Local History Society

 The 'Mercury' and the Home Front in WW1

Sports Days:





The Remount Depot Sports Day 1916

from the Reading Mercury, 2nd September 1916:



The Remount Depot - a Collier postcard from Martin Shearn's collectionA large company assembled at the Depôt Recreation Ground, Arborfield Cross, on Saturday, on the occasion of the regimental sports, held in connection with the No. 4 Remount Depôt. Heavy rain fell on two or three occasions, but this did not in any way mar the interest displayed by the spectators or the enthusiasm of the competitors.

The management was excellent, and the many events, varied as they were, were followed very closely. Praise is due to the committee, of which Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Badcock was the president, Captain C. Goater the chairman, and Sergeant A. S. B. Minhinnick the hon. secretary. Unfortunately, the president was unable to be in attendance on account of being called away to France on important military duties.

Captain Goater, with other officers, showed the liveliest interest throughout, working tremendously hard, and the able and courteous hon. secretary was indefatigable in his efforts. Mention should also be made of 1st Class S.S.M. E. Cole for the part he played in the arrangements. The heats in several of the events were run off during the week, and on Saturday, many of the races produced exceedingly close finishes.

The handsome collection of prizes were gracefully presented by Mrs. Badcock, for whom three hearty cheers were given. A similar compliment was paid to the colonel. The trophy to the winning cricket team, No. 1, 61st Squadron, was also presented.

The officers were at home to 150 friends, including the local clergy, gentry and farmers. The sergeants’ mess entertained 250 friends. The catering for the officers and sergeants was very creditably done by Mr. A. C. Bond, caterer, West Street, Reading, dainty teas being served in two spacious marquees kindly lent by Messrs. H. and G. Simonds, Reading.

The provision of teas for nearly 700 of the men with their relations and friends, was carried out regimentally in the mess room, where a staff of workers, under Sergeants Baker and Fuller and Corporals Stone and Collard, supplied the needs of all. The tea hut and depôt premises were effectively decorated by Lance-Corporal Gibbons and Private Groves, the artistic arrangements of flags, bunting and foliage receiving appreciative comment.

Sergeant Butler and Corporals Lane, Slade and Lovell provided an excellent course. The regimental band of the A.S.C. Aldershot, under A.J.Cook, L.R.A.M., gave an excellent programme of well-reflected music. Prominent competitors at the sports were Sergeants White and Hooper, Corporals Stephenson and Slade, and Privates Mylne, Lewis, Perkins, Slade and Chipperfield. The comic events were very amusing, and the antics of hobbyhorses, ridden by jockeys (Privates Mackenzie and Moreton) vastly amused the children.

The Officer Commanding, A.S.C. Duties, Aldershot, Messrs. Simonds (Reading), Allnat (Sindlesham), Heelas (Reading), Colebrook (Reading), Tubb (Bearwood), McIlroy (Reading) and Sale (Wokingham) assisted the depôt by various kind gifts and loans.

Amongst those present were General Ellison, Colnel Poulton, Mr. Badcock, Mr. John Simonds, Mrs. Simonds (Finchampstead), the Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, the Rev. J. A. and Mrs. Anderson, Mr. G. A. Watson, Miss Cobham, Mr. R. Simonds, Mr. Vivian Simonds, Dr. and Mrs. Maberley, Mrs. Goater, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Sturges, Mr. Gale, Major Bailey [sic] and officers from the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bear Wood. Miss Corrie, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Arborfield), Mr. Vickars (Finchampstead), Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, Mr. Dimond (Bear Wood), Mr. and Mrs. Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bryant, Mr. and Miss Johnson, etc.

The committee comprised Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Badcock (president), Captain C. Goater (chairman of the executive), Captain A. Gale, Captain G. Rose, Captain J. F. Thurston, Lieutenant W. A. Cockrill (vice president), Lieutenant T. T. Tilling, Mr. J. Whitecross, 1st Class S.S.M. F. Cole, S.S.M. W.F. Brake, S.S.M. P.A. Holland, F.Q.M.S. J McD. Bell, S.Q.M.S. H. H. Jeeves, S.Q.M.S. C. Page, Sergeant Tyreman, Sergeant Windsor, Sergeant Kerner, Sergeant Butler, Farrier-Sergeant Taylor, Corporal Webber, Corporal Lane, Corporal Gibbons, Corporal Stephenson, Private Mayes, Privates Groves, Aldridge, Kew, J. Lewis, Edwards, Deadman, Lovejoy, Edmonds, Jones and Sergeant A. S. B. Minhinnick (hon. secretary).

The officials were:- Judges: Captain Goater, Captain Thurston, Captain Gales, Lt. Cockrell, Lt. Tilling, Mr. J. W. Whitecross, S.Q.M.S. Jeeves, 1st Class S.S.M. Cole, Sergeant Durke, Sergeant Windsor, Sergeant Butler, Sergeant Tyreman and Sergeant Ketner. The officers’ ladies judged the officers’ race and the best fancy costume. The starters were Captain L. Rose and Mr. J. W. Whitecross, and several members of the committee discharged the duties of clerks of the course.

The results are appended:

Throwing the Cricket Ball – Sergeant Hooper.

Kicking the Football – Private W. E. Slade.

