Sporting Record and Military Achievements
The East Surrey Regiment
Some hard riding, accompanied by some tumbles, took place at Rawalpindi Point to Point Meeting on 18th February 1930, in which the 1st Battalion competed. Ladies showed considerable spirit - two of them were unseated but remounted to finish the course. The final event was "A Mule Scurry" where honours were shared equally by The Border Regiment and The King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
The 2nd Battalion hockey team had quite a successful 1929-30 season, reaching the semi-final of the Army Cup before being defeated 3-2 by the Queen's after extra time.
In the Command finals Cross Country running complete victory was obtained by 194 points to 305. Pte Belton was first home with Lt Stone coming 3rd . The team later competed in the Army finals at Windsor where they came 6th out of 14. Pte Belton was third home and won a Bronze Medal. The tug-ofwar 130 stone team had a walk-over in the Command Events, there being no opponents, while the 110 stone team beat the Northumberland Fusiliers 2-0.
At Boxing the 5th Battalion showed promise, excellent results being obtained at the Brigade Championships where Ptes Williams and Mew won their way through to compete in the Territorial Army Championships. The 6th Battalion also produced some good fighters. 2ILt W C E Nash and Pte Read both entered the Territorial Army Championship where the former won all his fights to become the 1930 Champion.
The 2nd Battalion 130 stone tug-of-war team won the Army Championship at the Royal Military Tournament on 9th June 1930, defeating the 51st London AA Brigade RA by 2 pulls to nil. At hockey the Battalion won the "Samuel Smith" Cupcompeted for as a Garrison Knock-Out.
The Depot showed themselves to be good shots at the Bisley meeting of the Surrey County Rifle Association. CSM Crowley came second in the County Championship Cup while the Depot team of eight were second for the Lord Lieutenant's prize, the Watney Cup and the Belhaven Cup.
On the retirement of Sgt Puttock of the 1st Battalion at Rawalpindi, tribute was paid to his skills and care in the management of mules, it being pointed out that the Regiment had won the Challenge Cup for the best Infantry Mule team at the Great North of India Horse Show at Rawalpindi in March.
On 2nd April 1931, Colonel Minogue took his leave of the 2nd Battalion in Yorkshire at a farewell parade. In his address he paid tribute to the morale of the battalion and the "cheerful and enthusiastic spirit (pervading) in sport and in the field".
Preferring to travel on foot rather than horseback, the Battalion won the District cross country run by a comfortable margin. At trials of strength the 120 stone tug-of-war team defeated the 2nd Bn The Border Regiment in the final event at the District Military Tournament while the 110 stone team came second to 4th Field Brigade RA in the final.
Regimental muscle was prominent as shown by the fact that the 2nd Battalion Light and Heavy-Weight teams won the Army Championships at Olympia in June.
In India a boxing tournament was held at Kasauli during the period 22nd -26th June 1931 open to all Units stationed in the Simla Hills of India - 150 competitors were drawn from 16 Units. 1st Battalion East Surrey entries numbered 22 including 3 boys. On the opening day the novices team defeated that of the Lancashire Fusiliers while the open team defeated that of The Norfolk Regiment, both teams then going into the finals.
The next three days saw the individual competitions with successes as follows:- Cpl Pegram, winner, Open Light-Weight competition. Pte Turner, runner-up, Open Light-Weight competition. Pte Hunt, runner-up, Open Middle-Weight competition. L/Sgt Gravett, winner, Novice Light-HeavyWeight competition. L/Sgt Winterhalder, winner, Novice Middle- Weight competition. Pte Buckle, runner-up, Novice Light-Weight competition. Pte Glen, runner-up, Novice Feather-Weight competition. Pte Glockling, runner-up, Novice Fly-Weight competition. Boy Abery, runner-up, Boys' BantamWeight competition.
The PT School Instructors were delighted with the clean, open boxing and the fact that every entrant from the Regiment appreciated the value of a good straight left and used it to the best advantage. On the last night of the show, the finals of the team competitions were decided and the results were, Novice team 1 st Bn The East Surrey Regiment beat the 1 st Leicestershire Regiment by 12 points to 11. Open team 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers beat the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment by 14 points to 10.
