a number of additional Trustees to address the following identified roles:

  1. A museum professional looking to broaden their experience and support a growing museum around best practice, particularly around one or both of:
            Digital audience engagement (including social media)
            Collections management and digitisation
  2. An experienced person with a background in finance to support the Treasurer as part of our succession plans;
  3. Someone with experience of successful grant applications to lead on grant writing with support from the curatorial team, and to manage funder relationships. Grant projects are identified against the Museum’s robust Strategic Plan; and
  4. An enthusiastic person who can support the curatorial team to lead and develop the museum’s current and future academic and other research initiatives.

The Trustees are particularly interested in applications from currently underrepresented groups including women and people from ethnic communities to enable the Board to better reflect the gender and racial diversity of hockey.

 

Meetings

Daytime Board meetings are held quarterly. Trustees are encouraged to attend as many museum events as possible including Volunteer days, exhibitions and two regular social events each year. We are also looking for Trustees to actively contribute to the Museum development and/or running outside of these meetings.

As a small charity, it is not possible to offer any travelling or other expenses to Trustees.

 

Contact

If you would like any further information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Please email your expression of interest with a CV to our Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Interviews will be undertaken in August with a view to successful candidates taking office in September.

The Hockey Museum is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registration no. 1170979).

It is a story that has been years in the making and started when The Hockey Museum began looking at how to collate accurate statistics for the sport. High up on the list was creating a definitive record of Great Britain international matches that would allow physical honours caps to be awarded and individual player numbers to be calculated.

Five years ago, the project began in earnest with a focus on Great Britain internationals. A dedicated team of volunteers came together and have put in an immense amount of work:

Steve Ellis, Sue Lane, Katie Dodd and Mike Smith have worked tirelessly at The Hockey Museum, with support from GB Hockey’s current and former Presidents Sheila Morrow and Richard Leman, as well as ex-GB internationals Simon Hazlitt and Rob Clift from the Hockey Internationals Club. Player representation on the project meetings came from Olympians Helen Richardson-Walsh and Simon Mantell.

As we launch the GB Caps programme today, we are now approaching 1,000 matches played by 581 Great Britain men and women, and the sport has an definitive record which is providing a lasting and proud legacy.

The project continues with a focus moving to home nation caps. In the meantime, there is ongoing work to organise the presentation of all the GB caps to past players. Current members of the Great Britain squad were presented their caps during the recent FIH Hockey Pro League matches in London.

 

GB Women group photo May 2021
 
GB Men group photo May 2021
 

Current members of the Great Britain squad were presented their caps
during the recent FIH Hockey Pro League matches in London.

Images courtesy of GB Hockey.

 

"I currently wear number 13, but I am merely looking after the number for the moment. 193 is my number and it always will be, which is incredibly special.

"A huge, huge thank you for the work you have done."

-- Ellie Rayer #193

             

Ellie Rayer GB cap crop

     

Jack Waller GB cap crop

    

"It was a real privilege and honour to receive my cap and it is incredible to have a tangible representation of one of the proudest moments of my life.

"I can't even begin to imagine the work that has gone into making this project happen but I, the rest of the GB Men's squad and I'm sure everybody capped by GB truly appreciate it. A massive thank you."

-- Jack Waller #365

 

Great Britain Chief Operating Officer Nick Pink said:

“Everyone involved should be hugely proud of their efforts to bring this work together for the good of the sport.

“We are immensely grateful to The Hockey Museum and all the volunteers who have spent thousands of hours producing a high-quality historical record of all men and women who have represented GB alongside their individual player records.

“With the Tokyo Games almost upon us, this is a perfect time to be sharing this piece of work and congratulations to everyone who played a part.”

Mike Smith, Curator of The Hockey Museum said:

“We are very proud of what we’ve done, it’s been an amazing project all carried out by volunteers. We’ve created a legacy for our sport which previously did not exist.”

 

 

https://youtu.be/jnUdp3wWEcs


Watch behind-the-scenes footage as the GB squads receive their honours caps from current GB Hockey President Sheila Morrow and former President Richard Leman.

 

https://youtu.be/9QADGijNtvk


Curator, Mike Smith discusses the extensive statistical research project undertaken by volunteers at The Hockey Museum, which led to the awarding of honours caps and unique player numbers to the GB squads.

