Thursday, June 30, 2011

43 Speeches, Women's Hockey, and a Frock of the Deepest Beige Lace

When I set out to write entries about Guy and Joan Warwick, I wondered if I should combine them or write about the two two separately. It seemed as if I was coming down to the last of the things I would be writing about here, so I decided on two. I wanted to stretch things out a bit before this drew to a close.

Then, much like the well-known finger being pulled from the dike, information about a number of topics has come rushing in, much like the flooding this summer in the Mississippi Valley, making it appear I may have a busy summer at the keyboard after all!

Last time, we left Joan, the manager, captain M. M. (Mildred) Knott, and the rest of the All-England women's hockey team at their port of arrival, Sydney, Australia, having just come ashore to waiting press coverage [above, left].

This time, let's rewind just a bit, back to Australia's anticipation of the impending visit of the All-England team. One should know that Sydney had hosted the 1938 British Empire Games that February [opening ceremonies, right], winning 15 gold medals (to 2nd-place England's 10), and 66 overall medals (to 2nd-place England's 40). Hockey was not part of the February competition, but one can imagine that Australians were feeling magnanimous and well-satisfied regarding the sporting world. Such attitudes would undoubtedly make them gracious and welcoming hosts.

Here's the first article covering the July 1938 women's hockey event, from The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), dated Tuesday 3 May 1938:


Last night hockey players made plans for the visit of an American hockey team which will arrive in Melbourne in the Monterey on May 20. The visitors will attend a civic reception at the Town Hall in the morning, practice in the afternoon, and have the evening free to rest.

It was announced that the Albert ground had been obtained for a match Victoria v. the United States on May 21.

For this match the Victorians will be - Frances Newson (captain), Dr. Girlie Hodges (vice-captain), V. Wilcher, D. Neibour, J. Stevens, M. McAlpine, P. Burston, R. Farrer, G. Bell, R Moore, and B. McGennan. This is the team that represented Victoria against a visiting English team last season.

After the match there will be a Victorian Women's Hockey Association party in the evening, and on May 23 one of the vice-presidents (Mrs. E. F. Herring) has invited the American girls to luncheon at her home.

English Visitors in July

Another vice president or the V. W. H. A. (Dr. G. Buchanan) reported last night that she had heard by letter from Joan Warwick, the manager of an English women's hockey team which is coming out to play matches in New Zealand, that the English girls will arrive in Melbourne on July 25 by train from Sydney, and after a few hours in Melbourne will embark in the Narkunda on their homeward journey.

Victorians will be interested to meet again J. Warwick, as she was in Australia in 1927, and also M. Collins, who was here last year. Other interesting personalities in the team are M. Knott, who has been captain of England for several years [pictured, left, serving as coach at James Allen Girls School] and N. Judd also a very well known player.

Is that article merely being polite, or is it possible that Joan Warwick had made the sort of impression on the Aussies that lasts a good decade or more? It seems so.

Also, I'm convinced that the sentence containing the phrase "after a few hours" was a mistake, the author meaning "after a few days." However, the team embarked on the Strathmore for their voyage home. I suppose it is possible the original intent was for the team to stay but a few hours, play a game, and hop aboard a ship almost immediately. Perhaps plans changed.

Here we find that the All-English team will be following an American squad into the land Down Under. Still, one senses a certain warmth of expression and remembrance in reading about the return of the English girls.

Fast-forwarding through to their arrival on 25 July, here's coverage from The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), dated Tuesday 26 July 1938:


Hockey Manager's Record.

"We had a marvelous time in New Zealand, and everybody was very kind to us and entertained us profusely, but I am most glad that there are no more speeches to be made to Mayors," said Miss Joan Warwick, the manager of the All England women's hockey team, which arrived from New Zealand yesterday.

"The team knows my speeches off by heart, and, after all, they should, as I made 40 of them and gave 10 broadcasts in seven weeks. We were given mayoral reception In nearly every town we visited, and after such consistent entertainment we are grateful that the Australian part of our tour is of an informal nature. We think it very generous of the Australian State associations to entertain us on our way home from New Zealand."


Miss Warwick said that the team was privately entertained in the Dominion, only being at hotels before the three test matches. "We were never in the same place for long. Mostly our stay was for two nights and then we 'hustled' off to some other place. It was a rare occasion that we were in the same spot for three nights or four. It was lots of fun, and the team enjoyed seeing so much of the two islands, but it made the tour very strenuous. It is very welcome to know that we have lots of free time this week, and will be able to see as much of Sydney as possible."


This is the second occasion that Miss Warwick has visited Australia. She was a member of the 1927 English team which toured Australia, and she has taken English teams to Egypt and the Continent. Miss Norah Judd, who was in the Anglo-Scottish team which visited Australia last year, la the only other member of the team to have been here before. Miss Warwick was very proud of herself for remembering so much about Sydney after an absence of 11 years.

The English team was met at the boat by several of the Australian Internationals, including Miss Tory Wicks and Miss E. Mc Rae, as well as members of the State Hockey Association. Several of the State had met some of the English girls m South Africa in 1930, and in America in 1933. Miss M. M. Knott, for eight years England's captain and famous right-back, received a great welcome.


The team will be entertained at luncheon to-day at David Jones's, after which they will visit the Ice Palais at Moore Park. Yesterday they lost no time In going to Koula Park, the zoo, and on the harbour. The girls intend to crowd in as much sightseeing as possible.