The Novice team consisted of:Pte Edwards, Heavy-Weight; L/Sgt Gravett, Light-Heavy; L/Sgt Winterhalder, MiddleWeight; Pte Baker, 1st string Welter; Dmr Hall. 2nd string Welter; Pte Buckle, Light-Weight; Pte Glen, Feather-Weight; Pte Glocking, Bantam-Weight.
The open team consisted of:Pte Rider, Heavy-Weight; Pte Foulkes, Light-Heavy; Pte Hunt, Middle-Weight; Cp1 Pegram, 1st string Welter; Cpl Mason, 2nd string Welter; Pte Turner, Light-Weight; Cpl Bowles, Feather-Weight; Pte Axford, Bantam-Weight.
The Novice team received a very handsome trophy, as well as a cup presented by H H. The Nawab Sahib of Bahawalpur and silver medals, while the open team received bronze runner-up medals. On the conclusion of the prize presentation both teams concentrated at the house of Lt Crafter, to christen the cup, which ceremony proved a very pleasant one to those whose strict training had deprived them of luxuries.
Back in England the 1931 Ealing Horse Show gave the 6th Battalion Transport Section a chance to show their equine management skills. They were awarded the Silver Challenge Cup together with 3 first prizes, 7 awards of merit and 4 certificates - results being recognised as entirely due to the efforts of Sgt Angus.
After training difficulties at Bellerby Camp in Yorkshire the 2nd Battalion entered teams for the Northern Command Athletic team meeting. After a keen struggle they gained third place in the Command, tieing with the DCLI. Outstanding competitor was Pte Belton who brought off a double in the mile and three mile events. The Battalion came first in Putting the Weight (Sgt Lewis, Cpl Moore), Throwing the javelin (Sgt Lewis, Sgt Dixon), Three Mile Team Race (Sgt Dixon, L/Sgt Pantry, Pte Belton, Pte Hoole) as well as being second in Throwing the Hammer and Throwing the Discus.
It was with some pride that the Regimental Newsletter of February 1932 reported that the 2nd Battalion had won the Samuel Smith hockey cup for the third year in succession.
Boxing was obviously receiving the keen interest and support of the 1st Battalion in India where they competed in the Lahore District Boxing Tournament. Despite a promising start they were defeated in the first round by the 2nd Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers who eventually went on to win the Tournament. There were several unusual rules governing the composition of the teams. One requirement was that at least one member of the team had to be an officer. In the case of the Surreys this role was filled by Lt McLeahy.
Later, in the Army and Royal Air Force team boxing championship at Rawalpindi from 28th March to 6th April 1932, the Battalion team reached the semi-finals after some hard fighting. Over hard and dusty ground the Lahore District Cross-Country run took place on 25th February. Six teams took part and the Surreys came 2nd with 155 points against the Norfolks with 129.
That not all the Regiment's "fleet of foot" members were overseas is shown by the fact that back home in Yorkshire the 2nd Battalion Cross-Country team won the Garrison League competition for the second year in succession. They were not so fortunate in the Northern Command Championship, however, losing to their old rivals the Training Battalion, Royal Corps of Signals. At the Army Cross Country championship at Tidworth in March the Battalion team came 8th , two of their members having to fall out during the run due to accidents. Pte Belton was to be congratulated on winning his Army Colours.
The Depot, showing an interest in shooting, fired against a team from the Royal Fusiliers on the 30 yards range at Hounslow on 23rd March 1932, losing by only 7 points.
