Thursday, 14 August 2014

Crawley Coming to Terms with a World at War

Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty that followed the declaration of war, everyday life in Crawley did have some semblance of normality. The local cricket scores show that Crawley played at home versus the Pirates on Wednesday evening with darkness preventing a definite result. The game was well contested, and some hard hitting was seen. The fielding and bowling was very keen. Young Eddie Cook made seventeen with the bat and took six Pirates wickets that day.

The Crawley and District Rifle Club published their annual report which expressed its satisfaction on winning the Loder Shield and the Winterton Cup and various individual prizes, but in a notice issued subsequently Hon. Secretary A. E. Taylor writes:

“Since the report and balance sheet was printed the Crawley Rifle Club has been called upon to act as Volunteer Civil Guard, and a watch has been organised and is now acting by night at the culvert under the railway line at Ifield. This will entail some considerable expense, and as far as can be ascertained no grant will be available to defray the same. The club funds are not sufficient to bear the burden, and donations are invited. The committee are also opening the range free of membership subscription, and the opportunity has largely been responded to; many are now learning to shoot and fitting themselves for useful work if their services are required. Regular subscribers will greatly help on the work by remitting their subscriptions now so that available funds may not fail. The loan of a bell tent will be appreciated.”

The Rifle Club AGM took place on Friday of the following week. The Hon. Secretary explained the formation of a Civil Guard and read the correspondence dealing with the subject. When it came to election of officials, Mr A. E. Cook was again chosen as Hon. Treasurer, his brother Mr C. Cook to act as his deputy due to his absence on military duty. Uncle Ted was also selected as Club Captain and Uncle Chris re-elected to the committee. Amongst all the other people present it is also noted that Great Grandfather Bert was also in attendance. 

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