Date = 1st February 2015
Run Number = 1601
Venue = The Anchor
Beer = Ringwood, Hobgoblin, Marstons
Hares = Paxo
Runners = 21
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 21
Membership = Out Foxed!
After all of the kafuffle involving emails about post codes & Hashers knowing the Pub's proper full postal addresses, there was no sign of Sparky as the seconds ticked away to 11:00 hrs. Was his TomTom leading him astray?
This week it was a smaller pack in numbers compared to recent weeks, where they at the White Horse up the hill? The reason the late venue was changed was the price of the Ale & the fact that there was only one choice!
The Joint Monkey stood in for the GM, who had sent a note from his mum to explain why he'd be late on parade, something to do with dropping off grandkids! Anyhow, the JM did not leave the circle after the introductions, but instead remained stood in the centre as he called Ewok in, for she was his co-Hate for today.
A brief explanation of what the Pack could expect to encounter followed, there would be no ‘Three & On' there would be a big short cut & there would be two sweet stops, or regroups.
Things started off down the Infamous Anchor lane, away from the old Cambridge road. The Pack hadn’t gone too far when they found the footpath sign indicating a way out between two properties, one of which had a large St Bernard dog making its presence known with loud booming woofs! The Hash would now pick up a footpath heading a few degrees west off of true north, heading up over the fields behind the line of homes.
Only a few yards on to the open fields & the going soon became one of slippery Shiggy & this would be the case for a fair part of the Trail in the first half of the Run. The Trail rose with the contour of the hillside to a level where the first CHK was found at the junction with a footpath heading off over to the southwest, here was the break for the SCBs of Crispy Bush, 2-1-2 Maureen & Fliptop, who this week was with Lucy & Winston, the latter being out of retirement this week, they were all being looked after by Paxo. The SCBs continued in an almost northerly direction on the track up beside the hedgerow
Meanwhile the FRBs all headed off to the southwest at the bottom edge of the ploughed field. Matthew, Milf, My Lil’, Mr X, Sloppy Seconds, Spotted Dick, Custard & Kylie were all chaperoned along the long Trail by Ewok. The Trail crossed several fields, turning to the west as it made its way over to Chelsing Farm, here signs were spotted & these requested that dogs be kept on leads & under control as this was an area for the rearing of game birds.
A kink in the footpath was run as it continued over to Lord’s wood, there it followed the edge of the wood with a southward turn before returning to the due west path, which was followed by a rapid descent down in to the valley surrounding either side by Bourne wood.
At the bottom of the flight of steps cut in to the side of the wooded embankment, the Pack found the first Sweetie Stop, as Ewok produced a Tupperware container of sweets. The FRBs regrouped in the bottom of the valley before checking out the options. Three possibilities lay ahead, with the northeasterly option up through the valley on the wide farm track proving the most popular, this would prove to be correct.
There were plenty of obvious signs that this area is used for the rearing of game birds, with blue tubs that are feeders seen dotted about in the managed woodland, plus there was a little wooden peg with an advert on it for a supplier of game bird equipment sitting at the side of the track. The Dust was found on the wide track & the Keenies began the rise up the wet pebble based track.
The Keenies were now on the longest stretch of the Trail as left Bourne wood to follow the rutted & slippery in places track, going all the way out over to the top northern point of Furzeground wood. On the way Ewok said that the Hares spotted two white deer the day before while setting the Trail, but all the Pack noticed this morning was a guy out on his mountain bike who didn’t seem too want to get it too muddy as he lifted it out of the sections of mire that the Hash just plough through!
The next CHK was found on the top point of Furzeground wood, the Pack had a slight regroup as a horse rider came along toward them from the north. Only Mr X & Spotted Dick chose the southeast option on the track out along the wood’s northern edge, passing by an older gentleman out with his retriever on the way.
Mr X & Spotted Dick would pick up the Trail & the horse rider from earlier would catch them up, soon a conversation was struck up as she was knowledgeable about the Hash House Harriers & said that she would have to get ‘fit’ & come along! Spotted Dick said ‘That’s not necessary as we have a 70 year old who gets around!” Perhaps we will see her in the future?