Best Turn-Out (prizes presented by the Commandant, Lieut. Col. G. H. Badcock: Double Harness: 1, Privates Curtis and Middleton (equal); 3, Private Grant. Single: 1, Private Hogbourne; 2, Privates Cumming and Jarvis.

One Mile Flat:- 1, Private Perkins; 2, Private Lewis; 3, Private Harmon. Perkins ran well and won by six yards. Time: 5 min.

850 Yards Civilian Walking Race: 1, P. Targett; 2, F. Quirk. Won easily.

120 Yards (open to privates under 20): 1, Private Mylne; 2, Private Slade; 3, Private A. Cole. A good race.

120 Yards Handicap (open to Corporals) – 1, Corporal Prestidge; 2, Corporal Lovell; 3, Corporal Slade. Won by a couple of yards.

120 Yards Hurdle Race – 1, Corporal Stephenson; 2, Private Perkins; 3, Private A. Cole. An excellent race, Stephenson winning by a very narrow margin.

120 Yards (open to veterans over 45) – 1, Private Edmunds; 2, Corporal Prestidge; 3, Private Wenham. A good race was won by a yard.

100 Yards Backwards – 1, Private Ditolls; 2, Sergeant Hooper; 3, Sergeant White. Won by three yards.

Tilting the Bucket – 1, Privates Hatt and Ford; 2, Sergeant Hopper and Private Edmunds; 3, Sergeant White and Corporal Prestidge.

Boot Race – 1, Private Tucker; 2, Private Denton and Private Lewis (dead heat).

120 Yards Handicap (open to the Sergeants’ Mess) – 1, Sergeant White; 2, Sergeant Hooper; 3, Sergeant Palfrey. Won by a yard.

Mop Fight – 1, Privates Lewis and Wilkins.

100 Yards, Final – 1, Corporal Stephenson; 2, Private Mylne; 3, Sergeant Hooper. Stephenson and Mylne ran a dead heat but in the run-off, Stephenson won by a yard.

Slow Cycle Race – 1, Private Tubb; 2, Sergeant Palfrey; 3, Private Hatt. A capital race.

Wheelbarrow Race – 1, Privates Deadman and Benyon; 2, Privates Page and Denton.

Officers’ Race – 1, Mr. J. W. Whitecross. Won easily.

Pillow Fight – Private Lewis.

Three-Legged Race – 1, Sergeant Hooper and Private Edmunds; 2, Privates Hogg and Lewis; 3, Privates Mylne and Perkins.

440 Yards (open) – 1, Corporal Stewart, A.S.C. (Aldershot); 2, Private Mylne; 3, Tuff. Stewart, who is a well-known runner at Aldershot, made all the running and ultimately won easily.

Bun and Treacle Race (boys under 15) – 1, F. Ostridge; 2, J. Alexander; 3, P. Targett; 4 Holloway.

100 Yards (boys under 10) – 1, J. Denman; 2, R. Farmer; 3, A. Tarbox; 4, Slark.

100 Yards (girls under 15) – 1, B. Cox; 2, K. Cox; 3, V. Paulin; 4, B. Hogbourne.

Inter-Troop Relay Race – 1, No. 4, 61st Squadron (Corporal Slade, Privates Slade, Rowell and Wood); 2, No. 2, 54th Squadron (Corporal Stephenson, Privates Deadman, Harmon and Chipperfield); 3, No. 1, 54th Squadron (Sergeant White, Corporal Gibbons, Privates Denton and Benyon). Won easily.

Inter-Troop Boat Race – 1, No. 3, 54th Squadron; 2, No. 1, 51st Squadron.

Best Fancy Costume – Sergeant Butler (John Bull); S.Q.M.S. Page (Pierrot); Private Tubb (Cavalier); Corporal Simlett (Welsh woman). The costumes all being so good, the prizes were divided.

Married Ladies’ Egg and Spoon Race – 1, Mrs. House; 2, Mrs. Brooks; 3, Mrs. Sadler.

100 Yards (open to single ladies) – 1, Miss J. Nash; 2, Miss Clark; 3, Miss Thrasher.

100 Yards in Fancy Costume – 1, Private Deadman; 2, Corporal Simlett; 3, Sergeant Butler.

120 Yards (men, 35 – 45 years) – 1, Corporal Slade; 2, Sergeant White; 3, Private Petts. A close race.

Sack Race – 1, Private Brooks; 2, Corporal Slade; 3, Private Deadman.

Obstacle Race – 1, Private Lewis; 2, Private Cole; 3, Private Deadman.

Band Race – 1, Private Boulcott; 2, Private Wadsworth; 3, Corporal Stewart.

Consolation Race (120 yards) – 1, Private Chipperfield; 2, Private Sully; 3, Corporal Nicholl.

Inter-Troop Tug-of-War – Final: 54th Squadron (coached by S.S.M. Holland) beat 61st Squadron (Sergeant Baker) by two pulls to none.

Inter-Squadron Tug-of-War (presented by Mr. A. Brome Wilson) No. 1, 61st Squadron (coached by Sergeant Baker) beat No. 2, 61st Squadron (Private Edmunds) by two pulls to one.

Back to Remount Depot Page

Back to WW1 Main Page

Back to Memories Page






Any Feedback or comments on this website?  Please e-mail the webmaster