The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

A cartoon of E Gumpert from 1902 found in the book 'Caricatures by HH' published by Gumpert's rugby team mate Henry William Goodenough Hayter, a famous  part time artist whose drawings featured in many Shanghai publications of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Edmund L Gumpert (1868 - 1918)

Newspaper report of Mr & Mrs Gumpert's murder in Tientsin in October 1918

Lieutenant Gumpert photographed in April 1900 as part of 'A' Company SVC, taken from the photograph below

Gumpert remained involved in rugby in Tientsin. He was President of the Tientsin rugby club as evidenced by this clipping from the Shanghai Times in  November 1917 just under a year before he was murdered, He was therefore the President of Tientsin Rugby Football Club at the time of his death.


It is interesting to note that Tientsin Rugby Club appeared to be active during World War One against the instructions of the RFU.

Chiling news about the fate of the Gumpert's murderer

  Edmund Gumpert arrived in Shanghai in the early 1890s. In common with most football players he involved himself in various Shanghai institutions; he joined the Cricket Club and the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, was a member of the Fire Brigade, played tennis and was on the committee of the Amateur Dramatic Company. 

​ In 1895, he attended the Caledonian Ball celebrating St Andrew’s Day held at the Astor House Hotel. During the evening, there were twenty-two Scottish dances and exhibitions of the sword dance and the Highland fling. Gumpert was one of several singers who entertained the guests. ‘It was not until 6 a.m. that an adjournment was made to the Bund, where a reel was danced to the dulcet strains of the pipes, and the Ball was closed for the year’.  
​ In 1896, Gumpert was one of the key organizers involved in hosting the ‘Japan’ Cricket team, a group of foreigners from the Yokohama and Kobe Cricket Clubs who came to play in Shanghai. The match was cut short by the weather but the official dinner held at the Shanghai Club on the Bund was deemed a great success and was attended by many members of the Shanghai Football Clubs past and present.
Edmund Gumpert’s bachelor days ended in December 1900 when he married Katherine Liilian Moore, (nee Jamieson) in a quiet ceremony at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Gumpert and his wife left Shanghai to travel to Tientsin [Tianjin].
​ Fifteen years later in October 1918, a burglar entered their bedroom as they slept. They awoke and the burglar attacked them with an axe, killing them and horribly mutilating the bodies.

 The villians were eventually caught  sent to trial and executed (see below).

  As a result of the dual murder, there was diificulty in establishing who should inherit the possesions of the deceased. Mr Gumbert had left a will declaring that all his goods should go to Mrs Gumpert. Mrs Gumpert left no will. 

 If Mr Gumpert died first, his possesions would have been given to Mrs Gumpert in accordance with his will. However, if Mrs Gumpert died she would be unable to inherit. 

 There was no evidence to suggest that either died first leaving the courts to decide who should inherit. It was thought that in all probabliity Mrs Gumpert was the first to die and so Mr Gumpert's estate was passed to his brother.