Sports medals were frequently presented to winning teams in the military and are usually fairly simple affairs made of a bronze of white metal alloy, perhaps with a picture of someone playing the sport involved and space to engrave who it was presented to. Today, however, we are looking at a rather more elaborate version, with coloured enamel and the regimental crest included in its design which was clearly specially made for the regiment rather than just being ordered out of a commercial catalogue:
The regimental cap badge in the centre is for the King’s Own Border Regiment, and from the engraving below we can see it dates to 1930 and was presented to Private W Kenyon of A Company, which was the regiment’s Machine Gun Company. This was an inter company league and the picture on the opposite side shows it was for playing cricket that the medal was awarded:
This medal is a little rough after ninety years, but would have been quite impressive when presented and a proud memento for someone who had taken part in the regimental matches.
These regimental matches were part of daily life in pre-war units, with large crowds of men drawn from across the base a regiment was stationed at turning out to watch the matches. The army always encouraged competitive sports as it helped improve fitness and esprit de corps amongst the men and was a cheap way to entertain the men off duty whilst keeping them out of the pub!