 

Former GB Players

If you are a former Great Britain player or know of one, and if you would like more information on caps or the Hockey Internationals Club, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Bridget Cannell cap presentation 01
 
Bridget Cannell's daughter, Tracy French, and son, Mike Cannell, received their mother's honours cap from former Great Britain internationals Jan Burrows (former England captain, second left) and Mary Eckersall (former England & GB captain, far right).

 

The Great Britain (GB) caps initiative – an ongoing project to recognize the achievements of current and former GB international players by awarding them honours caps – is a direct product of The Hockey Museum’s (THM) wider National Playing Statistics Project. It continues to uncover amazing and emotional stories.

Other articles can be found on our website (click here and here), but the most recent presentation was to the family of the late Bridget Cannell. Bridget was a member of the very first GB women’s team which toured the USA in 1965.

 

GBIITS SQUAD ON USA TOUR 1965
 

The Great Britain & Ireland Touring Team of 1965.

Back row: Jennie Braham (England); Joan Horne (Ireland); Maureen Short (E); Helen Weir (Scotland); Bridget Cannell (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).

 

Being a member of that first ever GB team made Bridget women’s GB player number 6. The next GB team was not formed until the late 1970s meaning she only ever won the two caps from that tour. She did win England caps in this era but that is another story entirely. The plot thickens further because originally this USA tour was not recorded in any British records. None of the British players who participated were recorded as having won international caps. On the other hand, the USA did count the games as full internationals and with THM compiling the GB match records as part of its statistics project, it seemed obvious that these matches had to be recognised.

Tracing all of the players from this 1965 tour has proved an interesting and as yet incomplete exercise, but we are getting there. Indeed, tracing all of the 581 men and women players who have ever represented GB hockey is a major task. We estimate that about 150 will have passed away and this is backed by actuarial tables. For those who have died we are endeavouring to make contact with their families and Bridget Cannell is a case in point.

Having made contact with Bridget’s daughter Tracy French, we looked to set up a presentation. Making the contact with Tracy was an amazing piece of detective work by Katie Dodd (ex Met Police!) who, supported by a number of THM’s other volunteers, used many contacts to track down Bridget’s family in Cumbria. Once the contact was made, Tracy and her family became very keen to see her mother honoured and her achievements remembered. With national Covid restrictions in place the event was held at Tracy’s home with her family, her brother and her aunt who was Bridget’s sister. We arranged for former GB international players Jan Burrows (former England captain) and Mary Eckersall (former England & GB captain) to attend and present the cap. Also in attendance were Tracy’s cousins who have played hockey in Windermere, so the hockey connection continues.

Sadly, the Cumbrian weather did not play its part on the day but an emotional and joyful presentation was not dampened. Jan and Mary were very pleased and proud to present the cap on behalf of Great Britain Hockey and THM; it is fair to say that the whole family were truly moved to receive Bridget’s cap. Jan and Mary had never met the family before the presentation but at the end of an amazing afternoon Mary said that she almost felt part of the Cannell family.

 

Bridget Cannell cap presentation 03      Bridget Cannell cap presentation 04
     
 From left to right: Jan Burrows, Tracy French, Tricia Mossop (Bridget Cannell's sister), and Mary Eckersall.   Not even inclement weather could dampen the spirits during a wonderful day celebrating Bridget Cannell's hockey achievements.

 

Tracy wrote to the Museum after the presentation:

“Yesterday was perfect. The gathering of a group of people to remember one person brings you all very close to the presence of who they were, perhaps even more so yesterday as I looked at Jan and Mary and saw determined women made with the same strength and resilience as Mum. The cap is beautifully made and will be treasured … This has been a delightful journey that kept our spirits up during Covid lockdown and started conversations about Mum that I wouldn’t have had.”

This whole story gives truth to the strength of the 'Hockey Family'. We now look forward to arranging the presentation of honours caps to Jan and Mary and to the hundreds of other GB players.

Mirror Sporting Heritage

 

pdf

The Hockey Museum (THM) enjoys a close and fruitful working relationship with Sporting Heritage, the subject-specialist network that supports the collection, preservation, access to and research of sporting collections in the UK.

Arising from this, THM was recently offered the opportunity to feature in a national newspaper editorial promoting the diverse wealth of sporting heritage in the UK. We seized this opportunity with both hands and the editorial appeared last weekend in The Daily Mirror travel supplement.