A successful hockey season was recorded. Out of 29 matches played 19 were won, 4 drawn and 6 lost. The team was led by Maj Roupell. Overseas the 1st Battalion were maintaining their boxing reputation. At the Kasauli Boxing Tournament, they were runners up to The Leicestershire Regiment in the open competition and winners in the novice event where they defeated both The Leicestershire Regiment and the Lancashire Fusiliers. L/Cp1 Bunce and Ptes Talbot, Sears and Redfern all won their bouts against the Leicesters by KO's as did Cpl Woolvet and Ptes Ashdown and Sears (again) versus the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The 2nd Battalion in Yorkshire were doing well at cricket, defeating The West Yorkshire Regiment 136-75, the Royal Scots Fusiliers 167-42 and Scarborough College 144-138. In the Northern Command Tournament bayonet fencing competition the Battalion reached the final where they were beaten by The East Lancashire Regiment by 10 fights to 8. Cpl Stone won the All Ranks series (Northern Command) while Pte Mallett won the Young Soldiers series. The Battalion came 4th 'out of 12 in Athletics at the Northern Command meeting. Cpl Moore and Dmr Coe won the hammer event with a combined throw of 203 feet.
But it was at Tug-of-War that the Battalion excelled, winning both the 110 and 130 stone events in the Northern Command Championship. Both teams represented the Command at The Royal Tournament at Olympia. The 130 stone team were defeated by the RASC but the 110 stone team triumphed to win the Army Championship for the second year in succession. Defeat was suffered at the hands (and muscles) of the Royal Navy in the Inter-Services event.
A 100 stone team of 8 men won the Surrey County Championship, defeating both the Reigate Police and Longmore by two pulls to nil. Still "masters of the horse" the 6th Battalion Transport Section won the Ealing Horse Show competition for the third year in succession. Great credit for this fine achievement was due to the hard work of 2/Lt C J Fitzpatrick and members of the section. Maintaining both Territorial and Tug-of-War reputations, The 23rd London Regiment (The East Surrey Regiment) won both the 110 and 130 stone Championships at the London Territorial School of Arms competition, defeating the Artists Rifles at both weights. At the Royal Tournament at Olympia the Battalion was represented by the 110 stone team who defeated the King's Own Scottish Borderers but lost to the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment.
The February 1933 Regimental Journal records the fact that the 2nd Battalion had moved south from Catterick to Shorncliffe where, among 7 other activities, they were able to participate in hunting with the Garrison Drag Hunt. Horses were supplied by the Queen's Bays. Before leaving Catterick the Battalion hockey team had competed in the Samuel Smith Cup which they had won for three successive years. Defeating the Depot Royal Corps of Signals in the first round, they were later defeated by the Durham Light Infantry after two hard fought games-the first of which had been drawn. In the Eastern Command competition for the Army Cup the team defeated the 3rd Field Brigade RA by 8-0 at Woolwich but later lost 2-1 to The Lincolnshire Regiment in a replay.
The 1932-33 football season was a good one for the Depot. Up to the end of 1932 the 1st XI had been undefeated. Out of 15 matches played they had won 13 and drawn 2. The Recruits had played 4 matches of which they won 1, lost 1 and drew 2. In 1933 of 26 matches played 22 were won, 3 drawn and 1 lost.
The Eastern Command Inter-Depot Boxing competition (Group C) was staged at the Depot on 2nd February 1933 with four Depots competing. Points obtained were:- Depot The Middlesex Regiment, 17. Depot, The East Surrey Regiment, 13. Depot, The Queen's Royal Regiment, 10. Depot, the Royal Fusiliers, 5.
But for special boxing success one had to look overseas where the 1st Battalion went to Rawalpindi in March to represent the District in the All India Army and RAF Team Boxing Championships where they won the trophy. In the final the team defeated The Welch Regiment by 8 fights to 7. The degree of support for the team can be gauged by the fact that some hardy motorists drove four hundred miles to be present at the finals. Much credit was due to the hard work of the Officer i/c, Maj ELL Acton MC.
At the Lahore District Athletic Meeting, the 1st Battalion beat the 2nd Bn the Sherwood Foresters for first place by 65 points to 64. Discus throwers surpassed themselves, L/Cpl Callaghan getting first place with a throw of 99ft lOins and being well supported by Lt D J McLeahy, their combined throws being 187ft 7V2ins. The latter also gave a good performance in the Pole Vault where he gained 3rd place. Still in form the Battalion won the Lahore District Cross Country Run on 27th February with 102 points, the runners-up being the 2nd Bn The Norfolk Regiment with 212 points. L/Cpl Button took the lead early in the race and went on to win easily.
