A Brief Hash History
The Hash House Harriers started in 1938 by a British officer in the Federated Malay States Volunteer Reservists, named Captain Alberto Esteban (Stephen) Ignacio Gispert.
Known as "G" to his friends, he was born in Breakspear Road, Brockley, Kent on 31st July 1903, to Arthuro & Remedeos Gispert y de Puiguriguer, a large Catalan Spanish family.
Having a fondness for "Hare and Hounds" paper-chase style runs, he gathered together a group of friends, including Ronald "Torch" Bennett, Frederick "Horse" Thompson & Cecil Lee, to form a "non-competitive" running club in Kuala Lumpur that would later become a world-wide legacy.
The group received its name from the Selangor Club Chambers, which due to the lackluster food served there was commonly referred to as the "Hash House".
This peaceful pastime was eventually cut short by the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. 2nd Lieutenant A.S. Gispert was seconded in to the Argyll & Southern Highlanders, he was killed in Action during the Battle of Singapore on the 11th February 1942, a date still honoured by Hashers worldwide.
Torch Bennett, re-established the Hash after the war.
It wasn't until 1962 that the second Hash group was formed in Singapore. The Singapore H3 was slowly followed by others until by the time Mother Hash (Kuala Lumpur) had reached her 1500th postwar run in 1973, there were 35 "known" Hashes around the world.
1969 saw Commando Forces H3 formed, the 1st in the UK, by Colonel Ray Thornton (ex-JM of Singapore Hash) it flourished in the early 1970s but due to postings it petered out.
In 1971 Westcombe Park H3 (oldest monthly Hash) was founded.
In 1974 Bicester Hash was founded (oldest Weekly UK Hash) by Colonel Ray Thornton, he later formed Donnington H3, then Looe & Liskeard Hash, all of which survive today as they became more predominantly civilian.
1975 saw Surry H3 came in to existence & in 1976 London H3 was formed.
In 1977 90 Hashes were known in 35 Countries.
Herts Hash House Harriers was founded on the 10th of June 1985 by John Sandland. And to date is the only English offspring of the Muscat Hash House Harriers (1975), which makes H4 Grandchild of Brunei Hash (1963), Great Grandchild of Singapore (1962), Great Great Grandchild of Kuala Lumpur Hash (1938).
In March 1990 the First U.K. Full Moon Hash (first European Full Moon Hash) came in to existence, formed by Martin "Vertigo" Pooley, Alan "Smartarse" Drew & Rob "Pisshead" Long, it's Monthly Hashes have always been & still are supported by Herts Hashers.
Herts Hash has even managed to spawn the Hare & Hounds Hash (H5) in 1991, but like a dysfunctional teenager who has supposed to have left home to go to Bedfordshire, they still regularly turn up to run on our doorstep.
Herts Hash House Harriers went under the Title of "North Herts" in early Hash directories to distinguish ourselves from the South Herts Hash, but as "North" was never used amongst ourselves, or by other Hashes & since we have always covered all of our county it has since been dropped!
Herts completed 1,000 weekly Runs on 7th February 2004.
The numbers of Hashes world wide slowly increased into the hundreds by the eighties and there are now probably well over five thousand active Hashes all over the world.
Herts staged their 1234 Weekend in 2008, which with 165 participants was the largest attended event in the UK that year!