A page from the inventory list of Eric Murray Slater
(Courtesy of the World Rugby Museum, Twickenham)
Other Artifacts of the month
Inventory list of Eric Murray Slater at the time of his murder
and a signed menu card from a December 1936 club dinner
This month I include a very sombre artifact. I am now living very close to the UK National Archives at Kew, London. I have recently visited the archives to look for information on various people that I have come across during my research. One such person I was keen to try to find out more about was policeman Eric Murray Slater, Shanghai's flying winger, who was murdered on New Year's Eve 1936. You can find out more about him here.
The National Archives includes a file (ref FO 917/3635) which has correspondence relating to the death of Slater. One such document is the inventory list compiled in the days following his death. Included in Slater's inventory are sports trophies won at various Police sports events such as athletics 5-a-side football and boxing, Slater owned a lot of rugby and other sports kit, furniture and other personal effects. We learned from the correspondence that Slater often pawned his clothes when he didn't need them amd got them back when he did. A handy way to obtain extra funds and get somebody to look after your excess wardrobe.
For me the most poignant item was number 60. It is the menu card from the celebration dinner held in honour of the visiting Meiji University team at the Metropole Hotel on 28 December 1936 just three days before Slater's death. It seems that it was the custom to obtain the signatures of the players who had participated in the games. Slater had taken the trouble to do obtain the signatures of various guests that evening.
I also include below pictures of a menu from that dinner, including signatures, which was given to the World Rugby Museum, Twickenham by Barrie Martin, the son of J W M Martin who did not play in the Meiji matches but did attend the dinner.
Artifact of the Month Number 5 - July 2014 (for previous artifacts see bottom of page)