was one of a family of famous golfers who lived on
Malvern Common. He served with the Worcestershire Regiment
in the Great War and was invalided out with a severe leg
wound which was eventually the cause of his death in 1939.
Charles was a fine player who made his mark in the local
events held throughout Northumberland and Durham, winning
most of the trophies to be played for. His name appears on
every Alliance trophy - on some more than once - and he had
held course records at Brancepeth Castle, Northumberland and
Brink of Fame by Bert Gadd with John Marshal
Charles’ war wound was so severe that it prevented him from
putting weight on his left leg, but he adapted his game very
successfully and, between the wars, he won twenty-five
regional tournaments in his adopted North East and the
prestigious Northern Professional Championship. The local newspaper said: “His
victory was extremely popular amongst his brother
professionals, by whom he is held in high esteem, as he is
indeed by all golfers in the North of England. The new
Northern champion provides a fine example of courage and
determination, for he has never allowed a physical infirmity
to keep him from his chosen game”.
About His Golf Career
His name appears on every Alliance trophy - on some more
than once - and he had held course records at Brancepeth
Castle, Northumberland and Eaglescliffe. His 68 at
Brancepeth was equaled a few weeks ago by W. Irvine, an
amateur at Brancepeth.
Charles was a fine player
who made his mark in the local events held throughout
Northumberland and Durham, winning most of the trophies
to be played for. He was a courageous man and made light
of the war wound, which shattered his left leg below the
knee. It took half an hour each morning to bandage his
leg before putting on the specially made boots he had to
wear. The ravines of Brancepeth were a real and painful
problem to him - nevertheless, it was at his home course
that he had his greatest triumph, winning the 72-hole
Northern Professional Championship in 1930 with a score
of 294. In 1935 he had a round of 63, still the lowest
score to be recorded at Brancepeth at the time of
writing, but it was not an official competition and
therefore did not qualify as the course record.
Notes from John Cameron:
Charles Gadd was not at Aberystwyth although he would
have played there on occasions and was involved with their
professional, Lewis who appears in one of the photos in
Aberystwyth Golf Club. In
1913 when pro at Aberdovey, Charles Gadd had played in a match at
Machynlleth, then in Montgomeryshire, in which he partnered J. H.
Taylor, the Open Champion of that year, against James Braid and
Ernest Lewis of Aberystwyth. The match finished all square.
It was the
Aberdovey Golf Club
where Charles took up his first appointment. The
Aberdovey Centenary book, which briefly refers to his arrival at the
club in 1914. "The Club already had a new professional as Charles
Gadd had come from the Towyn Club to replace Cooper (the
previous professional)". The Towyn club ceased to exist a
long time ago and there is nothing in golf records about Charles
being at Towyn, although George was the professional there so it is
quite likely that Charles spent some time with him. The only other
reference to Charles in the Aberdovey book is concerning his
enlistment in the Worcestershire Regiment, "Charles Gadd also
left as he had enlisted, and the committee took charge of his stock
-'until you return, provided the articles are insured against theft
and fire, and will hand over the proceeds of the sales according to
your instruction'". Charles never did return to the pro's
job at Aberdovey - Instead he went to Ipswich after he
was repatriated to the Roehampton hospital and
Hilda and Charles Gadd with their children Eileen and Robert
Pre War Trophies
NORTHUMBERLAND & DURHAM ALLIANCE PROFESSIONAL
& DURHAM VICTORY CHALLENGE CUP
NORTHUMBERLAND & DURHAM GOLF ALLIANCE
AGGREGATE CUP (MEDAL)
3530 (later 241110) Sgt Charles H Gadd served with the 2/8th
Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, which was the second
line Territorial Battalion raised in the county from Territorial Force
soldiers from South Worcestershire (Worcester, Malvern, Evesham,
Pershore, Droitwich, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Kings Norton). This
Battalion landed in France in May 1916 and served in the France and
Flanders theatre until the cessation of hostilities. Mr Gadd is not
commemorated on a Malvern War Memorial.
Injury From Battle I
can advise that the following was published in the Malvern News on
'Mr F Gadd, of Malvern Common, has received notification that his son
Sgt C H Gadd of the Worcester Territorials was wounded on the 15th
October by a High Explosive Shell which, bursting a few yards away from
him, fractured the shinbone on his left leg. Before enlisting in
November 1914, he was a golf professional at Aberdovery.
