Edward J. Winter-Wood

(1847 - 1920) 

25/08/2008 12:55   

 

Edward was the oldest child of Thomas Winter-Wood (see Pioneer No. 1). He had been born at the family estate of Hareston Manor, Brixton, near Plymouth, but lived in a series of places as he followed his parents in their peripatetic existence around France. By 1858, at the age of 11, he played regularly at the club in Boulogne, receiving odds of a Rook from members.

 From the age of 20, he settled in the home counties, joining the City of London Club, the membership of which in the 1870s read like a roll-call of the great and good in world chess; from Steinitz, Zukertort, Blackburne, Horwitz, Löwenthal, Bird and De Vere, to a young Amos Burn - playing in the club tournaments for several years, Edward would have known them all. He drew games against Löwenthal in a simultaneous match and had several draws against Blackburne in his blindfold simuls. In 1878 he joined the Croydon Club and in their club championship the following year, won 23 of this 30 games, though he continued to compete in the City of London Club tournaments for another decade. In fact, he retained his membership all his life.

 In 1882 he composed his first chess problem, and several hundred appeared over the next 38 years, these being his lasting legacy to the wider chess world. In 1886 he published a book entitled Chess Souvenirs which contained over 100 of his early compositions. He won many prestigious prizes in composing competitions.

 In 1883 he became secretary of the Surrey County Chess Association.

 In 1889, he retired from London life and returned to his native county, joining the newly-formed Plymouth Club, where his father and younger brother, Carslake, were already active. The following year he donated the Silver Cup for the club championship, and promptly won it himself, as well as the Handicap Cup, though this was the last time his name appeared on any of the Club's trophies.  

In 1892, at the age of 45, he married Harrianne Kime.

 He is not recorded as playing any part in the creation of the Devon County Chess Association in 1901, but in 1907 he was elected as its President, succeeding Sir Edgar Vincent MP. In the local paper, The Devon & Exeter Gazette, King's Rook wrote the following tribute to the new President, which  is a good summary of the esteem in which he was held at this time:-

'Sir Edgar Vincent's retirement from the presidency is, of course, much regretted, but in Mr. E. J. Winter-Wood the Association has a most worthy successor. It is impossible to estimate the amount of good Mr. Winter-Wood has done for the cause, but his reputation as a composer and solver of problems is world-wide, while as a player he was one of the strongest of his day. Even if for no other reason his connection with chess in the county is sufficient qualification, for he is president of the Paignton and Plymouth clubs, and a vice-president of the Torquay Chess Club. Added to this, he yields to none in his affection for the pastime, and his ever-ready help and experience will be at the Association's disposal. Lastly, but not least, he is a Devonian and a real good sort. May the Association long have such a leader. The future then will occasion no anxiety, rather will the great reputation already made by the county be worthily upheld, and, if possible, further enhanced. We emphasise, with pleasure, the foregoing testimony to the services which Mr. E. J. Winter-Wood has rendered to the cause of chess, and we hope that he will be President of the Devonshire Chess Association for many years to come. He has already signalled his accession to the position by a most welcome gift. In a letter received by Mr. George W. Cutler, he wrote:- "By wireless telegraphy I have just heard that a silver cup or trophy would be acceptable to the Association. If this is correct, I shall have much pleasure in presenting, say, a five-guinea one".'

 He held the Presidency for 13 years until his death at Paignton in 1920. He was succeeded as President by Sir Robert Newman of Mamhead House, near Dawlish, soon to become Lord Mamhead.

  Edward's 5 guinea cup, given for the individual championship of Devon. Hallmarked for 1907 and valued for insurance purposes in 1994 at £650.

          Photo: I. S. Annetts.

The early winners were as follows:-

 

year

winner

Club

year

winner

Club

1908

A. F.Morrell

?

1931

F. Pitt-Fox

Paignton

1909

W.H.Gundry

Exeter

1932

J. B. Goodman

Plymouth

1910

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1933

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1911

Dr. D.R.Dunstan

Plymouth

1934

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1912

H.R .Allingham

Totnes

1935

G. F.Anderson

?

1913

H.R.Allingham

Totnes

1936

J. B. Goodman

Plymouth

1914

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1937

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1915

H. Erskine

Paignton

1938

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1916

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1939

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1917

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1946

H. V.Mallinson

Exeter

1918

G.F.H.Packer

?

1947

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1919

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1948

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1920

F. Pitt-Fox

Paignton

1949

A.R.B.Thomas

Tiverton

1921

Dr.R.Dunstan

Plymouth

1950

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1922

T. Taylor

Plymouth

1951

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1923

H.R.Allingham

Totnes

1952

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1924

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1953

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1925

A. B.Treloar

Tavistock

1954

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1926

J.B.Goodman

Plymouth

1955

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1927

H. J.H.Cope

?

1956

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1928

F. Pitt-Fox

Paignton

1957

J.Jones/Thomas

Totnes

1929

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1958

F. E. A. Kitto

Exeter

1930

R. M. Bruce

Plymouth

1959

A.R.B.Thomas

Tiverton

Bibliography:   Gittins, F. R:    The Chess Bouquet    Fielden 1897

Annetts, I. S:    Devon Trophy Book                1997