Dick Kittermaster

(extract from the Eton Fives Association Annual Report 1997/98)

It is sad to record the death of Dick Kittermaster at 71, a three-times winner of the Kinnaird Cup with fellow Salopian, A R B Moulsdale, in 1954, 1955 and 1956. He was a former member of the EFA Committee.

Dick had a distinguished career in medicine and was a fine, well-respected games player. He was the son of Sir Harold B. Kittermaster, who was Governor of Nyasaland (Malawi) and who died in office in 1939. Dick, his mother and sister, moved to Canada where Dick went to Ridley College. He returned to the U K after the war and went to Shrewsbury. From there he went to St John's College, Cambridge, attained a half-blue for Eton Fives and became Captain of the game.

At St Thomas' Hospital, London, he qualified as a pathologist and in 1966 he became Consultant Pathologist at Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, retiring in 1992.

Dick was a good cricketer, having played for Shrewsbury, St John's College and St Thomas' Hospital. He was also a single figure golfer, a game which was his passion. He was a Board Member of Rye Golf Club and he would have been a golf pro by choice. Bridge was something else he excelled at, having learnt the game at Cambridge. Our sympathies go to his wife, Liz and their three daughters.

Robin Moulsdale writes:

I don't remember when I first met Dick. We were both schoolboys at Shrewsbury, involved in working a bit and playing every game we could find. We must have played against one another at junior levels, though Dick did arrive late, from Ridley College in Canada.

My first clear memory is of returning from a School Fives match against Uppingham, missing the train and spending the night in the ticket collector's box waiting for the milk train from Birmingham station.

We met again at Cambridge, where Dick had gone as a medic straight from school. I'm not good at dates nor records, but I'm sure he played three years for Cambridge, as did I, but only once together. Which year we first entered the Kinnaird I can't recall, but I do remember the Times comment when we lost our first final in 1950: 'The combined ages of the winners, J M Peterson (Salopian) and C E W Sheepshanks (Etonian), was 48 years more than the combined ages of the losers.

Thereafter we played in the Kinnaird every year until we had won it for three years on the trot and felt it was too difficult to go on travelling to various parts of the country, playing two very nice chaps whom we beat easily and then driving a long way home. The change to the present weekend system came too late for us.

But we had wonderful fun over the years. We won a lot of matches, but the May brothers were better than we were. John and Peter, together, were a very powerful pair. I played with Peter for Cambridge and once we played the Old Salopians (A R Kittermaster and M L Y Ainsworth) in the Emmanuel court. It was an epic match, as good a game as I ever played in, Cambridge just sneaking through in the fifth.