Back at Shorncliffe the 2nd Battalion competed in the Army Cup at Hockey. After defeating 8th Field Brigade in the first round they were in turn defeated by the 2nd Bn The Lincolnshire Regiment in the second. In a Boxing competition held at the Marine Gardens Pavilion, Folkestone, the Battalion were winners with 39 points, the 2nd Bn The Buffs coming second with 37. L/Cpl Long and Dmr Coe won their events with knockouts.
The 23rd London Regiment's efforts at Tug-of-War proved successful. Their Light and Heavy-Weight teams were both victorious at the London Territorial School of Arms tournament in April 1933 thus qualifying to compete in the Army Championships to be held at the Royal Tournament at Olympia later in the year.
Following their successes at Rawalpindi in the Indian Army and RAF Tournament the 1st Battalion Boxing Team added further to their laurels by winning both the Open and Novices Team Competitions at the Kasauli Boxing Tournament which in 16th June 1933. The latter was for the third year in succession.
At the Royal Tournament at Olympia the 2nd Battalion 110 Tug-of-War team won the Army Championship for the third year in succession, beating both The 23rd London Regiment and the 2nd Bn The Norfolk Regiment by two pulls to nil. At the Inter-Services Championship they were beaten by the Royal Marines, Portsmouth (holders)after a very strenuous and exciting tussle.
Battalion and Brigade training seem to have limited the 1st Battalion's sporting activities at the beginning of 1934 although there were some local cricket, football and hockey competitions. At home the 2nd Battalion reported a successful hockey season. Out of 10 matches played 6 were won, 3 drawn and 1 lost.
At boxing L/Cpl Richards represented the Army in the annual fight against the Nottingham Police on 16th March and was specially commended for his hard clean fighting against an ex Army champion. Ptes Morton and King represented the Battalion in the Kent Inter-Services Boxing Competition and helped the Army win the contest. In the Eastern Command Tug-of- War Competition the light team beat The Royal Berkshire Regiment 2-0 but the heavy team lost to the Royal Army Service Corps, Feltham after two pulls of over five minutes each. By their victory the light team qualified to pull in the Army finals at Olympia.
The Boys Association Football team showed great promise by winning the Shorncliffe Garrison Competition-beating the 2nd Bn The Buffs 6-3. Hockey results were not outstanding as teams had been under strength due to other commitments. Rugby football results were disappointing. Out of 11 matches played 9 were lost and 2 won.
Regimental eminence at boxing was upheld by the 6th Battalion who won the Brigade Competition for the third year running. An outstanding Battalion boxer of the times was Lt F H S Palmer, winner of the Territorial Army Championship and finalist in the Imperial Services Championship where he lost to Flying Officer Norbison, Royal Air Force. Equally skillful in the noble art the 1st Battalion in India won the Kasauli Tournament Open Team Competition by beating The Cheshire Regiment by 9 fights to 6. In the Novices competition the team were equally successful defeating the Cheshires 10-5.
The muscular men of the 2nd Battalion were still distinguishing themselves at Tug-of-War. The 110 stone team again went to Olympia in May to win the Army Championship for the fourth year in succession. In the Inter-Services Competition they lost to the Royal Marines, Plymouth Division.
Revenge was taken against the Royal Marines at cricket on 11th and 12th June at Napier Ground, Shorncliffe. The Battalion won by 46 runs, the scores being 475-429. At the Garrison Horse Show the Battalion entered a team for the Jumping Competition (Infantry only)on 11th July and carried off the first prize.
By the Autumn of 1934 the 1st Battalion were still adding to their boxing achievements in India where they won the Mussoorie Team Open Championships in September. The tournament was open to members of His Majesty's British Imperial Regular Forces in India. Six teams entered, namely, the Royal Dragoons, East Yorks, Beds and Herts, KSLI (holders of the All India Championship), the Black Watch and the East Surreys. The team were gaining a great reputation for their use of "the straight left" with which punch they scored the majority of their points.
