Hockey's Military Stories

Enquiry  Donate

boardThe All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA) Honary Life Members board from 1925 onwards has now been fixed at the Museum. Thanks to Mike Smith for polishing the plate.

The archives at Butts Way are taking shape. Whilst Mike Smith (right) has been busy painting and fixing the sheves, Dil Bahra (left) has been sorting the books and magazines in the library.

DilMike

Hockey, at last, has its own archive museum. The dream of a number of enthusiasts has been realised. The Museum is at Butts Road in the lively, leafy Surrey town of Woking in England.

It has come about largely through the energy and initiative of a group of enthusiasts. Two pairs of people, Mike Smith and David Wareham, on one hand, and Patrick Rowley and Dil Bahra on the other, with largely the same objective of working to preserve hockey's rich heritage, came together. When the two groups met some four years ago, they decided to form a Hockey Archives group.

The group was later expanded to include Katie Dodd, the former England international, and Ian Wilson, the Treasurer of England Hockey. The sextet blended instantly and enormous progress has been made. You can see how far we have progressed.

The collection, spanning the 125 years of hockey's existence, so far consists of books, magazines, photographs, videos, drawings, paintings, besides trophies, plaques, and the changes of hockey clothing, balls, and sticks - even hockey stamps. Some fascinating, even unique, things have come into our possession.

We are also in the process of obtaining extensive statistical records of hockey both for the UK and international hockey. But this is not just about the higher levels of our game. Our collection is a montage of hockey at all levels.

The initial driving force for this collection came from Mike Smith, he of Mercian sports goods fame, and chartered surveyor David Wareham, a former hockey umpire and official. Pat Rowley and Dil Bahra, as members of the Hockey Writers Club, had become increasingly aware of the dearth of readily available information on the game. Pat had realised how little was available back in 1969 when he wrote The Book of Hockey. Dil was particularly interested in India and the subcontinent. Katie Dodd became interested when she joined England Hockey and tried to pull together a historical display for women's hockey. Her energy and drive made her a natural leader for our group.

Ian Wilson was responsible for trying to save what records of England and UK hockey existed when England's National Stadium at Milton Keynes was sold. He set up an England Hockey Archive Steering Group and played a major role in making sure hockey literature was found a home at Bath University.

Our website has been sponsored by Denys Shortt, the former England U21 international, through one of his businesses. He is one of many in hockey who are supporting our venture; people who want to put something back into the game they love.

Thankfully many enthusiasts around the UK, the country where hockey was born, and the rest of the world, have retained and collected hockey memorabilia.

So if you know of anyone, wherever they are in the world, who would like to join us in our initiative or provide memorabilia, do get in touch. We are extremely grateful to Woking Borough Council and its enterprising museum, The Lightbox who have made the site at Butts Road available to us (at peppercorn rent) and provided valuable guidance and help.

Hockey now has two collections of archives. We played an important role in the setting up of the hockey section for Bath University's sports library where their archivist, Lizzie Richmond, has done a wonderful job.

Our next venture will be to make a display to have on view, possibly in Central London, in time for the London Olympics. Soon we will seek to secure individual donations while currently we are working to make the Museum a Charitable Trust.

Meanwhile do get in touch with us. We need your suggestions, ideas, and contributions.

Patrick Rowley, September 2011

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...

Home

About Us & Visiting

Contact Us

Support Us

COVID-19 Collecting

International Focus

News

Features

Quizzes & Games

Education

Library

Oral Histories

Artefacts & Archives

Research & Study Topics

Timeline

Our Partners

BathUni Library Logo     EH Logo on white    FIH Logo Large    HLF compact cmyk   Mercian BLACK 2011 12   WokingBC RGB logo     CMYK Portrait

S5 Box

Login

Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.