The Trail came up to a CHK at the corner of the field, both of these FRBs decided to continue southeastward, ignoring the northeastward path along by the hedgerow. Dust was picked up on this route over toward the Ancient earthworks in a small wooded area near to Rennesley Garden wood.
The FRBs would now join the SCB’s Trail up from Wadesmill, which was indicated with a fresh looking arrow pointing back up to the Northeast. Mr X realized that the Trail was not that far from the path down & he spotted a couple of obvious Hash Shirts bobbing along from the other side of the hedge & fallow area for the game birds. Both he & Spotted Dick stopped calling & ducked down to avoid being spotted by My Lil’, Milf & the others who were gaining ground on them.
As the Trail came out to the western edge of Rennesley Garden wood, the figure of Sparky could be seen over on the other side of the fallow patch, as he was on his way down to run the loop. The Trail would run around the W shaped track along the contour of the wood, before breaking away up through the fields to lead back up to the footpath that was not searched further back on the Trail.
The CHK at the meeting of this path was quickly dealt with in favour of making the way out of the wooded path & on to Marshall’s lane & not heading back to previously run ground. The Pack now headed eastward on the tarmac route, in the distance the odd motor could be heard on the old A10 at High Cross, the Dust was found near to a bench seat on the roadside, with a view looking out over the green farm land to the north.
The lane began to drop down in to the valley that the Bourne river flows through, down a sharp drop on a tight hairpin bend there was a short footpath to cut out the blind bends. At the start of this footpath churned up by horses hooves, a dead fox was seen laying there, its separated tail was soon picked up by Spotted Dick, not sure what he was going to do with it, Sloppy Seconds wondered if Spotted Dick was going to hang it from a whip aerial on a scooter?
In the end the Reynard’s Brush was dropped as I was most probably full of fleas, another one who had caught up from the late start with Sparky - Foxy could be heard as she commented on not liking the sight of another fox's carcass. Ewok admitted that she too wasn't that enamoured at the sight when she set the Trail.
With the dodgy bend cut off, the Pack ran again on the tarmac & down to a CHK by the river Beane. From here there were several footpath along by the river, but only Sloppy Seconds & Mr X took the route staying on the lane as it climbed up the steep hillside to lead up in to High Cross, Mr X had more idea of this being the correct route as he knew where the next regroup was.
The Trail levelled out to run by the line of homes to come out to the Cambridge road (old A10) where arrows pointed away from the direction down the hill to the village of Wadesmill which was not so far off in the south. The reason for the Change in direction was to head a few yards to the Church of St Johns.
2-1-2 Maureen, Crispy Bush & Fliptop, with the hounds, had all move on from this regroup, as they were getting a bit cold in the slight wind on this bright sunny day. Once the rest had assembled, the RA explained a few things about the new memorial set in to the church wall, for it depicts two Victoria Crosses as a fitting tribute to Arthur Matin-Leeke VC & Bar
Fliptop drove by the Pack & sounded his horn as he headed home. Then the RA explained that only three people in the world have ever won a VC with a Bar - two British & one New Zealander – you only get one medal & then a Bar for subsequent awards. Medals are made from the captured guns at the Battle of Sebastopol in the Crimean War, ironically these bronze cannons were made in china & were no doubt captured by the Russians!
Queen Victoria decreed that the VC ‘should not recognize class or birth’! In a VC holder’s title the letters VC comes before any other award being military or peerage etc. It is awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’
After the speech about Arthur Martin-Leeke VC & Bar, & Kylie had taken the appropriate snaps, the Trail would take the simple route of following the A10 (Cambridge road) straight down the hill & back in to Wadesmill, but three quarters of the way to the On Inn there was another history stop at the road side monument of a small obelisk dedicated to Thomas Clarkson & the Antislavery campaigns.
To mark the bicentenary of the Abolition Act in 1807, almost £50,000 of Lottery money was spent on the monument which commemorates the work of Thomas Clarkson, gone are the old iron railings & a new stone area has been created with information boards.