Five of the team are staying at the Imperial Hotel, and others are being entertained by Miss Camilla Wedgwood, Dr. Grace Cuthbert, Miss Kate Ogilvie, Miss Jean Sale, Mrs, Kidd, Miss E. Hollingworth, and Mrs. A. Holt.

The trip to New Zealand and Australia seems to have been grueling for the English girls, but rewarding. It certainly must have been the trip of a lifetime. The quotations above mark the leadership skills of Joan Warwick, serving as a graceful, polite, and articulate spokesperson for a group of young athletes.

It may be significant for us to know that Warwick, 40 years of age in 1938, was serving as manager, while Knott was playing on the tour at the age of 42. Was this due to the superb managing skills of Warwick? Could it have been due to the fact that Joan had suffered some sort of injury? Or might it have been some combination of both?

No matter, it's hard to imagine handling the travel, itinerary, excitement, discomforts, natural squabbling, competitiveness, nationalism, speeches, drudgery, packing and unpacking, and pressure from the press and local political figures, all while decorously representing one's country abroad, much more effectively than did Joan.

Still, the above article is not related to the actual games themselves. Let's take a look at the newspaper's 'scouting report' on the impending clashes between the women's teams, which includes the All-England team's complete roster, also from The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) of Tuesday 26 July 1938:



"The English women's hockey team, which has just completed a seven weeks' tour of New Zealand, is above the average standard for touring teams," said Miss Joan Warwick, manager of the team, when it arrived In Sydney yesterday. "Our defence players were particularly strong, as Miss M. Knott [right, again at JAGS] and Miss M. Collins are England's representative backs and Miss P. Lodge, is the English left half. The fourth international in the team is Miss J. O'Donoghue, who has taken Miss Marjorie Pollard's place as left inner forward for England.

"All the other players are first-class county standard and the majority have represented in the territorial matches. That is why I consider this touring team better than the majority that England has sent abroad. We will not be at full strength in Sydney, as Miss Collins, Miss Thompson, and Miss Naylor, are not remaining here, but we are looking forward to playing New South Wales."

Miss Warwick was a Member the English team which visited Australia in 1927. Miss Judd, another player in the team, was the Anglo-Scottish left back who played in Sydney last year. No other member of the team has previously been to Australia.
Miss M, M. Knott, who has been captain of the English teams which visited South Africa in 1930 and America in 1936, is regarded as one of the greatest back players England has produced.

Discussing the standard in New Zealand, the manager and captain said that it was difficult to assess the merits of the teams, as many of the grounds were rough, and good stickwork was impossible. They were not impressed by the positional play of the Dominion girls, and considered this a weakness of their game. "They play differently from us," Miss Knott said, "and often I was relieved to get my team off the field without injury, the uneven grounds and the rushing tactics of the opposing forwards being disconcerting."

The team agreed that it had had a wonderful tour of New Zealand, and had been royally entertained everywhere.

The English team will have its first practice at Rushcutter Bay to-night. It will play against, the Lustre team.

The team to play the New South Wales team at the University Square on Saturday is: Goal, G. Huggins; right back, M. M. Knott; left back, N. Judd; right half, O. Barnes; centre half, P. Lodge; left half, B. Fairgrieve: right wing, E. Shelmerdine; right inner, B. West; centre forward, J. Wright: left inner, J. Donoghue; left wing, J. Dowling; reserve, B. Rathbone. Umpire, J. Warwick.

Ironically, one thing we fail to glean from the press coverage of the All-England team's tour is the final score of the contest. What we do know is that great sacrifices had been made to travel on this tour. The news service caption for the wire photo used above, right, reads:

English hockey girls leave london for australasian tour

A team of English hockey girls, some of whom have sacrificed their jobs and in addition paid £100 each in fares, left Liverpool Street Station on the Riviera boat train to tour Australia and New Zealand.

However, one must believe that in the end it was all worth while. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), dated Tuesday 9 August 1938, brings us coverage of the team's farewell:


To say farewell to visiting English women hockey players who will leave to-day in the Strathmore, members of the Victorian Women's Hockey Association gave a dinner party last night.

The party took place at Navaretti's, Collins street, and was attended by nearly 100 hockey enthusiasts The official table was decorated with deepest pink carnations in soft green pottery bowls. In front of each of the guests of honour was a spray of flowers and a gift of a V. W. H. A. tiepin.

The president of the Victorian association (Miss Sybil Taggart) who wore a frock of black lace under her cape of white marabou expressed the pleasure of Victorians at having the visitors here for a week on their way home from New Zealand. She especially welcomed the manager (Miss Joan Warwick) who was here in 1927, and Miss Norah Judd, who visited here last year.

In response Miss Warwick who wore a frock of deepest beige lace with a corsage of green flowers said humorously:—"It is with great pleasure that I rise to make my 43rd speech of this tour." She thanked Victorians for entertaining them and said that many of the team hoped to visit Australia in 1942, when the international tournament will be held.

Other speakers were the captain of the English team (Miss M. M. Knott) [right] who wore midnight blue chiffon; the captain of the Victorians (Miss Frances Newson) who had a sea-blue coat over her black frock; a vice-president of the association (Dr. G. Buchanan), Mrs. E. F. Herring, and Miss D. Lodge (an international player).
Also at the official table were the honorary secretary of the V. W. H. A. (Mrs. L. C. Wilcher) and the treasurer (Miss Betty Thorpe).

