Sporting Record and Military Achievements
The Queen's Royal Regiment
Still giving good regimental representation at Royal Tournaments 2/Lt M. Kemp Welch, 2nd Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment, won the Bayonet V Bayonet Competition in 1909. Again in the spheres of sharp and pointed weapons, Maj G. N. Dyer DSO, The Queen's Royal Regiment, won the Sabre V Sabre (Army) Competition at the Royal Tournament in 1924. So by way of the glamourous arenas of the Royal Tournament The Queen's marked their entry into the competitive military scene. Their activities would eventually extend world wide.
Information on sport in the early part of the 20th century is somewhat sparse, partly due to lack of regimental publications, and probably due to the fact that the years preceding the First World War were subject to much army reorganisation and training in preparation for the foreseeable forthcoming conflict. In the post-war years, however there was a commendable improvement.
|(Note: A replica of the Army Football Association Cup - The Warwick Vase is still in use by The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment).|
In 1925 the Queen's won the Army Cup Final at football, defeating the Somerset Light Infantry by three goals to nil. Maj G.N. Dyer DSO distinguished himself in the Officers Foil and Sabre events at the Royal Tournament gaining third and first places respectively. 1925 saw the Territorial Battalions of the Queen's being as active as their regular counterparts.
At camp at Seaford in August the 4th Battalion, entering in the Surrey Brigade Inter battalion competitions, won the Transport competition, the Signal section competition and the tug of war. They defeated the 5th Battalion at football in a close and evenly contested game, were placed second in the Lewis Gun competition and the relay race and were third in the Machine Gun Competition.
The 24th London (Queen's) TA achieved outstanding success when Cpl Smith became the Champion Heavy-Weight boxer of the Territorial Army in a contest at Cardiff.
Distinction came to the Queen's in 1926 when they won the Inter Unit team fencing championship at Olympia in the first year of the competition. The Regimental team were: Foil - Maj Dyer, Lt Sullivan and Cpl McNeff. Sabre - Maj Dyer, Lt Sullivan and Lt Fairclough. Epee - Maj Dyer, Sgt Inkpen and Cpl Fox. Bayonet - Lt Fairclough, RSM Fullbrook and CSM Watford. At the small Arms Club meeting at Bisley in 1926 the 1st Bn Queen's won the Small Arms Cup with a record score. Back in England the Territorial Battalions were still active. The 4th Battalion won the Brigade Championships at football and prepared to meet the 4th Royal Sussex in the Divisional Final. The 5th Battalion won the Brigade Commander's Cup for shooting, with Cpl Buckler winning the medal for best Individual score.
The Depot, at Stoughton Barracks, had a successful cricket season when of 28 matches played they won 21, the remainder being either drawn or lost. At the Surrey Rifle Club Meeting of 1926 the Depot won the Lord Lieutenant's prize and were placed 2nd in the Allen Cup. The Athletics Cup and Silver Medal were won by Cpl J. Berry with a very high score of 200 out of a possible 220. Boding well for the future, the Cadet Corps of Charterhouse, Frimley and Camberley were shown to be taking an interest in competitive events, particularly in the spheres of shooting and boxing.
At Dover the Queen's played the Royal Engineers at football in the first round of the Army Cup and won 6 - 2. In the second round, against The South Staffordshire Regiment, they again won 2 - 1. Two members, Ptes Woodwards and Larkin, played for the Army and Sgt Hill played for Kent in France against the League du Nord. In the Folkestone and District League the 1st Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment defeated the 2nd Bn The South Staffordshire Regiment 3 - 2 in a match at Shorncliffe. Comparably, the Hockey Team were equally distinguished. In various rounds of the Army Cup they were triumphant over such teams as the Lancashire Fusiliers, The Inniskilling Fusiliers, and the Royal Engineers but they finally met their match in the 6th round when they were defeated by The King's Own Shropshire Light Infantry
Outstanding success was achieved in Inter Unit Team Fencing at the Royal Tournament at Olympia when the Queen's won the Championship for the second year in succession, defeating such opponents as The Royal Horse Guards, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment and The Suffolk Regiment. The result was all the more commendable as, due to four of the original members of the team being posted to China, last moment remodelling had been necessary.
