A very rare book. A history of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps published in 1938(?). Many divisions of the SVC had their own sports teams. In Rugby the Shanghai Scottish, the Armoured Cars (aka The Machine Gun Company) and "A" Company all fielded rugby teams.
Originally published in 1904 and now available as a reprint, the sport in this book is primarily concerned with guns and horses. It provides a good snapshot of the life of a gentleman in 19th century China and how sport was as, if not more important than work.
Many people know that horse racing in Hong Kong was and still is a major event in that city. Some may know that the Shanghai Races were also a highlight of the sporting calendar before 1941. The real surprise with this book is discovering the numerous other places in China where racecourses were built and races run.
Hugh Collar played rugby for Shanghai in the early 1920s. He stayed in Shanghai becoming a prominent businessman. The book focuses on the period from 1937 when the Battle of Shanghai raged, through the invasion of the International Settlement in 1941 to eventual imprisonment in Shanghai and finally his release and journey home. Immediately on his arrival in England, he headed straight to a pub to celebrate only to find it had no beer!
Gren Wedderburn was born in China to missionary parents and became a surgeon who practiced in Shanghai later in Japan. He was the Shanghai Rugby Club's last Secretary and captained the 1949 interport team against Hong Kong. His stories about the liberation of Shanghai in 1949 and his eventual departure from Shanghai are fascinating. As a doctor, he had a ring side seat at many of the historical events of this time.
Published in 1930 with an addendum in 1938(?), it includes lists of all races and winners, numerous photos and cartoons drawn by Edmund Toeg.
Out of Print Books
This 1994 book covers a lot of ground and does a good job of digging out information across China. The sections on Shanghai are interesting but include quite a few errors. The first 'true' football club according to this book was established in 1887. This is actually twenty years after the first club was established in 1867. Despite the errors an interesting read.
Covering similar ground as Captive in Shanghai but in more detail, Arch Carey was another long time resident of Shanghai. He played rugby for Shanghai before the First World War and remained in Shanghai until after the Second World War. He was one of the foreigners to be interned by the Japanese and so his book includes more details of life outside of the camp in Shanghai albeit watched clsoely by the Japanese.
Published in 1966, this short memoir of Springfield's life includes some lovely stories from his time in Shanghai from 1905 to 1933 serving with the Shanghai Municipal Police.