Sunday, 21 December 2014

Royal Marines Football

A rather unusual post this one, the result of a Saturday evening spent researching some family history, and nothing to do with investing.

One of the more interesting of my ancestors, at least from a research perspective, is my paternal grandfather, who took two years off his birth year to allow him to sign up in November 1915 with the Royal Marines Light Infantry (RMLI) Division. While looking for his commanding officer, I found this football match report from 1905:

Royal Marines Legation 4 v US Marines Legation 0 played at Seoul, Korea on 13th March 1905

The Majority of our esteemed Corps will no doubt be pleased to hear of the success of their representitives in the Far East against our American Cousins. The Match in question, which was very attractive (as the Coreans are learning the rudiments of the game), was largely attended. Although the Britishers had the wind against them in the first half of the game, their superior play secured for them two goals to nil.
The Game - The Americans won the toss, and, from the kick off, the play was very exciting for the first ten minutes, as both teams played hard for an opening. But, thanks to the superior play of Allen (Capt), the first goal was scored, which was followed by another before the whistle blew for half time. Nothing of note happened in the second half, as the Britishers had it all their own way, and managed to add another two goals to their credit. The game finished Royal Marines 4 US Marines 0.
Bravo the Britishers! It may be just me, but details about the goals seem a little light. "Nothing of note happened in the second half", well, except for the two goals of course.

The RMLI (Gosport) team were actually rather good it seems. In 1910, they not only won the Army Cup in front of a crowd of 20,000 in Aldershot, but also won the rather more prestigious FA Amateur Cup that year beating the now defunct South Bank. Accompanying the team photo for the Army Cup win was an asterisk next to a Cpl Exford noting:
*Cpl Exford received a telegram on the morning of the game informing him that his only brother had died in an accident, he bravely put this distressing bad news aside and played in the match.
Stiff upper lip - that's the spirit. We're Britishers after all. Now to need to find out why my great great grandfather (John Dominicus Cassini) was in Holloway Prison in 1881. 

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