About The Duke of Connaught's Own Club

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942)

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur WIlliam Patrick Albert; 1 May 1850 – 16 January 1942) was a member of the shared British and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family who, between 1911 and 1916, served as the Governor General of Canada. He was born to Queen Victoria, in London, England, and was educated by private tutors before at the age of 16 entering the Royal Military College at Woolwich.

Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Army, and therein served some 40 years, seeing service in various parts of the British Empire. During this time he was also created as a royal duke, becoming the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, as well as the Earl of Sussex. On the recommendation of then Prime Minister H.H.Asquith, Arthur was appointed by his newphew, George V, as the Canadian viceroy, suceeding in that role Earl Albert Gray. Given his military service, the selection of Arthur proved to be prudent, as he acted as viceroy, and thus as the representative of the Canadian Commander-in-Chief, through the first years of World War I.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Arthur returned to the United Kingdom and there, as well as in India, performed various royal duties, while again taking up is military duties. Thought he retired from public life in 1928, he continued to make his presence known in the army well into the Second World War, just before his death in 1942.

Taken from Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Club History

Connaught Drill Hall, Portsmouth

The Duke of Connaught’s Own 383 Light Field Regiment RA TA formed in 1947 and consisting of R, P and Q batteries, were situated in the Connaught Drill Hall in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth. Due to cutbacks in the armed forces, under Harold Wilson’s government, in 1966 the regiment was forced to disband.

The sadness of the decision to disband was felt by all and ex-regiment member Mr Ray Choppen suggested that an Old Comrades Association should be formed to provide an opportunity for ex-regiment members and their families to keep in touch. In the Summer of 1973, during a reunion party at Segensworth House in Titchfield, Mr Choppen approached a few ex-members of the Duke of Connaught’s Own 383 Light Field Regiment RA TA, to discuss the possibility of taking the idea further.

One Friday evening in the September of 1973, eight people met at Segensworth House to form the new Q Battery Club. These ex-regiment members were Mr Gerald Day (Major), Mr John Adams (Sergeant), Mr William Banks (Gunner), Mr Ray Choppen (Staff-Sergeant), Mr Jack Craven (Sergeant), Mr John Goodall (Sergeant), Mr Albert Hope (Bomberdier) and Mr Edward Lewis (Sergeant). During this meeting the Q Battery Club was formed and Mr Gerald Day loaned the sum of £50 for the purchase of bar stock. The new club agreed to meet every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month in Mr Gerald Day’s barn (with it’s own bar and swimming pool) in the grounds of Segensworth House.

The Q Battery Club

After only four meetings, the debt had been repaid and the Q Battery Club continued meeting here for the next two years. In September 1979, growing in size with the prospect of 179 eligible members, the Q Battery Club moved to the Fareham Drill Hall in West Street, Fareham, which was also being used by two other Territorial Army Units (a Wessex Company and a Petrol Company). A men’s dart team, a ladies dart team and a crib team were formed all using the Q Battery name.

In 1981, the Q Battery Club was offered their own premises by Whitbread Brewery and moved to the Chequers Inn (built in 1784) below the viaduct at Quay Street roundabout in Fareham. The club had gone through a period of rapid expansion and grown to approximately 150 members, following amalgamation with both the Burma Star and the 275 Battery (TA). Both men and women, were now welcome to join the Q Battery Club as honorary members, however an all-male Committee of ex-Duke of Connaught’s Own Regiment members still remained.

In 1984, the Q Battery Club moved premises again and began occupying a building, previously known as The Victory Inn, at 54 Trinity Street, Fareham. After a short period of time the name was changed to the Duke of Connaught’s Own Club Fareham Ltd and the Club now became an ex-service men and womens club. Between 1984 and 1991 the Club continued to flourish, with membership levels reaching approximately 300.

In 1991, The Duke Of Connaught’s Own Club Fareham Ltd, was approached by Whitbread Brewery, who owned 54 Trinity Street, asking them to either purchase the premises or to vacate the building. As the money required was out of reach for the growing club, the Duke of Connaught’s Own Club had no other option but to find new premises. In April 1991, the Duke of Connaught’s Own Club approached the Royal British Legion in Western Road, Fareham. The Duke of Connaught’s Own Club had an abundance of members and no premises, whereas the Royal British Legion was lacking in members, but had premises.

Two meetings were held at exactly the same time by each club to discuss the prospect of amalgamating. With agreement reached by both parties, all Duke of Connaught’s Own members became Royal British Legion members and with a loan from Bass Brewery, the refurbished premises (owned by the members) opened on 1st July 1991. Over the years membership steadily increased and the new Royal British Legion/Duke of Connaught’s Own Club continued to flourished.

In 2007, the Royal British Legion decided to disaffiliate from the Royal British Legion/Duke of Connaught’s Own Club and the Club reverted to it’s old name of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Club Fareham Ltd. Today, the Club has a total membership of over 600 full members and continues to provide the Fareham area with a social club where local people can meet and enjoy each other’s company.