THE HISTORY OF THE LORD BIRDWOOD CUP
THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER CUP
(as known by us)
We believe both cups were presented to the Coburg Gun Club individually by LORD BIRDWOOD and THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER. We are unsure of the dates. We also believe shortly after the start of The Australian Gun Club at Burwood, the Coburg Gun Club closed. The Coburg Gun Club was a live bird and clay target club.
It appears most likely that George Biggs would have been responsible in some way for the cups to be passed over to The Australian Gun Club, as he was a committee member of Coburg and a committee member and President of The Australian Gun Club.
The Australian Gun Club quickly became the most successful Gun Club in Australia and for years continually conducted the Nationals at their ground in Burwood during George Biggs’s time.
LORD BIRDWOOD b 1865 d 1951 “The Soul of Anzac”
Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood, a senior officer in Britain’s pre 1914 Indian Army was appointed in December 1914 to the command of the Australian & New Zealand forces then assembling in Egypt. These units were soon formed into a corps, the A and N.Z Army Corps (later known as the ANZACS) “Birdie” as he was known to his close friends was greatly admired his ANZACS
He was also known as an Officer that went into the trenches with his men. His delight was to be out in the field among his men and cheering them by his talk. Apart from a short period at the end of the war, Lord Birdwood commanded the Anzac Corps right through the Gallipoli campaign. In 1916 he went to France as the commander of 1st Anzac Corps and in late 1917 he was given command of the newly formed Australian Corps. After the war he went on a highly successful tour of Australia, then returned to the Indian Army.
In 1925 Australia made him a Field Marshal in the Australian Military Forces. It was Birdwoods greatest desire that he might be appointed Governor – General of Australia. The post was never offered to him but he was elevated to the British peerage taking the title of Lord Birdwood of Anzac and the Totnes.
THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER was the 4th child of King George V and his wife Queen Mary. He was born Prince Henry William Frederick Albert in 1900 and died on the 10th June 1974.
He became the 11th Governor- General of Australia on the 30th January 1945 remaining in that position until 11th March 1947. He obviously was a keen shooter and fisherman as most Englishmen of that time were and traveled Australia extensively in the time whilst he was Governor- General.
Not a lot more is known other than his official functions whilst he was in Australia. The Prince Henry’s hospital built on St Kilda Road Melbourne was named after him.
BRIAN & MANDY FLOWER