The Old Seafordians Society
The Society has its own website: http://www.oldseafordians.org
Old Seafordian Golf Team compete at The Grafton Morrish Finals 2017
Grafton Morrish Finals Report 28th Sept – 1st October 2017
Seaford College Old Boys Society were represented at the Grafton Morrish finals at Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk Golf Clubs (otherwise known as Brancaster), over the long weekend of September 29th – October 1st. The OSGS captain Nick Tull assembled a team consisting of 2 ex Corsicans, 2 ex Adair, and 2 ex Charmandean alumni were drawn to play against GM plate specialist Millfield old boys team over the Brancaster Links on the morning of Friday 29th September. The Millfield team consisted of 4 scratch or better golfers and 2 very low single figure golfers, it fair to say if it had been a club match several shots would have been received by Seaford, however the format was strictly foursomes scratch match-play and Seaford were fully prepared for this challenge.
Max Farrant and Nick Tull went out first and got off to an average start, they should have had their noses in front after 6 holes but some sloppy approach play meant they were behind up until the start of the back nine. Three birdies in a row from the 10th hole turned the match around and from there Seaford’s top pair won comfortably 4&3 closing their match on the 15th green with a deft chip and a solid 4 foot par putt, to end the Millfield pair’s 4 year winning streak.
Seaford 1 – 0 Millfield with 2 more matches to be decided.
New team members and making their debut at the finals were John Wheatley & Kieron Russell who helped Seaford qualify for the finals in regional qualifying at North Hants GC, Fleet, back in May. The Charmandean pair also happened to attend Seaford at the same time back in the mid-to-late 80’s, separated by just one year group and are members of the same golf club, so this was a natural pairing to form. Teeing off when the rain was at it’s worst didn’t help but they started brightly lipping out for birdie on the 3rd green, on the 4th hole both sides had birdie chances, Millfield took theirs but Seaford didn’t match them. Two more losses meant the 3rd pair for Seaford were up against it all the way round the front nine. An outrageous sand-save by Millfield from the most fried-egg of plugged lies in the deep greenside bunker on the 10th hole knocked the stuffing out of the Seaford pair who shook hands with the opposition after Millfield drove the short 313 yard par 4 13th, and had two putts for the match. The score line of 6&5 flattered Millfield and the Seaford boys should take credit for giving the much lower handicap pair a real fright. John & Kieron were worthy of their place in the Seaford line up, were 100% committed to the team and trip to Norfolk. It is a real bonus to have found 2 more fantastic team members.
Seaford 1 – 1 Millfield with 1 more match to be decided.
Tim Banks and Will Gilsenan were at Seaford at the same time just, in the early to mid 90’s, their paths hadn’t crossed since but clearly reacquainted themselves very well during the team dinner the night before which was hosted by injured Neal Fox, who travelled up to join the team whilst still recovering from a detached tendon injury sustained during qualifying at North Hants. Banks & Gilsenan played some sublime golf going out at number 2 pair for Seaford, Banks was steady all round all day, add this to Gilsenan’s deft chipping and short iron play meant that several holes were won and halved in birdies all through the first 14 holes. They surrendered a 2 up with 4 holes to play lead over the closing stretch as the wind increased to a 3 club wind. The match went down the last hole with Seaford needing to win the hole to half their match, Banks hit a stunning hybrid from 200 yards in to the wind for their second shot, in to the heart of the green to 15 feet from where Gilsenan putted up to the edge of the cup for a conceded par 4 and the vital win they needed to halve their match.
Overall match score: Seaford 1&1/2 – 1&1/2 Millfield.
Due to the halved overall match score the rules state that the halved match must continue to play sudden death match-play until there is a winner. Banks & Gilsenan headed back down the first hole in a high pressure situation knowing the overall match was completely dependant on the outcome of their sudden death playoff.
Banks hit a solid tee shot down the right hand side of the fairway, leaving Gilsenan 165 yards to the green. Will’s approach initially cleared the two greenside bunkers but the slope to the right of the green sent the ball back down between the two bunkers, and the ball just dropped in to the back portion of the second greenside bunker. Sadly on this occasion the ball was almost unplayable in the bunker which are created using huge railway sleepers to line the bunkers and support the sides of the greens, after 2 attempts to extract Seaford’s ball on to the green the damage was done, Millfield had found the green in two and a straightforward par 4 won them the hole, and in turn the overall match was won by Millfield who went on to make the last 16 of the competition.
The challenge of competing in these types of scratch match-play competitions which are played out on rugged, traditional, links courses is keeping the ball in play at all times, with the emphasis being on to always give your partner the best opportunity on the next shot, the margins between success and failure are so slim and anyone who’s plays golf knows you need a little luck from time to time to be successful.