'“I am afraid his leg is hurt rather badly and probably he won’t be able
to walk for some months. The doctor thinks that there will be some
permanent injury. I have worked with your son for four months and he has
rendered me the best support and I always knew he was prepared to do
anything without consideration of the dangers. I never saw a man so
badly wounded who was so cheerful. I hope when he returns to the front
line he will get back to his old regiment.”
'Sgt Gadd’s eldest brother is a Lieutenant in the Royal Welch
The Regimental History shows that on the 15th October the unit were in
the Neuve Chapelle sector of France and had taken part in several rather
unsuccessful attacks on the German line. On the 14th October the
battalion had relieved its sister battalion, the 2/7th Worcestershire
and made preparations to raid the German trenches. Six days of
bombardment of the enemy's position ensued, and I would imagine that Sgt
Gadd was wounded during a German counter bombardment. The raid went
ahead on the 20th October and was again unsuccessful in the face of
Editor - To Those
Who Nobly Served
Born at Malvern, the Gadd
family were brought up in a house on the local golf course and took to
the game as children.
his first professional
appointment at Aberystwyth when 17 years of age, and later was
appointed to Market Drayton, and then to Aberdovey. He joined up in his
county regiment when war broke out, and saw considerable service until
he was badly wounded.
Meanwhile his brother, George was still
in the services, and when he was fit enough Charles was appointed to
look after his brother's job at Roehampton, When George returned,
Charles secured a post in Ipswich and in 1924 he became Brancepeth
Castle's first professional golfer.
During his 15 years with the Brancepeth Club Charles Gadd endeared
himself to a host of golfers, amateur and professional alike. He was
one of the best golfers ever to have been quartered in the North-East
and had won every Northumberland and Durham competition it was possible
Record at Roehampton
In 1931 he established a course record at Roehampton in the
Invitation Tournament there and made progress in the match stage until
his leg injury reasserted itself and he went out to Charles Whitcombe.
In 1930 on his own course he won the Northern professional championship
from very powerful opposition, and on five occasions he won the
Northumberland and Durham professional championship.
Notes: This obituary was probably written by Bert Gadd. It
appeared in a local Brancepeth newspaper. In 2001 Bert sent a copy of it
to Dr. Tony Biddle, the historian at the club, who forwarded a copy to
me when I enquired about my grandfather in 2002. The obituary
states that Charles' first appointment was at
Aberystwyth but that
information was not corroborated elsewhere.
Charles Harry Gadd
professional to the Brancepeth Golf Club since its formation in 1924,
died this morning at his home at the age of 47. He was a victim of the
While serving with the Worcestershire Regiment Gadd was severely wounded
and periodically since his damaged leg has given him considerable pain.
In the late spring of this year he went into the hospital, but the best
of medical attention was of no avail and his untimely passing in the
prime of life will shock very many golfers in the North-East and further
Charles Gadd was one of five brothers, all of whom are golf
professionals. His elder brother George is professional to the Maiden
Club, Jack Gadd holds a post in Bombay, Bert Gadd is at South Shields,
and Reginald is at Market Harborough.
Sources and other Related Links
Aberdovey Golf Club
Aberystwyth Golf Club
Brancepeth Golf Club
Other Miscellaneous References
to Charles Gadd found on the web
From the obituary of John Reece, a
leading west country golf writer and well known to golfers all
over the south west.
He first played at Durham City before
becoming a country member at Brancepeth Castle. He played for the
county colt’s side and enjoyed the company of professionals.
“I would pay them £1 from my pocket money to have a round with
them,” he said. “I never wanted to be a professional but I would
have loved to have played for England.” He first walked onto a
golf course in 1921 with a cut-down piece of hickory with a leather
grip and polished head.
“It was a wonderful way to grow up,” he recalled. He wrote his
first golf story for a sports agency in Manchester when he was 16.
He reported Brancepeth Castle professional Charlie Gadd’s win in the
Northern Open on his home course.
“The headline was ‘Good
Gadd’, I was paid five shillings and I was still at school,” he