Among those present were other members of the English team, Misses E. Shelmerdine, O. Barnes, J. Dowling, B. Fairgrieve, G. Huggins, N. Judd, B. Rathbone, K. Thompson, E. Wright, and B. West, as well as Miss Marjorie Irvine, a life member of the V. W. H. A., and Miss Alison Ramsay, a vice-president, and various hostesses who have entertained the visitors at their homes.

Some members of the visiting team went on after the dinner to a dance held at Tudor Court by the Royal Society of St. George.

Yesterday afternoon the English girls were entertained informally at afternoon tea by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs. Edward Campbell) at the Town Hall.

Interestingly, the event involving the All-England team's send-off seems to have been covered as much like a piece for the Society column as it was a piece on sport. The resounding clash and clatter of wooden sticks around the field of play seems quite a contrast to the following array of frocks of "deepest beige lace" and "midnight blue chiffon."

Warwick, a noted figure in women's hockey of the era, later turned from speech maker to writer, co-authoring a book on refereeing women's hockey, a skill we saw above that she had exhibited during the match in Australia. From a website called Dotmaker: Books of Sports and Fitness we find this description of Warwick's text:

Umpiring for Women's Hockey

By E. Joan Warwick & Rebecca Blaxland

'Umpiring is fun! Those who start to blow the whistle can begin on a life of enjoyment that was never contemplated when they stood for the first time, anxious and bewildered with twenty-two players waiting for them to summon up courage to start the game. Once she is off the mark the budding Umpire can get so interested in her job that she finds her fun and exercise provided for her weekly and, as she improves, she may gain the coveted "B" and "A" badges of the All England Women's Hockey Association.'

Written by two "A" register umpires, this rare volume provides clear, thorough instructions on all aspects of umpiring – from positioning and offside, to the good manner and etiquette. Some charming illustrations by Mary Foxon.

Marjorie Pollard Publications, Oxford. No publication date. Boards. 52 pages.

While no publication date is provided for this edition, cites a publication date of 1971, and the publication date at Google Books is a ridiculous 1900.

We do know, however, that the text is listed among others in the Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland's journal Physical Education (Volumes 45-47), published in the year 1953. We can safely assume the book was written before that year, while Warwick was residing in Peterborough.

Did I ever seriously expect to write just one entry here about Joan Warwick? We now find that even two has not been enough!

We still haven't reached Budleigh Salterton, or delved deeply enough into the success Joan found playing croquet later in life. And, thanks to the Croquet Association, we'll learn that, while hockey and croquet were the sports in which she excelled, she made significant contributions to society far away from the playing fields.

Lastly, as an aside, I'd like to salute the newspapers of Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore for making so much easily searchable historical material available on-line!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Introducing Miss E. J. Warwick, the British Wanderers, and the All-England Team

Friend of this website, Joanna Healing, recently checked in here with this brief recollection:

I also remember Guy and Joan Warwick – Guy better because Joan died earlier.

Although Joanna did not know Joan as well, many people must have known of Miss E. J. Warwick, and to a great many of them she must have been a hero. (By the way, who decided that "heroine" was no longer a word one uses?) Edith Joan Warwick was born on 13 June 1898 in Peterborough, where she lived at 103 Park Road [pictured, left], and passed away in Devon in September 1973, presumably in Budleigh Salterton where she lived with her brother, Guy.

Our association here with Joan is via the sport of croquet, in which she was a renowned figure. Warwick won the Women's Championship of the Croquet Association in 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1968. She lost in the final to talented Isobel Roe in 1961 amid that stunning run of success.

Remarkable! As a North American sports fan, the only similar run of success in my lifetime was that of ice hockey's Montreal Canadiens in the 1960s. Les Habitants, as they were known, won Stanley Cup titles under their legendary captain Jean Beliveau in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1971.

Still, when the aging Beliveau had an off-night on the ice, his teammates could and would pick up the slack. Warwick had no such help on the lawns while making her run at those championships. There were other all-time great stretches of success by hockey teams—especially by those "Habs"—and there were other magnificent, year-after-year performances in the sport of croquet as well. However, the string of titles won by both those Canadiens teams and Joan Warwick would be crowned a sporting "dynasty" by rabid fans on this side of the pond!

Oddly, croquet was not even her sport of choice! Of her early life, we know little. She can be found in the 1901 UK census at the age of 2, but is not at home. She and her 32-year-old mother, Clara E. Warwick, were visiting the home of Mrs. Lily Bennett in "Burley-in-Whfdle," Yorkshire, where Mrs. Bennett lived at Glendair on Station Road with 2 sons, a daughter, and 2 servants. Mr. Bennett was not at home.

The record shows that both Clara and Joan Warwick were born in "Northhants Peterboro," and that in 1901, Clara was already a widow with a daughter in tow, and a son, James Guy Warwick, presumably at school. Guy, however, does not appear on the 1901 census, although in 1911's census, we find him at 16 living in a household in Erpingham, Norfolk, where he may have been working with an architect as an assistant while learning the profession.

In 1911, Joan was still residing in Peterborough at the age of 12 with her mother.

After that, there is an informational gap, but she does begin to crop up once again by 1927. In that year, Joan appears on the ship's manifest [left] of the Mooltan, a steam ship arriving in London on 9 September 1927.

Sailing from Sydney, Australia, and using the moniker "Miss E. J. Warwick," the listing shows her address as being "103 Park Road, Peterborough," fixes her at 29 years of age, and describes her occupation as "Home Duties."

That seems a very odd choice for Joan to have made for her occupation, and I would wager that most other women sporting the tag "home duties" were not engaged regularly in the nearly same activities as Joan! But more on that 1927 voyage a bit later.