Seaford went on to feature in the Solihull Salver later in the weekend’s scheduled events played again at Brancaster with the format being the same as qualifying, scratch foursomes stableford scoring – finishing mid pack as one of the early starters. With the weather conditions easing as the day went on the top four teams, who go on to be invited to playoff for the Committee bowl at Hunstanton, all came from the late starters who played in bright sunshine and no wind whatsoever, this they say is the luck of the draw! The Committee bowl is contested concurrently alongside the Semi Final and Final on Sunday.
In summary the Seaford Old Boys Team did exceptionally well to take Millfield in to a sudden death playoff in their first round match, they improved upon their first finals performance back in 2014 and, with a current 50% success rate in qualifying for the finals, very much look forward to growing the squad further and trying to keep improving on their Grafton finals performances, well done and very well played to all involved this year.
Thanks also must go to Tim Banks for providing the team with brand new top of the range free Titleist golf balls, Nick Tull for organising the self funded team outfits, Neal Fox for travelling up for Seaford’s pre-tournament dinner held at the team’s Thornham base, and the wider SOOS society for their superb support of Seaford’s most active old boys society. Finally to Robert Mummery who has stepped down from OSGS duties this year, Robert got us all going on the idea off forming OSGS back in 2014 and to compete by entering The Grafton Morrish and we wish him well.
Grafton Morrish – Competitions
The Grafton Morrish Finals competition was the culmination of another hugely successful year for The OSGS society, the annual golf day in April in its own right once again far exceeded expectations with old boys flying in from America and driving from Cornwall to Hampshire to take part in the event, which was also attended for the first time by current pupils attending the college, this was introduced on a ‘by invitation’ basis which further expanded the societies reach to help spread the game of golf and participation within it. The OSGS golf day also doubled up as a practice round at North Hants GC for the team’s qualifying for the Grafton Morrish, North Hants is Justin Rose’s home course and is still regarded as one of the finest traditional heathland courses in the south of England.
Details for 2018’s OSGS society events will be released soon.
Old Seafordian Golf Team Qualify For The Grafton Morrish Finals 2017
On Sunday the 7th May, 16 Old Boys Golf Societies competed in the Grafton Morrish area qualifier. Our team of 6 ( 3 pairs) came 5th overall with 76 points and qualified for the finals, to be held Friday 29th September – Sunday 1st October at Hunstanton GC and Royal West Norfolk GC.
OSGS Invitational WEDNESDAY 26th April 2017 at NORTH HANTS golf club
24 Old Seafordians, 4 masters and 3 Students entered this year’s event held at North Hants Golf Club (nr. Fleet) The Society chose North Hants, to improve the golfing experience for everyone, by playing one of the top courses in our area, and one that holds the qualifying competition for the Grafton Morrish Old Boys competition.
The course was in superb condition with pretty generous fairways but some very tricky greens. Scores were generally modest, but everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. One or two, however, managed to tame the course; not least the Headmaster John Green with 37 stableford points, but the winner of the Cat 2 Comp (handicap 13 and above, playing off yellow tees) was David Poulson with 39 points. The winner of Cat 1 Comp ( handicaps up to 12, playing off white tees) was Mathew Rose with 35 points. Jonny Green topped the students with a magnificent 39 points.
All in all a great day.
See Video highlights here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCFUACBOwf0&feature=youtu.be
Remembering Those who fell at The Somme in 1916
The area of Northern France known as The Somme, in the region of Picardy, now holds no frontiers. The Somme battle was named after the river that stretches east to west across this region approximately 80 km north of Paris. It is a fast-flowing river which meanders through flat, productive and green countryside. On a typical visit to France you may well miss this region, or avoid it not knowing of its beauty but knowing of its deadly past.
Amiens, the regional capital, has large tracts of colourful water gardens along the Somme. It is an attractive commuter city with a vast and stunning cathedral. Further east up on a plateau lies the town of Albert which became the HQ of allied forces during the Somme battle. Google map reference https://email@example.com,2.6418522,11z
The big push, starting in 1915, led allied forces to focus on the westerly facing German lines here. General Haig persuaded the Russian and colonial forces, along with the French, to join forces in a mass assault along a 16 mile section running from Gommercourt above the Somme river to Vermondovillers below it. The German forces were dug-in effectively with deep trenches able to withstand heavy bombing. The French would attack from south of The Somme, and the allied forces from the north of it.
