Arthur Alfred Andrews was one of the supposedly thirteen golf professionals interned at Berlin’s Ruhleben golf course at the start of the First World War. Links to the others interned can be found in the article on Ruhleben
There is a purported transcription of the Football Association entries from Ruhleben showing him to have been born in Wheatherstone, Hertfordshire in 1895. There is no place called Wheatherstone in Hertfordshire (nor anywhere else for that matter) and, with that birthdate, he would have been 13 when he started as a professional which is a little too precocious. In fact he was born, Arthur Alfred Andrews, in Wheathampstead on 19 August 1885 to Alfred and Harriet née Squires. At the time of the 1901 census he is living with them, and two brothers, at Delaporte Farm, Wheathampsted, and working as a carpenter. By the time he left for Germany, he was living at 38 Heath Road, St Albans, and became professional at Wentorf-Reinbek, close to Hamburg, in 1909. He played in the big Baden-Baden tournament of 1911 though finished second to last. In 1914 he was arrested in Hannover before being sent for internment in Ruhleben.
The figure of thirteen professionals comes from a piece in Golfing in 1915 recounting a letter written from the camp to Messrs Lehmann and Co explaining that the prisoners were allowed an hour of golf per day and that the professionals ‘are having almost as much to do in the way of giving lessons as they had in happier times’. It estimated a hundred amateurs were taking advantage of the golf hour. From what I have found there were fifteen, possibly sixteen as described in the Ruhleben piece.
Andrews returned to Hertfordshire after Ruhleben and was assistant to Charles Wallis at Verulam, at his old home in St Albans, in 1921-22. This may not be the world’s greatest course but then, at least, it was exceptionally rich thanks to the munificence of Samuel Ryder of Ryder Cup fame. There seemed to be an abundance of assistants: Andrews did not even play in the professional tournaments held by the club and the only outing I can see for him in that year was in the Herts Alliance pro-am.
He was, therefore, probably happy to obtain the professional’s post at the Hill GC in Harrow, the following year. He remained here, when the club changed its name to Northwick Park until the club was wound up in 1947. He was thanked for his loyalty and rewarded with a cheque at the club’s farewell dinner.
In 1924 he had married Minnie Beasley and, in 1939, they were living at 27 St Julians Road, St Albans. That was still their address when Arthur Andrews died in February 1966.
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