The US Fourth Marines played rugby in Shanghai and elsewhere in China from 1927 intil 1941. More details can be found here. They became for a few years the best rugby team in Shanghai beating the Shanghai team, the Hong Kong team, visiting Japanese Champions and some of the best British Navy and Army teams in Shanghai.
The image below is a tiny artifact just 3 inches by 4 and shows the squad players for the Marines in their moderately succesful 1931-32 season. The season itself was interrupted by the first Battle of Shanghai between Japan and China. The Marines felt aggrieved that they were not able to defend their Shanghai rugby title at the tend of the season. Number 12, Marvin later died in World War Two on Iwo Jima. You can find out more details of his life and death here.
The tiny calendar was sold on ebay in November 2014 for USD89!
The US Fourth Marines 1931 - 32 Rugby Squad.
Other Artifacts of the month
US Fourth Marines rugby squad list 1931- 32
Artifact of the Month Number 10 - December 2014 (for previous artifacts see bottom of page)