In 1927 at the Depot at Stoughton there seems to have been a downward trend in sport, there being nothing of note to record in matters of hockey, football, boxing and rugby football apart from the fact that in the last named activity Lt G.Y. Palmer was chosen as a reserve for the England against Scotland and Ireland matches and gained his Army "Cap", while Lt L C East represented both the Army and Richmond. The Cadet Corps of Guildford Grammar School and Frimley and Camberley were showing interests in boxing and football and shooting. The Frimley and Camberley Corps were very successful in HM King's Shield Musketry Competition (open to Cadet Corps throughout the Empire). Gaining eighth and tenth places in certain events, they were top in the County of Surrey and attained top place in Great Britain among those who fired with open sights.
In the Sudan in the latter part of 1927 the 2nd Bn the Queen's had a revived interest in sport when they reported, "It really seems we have at last the nucleus of a good Regimental Football Team". In a short cricket season, when it was often too hot for matches to take place, the Battalion competed against the rest of Khartoum on three occasions and won each time. Hockey did not flourish as, in contrast, the ground was poor and under water for much of the time. There was much activity in athletics with platoon and individual events being organised. Confirming their earlier reports of an envisaged "nucleus of a good Regimental Football Team", the Battalion played matches against The International FC, The Gordon College, The 58th Regiment and then a second match against The Gordon College. The first three matches were won and the fourth was drawn.
The 4th Battalion, Queen's, were obviously in fine form in 1927 for at the Brigade Sports in July they won the Ground Aggregate Challenge Cup and the Challenge Cup for the highest aggregate in the athletic events. Obviously "men of muscle" they won the tug-of-war for the fifth year running. The event for the "Turn out of Officers' Chargers" was won, bringing eulogistic comment from the Brigade Commander, and second place was gained in the transport tum out. Further successes were gained in the athletics events and for good measure the Battalion won the Brigade Football Competition. Second place was gained at Cross Country Running, Lt P.H. Clark being the first man home. The 5th Battalion competed in various events but were somewhat overshadowed in football tug-of-war by their 4th Battalion contemporaries to whom they came second. They did better at shooting. At the Surrey Rifle Association Meeting Lt C. Burton-Brown won the Surrey Brewers Competition and was placed 2nd in the Surrey Championship. C Company won the Allen Cup and D Company the Watney Cup for the Best Territorial Company. Lt C Burton-Brown was a member of the Territorial Army Eight in the United Services Match.
1928 saw the 1st Queen's in Hong Kong where they had undergone extensive changes in personnel including drafts from the Sudan and England where there had also been a temporary call up of Reservists. For sporting purposes the Battalion organised a Battalion sports board of which the Second in Command was President, the third in Command was Treasurer and the RSM was Hon Secretary. They were well represented in various forms of sport. 2/Lt Kealy went to Shanghai and Manila to play rugby for Hong Kong. Lt Dickinson, Lt Burton, 2/Lt Kealy, CISgt Handscombe, Sgt Hopper and Sgt Dodds played hockey for the victorious Army side which won the SIM shield after beating the Hong Kong Club, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Obviously intending to keep themselves in trim while on passage to China members had partaken in several sports on board the Dorsetshire including tug-of-war and boxing.
After arriving in Hong Kong they became active in football and cricket. In the latter pastime Capt E.S. Bingham, Lt B.E.L. Burton and L/Cpl Miles played for the Army in the territory. At hockey the Battalion had no less than six players in the Army side which won the SIM shield. They were Lt Dickinson, Lt Burton, 2/Lt Kealy, CISgt Handscomb, Sgts Dodds and Hooper.