We next find her asea in 1934, this time steaming into London (Tilbury) on 20th December aboard the S.S. Orford, bound from Brisbane. The manifest, however, indicates "Miss E. J. Warwick" boarded at Port Said, Egypt. She was then 36 years of age, still at the same Peterborough address, and still engaged in the same occupation:

But Joan crops up elsewhere in the historical record in 1934. At right, you see a photograph of three women smiling from aboard a departing train. The news service blurb to be run in newspapers with the image states:

Caption: English and Scottish girl[s] who compose a hockey team called the British Wanderers left St Pancras on the Maleja boat train for a tour in Egypt - photo shows left to right Miss W M Neave with Miss E J Warwick ( captain ) an Miss J Ellis at the carriage window before their departure November 16th 1934.

It's no secret to regular readers of Who Is George Mills? that Warwick was a world-class hockey player in her youth, and this photograph corroborates that—as well as the reason for her 1934 trip to Egypt.

Even The Straits Times of Singapore, in their edition dated 16 December 1934, also ran a photograph of Warwick and her team, the British Wanderers, as seen, left. The team and its captain were apparently world-wide news, belying her own claim that she was merely a practitioner of "home duties," unless one counts often skillfully wielding a hockey stick against malicious opponents on a muddy field as simply a part of one's duty in the home.

At some point soon after this, however, Joan must have retired from taking the field herself, but maintained her strong link to the women's sport.

It's quite odd for me here to have so many images from an era to help tell a story—I'm usually scrambling to find something to illustrate each entry—but this time we just move to the next newspaper image, and so, too, into the next stage of Joan's life!

Below, right, find a photograph that ran at the top of page 3 of the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, 26 July 1938. We find Joan below the equator once again, and the caption reads:

Miss Joan Warwick (manager) and Miss M. M. Knott (captain) of the All-England women's hockey team, which arrived in Sydney yesterday after a successful tour of New Zealand. Miss Warwick was in Australia with the 1927 team, and Miss Knott is one of the most famous of England's captains, a position she has held for eight years.

From this we can gather that, in 1927, Warwick had traveled with the All-England team, not the Wanderers, to the South Seas. It seems remarkable that, short of having been someone of privilege like Lady Dorothy Mills, author, traveler, explorer, and once sister-in-law of George Mills, these women had the opportunity to see so much of the world. So for Joan, the daughter of a Peterborough auctioneer who left a young widow to raise two very young children, living such a life virtually must have been a dream come true, and at the very least, it must have made for some amazing scrap-books and memorabilia!

For now, we'll leave Joan along with Miss M. M. Knott disembarking at Sydney after sailing in from New Zealand. Next time we'll take a look at the 1938 tour of Australia, meet their hosts and few of the players, and hear from Joan herself about the trip.

We'll also follow her to Budleigh and look at her later-in-life athletic career in croquet.

See you then!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Concerning Mr. J. G. Warwick, Architect

Just a relative quickie today, taking us back into the world of post-WWII croquet in southern England.

We've looked at some of the accomplishments of "E. J. Warwick" and "J. G. Warwick" (as they are named in the croquet results tallied in the London Times) at least once before.

At first I didn't know if the players were related in some way, but they were indeed. Joan and Guy Warwick were brother and sister and lived on Westfield Road [above, left] in Budleigh Salterton during the era.

Let's begin, however, with brother "J. G." I could not find out a great deal about James Guy Warwick (22 June 1894 – 3 November 1981), although I wish I could. People have mentioned him neutrally in messages, but without any expression of either fondness or dislike—just that they do, in fact, recall him.

Regarding his career playing croquet, Guy Warwick won the South of England Championship in 1962, the Du Pre Cup in 1963, and served as a referee in the MacRobertson Shield Series in 1974 [below, right]. That latter assignment seems to express the esteem in which Warwick was held by the croquet community at large, even though he was nearing the end of his playing career: He would only play 4 more career singles games in the next four years, the last of his career.

His career singles record shows he won 354 times in 727 games for a 49% winning percentage.

That 49% winning percentage may not seem like so very much until you look at his year-by-year statistics. Warwick went 44 – 91 during the last eleven years that he played (1968 – 1978). He did not play at all in the 1975 or 1977 seasons, presumably due to health issues, or perhaps simply age. But at the end of the 1967 season, Guy Warwick was 73 years old and sported a commendable 310 – 282 won-lost record.

[Update: Guy Warwick played a handful of pre-war games between 1931 and 1939 at Hunstanton, about 50 miles northeast of Peterborough, on the coast by "The Wash". His record in those seven matches was 3-4. Click HERE to review those records, and thanks to Chris Williams of the CA!]

And these totals from the database at the Croquet Association do not consider doubles matches, which he played often as both a partner and a foe of the Mills siblings, George, Agnes, and Violet.

And why wouldn't he have jousted with that trio often? After all, they were his neighbours, living at Grey Friars, 15 Westfield Road!

A phone number for J. G. Warwick appears in the 1957 phone directory that included Budleigh. The listing reads thusly:

Warwick, J. G, Sherwood
      Westfield Rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Budleigh Salterton 423

It remained the same until his passing in 1981, save for the actual digits which eventually became "3423." Using "Street View" in Google Maps, by the way, I could not discern an abode called "Sherwood" among the dwellings there today.