Thomas Clarkson devoted his life to abolishing slavery after a "revelation" in 1785. Why Wadesmill? Clarkson was travelling on horseback from Cambridge to London, & stopped to rest near the village. He had been working on an essay called ‘Is it lawful to enslave the unconsenting?’ It was while resting at Wadesmill that he experienced what he called a spiritual revelation from God, this led him to try to help end the slave trade. He went to be one of a group of abolitionists - including the better known William Wilberforce - who eventually succeeded in abolishing the trade.
The Pack came in to the Pub & after changing they had to work their way through the warren like Pub to the front Bar & in to a small side area. It took Sparky some time to get change & then locate where the rest of the Pack were hidden!
The Down-Downs took place inside, with both Hares being rewarded for an excellent Trail. Spotted Dick was out for picking up the Foxy’s Tail & when when one Foxy drinks, all foxes drink! So, Foxy joined him in the Circle. Spotted Dick also had a second, small down-down as both he & Custard returned from their holiday in Lanzarote only to find back at Luton Airport that they had been stalked by none other than Sparky!
Crispy Bush had the last Hit, for not being present when the RA explained about VC winners only receiving one medal. It was also noted that Foxy was on her knees at one point & was fed some gravy from a gravy boat by Milf!
Arthur Martin-Leeke VC & Bar
Arthur, the fifth son of Stephen Martin-Leake of Thorpe Hall, Essex, was born at Standon, near Ware, Hertfordshire, and was educated at Westminster School before studying medicine at University College Hospital, qualifying in 1893. He was employed at Hemel Hempstead District Hospital before enlisting in the Imperial Yeomanry, to serve in the Boer War in 1899.
Martin-Leake first served in the Second Boer War as a trooper in the Imperial Yeomanry. After his year service was completed he stayed on in South Africa as a civil surgeon. He then joined the South African Constabulary until he was forced to return home from his wounds.
He was 27 years old, and a surgeon captain in the South African Constabulary attached to the 5th Field Ambulance during the Second Boer War on 8 February 1902, at Vlakfontein when he won his first VC.
During the action at Vlakfontein, on the 8th February, 1902, Surgeon-Captain Martin-Leake went up to a wounded man, and attended to him under a heavy fire from about 40 Boers at 100 yards range. He then went to the assistance of a wounded Officer, and, whilst trying to place him in a comfortable position, was shot three times, but would not give in till he rolled over thoroughly exhausted. All the eight men at this point were wounded, and while they were lying on the Veldt, Surgeon-Captain Martin-Leake refused water till everyone else had been served.
Martin-Leake qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1903 after studying while convalescing from wounds. He then took up an appointment in India as Chief Medical Officer with the Bengal-Nagpur Railway.
In 1912 he volunteered to serve with the British Red Cross during the Balkan Wars, attached to the Montenegran army, and was present during the Siege of Scutari (1912–13) and at Tarabosh Mountain. He was awarded the Order of the Montenegran Red Cross.
First World War
On the outbreak of the First World War Martin-Leake returned to service, as a lieutenant with the 5th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, on the Western Front.
He won his second VC, aged 40 years, during the period 29 October to 8 November 1914 near Zonnebeke, Belgium whilst serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps, British Army.
His award citation reads:
Lieutenant Arthur Martin Leake, Royal Army Medical Corps, who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 13th May, 1902, is granted a Clasp for conspicuous bravery in the present campaign: —
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty throughout the campaign, especially during the period 29th October to 8th November, 1914, near Zonnebeke, in rescuing, whilst exposed to constant fire, a large number of the wounded who were lying close to the enemy's trenches.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Army Medical Services Museum, Aldershot, England.
He was promoted captain in March 1915, major in November the same year, and in April 1917 took command of 46th Field Ambulance at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Martin-Leake retired from the army after the war and resumed his company employment in India until he retired to England in 1937. Although there is no record of his being a pilot, he was registered in 1939 as the owner of a De Havilland Moth Minor aircraft, registered G-AFRY
During the Second World War he commanded an ARP post.
He died, aged 79, at High Cross, Hertfordshire. Following cremation at Enfield, Middlesex, Martin-Leake was buried in St John's Church, High Cross. He is commemorated with a plaque and a tree at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire
Coincidentally, Arthur Martin-Leeke was one of those who treated Captain Noel Chavasse at Potijze after his fatal wounding – only time the two men were at the same place and time