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England (Midlands) Region

PGA Midlands remembers

11 Nov 18

World War 1

Phil Weaver, the Curator of PGA Heritage, lists the 14 PGA Midlands Members who lost their lives in World War 1

Alfred Bonner

Born in Bottesford, Leicestershire Alf Bonner served as an assistant to Walter Tedder at Bulwell Forest, Nottinghamshire and would take over the position as professional at the club in 1910. He enlisted in December 1915 in the 12th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and would fight in France and Flanders. At the age of 26 he would fall in action on June 25, 1917, during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the missing and on the Bulwell WWI Memorial. 

Harold Cadwell

Born in in Churchtown, Lancashire, Harold Cadwell had moved south by 1911 to take up the position of assistant to Fred Robson at West Surrey Golf Club. He returned north two years later to become attached to Hesketh Golf Club under the wing of resident professional Peter McEwan. He applied for the post as professional at Buxton & High Peak, Derbyshire, in 1915 and, out of 36 applicants he was successful.

He enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment in 1917 and went off to fight on the Western Front. At the age of 29 he was severely injured in battle and would later die from his wounds in a hospital in Rouen on the August 29, 1918. Harold is buried in St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, Southport.

Jack Cawkwell

Jack Cawkwell was regarded as a talented Sheffield golfer althpugh he was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He began his career in golf as an assistant at Barnsley Golf Club before securing the post as professional at Wortley Golf Club in 1907. He moved to Birstall, Leicestershire, in 1910 and remained there until he joined The Colours in 1917.

Jack enlisted in the 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment and went off to fight in France. On the 26th April 1918, at the age of 33 he was listed as killed in action during the Battle of Lys, one of the last engagements on the Somme. His name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing.

William Dayman

Born in Great Barr, Staffordshire, William Dayman was recorded as a caddie in the 1901 census. By 1904 he had become an assistant to J H Oke the resident professional at Sutton Coldfield Golf Club and would stay there until 1908 when he secured the professional's position at Walsall Golf Club. However, after four years there the club had to let him go owing to financial constraints prevailing at that time.

William would enlist in the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in November 1915 and experience considerable action on the Western Front in France. On the April 14, 1917, fighting in the 1st Battle of the Scarpe during the Arras offensive William fell in action. His name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the missing, he was 30 years of age.

John Edwin ‘Jack’ Edwards

Born in Thames Ditton, the first mention of Jack Edwards’ golfing career was in 1910 when he became an assistant to Philip Gaudin, the resident professional at the Fulwell Club in London. That same year he would take up the post of professional to the Thames Ditton & Esher Ladies Golf Club where he remained until 1913 when took up a similar position at Sandwell Park Golf Club, Staffordshire.

Enlisting as a Lance Corporal in the 12th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, in the autumn of 1915 he would fall in action on February 15 the following year during fierce fighting on the Western Front. He was 33 years of age and is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the missing.

*The Birmingham Daily Gazette reported on the death of Johnny Edwards a week later

Yesterday information reached West Bromwich that “Johnny” Edwards, the former     professional to the Sandwell Park Club, had been killed in action.  Johnny Edwards was not so widely known in Birmingham and district outside golf circles, but among golfers he was popular.  He succeeded George Carter as “pro” at Sandwell, coming to the Midlands from the London district. He had his reputation to make in the golf world, but when the war broke out he was travelling on the right way to achieve distinction as a player.

But when the war broke out Johnny decided to join some comrades in the King’s       Royal Rifles. He had been at the front some months prior to his death. He leaves a     young widow, who has been keeping the “shop” going at Sandwell Park. He was a    good golfer, and a particularly genial companion. One of his best achievements in Midland golf circles was to qualify for the final stages of the News of the World tournament. But for the intervention of the war Johnny Edwards would have been         in the front line of Midland professional golfers.

John George Egleshaw

Born in Basford, Nottinghamshire, John Egleshaw was to become the professional at Southwell Golf Club in 1912 and remained there until 1917. As this was not a full-time appointment, to supplement his income, he would take employment at the local lace factory of E Cary & Sons.

He joined the Colours as an Aircraftsman 2nd Class the Royal Naval Air Services in the summer of 1917. That same year he was to die from wounds inflicted when he was struck by the propeller of a sea plane. He was 32 years of age and is buried Southwell Minster (St Mary’s) Churchyard.