The only other phone listing I can find for a J. G. Warwick is a solitary one in Peterborough in 1940. Birth records show that Warwick was born in Peterborough, so may we can assume that this listing in his?

Warwick, J. G, 103 Park rd . . . . . . . . . . . . Peterborough 2066

[Just an aside: This is the only listing for a phone in this name, at this address, in It begs the question, "Why only once?"]

Looking back in time a bit more, we find that Guy served as one of the two executors of the will of widow Fanny Truefitt of Highgate, London, along with a William Arthur Hyde Hulton, on 17 June 1932, according to the London Gazette dated 21 June 1932.

That's not very much to know about a man.

Fortunately, or more correctly unfortunately (at least for Warwick in this particular case), we also know that in the Royal Institute of British Architects Journal (Volume 89) in 1982, there is a "James Guy Warwick" listed among members recently deceased, so from this we can assume that Warwick had been an architect.

In 1960, the RIBA Journal (Volume 68) published the obituary of artchitect Frederick James Lenton (1888-1960), noted as having "practised with offices at Stamford, Peterborough and Grantham in partnership with the late H F Traylen and J G Warwick" between the wars. We can comfortably conclude that Guy Warwick was, indeed, an architect.

There are also records of a 19th century architect named J. G. Warwick. Is it safe to assume that, since Guy was called by his middle name, it may have been because he was named after his father, who had also been an architect? Neither Warwick, however, is listed among the RIBA members in 2001's Directory of British Architects 1834-1914: L-Z by Antonia Brodie, although Guy may have become a member after 1914.

[Update: Scratch that. Warwick's father was Harry James Warwick of "Longthorpe, Norths," who lived in Park Road, Peterborough, with wife Clara Edith and a servant. Harry was an "auctioneer & valuer," according to the 1891 UK census.]

That leaves us not much to discuss except croquet, a sport he seems to have begun in 1946 following the Second World War. [One can find the complete croquet record of Guy Warwick [left] by clicking HERE.]

Records show Warwick went 2-0 against Agnes Mills and 1-0 against Violet. (The Association as yet has no records available for George Mills or his opponents.) As noted, Guy spent much more time as a doubles partner or doubles rival of the Mills.

He went 15-18 playing against his younger sister, Joan, who was his most frequent singles opponent.

Of his sister, Edith Joan Warwick, though, we know somewhat more, besides the fact that she necessarily went 18-15 against her brother in croquet.

And that's where we'll pick up this thread next time, examining the life of Joan—a life that was probably considered a bit more glamorous than Guy's, even he would have to admit—and her worldwide travel in the name of sport. See you then!

[Update: Many thanks to both Joanna Healing and Judy Perry of Budleigh Salterton for the wonderful colour images of Mr. Warwick seen above!]

Monday, June 27, 2011

Croquet Gazette: Who is George Mills?

From April/May 2011 (Issue 331) of the Croquet Gazette...

Click the images to enlarge each page in a new window!

Many thanks to the Croquet Association for allowing me space to be a guest author in that issue. For an interactive copy of the entire issue which can be increased to an even greater size, go to:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Few Headmasters and Ronald Searle

It's a sunny day here in the rolling hills of horse country of Ocala, Florida, during what constitutes our rainy season. The forecast is remarkably similar every day, as you can see, especially in the afternoons and early evenings. The only thing that can prevent rain from falling during this time is if one absolutely counts on it. Failure to water outside plants, for example, can somehow steer clouds right around the entire area, which is how I'm sure the Sahara was created—soon-to-be Bedouins continually procrastinating about watering their foxgloves!

While we wait to see what our skies will become, I've been looking over the last couple of entries here and considering headmasters. Here's an amusing snippet on the subject [click to enlarge] sent recently by the indefatigable Barry McAleenan:

As always, thanks very much, Barry!

One wonders which of these stereotypes might resemble the headmasters we've met along the way here: Charles Scott Malden and Mr. H. D. L. Patterson of Windlesham House School; A. Max Wilkinson, F. R. Ebden, Joshua Goodland, and Bertram de Glanville of Warren Hill, William Snow of The Craig; Capt. William E. Mocatta of the English Preparatory School in Glion; E. A. F. "Tony" Roper of Ladycross School in Seaford; A. H. B. Bishop of Magdalen College School and Warwick; H. F. and David Chittenden of Newlands School in Seaford; and the fictional Dr. Howell "Peter" Stone of Leadham House School, the creation of author George Mills.

By the way, I love the work of Ronald Searle, and know I'll see it at least once a year, during the credits of the film version of the musical, Scrooge.

Searle's vision [below] of the classic tale, the characters and the setting, is what makes the art direction and cinematography so stunning. It's a must-see in my home every Christmas, even if I am usually the only one who actually must see it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Newlands School Sports Days, 1937–1939

The website Geograph provides us the following information, along with the image above:

"With over 100 schools, Seaford once had one of the largest concentrations of schools in the UK. Today this school, Newlands, is the only independent school left in the town."

The mind reels when considering first, the sheer number of independent schools in Seaford, and second, the greater-than-99% drop in the number of Seaford's independent schools. Of course, woven in there were a couple of World Wars, a Great Depression, some nasty economic recessions, inexorable inflation, a pinch of unemployment, and a smattering of lesser-but-quite-deadly armed conflicts sprinkled about here and there.

My hunch is that it's a bit different today at Newlands School than it was back in that bygone era.

What exactly was it like to be in school at Seaford almost three quarters of a century ago? I'm glad you asked!

