1917 Regimental Sports Day, Wardown Park

Event date

21st July 1917

Luton ward

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The Luton News , 26th July 1917

Source Date

1917-07-26 00:00:00
Entity info.


Regimental Sports.

Truly it was a gala day for Biscot on Saturday, a red letter day in the career of the R.F.A. men, for it was the occasion of their regimental sports. The Wardown cricket ground presented an animated and picturesque scene with its crowds of spectators. The brilliant sunshine aiding the effect of the varied colours of the summer dresses worn by the ladies and the khaki uniform, of the men.

The arrangements were earned out on a scale typical of the excellent Biscot organisation, and no effort had been lacking on the part of the Sports Committee to make the event a success. Two field telephones for the communication of results from the finishing point to the records tent were in operation. A reserved enclosure was erected for the accommodation of officers and their friends, and special facilities were given to the wounded soldiers and the nurses from Wardown V.A.D. Hospital. To cope with the large number of spectators, the military police exercised their authority on over eager juveniles, and the Boy Scouts flitted to and fro to render assistance in needful quarters.

Mrs. C. H. Alexander (wife of the Commandant) was the recipient of a dainty bouquet of roses, tied with Artillery colours, red and blue, and in a charming little speech she thanked the Sports Committee for their thought of her, and expressed in glowing terms her appreciation of the splendid way in which the arrangements for the gathering had been

The equestrian skill of the Biscot boys had been witnessed the previous Saturday at Biscot, and so last Saturday’s display at Wardown was confined to ordinary athletics.

The programme was lengthy and well-varied. The race in which the nurses participated was enthusiastically applauded. There were also open events, in which men from various works in the town competed, and athletes from other Army units entered, too.  At Biscot are several men who were prominent in harrier and athletic circles before joining the Army, The physical drill display, under the instruction of Sgt. A. G. Walls, was especially noteworthy eliciting much admiration. There was one equestrian event, C Battery, under the capable training of Lieut. A. H.  Stannard, contributing some admirable vaulting.

The mop tournament and obstacle race evoked considerable amusement. In the latter the competitors had to go through a brushwood hedge with string entanglements, swinging barrels, crawl under scaffold poles pegged down, get through Army wagons filled with brushwood, climb a Jacob's ladder about 60ft, high, get over greasy poles over water, go up and down a greasy slide, then under a tarpaulin, under which were coloured chalks and soot, so that when the unfortunate competitors emerged from those depths they presented a very comic appearance.

The marathon race evoked keen interest, and 19 competed. The entrants started from Biscot in motor cars lent by Mrs. J. W. Green, (Commandant at Wardown), Messrs. A. Burnot. Godfrey. Colling, Martin. W. H. Horn. H. Read. F. S. Biggs, A. E. Fisher, R. Durler, and Vauxhall Motor Works; and on arrival at Harpenden were accommodated al the George Hotel, which was their starting point for the race. After running cross-country, a distance of seven and a half miles, they had to run one lap of the course at Wardown. Gunner Perferment proved an easy winner, and completed the distance in 16 mins.

The veterans' race of 120 yards was open to soldiers who enlisted before 1899, and they were allowed one yard handicap for each year of service preceding that date.

The band race was also amusing. The members of the band had to run across the course whilst playing their instruments. Drummer Charles (an old Grenadier Guardsman) had the greatest difficulty, he being encumbered with a large drum.

Mrs, C. H. Alexander gracefully presented the prizes at the conclusion of the sports.

At the close of the sports dancing was entered into heartily, for which the "Camp Orchestra" provided the music under the excellent conductorship of Bandmaster H. Alexander, and during the afternoon rendered some delightful selections.

The proceeds, which are to benefit Wardown V.A.D. Hospital and the Royal Artillery Prisoners of War Fund, are not yet in hand, but it is anticipated they will reach £290.

The Committee

Who were responsible for the arrangements and organisation.

  • President Major. A. G. Scammell, D .S O.
  • Vice President Capt. C. Lane
  • Hon' Sec' Capt J. Colbert
  • Dep' Hon' Sec' Gnr. A. E. White.
  • Clerk of the Court
    • Lieutenant R.E. Johnson
    • R.S.M. French

Judges. Capt. J. Hawkes Rueit. Lieuts. H. E. Swaning. K. Harris. A.H.D. Speirs. A. N. Stannard. M. Kerry, J. A. Markwitz. and W. Durbridge, Sec-Lieut J. E.

Starters. Capts. A. E. Shuter and J. Northover. Ast'. Starters. B.S.M. Wellard and Minor, Sgt. Broughton.

