Even during the Second World War the British Army continued to run regimental sports competitions, with small trophies awarded to winners and runners up. Kohat was a cantonment camp near the Khyber Pass in Northern India and men continued to be garrisoned there throughout the Second World War. Part of the camp’s social life was the Kohat Garrison Officer’s Club which naturally included sports competitions as part of its round of social functions.
Tonight we are looking at a small squash trophy presented by the club in 1944:
This trophy was originally silver plated, and is marked EPNS on the rear. After seventy five years however the plating has long worn off and it is now brass coloured in appearence. The trophy is an unusual design and is mounted on three squash rackets:
The main cup of the trophy is engraved:
The engraving reads:
KGO Club Kohat, Squash Tournament 1944, HQ Kohat District, Runners Up, Regimental Cup
Sport was regarded highly by the Indian Army and its 1945 handbook on sports included three or four pages detailing the rules of squash should any unit wish to play the sport. Despite this, it is likely that the majority of players would be officers- sports were often split along the lines of rank with officers playing squash or polo within the confines of their messes and clubs whilst the other ranks played games such as football and rugby. This is not to say that other ranks did not play squash or polo, nor that officers did not play football or rugger, but this was more unusual.
The Kohat Garrison Officers Club is still in existence today, albeit its members are Pakistani Army Officers rather than British, whether its members still play squash is unknown…