Radcliffe on Trent golf club was founded in 1909, five years before war was declared. The founders were friends and neighbours known locally as ‘topenders’ because of their wealth and status. When planning the new golf course they had no idea that a global war would soon be casting shadows over their future games together.
A plaque in Radcliffe on Trent Golf Clubhouse remembers two golfers who were killed on active service. Our research has identified several war deaths and injuries which deeply affected those playing and socialising on the course. In line with the club’s commemoration of the Somme centenary, we explore here the impact of the First World War on golf players from the village.
1909: The founding of the Club
Radcliffe on Trent Golf Club was formed in 1909 as a limited liability company with seven directors of both the Company and the Club. The first directors comprised successful business and professional men who mainly resided in the village and worked in Nottingham: they were John Fillingham Bishop, a cigar importer who lived on Cropwell Road; Henry Cox, a hosiery manufacturer from Chestnut Grove; Henry Elwin, box manufacturer, Bailey House; Edwin Marshall Green and George Harry Holmes, lace manufacturers; Samuel Smith a lace machine manufacturer from Radcliffe Hall and William Henry Norris, an estate agent from Holme Pierrepont.
The land chosen for the golf course lies on the left hand side of Cropwell Road south east of the village centre and above the Allotment Gardens. The forty-one acres were leased from Earl Manvers for twenty-one years for an annual rent of £120; the Manvers coat of arms was adopted by the club. The terms of the lease included no buildings apart from a clubhouse, retention of hedges, preservation of any game and no play on Sundays (this restriction was lifted about 1912).
Officers were appointed at the first recorded meeting on 26th February 1909. Directors John Bishop, Henry Cox, Henry Elwin, Samuel Smith and William Norris were present. Charles Wightman Pike was elected secretary and wrote the minutes. Robert Hallam, a local solicitor and neighbour of Henry Cox, was elected club solicitor and W.H. Norris was chairman.