The Officers' Monthly Challenge Cup 1880
In February 2019 we were approached by Mr. David Copland who had acquired a highly decorated silver cup which was evidently once owned by the Robin Hood Rifles and had been awarded in 1880 to Surgeon John O'Connell Hynes. We have now researched the newspaper records of the time to find out more about the cup, which is illustrated opposite with the permission of Mr. Copland.
The trophy weighs 427.4g of sterling silver and is hallmarked Dublin, possibly 1797 but the marks are rubbed. Height: 180 mm. Diameter of rim: 95 mm. Diameter of base: 80 mm.
The inscription engraved into the cartouche reads as follows:
OFFICERS 2ND CUP
RANGES 200, 500 & 600 YARDS
7 SHOTS. 1880.
WINNER SURGEON I.O.C. HYNES
AFTER SHOOTING OFF A TIE WITH
LIEUT KIRBY, CAPTAIN HACK AND
ACTG. SURGEON MARSHALL.
There are two newspaper reports giving the results of the Officers' Monthly Challenge Cup. Both come in the form of the weekly Regimental Orders, which were carried by the local newspaper, sometimes being repeated over several days.
Here is the first dated 29th October, a short while after the concluding shoot of the Challenge Cup, which was held on 7th October.
The competition was run through the whole of the summer shooting season monthly from May until October. The winner was whoever had won the greatest number of the monthly events, which proved to be Lieut. T. Lambert with two wins in August and September. He was declared the winner of the Officers' 1st Challenge Cup. The remaining officers, all with one win each, were to settle second place with a tie shoot. The result of this tie is also reported and the 2nd Challenge Cup was awarded to Lieut. A.F. Kirby.
However, this is not the end of the story.
Nottingham Evening Post, Friday, October 29th, 1880.
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
No. 3 — The following is the result of the Monthly Competition for the Battalion Challenge Prizes and Officers' Challenge Cups.
OFFICERS' CHALLENGE CUP
|May 6th||Lieut. A.F. Kirby||75||10||85|
|June 3rd||Surgeon J.O'C. Hynes||83||8||91|
|July 1st||Captain J. Hack||70||12||91|
|August 5th||Lieut. T. Lambert||79||15||94|
|September 2nd||Lieut. T. Lambert||83||15||98|
Lieut. T. Lambert having made the highest score in two of the above competitions, is the winner of the 1st Cup, and in shooting off the ties the 2nd Cup was won by Lieut. A.F. Kirby.
The winners of prizes and trophies during the whole season were presented with their awards at the Annual Presentation of Battalion Prizes held in December at the Albert Hall in Nottingham. The event took place on 21st December, and a full list of winners was included in the Regimental Orders of 22nd December, published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 27th.
The first presentation was to Private G. Allsop of the Annual Challenge Cup given by Colonel His Grace the Duke of St Albans. There followed six monthly challenge prizes comprising clocks and barometers which included Private Allsop, and then sixty-six battalion prizes of all sorts of goods.
On the end of this list is the Three Star Badge, as best shot in the Regiment, won by Sergeant H. Davis, No. 3 Company.
Then came the Officers' Challenge Cups. No.1 was presented to Lieutenant T. Lambert; but no.2 went to Surgeon J.O'C. Hynes.
We do not know as yet why the Cup was awarded to Hynes rather than Kirby. Was the tie shoot misreported or was the result challenged in the intervening time?
Nottingham Evening Post, Monday, December 27th, 1880
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
No. 1. —The Annual Presentation of Battalion Prizes took place at the Albert Hall, on Tuesday the 21st instant, when the following prizes were presented by Viscountess Galway.
The full list of prizes amounting to 72 items donated by individuals and businesses followed.
OFFICERS' CHALLENGE CUPS
1.—The Locksley Cup, presented by Major H.E. Hunt, R.H.R. To be competed for each year until won by the same Officer two years in succession; the Cup to be held each year by the winner of the competition. First year, won by Surgeon T. Wright, R.H.R.
2.—Officers Monthly Challenge Cups.
1st Cup, won by Lieutenant T. Lambert
2nd Cup, won by Surgeon J.O'C. Hynes
Transcripts from Nottingham Evening Post 1880
British Library Newspaper Archive