Here's a YouTube video posted by "berestede" called 1930s Newlands School, which is accompanied on-line by this note [my emphasis]: "Footage of sports days in 1937, 1938 and 1939 at Newlands School in Seaford East Sussex. The footage was shot by Cecil V Levesley… my grandfather and features my father who was a boy at the school in the late 1930s."

It must also feature Hugh Faithfull Chittenden, and perhaps the unknown E. A. Cooper—perhaps they are the two gentlemen in suits monitoring the firs drill at around the 1:55 mark. We see them again with the scouts at 4:04.

And one wonders about the identity of the gentleman seen at the 5:00 mark, and the quick glance at some gentlemen at 6:18!

Other interesting images, at least for me: Exterior of the school (in the first 0:30); Tending the garden (1:00); Rollerskating (2:23); Running hurdles (4:28); and some Dance & Marching drills (7:00).

Having read the trilogy of preparatory school books of George Mills (which focus to a great degree on sport and outdoor activities), as well as having studied as much as I can about schools like Warren Hill in Eastbourne, I still have only seen still images—archival photographs and illustrations from the books of George Mills. After viewing these films several times, much of what I've been reading has come startlingly to life for me!

This video is an invaluable time capsule, reliving some of the joys (well, they appear for the most part to be joys) of prep school boys of that era—at least those enjoyed out of doors!

Many thanks to "berestede" for posting 1930s Newlands School, and check out his other videos (especially 1940 Fairlight Farm) at:

Capt. & Mrs. H. F. Chittenden of Newlands School, Seaford

We're staying yet another day in Seaford, East Sussex—just as I'm certain that George Mills would have wanted to do himself during summer—to take a look at another Sussex-based connection to Mills.

A connection with Sussex, especially Seaford, is by no means specific to George Mills in and of itself. But stir in a preparatory school and croquet, and the coincidences we always seem to find revolving around Mills start adding up! Let's start our examination at Newlands School in Seaford [pictured above, left, the entrance to the old school building, presumably a gate-keepers or caretakers lodge] and its proprietors, Mr. & Mrs. H. F. Chittenden.

From the Newlands website, here's a brief history of the institution:

The school first started as a tutorial in 1814 at Hatfield House, home of The Marquis of Salisbury.

The Marquis' chaplain was a man called The Reverend Faithful [sic]. He taught the local children... He retired in 1854 and handed the pupils over to Mr. Chittenden, who started it as a school in Hoddeston [sic] in Hertfordshire.

He called this school The Grange, hence the 'Grange' dormitory at Newlands today. He had strong views about education and felt that no lesson should be longer than 20 minutes, as no child could concentrate one hundred per cent for longer - and he demanded one hundred per cent!

The Reverend Faithful was Head until 1893 and was then joined by his nephew, Mr. Wheeler, who eventually brought the school to Seaford in 1903.

At first he rented two houses in Seaford and hired the back playing field from a local farmer. Then he built the school and later bought the front field. His foresight in purchasing land gave the school the opportunity to expand later on when it was needed.

So, we find the roots of the school extending back as far as 1814, but its history in Seaford dates to 1903.

Where exactly the transition in ownership occurs, moving from the tenure of Reverend Faithfull and Mr. Wheeler to someone actually named Chittenden, is difficult to determine, but in the 1930 Sussex Post Office Directory of private residents, the following entry is found: "Chittenden, Capt. Hugh Faithfull, The Mill dene, Sutton Road, Seaford."

Then, in the 1931 telephone directory for Seaford, the following listing for the same Chittenden is included:

Chittenden, H. F. & Cooper, E. A, Newlands . . Seaford 34

Does this entry imply that the school is under the co-ownership of partners, one of which is H. F. Chittenden? Or is this a principal and a Head Master? That 1930 directory mentioned above lists an "Cooper E." living in Eastbourne, but no "E. A."

What we do know is a bit about Hugh Faithfull Chittenden.

He was born on 9 November 1892 in Epsom, Surrey, to Charles Grant Thomas Faithfull Chittenden (1860 – 1905) and Eliza Cummins Wheeler (1859 – 1952). Their son, Hugh, does not appear in the UK census in either the 1901 or 1911.

The year of the senior Chittenden's death—1905—drew my notice. Having married a Wheeler, presumably the daughter of Reverend Faithful's partner, Mr. Wheeler, and with Hugh and his father having been named after the Reverend, these families seem to be inextricably tied to the school and each other.

That seems to have been made more apparent when one reads the probate of Charles Chittenden:

CHITTENDEN Charles Thomas Grant Faithfull of 33 Hatfield-road St. Albans Hertfordshire died 17 May 1905 at Little Grange Broxbourne Hertfordshire Probate London 18 July to William Albert Wheeler, school-proprietor Effects £5226 3s. 6d. Resworn £5526 3s. 6d.

Having left behind at the very least a 44-year-old widow and a 12-year-old son, Hugh, Charles Chittenden opted to bequeath his legacy to the proprietor of the school!

Charles died at the location of the original school, Little Grange in Boxbourne, Herts, where two of his sisters still lived, although the school itself had gone by 1905. (By the way, earlier census records show that this 'Little Grange' was, indeed, the location of the Grange Preparatory School.)

It's strange, though, that during the 1901 UK census, the Chittendens—Charles and Eliza—lived in a boarding house owned by Sarah and Susie Searle in Sidmouth, Devon, along with Arthur G. F. Chittenden, 38 and "living on means," and Evelyn R. Wheeler, 35, with no occupation listed, presumably a relative.

