Following on from last month's artifact of the month which featured a Walla Walla Magazine, as noted, I subsequently visited the Marines Archives and library in Quantico, Virginia near Washington to look at their near complete run of Walla Walla Magazines. As I hoped, I managed to obtain a huge amount of new material, some of which I will be using in the dissertation for my Masters Degree which will be written in August, and some I hope to use writing about the story of the US Fourth Marines playing rugby in Shanghai from 1928 to 1940.
The most pleasing find during my visit was a Walla Walla Magzine which featured pictures of the Spunt Cup. The Spunt Cup was presented by Mr Jacob 'Jack' Spunt in 1922. Jack was disabled amd so not able to play sport but he was an enthusiastic supporter of sport in Shanghai, including soccer, boxing and baseball. Of Jewish heritage, he was born in Constantinople in 1884. He arrived in Shanghai in his early teens as a cotton trader. In 1922 he presented a cup to the rugby community in Shanghai to be awarded to the winners of the league. Thus the Spunt Cup was born and featured prominently in Shanghai rugby for the next 17 years. Jack Spunt died in 1929 aged just 45 from a stroke, but his name lived on in the annual cup tournament, as did his wife who was also pictured in the Walla Walla magazine
The exciting thing about my discovery in the Marines archives was that it is the first time I had seen a picture of the Cup. Like many sporting trophies in the Far East, the Spunt Cup dissappeared during World War Two.
Walla Walla, the US Marines weekly Shanghai newspaper - featuring the Spunt Cup
Artifact of the Month Number 17 - July 2015 (for previous artifacts see bottom of page)
WINNERS OF THE SPUNT CUP
1922-1923 Shanghai RFC
1923-1924 Shanghai RFC
1924-1925 Shanghai RFC
1925-1926 Machine Gun Co. S.V.C.
1926-1927 Results not found
1927-1928 Shanghai RFC
1928-1929 Tied by the Shanghai RFC League XV and U.S. 4th Marines
1929-1930 No conclusion
1930-1931 U.S. 4th Marines Red team
1931-1932 Armoured Car Company
1932-1933 U.S. 4th Marines Blue team
1933-1934 U.S. 4th Marines (Blues and Whites tied)
1934-1935 U.S. 4th Marines
1935-1936 Lancashire Fusiliers
1936-1937 The Loyal Regiment
1937-1938 Durham Light Infantry
1938-1939 U.S. 4th Marines
Advertisment in the Marine 1938 Annual place by Jack Spunt
Private Albert J. Bixler being presented with the Spunt cup by Colonel Fegan at the Fourth Marines Rugby dinner in 1939. This was the last time that the Spunt Cup was played for.
The Spunt Cup