Arborfield
Local History Society

 Memories - Local sport in WWII

The School in wartime

Throughout the Second World War, there were annual sports events at the Army Technical School, Arborfield C. E. School and the Royal Merchant Navy School in the north of the parish. For those who are interested, our Data C.D. can point you to dates of newspaper articles giving detailed lists of prize-winners.

However, there was no mention of regular sports fixtures until January 16th 1943, when the following photo was published in the 'Reading Mercury':

Arborfield Juniors Fooball Team, January 1943

'Arborfield Juniors football team' (copyright 'Reading Mercury; used by permission). Unfortunately, due to lack of space, the newspaper didn't have an accompanying article naming the players. We can identify at least two of them - if you think you know who's in the photo, please let us know.

For the 1944-45 season, a regular correspondent chronicled the many successes of the Arborfield Rangers football team:

October 7th 1944: Arborfield: Football: In their first match of the season on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers drew with Havelock Rovers by 5-5. Goal scorers for Arborfield were Nicholls (3) and Clark (2). Fixtures are wanted by the secretary, M. L. Barker, 28, Council-Houses, Arborfield.

October 21st: Arborfield: Football: In their match on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers defeated Wokingham Juniors 2-1. J. Nicholls scored both goals for Arborfield.

November 11th: Arborfield: Football: Although Arborfield Rangers had scored two goals to nil in the first ten minutes of their game against a R.E.M.E. team on Saturday last, they finally lost 7-4. This was their first defeat of the season. Whitfield, Heath, Barker and J. Nicholls scored for Arborfield.

December 9th: Arborfield: Football: Arborfield Rangers defeated Wokingham Rangers on Saturday 12-2.

Three more matches in December 1944 resulted in wins of 9-0, 10-6 and 6-2. They even played on Christmas Day, against Bearwood Youth Club, winning 14-6. The report doesn't describe the conditions on the pitch, but elsewhere in the newspaper there were news items on the White Christmas in Berkshire.

January 13th 1945: Arborfield: Football: Arborfield Rangers lost to Havelock Rovers on Saturday 4-3. Members of the club have leant with deep regret the death in action of John Hunt. He was 18 and took part in a match when on leave last November.

February 10th: Arborfield: Football: In their match on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers defeated Wokingham Juniors 3-1. Barker (2) and Whitfield (1) scored for Arborfield.

February 17th: Arborfield: Football: In their match on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers defeated Havelock Rovers 4-2. Jerome (2), Whitfield and J. Nicholls scored for Arborfield.

March 3rd: Arborfield: Football: In their match on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers defeated a strong R.E.M.E. team 3-0. F. Stokes played well in the Arborfield goal. Lucas (2) and Barker scored.

April 7th: Arborfield: Football: In their match on Saturday, Arborfield Rangers drew with Wokingham Juniors 2-2. Jerome and Whitfield scored for Arborfield.

During 1945, former members of the Home Guard formed the Newland (H.G.) Rifle Club, and scored several successes during that year.

With acknowledgements to Berkshire Media ('Reading Mercury').

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