The 1st Battalion had moved from Lahore to Fyzabad where sports grounds were found to be more plentiful and spacious than in the former station. The Battalion marked their entry into the new district by winning the Brigade Cross Country, having all their 15 runners home in the first 30 out of a field of 75 and defeating the KOSB's by 140 points-260. Splendid performances were put up by Button and King who were making their last appearance before going home.
The staging of the 1935 Army and RAF Individual Boxing Championships at Lahore saw some of the cream of the boxers of the British Services in India competing. Stoutly defending the honour of the Regiment, the 1st Battalion entered one in each of the eight weights from fly to heavy. Three reached the semi-final round, of whom one, L/Cpl Diboll went on to win the Locke-Elliott belt as the Middle-Weight champion of India. Dibboll, who had joined the Battalion towards the end of 1931, was a consistent and distinguished boxer who at various times fought the best men in India.
Successes were gained in athletics where the Battalion won the Lucknow Brigade Athletic Meeting. The running team were winners of the mile event and came second to the KOSB's in the three mile. Against stiff opposition Armourer-Staff-Sgt Lacey and Pte Aylwin won the Javelin event, breaking the Brigade record in the process. At cricket defeat was inflicted on the Lahore Gymkhana CC by 11 runs.
Back in Shorncliffe the 2nd Battalion put up spirited but generally unsuccessful performances against the 2nd Bn Royal Ulster Rifles in the Army Inter-Unit Team Boxing Championship. The team was suffering from the loss of some of its best fighters including Pte Nyman who "had left in a most unorthodox fashion and had not been seen since". At the Eastern Command Bronze Medal Tournament in March 1935 the Battalion were winners at Bayonet Fencing, thereby qualifying to compete later at Olympia in May for the second year in succession. In tug-of-war the 110 stone team beat the 1st Bn Royal Scots by two pulls to nil in the final but the 130 stone team lost to the RASC Feltham by two pulls to nil.
The 23rd London Regiment were gaining a good reputation for boxing. In the Divisional Novices Competition they defeated the 17th London Regiment by 24 points to 14 while in the Brigade Competitions they came second to the 22nd London. Coming fifth in the Divisional Championships, they had the satisfaction of seeing their 2ILt K C Booker knock out Capt Craddock of the 63rd Field Brigade RA, a former Army Champion.
Participation in the Aldershot Tattoo of 1935 limited the time the 2nd Battalion had for sport but nevertheless their 110 stone Tug-of- War team won the Army and Inter-Services Championships at Olympia.
The 1936 boxing season brought further successes to the 1st Battalion boxing team who won the Lucknow District Inter-Unit Team Championship in February and proceeded to the quarter and semi-finals of the All India Championships at Calcutta before being beaten in the finals by The Royal Norfolk Regiment.
Fortune and hard work were favouring the 2nd Battalion at Shorncliffe. At football they finished up winners of both Divisions I and II of the Garrison Section of the South East Kent Services League while their boys won the Boys Garrison League. HQ Wing won the Hallam Parr Shield. At hockey the XI reached the 4th round of the Army Cup. In the Bronze Medal Tournament both the light Tug-of-War team and the Bayonet Fencing team were successful in securing first place in the Eastern Command.
Individual successes worthy of special mention were those of 2ILt C O'N Wallis who played rugby for the Army v RAF at Twickenham, and Pte D Clemens, HQ Wing, who gained a reserve place in the Army Cross Country Running Team.
The final of the 110 stone tug-of-war event in the Army Championship at Olympia in 1936 was an all East Surrey affair with the 2nd Battalion pulling against the 6th who they defeated by two pulls to nil after fierce competition. Only once in Army Tug-of-War had the final been fought out between two Battalions of the same Regiment the occasion being in 1909 between the 1st and 3rd Battalion of The Leinster Regiment.
