Sunday, 2 February 2014

Crawley Rifle Club

As well as his position as head of the family building firm R. Cook & Sons, prime mover of the local 4th Royal Sussex Regiment Alfred Edward Cook (Uncle Ted) was also heavily involved in the Crawley & District Rifle Club.

In July 1908 the Crawley team upheld their reputation in shooting for the national championship (low power) trophy Bisley. Although, with two exceptions, the team are unused to outdoor shooting, owing to being without an outdoor range, they succeeded in taking third place, beating such clubs as the Alexandra Palace and Beckton and only falling short by seven points from the winning team Southfields. The shoot took place in a down pour of rain, and this, no doubt, accounted to some extent, the winning team being, without exception, composed of hardened veterans and men who have all been prize winners on Bisley Heath whereas the Crawley team, with one exception, made this their first visit.

Out of a possible one hundred uncle Ted hit the target 91 times and his brother Chris hit the target 90 times

At the end of October on a Wednesday evening, in the George Hotel, the solid silver Winterton Cup was presented by Earl Winterton, MP, for competition among rifle clubs in his constituency which was won by the Crawley Rifle Club. Amongst those present were both Ted and Chris.

In his speech Earl Winterton congratulated the Crawley Club on the success achieved and said it was indeed gratifying to see that the movement was so well supported throughout the county by men of all classes, irrespective of party, and that the people were rapidly beginning to see that the defence of the country could not be entrusted to a few and that it was the bounden duty of all to fit themselves for defence. Those who had not time to join the Territorials Forces should consider it their duty to join a rifle club (applause). He wished the rifle club movement every success and hoped the excellent example shown by the Crawley Club might be copied by all other clubs in the division and that next year they would secure and even larger entry for the competition than they had done this year (applause).

Crawley Rifle Club Circa 1910. Standing at back far left is Uncle Chris, next to him, Uncle Ted.

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