To read the editorial and familiarise yourself with some of our fellow sporting heritage institutions, please click the PDF icon.

The culmination of The Hockey Museum’s (THM) project to create definitive playing records for Great Britain (GB) international hockey players matches will be the presentation of honours caps to every player with whom we can make contact.

We can now state with confidence that 578 men and women have represented Great Britain since the first outing at the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920. Of this figure 368 of them are men, the disparity between the numbers of men and women being because women’s hockey was only introduced into the Olympic programme in 1980.

 

Honours Cap Awards

THM has so far made the following awards of GB honours caps. If some of the cap totals of these former players seem small in comparison to today, it is because there were many fewer international matches played in years gone by.

 

John Peake GB cap 01

 

John Peake

7 GB caps; debut in 1948.

John played in the 1948 Olympic Games when GB won the silver medal. He is now the only surviving member of that team. We are pleased to report that John is very fit and well and living in a care home in West London. We were not able to make an official hockey presentation because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation (in January 2021), so the Manager of the home, Gayane Selimyan, was truly delighted to present the cap on hockey’s behalf, as John is a very popular resident.

The cap includes John’s record of his debut in 1948, his having played seven times for GB and that he was the 44th player to represent Great Britain.

 

Colin Dickie Dale GB cap award

 

Colin Dale

4 GB caps; debut in 1956.

Colin Dale played for GB in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and was capped 36 times for Wales.

Owing to Covid restrictions (in April 2021), Colin received his cap at his home in Lincolnshire from his son Graham, who is himself a former Minor Counties cricketer with Huntingdonshire.

In very exciting news, The Hockey Museum (THM) is re-opening this month!

We will be welcoming back our volunteers, socially distanced and safely, from the week commencing 17 May 2021 and returning to our regular public opening hours from the week of 21 June 2021 in line with the current government road map.

Should members of the public wish to visit before June, we will return to accepting visits by appointment outside of our volunteer days to minimise risk.

 

A New Exhibit Telling The Story of Changing Goalkeeper Equipment During The 1980s

New GK exhibit 02

 

Ahead of re-opening, the museum team have been undertaking some light refurbishment works before we welcome back our wonderful volunteers and the visiting public. Keen to create a fresh, welcoming experience we’ve changed a few exhibits and had a good de-clutter to boot.

One new exhibit, co-curated with former England and Great Britain (GB) goalkeeper John Hurst, tells the story of the innovative introduction of new protective kit by GB’s Ian Taylor during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Technological developments in hockey equipment and playing surfaces in the years prior to 1984 demanded an evolution of goalkeeping technique to counter the improved pace and accuracy of outfield play. Goalkeepers were now expected to charge down shots as they were struck (a technique known as ‘logging’) rather than relying solely on their reflexes – a much more dangerous style. Yet Taylor met this challenge imperiously with a little help from the ice hockey shops of Los Angeles.

Taylor’s standout performances in his new ‘body armour’ changed the face of hockey goalkeeping. GB claimed an unexpected bronze medal in 1984 beginning the journey to 1988 gold medal success in Seoul, and Taylor’s innovation led ultimately to the foam armour that is so well established today.

In recent years, The Hockey Museum’s Hockey’s Military Stories (HMS) research project has become one of our more extensive activities. It came about because of feats of valour shown by hockey people, yet it goes much further than just wartime exploits and it also extends beyond Britain to include the actions of hockey people throughout the world.

Helping to create this breadth is John Sanders, a great friend of the museum in Australia. Not only does he do an incredible job on Australian hockey statistics but he too has a great interest in hockey in the forces ‘Down Under’!

 

Robert Harold Nimmo      Australian team that played New Zealand in Brisbane in August 1927 Nimmo is standing back row furthest right
     
Left: Major-General Robert Harold Nimmo who served in the Australian Army in WW1 and WW2.
Right: The Australia team that played New Zealand in Brisbane in August 1927. Nimmo, who played half back, is in the back row, furthest right.


This weekend is ANZAC Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". We are pleased to share a presentation of John’s ongoing research into Australian and New Zealand forces hockey as The Hockey Museum’s appreciation of their great contribution and sacrifice.