The Battalion was also successful in winning the Bayonet Team Combat event in the Eastern Command Bronze Medal Tournament held at Shorncliffe on 2nd April 1936, defeating the 2nd Bn The Devonshire Regiment in the final by 13 fights to 5.
Shooting at the Surrey County Rifle Meeting at Bisley the 5th Battalion were successful in retaining the Watney and Allen Cups although they lost the Belhaven.
In the Territorial Army Officers' Boxing Championship at the Albert Hall Lt F H S Palmer, 6th Battalion, won the Officers' Middle-Weight while 2/Lt K Booker, 23rd London Regiment (TA) was runner-up in the Officers' Heavy-Weight. Lt Palmer had previously held the Welter-Weight Championship in 1933, 1934 and 1935.
Obviously a footballer of some distinction, Pte Hoy, 2nd Battalion was selected to play for the Army v The Casuals at Colchester. Presumably trying to work up appetites for forthcoming Christmas lunches, the 1st Battalion competed in the Brigade Cross Country Run at Lucknow on 21st December. Overwhelming victory followed the Battalion defeating the 1st Bn the Buffs by 81 points to 295.
Boxers of the 1st Battalion in India had a very good 1936-7 season gaining several victories in contests at Mussoorie and Rhaniket. In the finals of the Mussoorie Army Teams Championship the redoubtable L/Cpl Dibboll knocked out his opponent while in the Rhaniket Area Boxing Finals Ptes Rowlands, Jackson, Boyett and L/Cpl Bodycombe inflicted similar punishment on their opponents.
An outstanding player, 2/Lt CON Wallis was selected to captain the Army Rugby Team for several matches in 1937. He and Lt M C Russell were both appointed members of the Army Rugby Referees Society for the season.
The 1st Battalion in India were preparing to leave for Khartoum in October, and their proposed departure may have been welcome news for some of their opponents in the sporting field. In an outstanding year the Battalion had been victorious in winning the District Tug-of-War, Football, Cross-Country Running, Swimming and Boxing and were runners-up in the Hockey. This was no mean feat considering that a District in India contained at least four battalions of Infantry, a Brigade of Cavalry and a Brigade of Artillery.
As well as the Battalion's general sporting successes they had virtually "swept the board" at the Brigade Athletics Meeting in March with results as follows:- 440 Yards Relay - 1st (Team, Dmr Bennett, Bdsn Evans, L/Cpl Beard and Pte Gallyer). Time 44 3-5 sec. 880 Yards Relay - 1st (Drnr Bennett, Bdsn White, Pte Aylwin and L/Cpl Batt). Time I min 34 4-5 sec. One Mile Relay - 1st (2Lt Favelle, Bdsn Moore, Bdsn Tillman and Drnr Thompson). Time 3 min 34 2-5 sec. Two Miles Relay - 1st (2Lt Favelle, Bdsn Moore, Bdsn Tillman and Drnr Thompson). Time 8 min 46 4-5 sec. One Mile Team Race - 1st (L/Cpl Pike, Ptes Pettingale, Dennis and Higginbottom) 10 points. Three Miles Team Race - 1st (L/Cpl Pike, Ptes Pettingale, Dennis and Higginbottom) 14 points. 480 Yards Hurdles - 1st (Bdsn Yearley, Pte Faulkner, Pte Farrow and Pte Heath) Time 1 min 12 4-5 sec. High Jump - 1st (Bdsn Yearley and Pte Waller) Height 10ft 6in. Long Jump - 1st (Bdsn Evans and L/Cpl Watson)Distance 39ft 5Yzin. Pole Jump - 2nd (Lt Metherell and 2Lt Murphy ULIA) Height 18ft. Throwing the Hammer - 1st (Sgt Lewis and L/Cpl Brown) Distance 198ft 9in. Throwing the Discus - 1st (Pte Farrow and Sgt Lewis) Distance 203ftlin. Putting the Shot - 1st (S/Sgt Lacey and Pte Buckley) Distance 67ft 5Yzin. Throwing the Javelin - 1st (S/Sgt Lacey and Pte Aylwin) Distance 292ft 11 % in.
