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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Fred Richardson
Berlin/Bremen (Germany)
Fred Richardson Frederic William (Fred) Richardson is mentioned in several of the accounts of life in Ruhleben and the magazines produced at the camp but I am missing information on his early career,

Born in North Walsham, Norfolk, in 1871 he was Cuthbert Butchart’s predecessor as professional to the Berlin club from around 1905 to 1911. He was defeated in the final of the Professional Golf Championship of Germany in 1908 and he entered the qualifiers for the 1910 Open Championship at St Andrews with the affiliation of the Berlin club.

Sometime before the start of the First World War he became professional at the Club zur Vahr at Bremen which is why he came to be interned with other British civilians at Ruhleben in Berlin.

One of the modern accounts of Ruhleben suggests that he became the professional at Sandy Lodge after the war. I first doubted this when there was a Richardson appointed after Jack Allan left for South Africa in 1922 and remained until the appointment of Arthur Havers in November 1929 as he is always described in press reports as F.W. Richardson. It would be unusual to have someone previously known to the press as F. Richardson acquire another initial but his great-granddaughter confirms that this was indeed Fred from Ruhleben.

He played at Formby trying to qualify for the 1924 Open at Hoylake and over the Troon courses the following year. He competed too in the qualifying rounds for the Glasgow Herald 1000 Guineas competition at Gleneagles in 1925 but did not reach the matchplay stages.

Plenty of big names came to Sandy Lodge to play exhibition matches, a tradition at the club since 1910. In 1923 Richardson partnered Arthur Havers, the reigning Open Champion, against Charles Whitcomb and Harry Vardon. In 1926 he played against Aubrey Boomer, Abe Mitchell, who set a new course record, and Harry Vardon finishing 10 shots ahead of the great man who had an uncharacteristically poor round. In 1928 Vardon, who by then had featured 13 times in the annual exhibition, partnered Henry Cotton against Ruchardson and Havers.

(Wth thanks to Rosalind Duffus for supplementary information)

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