General => Armed Forces => World War One => Topic started by: mlr0663 on Thursday 20 September 18 10:15 BST (UK)

Title: "Comic Sports" in War Diaries
Post by: mlr0663 on Thursday 20 September 18 10:15 BST (UK)
I have come across this term "comic sports" in the war diaries of the Coldstream Guards while billeted at Elverdinghe Chateau in 1916 - has anyone any idea what this might entail?  As a sports historian this intrigues me as its a term I have never come across before - but then only now venturing into WWI stuff.....

Many thanks

One of the references in link below on 11th July
Title: Re: "Comic Sports" in War Diaries
Post by: Nanna52 on Thursday 20 September 18 10:20 BST (UK)
I found this on Trove, 1908.  So perhaps something like this.

Title: Re: "Comic Sports" in War Diaries
Post by: mlr0663 on Thursday 20 September 18 10:24 BST (UK)
Thanks for the link -

I was "assuming" that it meant something like like - school sports day type events but with a military angle - so I was thinking greasy pole........ etc
Title: Re: "Comic Sports" in War Diaries
Post by: Rena on Thursday 20 September 18 13:15 BST (UK)
My OH was in the forces during the 1950-1960s when he experienced some rather "hairy times"s (as he called them) and I've got some extremely odd looking photos of the games they played during their "down time". 

They were obviously competitions and probably included team games. i think you'll find most of them eventually passed into civilian life at parties and school playgrounds.  Maybe interpretations of them were modernised and appeared on the 1960s TV programme "Sunday Night At The Palladium".

We played the apple bobbing game described in the trove newspaper - the prize was being the winning team.

It's easy to imagine the games would include teams of stretcher bearers carrying their patient racing along a makeshift over and under obstacle course trying to be first to get their patient to the finishing line.

We had large Christmas family party games in the 1940s which included veteran soldiers who I recall organised our games, such as teams standing in lines having to quickly eat a dry cream cracker and then try to pass on a message to the next team member who then had to eat a dry cream cracker before passing on the message. the last person in the team then had eat his/her cracker and then race to the organiser to sucessfully pass on the complete message.

Races carrying a man on your shoulder in a fireman's lift.

I can't recall the name of this game but it must have had a few variations:
A line of people shoulder to shoulder facing a similar team and each person holding the outstretched hands of the opposite person. you now have bridge of arms along which you toss members of your team.  To get onto the bridge a member has to run a short distance before launching him/herself chest first up onto the bridge, that person will then get tossed along the arms and be safely caught at the end.