The occupation of Charles on that 1901 census form is recorded as "banker's clerk," not schoolmaster, not even remotely related to the field of education, and they are clearly not living near Herts or Seaford. So much for the notion that this family was very close, and that their lives revolved entirely around the school, making the peculiar probate above far more difficult to understand than it started out! The fact that H. F. Chittenden would become Head of Newlands was apparently not always carved in stone.

None of the couple's children is listed as boarding there with them in 1901, and by 1911, Eliza is living in the Greenwich district of London, according to the census from that year.

In fact, the first record we find of their son, H. F. Chittenden, is in an issue of the London Gazette dated 19 November 1915, in which "Hugh F. Chittenden" is listed as an entry in a section headed by the term "The Royal Sussex Regiment." It reads: "The undermentioned Second Lieutenants to be temporary Lieutenants. Dated 27th September, 1915."

We can see from his WWI medal index card [pictured, left, front and back] that he transferred to the Royal Engineers, and that his service under the Colours was meritorious. Still, it is difficult to find much mention at all of our H. F. Chittenden, let alone information about his boyhood or education.

And here's a mention in the text Fifty-five years at Oxford: An Unconventional Autobiography (Methuen, 1946) written by George Beardoe Grundy, Hugh's father-in-law:

"Of my two children my son Major Grundy, East African Engineers, has lived in Africa since the close of the last war, and my daughter Barbara married Hugh Chittenden of Seaford, Sussex. In the case of both of them a light-hearted youth has been succeeded by a middle age of hard and successful work. ——G. B. Grundy"

Hugh F. Chittenden's hardworking wife, Barbara May Grundy, was born 2 April 1896 in Epsom, Surrey. They were married in Oxford in the spring of 1917, and the success to which Grundy refers must involve Newlands.

They had a son, Sgt. H. J. R. Chittenden, who was born in Oxfordshire in the summer of 1918, and died on active service with the Military Police of the East Africa Corps in October, 1942.

Their son's 1943 probate reads: "Hugh John Robert Chittenden, of Newlands School, Seaford, Sussex, died 30th October 1942, on War Service. Administration Lewes, 25th October, to Hugh Faithful Chittenden, School Proprietor. Effects Five Hundred and Sixty Four Pounds, Eighteen Shillings and Eightpence."

In early 1932, the couple may have had a daughter, Anne Chittenden, in Marylebone, London.

At first I found no indication that they may have had a child bearing the Christian first name of David, except that in the Newlands website's "History of the School" we find:

Many years ago an exclusive interview was conducted with the late Mr David Chittenden, ex headmaster and direct descendant of the man who started Newlands, some insight was gained into what life was like at Newlands before and after the war:

'Things were very strict then. The swing door by Matron's surgery led into my Parents' private area where no one was allowed, not even me during term time! I had to call my Father, "Sir", and my Mother, "Mrs. Chittenden." However, I liked the life. It was different and a lot tougher than today. Every morning we had cold showers, Winter and Summer and until 1950 boxing was compulsory for all pupils whether they liked it or not!'

Checking the 1946 phone records, the following record appears:

Chittenden, H. F, Newlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seaford 2334

Despite the lack of a record of a David Chittenden having been born to a mother with a surname of Grundy, the above anecdote indicates that H. F. and Barbara Chittenden were, indeed, David's parents.

H. F. Chittenden is listed at the Newlands phone until well into the 1960s, after which the listing becomes:

Chittenden, H. F, Rostrevor, Claremont Rd . . . . . . . . . Seaford 4130

Just above that 1969 listing, however, is this one:

Chittenden G. W. D, Newlands School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seaford 2334

Assuming the "D" stands for David, we've found our man: George W. D. Chittenden, born in Eastbourne in March of 1926!

And, unfortunately, we learn even more about David Chittenden [left] in this obituary from the Eastbourne Herald of Friday, 25 May 2001:

Newlands mourns death of Founder

It was with profound sadness and loss staff and pupils heard of the untimely death of David Chittenden on Easter Saturday. There was nobody who cared more passionately about Newlands - past, present and future, than David and his life was intrinsically interwoven with the school. Five generations of the Chittenden family were proprietary headmasters of what was then Newlands Preparatory School, for boys only. David attended the school as a pupil when his beloved father was headmaster. With no secondary schooling available at Newlands then, David went to Eastbourne College before returning to Newlands as a teacher and then as headmaster in succession to his father. This role he carried out in his own inimitable manner... A tribute to David Chittenden from headmaster Oliver Price appears in tomorrow’s Seaford
Gazette. A memorial service will be held in St Leonard’s Church on June 25 at 11.30 am.

Education was the career of, as it says, five generations of Chittendens, and that be true (although I can't entirely discern its veracity). However, a hobby comprises this last bit of Chittenden-related trivia: It appears that H. F., an inveterate bird watcher, was ornithologically notable for having made and documented a certain discovery in his garden.

In the 1929 journal British Birds, Volume 22, we find the following: "Mr. HF Chittenden informs us that at Seaford, Sussex, on December 18th, 1927, Lapwings in large flocks were observed heading straight out to sea southwards. The weather was very cold with a strong east wind."

In the 1931's Proceedings of the International Ornithological Congress (Vol. 8), there is an article on page 85 by E. B. Poulton and H. F. Chittenden dated Oct. 15, 1930 entitled, 'The Hedge-sparrow feeding a young Cuckoo on Pieris rapae, L.'