The 2nd Bn Queen's, arriving back at Dover from Khartoum soon recommenced a sporting programme. At hockey they reached the fourth round of the Army Cup before being beaten by The Bedfordshire and Hertforshire Regiment who finally went on to win the trophy. The Queen's sportingly sent their congratulations. At first they were not very successful at football but a turning point was reached when they defeated the Manchester Regiment 4 - 2 in the Dover Charity Cup. At rugby Lt G.Y. Palmer was awarded his England 'Cap', having been playing in first class and international football since 1919. There was success in Fencing where in the Eastern Command Eliminating Competition for the Army Inter Unit Championship the 13/18 Hussars took first place while the Queen's Royal Regiment took 2nd.
An outstanding achievement in 1928 was that of Lt L.C. East of the Queen's who represented Great Britain in the modern Pentathlon at Olympia at Amsterdam. In the event every competitor had to swim, ride cross country, run across country, shoot with a revolver and Fence with epee. He secured 25th place out of 37 competitors and his placing would undoubtedly have been higher if he had not unfortunately injured his ankle in the cross country race. The 1st Battalion at Hong Kong in the latter part of 1928 were active. No 3 section, M.G. Company won a Cup in the Inter Platoon and Group Standard Athletic Competition while L/Sgt Martin, M.G. Company, proved himself the Battalion Champion Athlete.
The 1927/28 football season was brought to a successful close when a victory of 6 - 0 was scored over the previously unbeaten Chinese Athletic Team. At hockey HQ Wing won the Inter Company Garrison Cup by defeating D Company, King's Own Scottish Borderers 2 - O. Cricketers overcame the difficulty of not having a grass pitch by using a concrete one covered with matting. Tennis fans were better off, suitable courts being available for all ranks. The 2nd Battalion at Dover sent a shooting team to Bisley but without notable result despite the dedicated training efforts of RSM (later Lt QM) "Buzzy" Waspe. At football the Battalion team won the Dover Charity Cup, beating Dover United 4 - 3, while at hockey No 3 Group beat A Company 3 - 0 in the final of the Inter Company Hockey Competition. Cricketing results were fair. Of 18 matches played, 11 were won, 5 drawn and 2 lost. The "Scissors" Cup for athletics was won by No 15 Platoon with the Band "B" being a good second.
1929 the 1st Battalion still in Hong Kong achieved a commendable record at hockey, the first XI suffering only one defeat in the season when playing against such teams as 3rd/15th Punjabis, the Royal Navy and the Hong Kong Hockey Club. Seven members played for the Army in the Triangular SIM Shield Hockey Tournament. In the 2nd Battalion at Dover there was great keeness to get into the Battalion Fencing Team which was preparing to compete at Olympia. Efforts were also being made to revive interest in bayonet fighting as this particular activity had reached a low ebb in the Battalion. The Depot at Stoughton won four of seven fencing matches but were feeling the loss of some of their former outstanding competitors such as Lt L.C. East, Cpl Rowley and L/Cpl Donovan. In the Eastern Command Inter Depot Boxing Ch'ampionships for Recruits of under twenty four weeks training Pte Taylor won the Bantam-Weight and Pte Simmons, although beaten, was congratulated by the referee for a very plucky fight.
Good progress in football was made by the 4th Battalion who won the Surrey Brigade Championship. They were defeated, however, in the Inter Divisional Competition by The Essex Regiment. The 5th Battalion justifiably claimed to "have swept the board" at shooting, having within their ranks the Champion Shot, the Best Officer and the best Recruit Shot in the Territorial Army. In these connections heartiest congratulations went to Lt C Burton-Brown and L/Cpl Hazell. 5th place was also obtained in the competition open to the Territorial Army.
The 22nd London Regiment (Queen's) won the Brigade Championship at boxing and tied -in the Divisional Championship. Pte Wadman represented the Division in the Territorial Army Championship when the Division tied for second place. Pte R. Meacham, the A.B.A. Civil Service Champion, won his bout in the Feather-Weights contest of the TA Championships. In bayonet fighting there was some success when C Company got through to the final of the Divisional Inter Company Shield where they lost by 5 fights to 3 against the Artists Rifles who had been winners for many years.