 

Jean Harrison served in the Womens Royal Australian Naval Service      Jean Harrison played hockey for Australia after WW2 forward fourth in from left
     
Left: Jean Adeline Kerr (Harrison) served in the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service during WW2.
Right: Jean, from Western Australia, was first selected in the 1947 All Australia Blue Ribbon team. Jean (back row, fourth left) played in the forward line.

pdf
For more information on the individuals featured above as well as the profiles and stories of other servicemen and women, download John Sanders's presentation by clicking the PDF icon.

You can follow John's Australian hockey research project through his Facebook page, click here.

Festival of Britain programme 1951This year is the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain in 1951.

This was an enormous, nationwide celebration of all things British. Yes, very jingoistic but it was only six years after the end of WW2, times were hard and spirits needed lifting. Events across the whole social spectrum took place all over the land and there was a huge exhibition in London. Your Curator remembers going to the British Industries Fair (BIF) in Birmingham held in the enormous aircraft hangers where thousands of Spitfire aeroplanes were built during the war.

The events covered all aspects of society including sport and hockey played a small part. At THM we are only just discovering hockey’s involvement and so we are appealing to you for any memories or information that you may have about hockey during the Festival of Britain. We know that internationally we hosted a hockey event at Twickenham rugby ground for both men and women. At club level we know that the premier men’s festival in the Midlands was held at Leamington.

If you have any information about this significant national event please let us know via the website contact form.

Reliving the Wembley Magic is a panel discussion produced in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first women's hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1951. 

https://youtu.be/Jc1RfcR1SNY

 

3 March 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey international at Wembley Stadium on 3 March 1951 and The Hockey Museum, in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio and The Hockey Family, is involved in several activities to celebrate the anniversary.

Up until the late 1940s the usual venue for England test matches was The Oval cricket ground, but the move to the iconic Wembley Stadium in 1951 proved to be a master stroke by the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA). An annual event there was established which continued until 1991 with 41 matches played. England won 25 and lost just 10 playing against the likes of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but also Germany, Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands and others in what must now be understood as an iconic era for women’s hockey, and for women’s sport in general. The only occasion the game had to be moved from Wembley was in 1970 when the White City Stadium replaced a waterlogged Wembley.

The inaugural Wembley game, won by England 6-1 against Ireland, attracted a crowd of 30,000 and the largest attendance of 68,000 in 1976 to see England defeat Scotland 3-0 was a world record for a women’s sporting event until very recently. The event was televised for the first time in 1954 and the Queen was the guest of honour in 1981, touring the stadium in an open-topped Land Rover.

To promote the anniversary, The Hockey Museum, in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio and The Hockey Family, has produced a podcast of a panel discussion co-hosted by Kate Richardson-Walsh and featuring former England captains Anita White and Maggie Souyave, as well as Christabel Russell Vick, the daughter of Mary Russell Vick, whose family were key to realising this iconic fixture. Christabel is co-author of THM's book The Magic of Wembley with former England international Nan Williams.


The Talk Hockey Radio podcast on the panel is available across most podcasting platforms. Choose your favourite by clicking here.

The Hockey Museum’s website also has an article by Christabel reflecting on her parents’ involvement in the decision to move to Wembley from The Oval, as well as her own personal memories. Click here to read the article.

The book The Magic of Wembley chronicles the full story of the Wembley era. Details for purchasing can be found here.

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that three new Trustees were appointed on 12th February 2021, to help further the work of The Hockey Museum (THM).

Sophie Johnson     Paul Harvey cropped     Tochi Panesar
         
 Sophie-May Johnson    Paul Harvey    Tochi Panesar

 

Sophie-May Johnson

Sophie is currently the Assistant Curator, Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and brings with her knowledge of national museum standards as well as digital marketing and of using collections management systems. She has a first-class honours degree from Cardiff University and MA in Public Archaeology from University College, London. She is a keen sportswoman and enjoys cycling and tennis.

Paul Harvey

Paul is currently the Group Marketing Director with Abellio UK and has recently been seconded to the Government to assist with revitalising the transport industry following the Covid pandemic. Prior to this he was the Global Marketing Director with Merlin Entertainments and had special responsibility for Legoland Parks. He is a player-coach with South Berkshire Hockey Club and enjoys running and studying contemporary history.