Timekeepers. Sec. Lieuts. C. G. Pearce and A. J. Lamb, Mr. J. Eaton Smith, L.A.C.: B.S M.'s Horner and Bendelow, B.Q.M.S. Hopper.

Stewards. Major J. H. Hind, Lieuts. W, H. C. Baker, A. G. Ogden, and C. T. Wilson, Sec. Lieut. A. T. Pankhurst, B.S.M. Hall, B.Q M S. Swan. Staff Sgt. Wheeler Buernel, Sgts. J. W. Rowson. C. H. Skelton, Vickers. W. G. Smith and Milligan. Cpls. Amey. Pattison. Groves. Cook, and Anderson. Bdr. Durior.

The following were the winners of the races:

  • Marathon Race.
    • 1: Gnr. Perferment
    • 2:Bdr. Bevan
    • 3: Gnr. Smith
    • 4: Gnr. Groves;
    • while the following also received small prizes. 5: Gnr. Priest. 6: Sgt. Preesfield. 7: Gnr. Cooper. 8:. Gnr. Gardner. 9: Dvr. Donaghue: 10: Cpl, Sharp. 11: Cpl. Davis. 12: Gnr. E. White.
  • Throwing the cricket ball.
    • 1. Gnr. Church   Distance, 89yds 9ins.
    • 2. S.B. Pitt
    • 3. Gnr. Spanawick.
  • Bomb Throwing.
    • 1. S.B. Pitt
    • 2. Gnr. Blowey
    • 3, Bdr. Warren.
  • Long Jump.
    • 1, Gnr. Leadbetter  Distance. 15ft.
    • 2, B.Q.M.S, Everrett
    • 3, Gnr. Unsworth.
  • Half mile No. 6 Res. Brigade. Championship.
    • 1, Gnr. Morley  2 mins 15 seconds.
    • 2. Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • 3, Bdr. Warren. Times.
  • 100 Yards (Heats).
    • Heat 1, Bdr. Willingham
    • Heat 2. Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • Heat 3, Cpl. Griffith
    • Heat 4, Sgt. Goodyer.
  • 100 Yards (Final)
    • 1. Dvr Shelmerdine
    • 2. Sgt. Goodyer
    • 3. Bdr. Willingham.
  • Sack Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • 2. Gnr. Woolley
    • 3. Gnr. Jacobwicz.
  • 440 Yards.
    • 1. Dvr. Shelmerdine  55 seconds.
    • 2. Sec. Lieut. W. Todd
    • 3. Gnr. Ieadbetter
    • 4. Bdr. Abbot. Time.
  • Veterans' Handicap [120 Yards).
    • 1. Seymour
    • 2. Sgt. Pearson
    • 3, B.S.M. Horner
    • 4, Sgt. Saddler. Randall.
  • Putting the Shot.
    • 1, B.Q.M.S. Everett  Distance, 26ft 7in.
    • 2, Gnr. Harding
    • 3. Sgt. Smith.
  • Four-legged Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Hart. Price, and Leadbetter
    • 2. Gnr. Perry. Sgt. Serannage, and Gnr. Lewis
    • 3. Dvrs. Mills. Turner, and Strangeward
  • N.C.O.’s Race (220 Yards).
    • 1. Bdr. Willinghem  Time. 25 3.5 Seconds.
    • 2. Cpl, Griffith
    • 3. Bdr. Warren.
  • Tilting the Bucket
    • 1, Gnr. Osborne and Dvr. Reeves
    • 2. Gnrs. Tubb and Church
    • 3, Sgts, Serannage and Wilson.
  • One Mile No. 6 Res. Brigade Championship
    • 1. Gnr. Perfrement  Time 5 mins. 32 4.5 Seconds.
    • 2. Gnr. Weedon
    • 3. Dvr. Clee.
  • Gas Helmet Race.
    • 1, Gnr. Leister
    • 2, Gnr. Edwards
    • 3. Gnr. Perry.
  • Mop Tournament (pairs).
    • 1. Gnrs. Jacobwicz and Blowey
    • 2. Gnrs. Turner and Fordham
    • 3. Dvrs. Strangeward and Mills.
  • High Jump.
    • 1, Sgt. Goodyer  Height, 5ft.
    • 2. Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • 3. Dvr. Witter
  • Two Mile Cycle Race.
    • 1. Sgt Smith  Time 5mins, 15 seconds.
    • 2. Cpl. Reeve
    • 3 Gnr. Prowse.
  • Pole Fight.
    • 1, Gnr. Blowey
    • 2, Sgt. Serannage.
  • Sergeants Race (120 Yards).
    • 1. Sgt Goodyer  Time 13 seconds.
    • 2. Sgt. Aitken
    • 3. B.Q.M.S, Everitt.
  • 120 Yards (Hurdles). Heat winners:
    • Sgt. Goodyer
    • Gnr Weedon
    • Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • Gnr. Chignell
    • Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • Gnr. Leadbetter.
  • 120 Yards Hurdles (Final)
    • 1. Goodyer  16 2.5 seconds.
    • 2. Shelmerdine
    • 3. Thorneycroft. Time,
  • 120 Yard. Officers' Race (in Uniform)
    • 1. Sec. Lt. W. Todd
    • 2. Sec. Lt. A. J. Lamb.
  • Half-mile Open.
    • 1. Sgt- F. Brinkman (Ampthill command)
    • 2. Mr. A. H. Ray (George Kent's)
    • 3. Pte. Whitehouse (A.V.C., Stockwood)
    • 4. Mr. H F. Gray (Chaul End).
  • Half-mile Relay Race.
    • 1. Headquarters Biscot  Time, 1min. 45 secs.
    • 2. A Battery. Biscot
    • 3. R.E. (Halton Park)
  • 100 Yards Patient's Race.
    • 1. McNamers
    • 2. Custance
    • 3. Bailey
    • 4. Hilliard.
  • 60 Yard Nurses Race.
    • 1. Nurse M. Tomson
    • 2. Nurse D. Tomson
    • 3. Green
    • 4. Nurse Butcher
    • 5. Mrs. Durler
    • 6. Nurse Lye.
  • Boat Race.
    • 1. Headquarters
    • 2. D Battery.
  • One Mile (Open).
    • 1. Mr. A H. Ray (Kent's)
    • 2. Pte. Whitehouse (A.V.C.. Stockwood)
    • 3. Sgt. F. Blakeman (Ampthill Command)
    • 4. Gnr. Payne.
  • Inter Battery Tug of War (Heats)
    • D Battery beat Headquarters.
    • A Battery beat C Battery.
    • D Battery beat A Battery.
    • The Royal Engineers beat D Battery.
  • Officers' vs. Sergeants' Tug-of-War
    • The Sergeants won.
  • Obstacle Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Smith
    • 2, Gnr. Herbert
    • 3. Lieut. A. J. Lamb
    • 4. Sgt. Serranage
    • 5. Gnr. Chignell.
  • Band Race
    • 1. Sgt. Eastaff
    • 2. Gnr. Bennett
    • 3. Gnr. Voorzanger

