C J H Rawlinson

C J H Rawlinson opening the Corbet Field in 1932

Guernsey Evening Press

He was the Guernsey umpire for the first Inter Insular match on 7th August 1950 at College Field alongside his Jersey colleague, either Dickenson or Noakes. The press reports gave two options but did not state who had actually stood in the game.

He was by all accounts a keen cricketer and football player. He was quite involved with Elizabeth College. On 16th May 1912 there was an Elizabeth College match versus CJH Rawlinson XI, when he batted he was 0*. He also turned out for the Grange Club v Elizabeth College in the same month in a match that the Grange Club won but Rawlinson did not bat. Playing against the College for Guernsey Athletic Club in 1912 he scored 16 and then had the impressive bowling figures of 4-2-3-1.

He played for EW Hattons XI and scored 12 against the College. In July 1919 he featured in Pilgrim’s total of 171 when he top scored with 51. The College had earlier scored 196 for 5 wickets.

On 9th August 1922 he represented the Guernsey Athletic Club against visiting side Southsea when he amassed 72* in a total of 212 for 4 dec. Ten days later he scored 7 against Hampshire Hogs in a total of 233 for 8 dec. They replied with 148.

He was active in umpiring as on 31st July 1934 he officiated in the two day game against the MCC at College Field. Guernsey scored 271 in which Charles Grieve scored 106, and 78 for 3. MCC had scored 158 and following on 257 for 8 dec, resulting in a drawn match.

In the Elizabethan magazine of 1949 he was thanked for umpiring numerous College matches. The same year he was also appointed to the States Education Department Board.

Rob Batiste in the Press of Thursday 13th December 2018 in his article ‘chapter 16 Vale Rec 1932 – 49’ states:

‘W.J.C. Field opened by GFA President’

A long line of cars were (sic) parked in the approaches to the Vale Recreation Club’s new “W.J.C. Playing Field” for the opening of the ground which was performed in front of a large crowd. The spectators also witnessed a hockey match, football played between the Northerners and Vale Rec, while the music was provided by the Guernsey Brass Band, all of which helped to ensure the unqualified success of this festive occasion.

At three o’clock the opening ceremony began after the Guernsey Brass Band had presented a short programme of music, with the playing of the National Anthem. President of the GFA, Mr C.J.H. Rawlinson, declared the ground open.

In his introductory speech Mr W Ferbrache, President of the Vale Rec. football section, expressed his pleasure in welcoming Mr C.J.H. Rawlinson, President of the GFA, the new minister at the Vale Church, the Rev. R Horn and finally Mr and Mrs W.J. Corbet. He stated that he did not know what to say in welcoming the latter. He was ‘stumped’ as the cricketers would express it, but it was because of their generosity that the field was being opened and he wanted to accept this opportunity of expressing his thanks for all they had done.

He then introduced the Rev R. Horn, Chairman of the Vale Rec. Club who spoke of his great delight in being able to associate himself with this enterprise. ‘We owe a great deal to Mr Corbet’, he said, ‘and this is a good opportunity to pay tribute to him’. He had a vision of this sort of organisation to keep youth together, and had borne practically the whole expense of making this vision a reality.

He also paid tribute to Mr Ferbrache whose labours and endeavours on behalf of the club were appreciated, and finally, expressed his pleasure in calling on Mr Rawlinson to open the new grounds.

After speaking of his pleasure and privilege it was to him to be asked to open the playing field Mr Rawlinson said, ‘May it fulfil the objectives and aspirations of Wilfred Corbet who had made possible it’s (sic) use by the Vale Recreation Club and through them, by the GFA and the island at large’. He referred to Mr Corbet as ‘a man in advance of his time, a man of vision and interests in the well-being of the inhabitants of the island’.

Mr Rawlinson mentioned the history of the club and the fact that it aims to develop the moral and spiritual values as well as the material, and hoped that all who used the facilities of the field would bear this in mind. In conclusion he declared the “W.J.C. Playing Field” open. There was a great crowd present to watch the football match which followed between the Vale Rec. and the Northerners and spectators were several deep along both touchlines.

A former flower nursery (Brookfields) had been turned into a football ground adjacent to Grand Fort Road. Mr W. Corbet was a States member, sitting on many committees, he championed the introduction of the ‘Factories Act’, was arbitrator in industrial disputes, pioneered a cost-of-living index in order to ensure fair wages for the workers, and supported a social insurance scheme for everyone.

The name of the ground, W.J.C. Playing Field, over time morphed understandably into the ‘Corbet Field’.