Chittenden's contribution to the above article is described in the Journal of entomology: General entomology, Volumes 5-6, published by the Royal Entomological Society of London, 1930. It reads:

"Poulton exhibited two photographs kindly sent to him by Mr. HF Chittenden, who had taken them, on 29 June, 1930, in his garden at Newlands, Seaford, Sussex. The first showed the fosterer approaching with the white butterfly very clearly seen in its beak, while in the second the food was being transferred. Both photographs showed the Cuckoo sitting on the flat top of a tree-stump. that the Pierine was undoubtedly P. rapae and not brassicae. He did not see the insect caught, but observed that the whole butterfly, wings and all, was swallowed by the young Cuckoo. In answer to the objection that the Hedge-sparrow might be offering to the Cuckoo food which it would have itself rejected, he referred to the known examples of maternal instinct in which the parent bird devoured the faeces of its young."

His observations would soon be sought and held in high regard. In A History of Sussex Birds: American Blue-winged Teal to Red-legged Partridge (H. F. & G. Witherby Ltd., 1938) by John Walpole-Bond and Philip Rickman, for example, the authors note:

"Haematopus has been found more than a few hundred yards from the Channel, and all such relate to single specimens frequenting the banks of estuary and inlet — with one exception, which bears on two birds seen by Major HV Christie in a field adjoining the western Rother at Stopham, quite eleven miles from the coast, on May 5th 1936, though during mid-August, 1937, Captain H. F. Chittenden met with a couple at Littlington about a league from the coast in the vale of Cuckmere. In other words, with us the "Olive " is practically a confirmed shore-lover, where it affects not only the mud-flats and shingle, but also the rocks beneath the cliffs at low tides; and the western half of the coast (especially the southwest corner) is vastly preferred to the eastern. It seldom fraternizes with other species, though on several occasions I have seen it with common curlews."

So, why is an amateur ornithologist, one-time captain in the Royal Engineers, and headmaster of a preparatory school in Seaford, Sussex germane to our ongoing discussion of George Mills?

Besides the usual, multiple, very coincidental relationships—lived in Sussex (Seaford), ran a preparatory school, was an officer in the Royal Engineers (the corps in which George's Uncle Dudley A. Mills was a well-known officer)—it's H. F.'s wife, Barbara, providing the best link!

Barbara Chittenden was a croquet partner and rival of George and his sisters, Agnes and Violet Mills, during the post-War era. Barbara played from 1952 through 1978. She went 10-10 against Agnes Mills in 20 head-to-head matches over the years according to the database at the Croquet Association, and they played both with and against each other countless times in doubles.

Strangely, Chittenden only played Violet Mills once, on 20 June 1962 at Eastbourne, in the first round of the Open Singles (Draw). She also played with and against George, but the database has no records of those matches.

Barbara Chittenden's career croquet record and other sortable data can be perused by clicking HERE.

Incidentally, croquet also leads us to the discovery of another child of the Chittendens, based on this excerpt from a 2008 story, "From the bibliographer's casebook: A ripping yarn with a happy ending " by David Drazin, found at Croquet World Online. Regarding books of rare croquet drawings done by artist Horace Francis Crowther-Smith [one of which is seen, right, a 1912 image of famous former champion Lily Gower], the author writes [my emphasis]:

These were the books of 1911 and 1912 that were donated to the Association by Margaret Payton on behalf of Barbara and Joan Chittenden, mother and daughter, past members of Compton Croquet Club, Eastbourne.

The article continues:

Roger Wood of Compton told me the circumstances in which Margaret Payton first brought the Chittenden gift to the notice of the club. In the early years of the last century Barbara Chittenden was very close to Nora, widow of the Rev George Frederick Handel Elvey, a past Croquet Association chairman. She may well have received Crowther's work from the Elveys. But how they got into the Rev Elvey's hands in the first place remains a mystery.

Of Chittenden's relationship with other players, the 1957 Devonshire Park photograph with which we've been so obsessed here tells the tale.

In the center of the front row, her face raised to the camera, we see Barbara in a white dress. Seated to her left is her dear friend Nora Elvey, mentioned above. To her right, wearing a dark suit, we see Agnes Mills, sister of George.

And for those of you who've been following the last few entries here, next to Mrs. Elvey, to her left, we see Aimee Reckitt, wife of Maurice. And to Agnes's right (our left), we see Lily Gower from above, or Mrs. R. C. J. Beaton as she was known in 1957!

Am I wrong in assuming these smiling women were all, as it seems, very close? Or is the fact that these nodding acquaintances all just by chance happened to end up next to each other in the front row of a group photograph simply another in a string of astonishing coincidences that revolve around the Mills family?

Anyway, we can chalk up yet another possible coincidence to the list above: Croquet.

We don't find H. F. Chittenden himself among the players populating the lawns from Budleigh to Compton. While Barbara played, he presumably was out birding, at least until he passed away in the spring of 1975.

It would not surprise me in the least to find that George Mills at some point had been employed by Hugh as a schoolmaster at Newlands School. But we cannot know for sure, even though Newlands [below, right] is still operating today.

From Lisa Sewell of Newlands, I received this message regarding the possibility of George's past employment:

Unfortunately Newlands went briefly in to administration in 2006, [and] at this time all records were lost or destroyed so I have very little information on anything prior to this date.

Barbara May Chittenden left us on 11 December 1987 in Lewes, Sussex, at the age of 91, many years after the passing of the Mills siblings.

Did George Mills teach at Newlands? We may never know...