The allied forces bombarded the German lines from 24th June 1916 with huge artillery shells. However, German army trenches, dug-outs and old house cellars provided excellent cover and the opposition forces emerged intact after a week of continuous bombing and took up their effectively located gun positions. The allied forces first went over the top of their lines on the July 1st. 19,000 men died that day along the lines as part of 58,000 casualties in total. Slow advancing soldiers were mostly cut down by machine gun fire and caught on barbed wire fences in no man’s land. The French pushed through German front lines to the south of the Somme and to the north from Maricourt to Bapaume with some success. The British and allied forces’ attacks to the north bought very little, if any, ground. The rumour has it that our men were told to move slowly across no man’s land to try to take German trench positions, but no one has ever been sure why those orders were given, or whether orders were individual to a particular regiment or area. At this stage of WW1 , what we are sure about is that the hastily-trained conscript soldiers knew they would likely die or be severely injured in making any step above the headline of their own trenches. The 16 mile front in 1916 was fertile fields and woods; by November 1916 hardly a tree stood. The allied forces tried to clear every obstacle that stood between them and the Germans believing that these provided distraction.
The area now defies its bloody past. It is now, as it was before the battle, an area of flowing fields and green pastures. Pastel coloured crops such as barley, corn and wheat provide contrasts below the big skies. The imposing Thiepval memorial was erected to commemorate the 75,000 soldiers who died with no known grave as well as those British soldiers who fell throughout France and Belgium. It is perched on a hill as one approaches from Albert and just down the valley one can see the Ulster Tower and Mill Road Cemetery behind the Thiepval woods, to the north Beaumont-Hamel, Devils Wood and Gommecourt and to the south Pozieres, Mametz and Fricourt.
Mametz Wood saw the most fierce fighting, many soldiers being The Welsh Guards. They were hit from both sides by German machine guns that ripped the thick oak trees apart. Most of the soldiers who fell remained and were not buried as they could not be repatriated. Robert Graves, the war poet, witnessed these terrible scenes as a soldier writing after the event, “It was full of dead Prussian Guards, big men, and dead Royal Welsh Fusiliers and South Wales Borderers, little men. Not a single tree in the wood remained unbroken.”
At Dantzig Cemetery close to Mametz wood 2nd Lieutenant J.G.Savage, along with thousands of his colleagues, lost their lives. He was an Old Seafordian and the son of the founder of Seaford College, Colonel Savage. His grave rests by two trees in a peaceful and quiet setting above a field of Barley that flows in the wind. The memorials are well kept by the War Graves Commission. The mismatch of these memorials with the fertile fields is shocking. Also pictured is a headstone of an unknown soldier, it is one of many and they are chilling to see.
The German memorial and cemetery at Fricourt http://www.greatwar.co.uk/somme/cemetery-fricourt.htm follows a simple formation in regulation. Soldiers are buried in pairs to signify unity, we thought, but it could be simply an efficient use of a cross. The black crosses are organised, if not minimal. The Germans lost almost 500,000 men at the Somme, a fact also often forgotten, and some were as young as 14. The youngest British soldier known to have served was Sidney Lewis of the East Surrey Regiment. He was returned home from the front lines after his age was established to be 12 years old and not 21 as required. By 1918 the age limit required dropped to 18 and so he re-enlisted, once again fooling the authorities with his older than age appearance and he fought again at the front.
If you are visiting the region it is best to spare a full day, if not two, and an overnight stay in central Amiens rather than in Albert. A car is essential if you want to take in multiple sites. However, the region is reasonably flat and so bike tours are rewarding and effective for the keen rider. To walk the immediate sites around Thiepval, one would need a full day for this; it would be a 7 mile walk from the top line at Gommecourt down to Brecourt and then 7 miles back with gentle slopes. There are fine museums at Peronne and Thiepval.
The Royal British Legion will be organising a daily commemorative service at Thiepval memorial which will take place at 11.45am every day from 2 July until 17 November. For more information, please see the TRBL website at http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/
If you would like to share details of your relation who fell during WW1 please send in a picture and a brief synopsis and we will post this to the website. SoOS web visited the Somme over the weekend of the 100th year anniversary of the start of the battle and we would be happy to help you with basic practical advice on the area or should you want to double check on details found on other websites. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check The War Graves Commission website at http://www.cwgc.org
Story by SoOS Web – 1st July 2016
OSGS Invitational Friday April 22nd 2016 at Leatherhead golf club
Following the success of their 2015 open event OSGS announce their 2016 open event.
1. The 2016 OSGS open event venue to be Leatherhead GC which is over 100 years old and a good all round test ‘parkland’ course near to junction 9 of m25. Alfred Perry The Leatherhead Golf Club Professional for 36 years won The Open Championship at Muirfield in 1935. He was also selected several times to play in The Ryder Cup. There are a few of Alf’s old hickory golf clubs in the pro’ shop if anyone should forget to bring their own…
2. Date Friday 22nd April 2016
3. Start times from 10.30am.
Further details and to book your place see http://www.oldseafordians.org/Seafordian/event.aspx?event=91
OSGS 2015 EVENTS
The Society OSGS (Old Seafordian Golf Society) has now officially formed and is running both events and team matches for the first time in 2014 and held a very succesful event for Old Seafordians in 2015 at which 35 attended. If you would like to be involved please get in touch with us at email@example.com