Tuesday, 11 November 2014

What is the Arthur Lee Cup?

Last Thursday saw the first round of the Arthur Lee Challenge Cup (we won!).  This is an annual knock out competition where clubs in the 'Portsmouth & District' and 'Southampton & District' Rifle Associations battle it out to represent their association in a Portsmouth vs Southampton final.

Each club puts together a 6-person team where all six shooters' scores count (known as '6 to shoot, 6 to count').  This differs from our other shoulder-to-shoulder matches where the P&D league follows the rule of '8 to shoot, 5 to count', where the best 5 scores of each team of 8 are selected (see examples of this here).

1st Viscount Lee of Fareham
The cup was donated by Arthur Lee, an MP for Fareham at the turn of the 20th century who went on to become 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham.  Lee was a man of some historical note being knighted, a peer of the realm, holding the office of First Lord of the Admiralty after the First World War (a position later held by Winston Churchill during the first year of World War II), and donating the Chequers estate in Buckinghamshire to the nation for use as the official residence of the British Prime Minister.

Arthur Lee's various titles and positions mean that, while the trophy is now known as the 'Arthur Lee Challenge Cup', it has in the past been referred to as the 'Lord Lee Cup' or simply the 'Lee Cup'.

The cup is currently held by Sarisbury.  However, Portsmouth City Rifle Club, in its various forms, has won the cup several times, the first time being all the way back in 1911 when the club was called the Borough of Portsmouth Rifle Club.  In fact, during Portsmouth City's domination of shooting in Hampshire from after World War II up to the mid 1960s, our club won the cup 12 times!

This photo (from the Portsmouth & District Smallbore Rifle & Pistol Association website) shows the cup with its 1914 winners, the 6th Hants Regiment Rifle Team.  Their captain, Charles A. Sandell was an important member of Portsmouth's Main VIII rifle team before the outbreak of war in 1914 and again throughout the 1920s.

Hopefully we'll be able to post a photo of the cup at some point as well as a complete list of winners which then answers the all important question... who's won it more often, Portsmouth or Southampton?

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