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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Scottish Golf History

Clubmakers

Killed in the First World War
(Source: © 2014-17, Douglas MacKenzie)

Golf professionals and clubmakers were, like every other section of society, affected by the First World War. Many clubmaking businesses went bust (Spence and Gourlay and Anderson and Blyth are two in St Andrews who met this fate) for the want of raw materials or trained staff, with their clubmakers in the trenches there were many hearings where business owners sought call-up exemption certificates for their most skilled workers. Alex Marling and George Smith just left their business Marling and Smith in Aberdeen and joined the Gordon Highlanders, Marling losing one eye, Smith his hearing in the fighting. They resumed their careers after the war as did others such as Ernest Jones despite the loss of a leg.

Niblick brigade in Trafalgar Square before enlisting
The Niblick Brigade, Professional Golfers in Trafalgar Square before enlisting, 1914

Others though did not return from the war. Indeed, the first British casualty of the war, John Parr, was a caddy at Friern Barnett who lied about his age (he was 16) when he joined the 4th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. The list below is not comprehensive though I will add to it over time. Nor is it intended as a roll of honour of those who gave their lives for their country: it is a list of laddies killed in their prime for reasons which even after a century’s reflection are unclear.

Donald Bremner Charles Fraser
James Kinnell Tom Ball
Charles Richards Bertie Snowball
Harry Cottrell Albert Cottrell
William Cottrell C F Trineman
Chris McGowran Harry Burgess
David Watt David Murray
Michael Moran John Arthur Champion
David Kirkaldy John Higgins
George Horn Matthew Owen
Jack Edwards D T Mabbett
J E Shadbolt Charles Roberts
R W Finch Thomas Powell
William MacDonald George E Skevington
Peter McKenzie Walter Mayo
Ernest Lewis Harold Cadwell
Alfred Bonner Lemuel Ace
H J Frostick A Shaw
Andrew Simpson James Burns
William Davey Robert McDougall
Jack Cawkwell T C Powell
Albert Mitchell Arthur Gray
Douglas B Howell William McGowan
H G Thompson W G Rainbow
James Hood F G Renouf
W H Jex E A Firstbrook
Fred Newton Alexander Guthrie
David Grant Alexander McDonald
J F E Ackerley W T Stephenson
Alexander Grant Christopher McIntosh
Fred Osey J G Egleshaw
C A Harris Jack Johns
Roy McInnes Andrew King
George Fernie John Irvine
J H Brownlow Robert Herd
Edward Shedden James Milligan
J H Morris

Sapper Frank Booth (Assistant, Lees Hall GC, 1918)
Frank Miller (Assistant, Gatwick, 13.10.1916, age 20)
Private J Williams (Assistant, Porthcawl, 1918, age 24)
Private Cyril Jackson (Assistant, Walmley, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 1916, age 21)
Private Harry Shutt (Assistant to Charles Gibson, Royal North Devon), 8.3.1916, Devonshire Regiment, Basra Memorial
Sergeant Henry Balfour (Assistant, Lossiemouth, Seaforths) 1918
J Simmons (asst to James Sherlock, Stoke Poges)
Private Robert Barr (Assistant, Old Ranfurly), HLI, 18.11.1916, age 20
L/Cpl Charles Lord (Assistant, Worsley), Royal Lancaster Regiment, 16.8.1916
W G Eastland (Assistant, Thanet), 13th Bn, Rifle Brigade (Niblick Brigade), 14.11.1916
Robert Smith (Clubmaker to brother, George E Smith, Deeside), 7th Bn, Gordon Highlanders, died of wounds, 4.6.1917
James Tunley (Private, Border Regiment, Assistant Llandrindod Wells, killed 1.4.1917), Buried Savy British Cemetery, Aisne
Signaller Clarence Maud, Royal Field Artillery, Asst to Thomas Tate at Horsforth 1912-1915, died of wounds 27.9.15
Lance-Sergeant Robert Clark, Australian Infantry, from Carnoustie, assistant and clubmaker to his brother Carnegie Clark at Royal Sydney, died from gas poisoning, West Flanders, 16.10.1917 aged 24
Private Peter Ward Gordon, b Broughty Ferry 13.8.1897, (Clubmaker to brother-in-law, Melville Brown, Malone GC, Belfast, Argylls, d 18.8.1916, Somme)

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