1938 Attempt to climb Mount Kemet in the Himalayas
In May 1937, from Rhanikhet, Cpl R Ridley and four companions, L/Cpls J Williams, J Bull and L Hamilton, together with Pte S Hillier set out to climb Mount Kamet. This formidable peak of the Himalayas, rising to 25, 447 feet north of Garhwal on the borders of Tibet, had only been conquered once when a strong party of climbers under F S Smythe achieved it in 1931. The venture was undertaken as a secret private enterprise and, keeping their intentions to themselves, the party made many months of quiet preparation before applying for two months leave "to go camping in the hills". With little equipment beyond their Army issues, inexperienced and with only limited financial means they set out on their journey on 3rd May knowing, in Ridley's own words, that they would "necessarily be subjected to much greater risks than a more experienced and better equipped party ".
From Rhanikhet they had a 200 mile march to the point where they planned to establish their base camp, a journey which took them three weeks. It was during this period that their true intentions and the purpose of their journey leaked out.
So apprehensive of the mission were people in authority that attempts were made to stop them but it was too late - they were beyond the range of communications. Marching steadily onwards and upwards Ridley and his comrades established their Base Camp at 14, 500 feet on 24th May and from there the effort started in earnest. Hamilton fell sick and had to go back and Hillier was later sent back with letters. Ridley, Bull and Williams set out on the final assault but at a height of 23, 500 feet, weakened and advancing against overwhelming ice and snow, they had to give up, realising that to continue would be foolhardy. It was a disappointing result but they could take consolation from the fact that they had tried their best.
A letter of congratulation from the Governor of the United Provinces was received by the Commanding Officer Lt Col G R P Roupell YC. The Times published an account of the climb and the Regiment and the British Army in India generally gained in prestige from this very gallant example of fortitude, endurance and initiative.
The 2nd Battalion at Colchester were having to acclimatise themselves to mechanical transport, thankfully keeping themselves remarkably free of accidents. Motor vehicles were not universally welcomed and horse lovers met with further frustrations when the hunting programme was interrupted by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
At boxing the novices' team won the Garrison Competition, defeating the 27th Field Brigade RA by six fights to four.
The football team had a very successful season finishing top in the Garrison League after winning all their matches, many of them by a very comfortable margin.
Competing at Shorncliffe in the Eastern Command Cross Country Championships the Battalion team finished fourth. Ptes Pratt and Clemens were second and third respectively and six Battalion men were in the first twenty.
The 1st Battalion in Khartoum in 1938 had difficulties in training for any form of sports owing to the unsuitability of the terrain which was of desert nature with the sand being very loose in dry weather.
At Shanghai the officers of the 2nd Battalion entertained the Sergeants at a tennis match held at the Officers' Club and "managed to avenge the several defeats at soccer and hockey sustained in previous months", although rain caused play to be abandoned at tea-time.
In Athletics the Battalion were able to report that 1938 had been probably the most successful season for some years, especially in the field events.
Anxious to prove that they were still efficient with rifles after being converted to a Machine-Gun Battalion they had won the Essex County Shield against all comers. The Depot entertained the Royal Marines, Chatham Division on their annual visit to Kingston Barracks. A cricket match was played, resulting in a resounding win for the Depot who scored 169 runs in a single innings while the Marines could only compile 34 and 60 in two innings.
The 6th Battalion held their 1938 camp at Falmer where the Machine-Gun Platoon finished first in Brigade Competitions. Their prowess was also much in evidence at the Surrey County Rifle Association Meeting at Bisley on 12th June where they won both the Machine-Gun Cup and the Light Machine-Gun Cup.
The 1st Battalion, back in England, were at Colchester where they entered a team for the Garrison InterUnit Novices' Cross Country Race on 8th February which they won, defeating the 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers by 167 points to 181. Ptes Webb and Dimmock, both promising runners, ran together throughout the race and came in about 400 yards ahead of the next man.
1939-1945 saw sport go into abeyance as did the Journal of The East Surrey Regiment.