CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965) Autograph manuscript ...
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CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph manuscript draft for the establishment of a regimental polo club: the "Polo Club 4th Hussars Rules & Committee," n.p. [on board ship, en route to India], dated (on the last page, in the hand of Captain Reginald Hoare) 1 October 1896. 8 pages, 4to, cancellations and emendations in Hoare's hand on each page in purple ink and pencil, the pages numbered in autograph and re-numbered in red (the outer leaves slightly dust-stained, tear in bottom left corner of wrapper) .
CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph manuscript draft for the establishment of a regimental polo club: the "Polo Club 4th Hussars Rules & Committee," n.p. [on board ship, en route to India], dated (on the last page, in the hand of Captain Reginald Hoare) 1 October 1896. 8 pages, 4to, cancellations and emendations in Hoare's hand on each page in purple ink and pencil, the pages numbered in autograph and re-numbered in red (the outer leaves slightly dust-stained, tear in bottom left corner of wrapper) . "THE OBJECT OF THE CLUB IS TO ASSIST MEMBERS TO PURCHASE POLO PONIES" Churchill's draft constitution for the Fourth Queen's Hussars Polo Club was written on board ship sailing with the regiment to India, and dated by Captain Hoare one day after the ship docked at Bombay. Churchill later described the origins of the club in My Early Life (pp. 121-122): "It was upon [polo] that apart from duty all our interest was concentrated. But before you can play polo you must have ponies. We had formed on the voyage a regimental polo club, which in return for moderate but regular subscriptions from all the officers (polo-players and non-polo-players alike) offered substantial credit facilities for the procuring of these indispensable allies." Polo was to be a central feature of his army life, and he reported to his mother that he played three times a week The document recognizes that the first step is the foundation of the club must be to obtain ponies and to secure a ground: "The object of the Club is (a) to assist members to purchase polo ponies by advancing them money. (b) By spending as much money on the Polo Ground as may be considered advisable by the Polo Committee. (c) In a general sense to further the interests of the game in the regiment: money to be borrowed, spent or lent in any way which in the opinion of the Committee shall seem expedient." The rules relate principally to arrangements for the purchase and care of ponies, providing for raising capital "as much as possible to be taken from the officers' Regimental Funds" or by borrowing and entrance fees; for permitting members to borrow to purchase ponies on certain conditions, restricting the use of the ponies "bought wholly or partly with Club money [which] may not be raced, driven, sold or lent to any one out of the regiment...until they are fully paid for"; for fining members who fall into arrears; and for various contingencies including the death of a pony or a member. The list of proposed members of the Committee includes, as well as himself, Churchill's friends, Lieutenants Albert Savory and Alan Ogilivie Francis (with whom he rode in point-to-points at Aldershot); Captain [Edgar Mortimer] Lafone, brother-in-law of Pamela Plowden with whom he was soon to fall in love; Lieutenant Reginald Barnes and Lieutenant the Hon. Hugo Baring, with whom he shared a bungalow at Bangalore, and two other officers; Captain Reginald Hoare is President. The members of the fledgling club boldly decided to purchase the entire polo pony stock of the Poona Light Horse, and at Meerut in 1899 Churchill was to score three of the four winning goals for his team in the inter-regimental tournament in spite of a dislocated shoulder. He played later in Egypt and his last game was at Malta in 1927, when he described polo to his son, Randolph, as "the Emperor of games."
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