John Higgins

Born in the village of Bridge-of-Weir, Scotland, John Higgins began his golfing career as an assistant at the local golf club at Ranfurly Castle. In 1912 he would move south to take up the position of professional at Walsall Golf Club and remained there until 1917.

In 1917 John first enlisted in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers as a Private before being  transferred to the 8th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry where he achieved the rank of Lance Corporal. He was killed in action fighting in Italy on the October 28, 1918, aged 28. He is buried in Tezze British Cemetery and his name, along with that of his elder brother Peter, appears on the Bridge-of-Weir WWI memorial.

Sidney ‘Cyril’ Jackson

Born in Netherseal, Leicestershire, Sidney was listed as an assistant professional golfer by the 1911 census. The 1913 record of PGA Members has him attached to Walmley Golf Club, presumably under the wing of resident professional Jack Whiting.

Sidney would enlist in the 1st/8th Battalion Warwickshire Regiment in early 1916 and go off to fight in France. On the July 1, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, he was reported missing. A subsequent bulletin that appeared in the Birmingham Daily Post reported that he had been killed in action. His name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing, Sidney was just 21 years of age.

William McGowan

Born in Prestwick, Scotland, William McGowan began his golfing career as an assistant to resident professional David Kinnell at Prestwick St Nicholas. By 1906 he had become a member of the PGA Midlands Section but where he was attached is as yet unclear. Nevertheless, it is recorded that in 1911 he was at the now defunct Wednesbury Golf Club and remained there until his appointment as the professional at Radcliffe-on-Trent Golf Club in 1913, staying at the Nottinghamshire club until 1917.

Although he originally enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters, he was later assigned to the 7th Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. William would fall in action on October 24, 1918, two weeks before the armistice. He was 32 years of age and is buried at the Cross Roads Cemetery, Fountaine-Au-Bois, France. His name also appears on the Prestwick WWI Memorial.

Frederick Newton

Born in Warwick Fred Newton was to become the assistant to J F Blundell the resident professional to the Warwick Club. It is recorded that in 1910 he acceded Blundell in the role of club professional. It is also chronicled that the club prepared him for this role by sending him for a few weeks of training with James Braid at Walton Heath. Fred was well respected and remained at the Warwick Club until 1914.

At the onset of WWI, he enlisted as a Gunner in the 331st Brigade Royal Field Artillery and would experience considerable action before falling on the field of battle on the March 28, 1918, at the age of 27. Fred Newton’s name is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial to the missing.

Charles Ernest Richards

Born at Penn Common, Wolverhampton Charles Richards would move to Oldswinford, Stourbridge as a young man to begin his golfing career. Elected a PGA Member in 1902, he became the professional to be employed by Stourbridge Golf Club the following year. remaining there until 1914.

At the outbreak of the war he would enlist initially in the Devonshire Regiment but was transferred to the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment and would experience considerable action. In the attack on Damery Wood during the advance to the Somme, Charles would fall in battle on August 11, 1918. He was 38 years of age and is buried at Bouchoir New British Cemetery.

William Thomas Stephenson

Born in Nottingham William Stephenson’s exact entry into the profession of golf remains as yet unclear. However, at a bankruptcy in 1913 it was recorded that he admitted to being at seven golf clubs before his last post at Newark. These included among others, Pershore, Kettering and Bulwell Forest; in each case it is assumed as professional.

He enlisted at the outset of the Great War in the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and went to France to fight. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme July 1, 1916, he fell in action at the age of 34. William is buried at the Caberet-Rouge British Cemetery.

James Tunley

Born in Llanyre, Wales, James Tunley would follow his older brother Alfred to the Midlands and become his assistant at Robin Hood Golf Club. Though an accomplished player, James would unfortunately get himself into trouble during his time there culminating in his dismissal in 1912 after an altercation with a lady member.

He enlisted as a Private in the 11th Battalion Border Regiment and go off to France to fight. James would fall in action on the April 1, 1917, during the successful offensive of the village of Savy near St Quinten. He is buried in the Savy British Cemetery and was 31 years of age when he fell in battle.

*Additional research by Fiona Morrall, PGA Midlands










Phil Weaver

Curator of PGA Heritage

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