Tarlochan Singh Panesar (Tochi)

Tochi is retired and is the former Chair of the Spencer Sports Club and a former President of Spencer Hockey Club in London. He was an IT professional with Lloyds Bank for over 30 years and was involved with major infrastructure delivery projects. He was the Spencer Hockey Club’s 1st XI captain and has also played for London Indians, Lusitanians and Members Hockey Clubs.

 

Our Museum Chair, John Willmott said:

“Following a couple of trustee retirements, we are absolutely delighted that we are to be joined by three such professional individuals, who each bring with them new skills that the Museum needs and that will help THM to move forward.

“In my opinion the Museum is the hockey world’s best kept secret and with the combined talents of these new Trustees together with our current trustees means that we will be well served going forwards. As a board we rely heavily on the dedication and expertise of our volunteers and of our small staff and these appointees will help us direct our efforts more effectively. In addition, we can increase our global marketing and digital audience engagement that is now so important and with the Museum having so much that it can offer to all of our sports audiences be they young or old!”

 

Of our most recently departed Trustee, Lucy Newcombe, John said:

“The Hockey Museum is grateful to Lucy for her hard work and commitment over recent years; she has aided the Museum’s development in many ways. Lucy leaves behind a professional museum that has evolved to become a prominent player within the sporting heritage world and an invaluable advocate for hockey’s unique history. I wish to thank her for her efforts.”

 

Explore THM website using the menu navigation. You can support the Museum’s work by donating or becoming a Friend (click here for more information), and you can read about our other Trustees in their own words on the trustees page of the website (click here).

The Hockey Museum (THM) is very proud to announce that its recent past Chair, Katie Dodd, has been awarded an MBE for services to hockey in the New Year’s Honours List.

 

1981 Eng v Wales Wembley Katie Dodd
  Katie Dodd in action for England against Wales at Wembley in 1981.


Katie has been involved in hockey for the best part of fifty years and her roles within the sport are hugely significant. She reached the highest level as a player, winning twenty-six caps for England in the 1980s and captaining the nation to a bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships. Off the pitch she served more than twenty-five years at Ealing Ladies Hockey Club and became a hugely respected administrator at club, county, southern region and national level. She was also a member of the committee of the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA). Notably she was a member of the England Hockey Board from 2008 to 2015. In 2018 Katie became one of only eight people to have been awarded the England Hockey Member of Honour, the highest accolade given by the governing body.

In more recent years Katie became the first Chair of the Board of Trustees of THM in 2011, retiring in 2019; she remains a Trustee and an active volunteer. This was the period when THM acquired its first ‘permanent home’ which provided the springboard for the museum’s development on many fronts. During her tenure as Chair the museum attracted a significant team of volunteers and was able to take on staff to help manage its development. In 2012 THM became a registered charity and in 2018 achieved accredited museum status from Arts Council England, thanks to strategic direction from Katie. In the same year THM received the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) President’s Award, which recognised the work done internationally as well as at home.

 

FIH Presidents Award presentation HWC lunch 2019
 
 Katie (right) receives the FIH President's Award from then England Hockey President Sue Bodycomb
during the Hockey Writers' Club luncheon in 2019.


The increased exposure of the museum saw over 100 collections a year arriving at the Woking premises and the overall collection now totals over seventy-five thousand items. Regular exhibitions at international events further enhance the museum’s reputation, as do numerous study projects, including one to accurately catalogue the national teams’ playing records, which Katie is particularly involved with.

Her contribution to the sport has been quite remarkable, as is her spirit, love for the game and willingness to help others for the good of hockey. She fully deserves to be made an MBE and congratulations go to her from all her colleagues at THM.

When Katie heard of the award she said:

“What an amazing honour! But hockey is a team sport so I feel this award is also recognition of the many inspirational, passionate and committed people I have been privileged to play and work alongside throughout my hockey career. The last ten years at The Hockey Museum has been a particularly special time with the staff, volunteers, Trustees and supporters pulling together to make it an amazing journey. That said, there is still so much more to do!”


In addition to the above – yes, there is more – Katie also supports THM financially as a Friend. If you've found yourself suitably inspired by her immense efforts to drive the museum forward, you may like to show your support by joining her as a fellow Friend of The Hockey Museum or by making an alternative donation.

Details can be found here.

Hockey's Military Stories: An Introduction

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