Prize Donors

  • Col. Carruthers
  • A Sapwell
  • V. Sunman
  • C. Collings
  • F. S. Biggs
  • P. Ellingham
  • H. Woods
  • O. F. Small
  • S. Dunham
  • F. Burgess
  • A. Richardson
  • H. Brown
  • C. Robinson
  • H. Cook
  • H. Blundell
  • F. Godfrey
  • W. F. Mullett
  • R. Burley
  • Omar W. Sinfield
  • W. Alldor Tennant
  • H. Parsons
  • S. Toyer
  • S. Sapwell
  • C. Clarke
  • W. Bootes
  • W. Room
  • G.B. Stratton
  • W.J. Primott.
  • T. Allen
  • A. G. Baker
  • H. Buckmaster
  • F. Day (leagrave)
  • Wild. Miles. Covington
  • Dow. W. Bell
  • Harold. Barker
  • Mrs. Durler
  • C. A. Coutts and Co. per Mr. Thorogood
  • Clay and Sons
  • E. Ward and Co. per Mr. Seamark
  • Messrs Weekea. Ltd.
  • Halford Cycle Co.
  • Boots Cash Chemists
  • Messrs. Deacons (jewellers)
  • New Hudson Cycle Co.
  • Webb Bros.
  • Diamond Foundary per Mr. H. N. Davis
  • Strange and Co.
  • Sanders and Brightman
  • Wing, Arnold, and Wing.
  • A. and G. Robinson
  • Gibbs and Dandy
  • J. W. Green, Ltd.
  • Alderman A Wilkinson.
  • Mr. Sapper. Red Lion Hotel
  • Driver W. P. Parsons.

Other Donations

  • Mr. D. Stern (Bute-Street) rendered valuable assistance by motoring Gnr. White round the district in distributing bills and tickets, etc
  • The civilian public warmly responded in every way to any demands made from Biscot
  • Councillor H. Impey (Chairman Parks Committee) and Mr. West (Parks Superintendent) also ably assisted.

Event Place

Author: David

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