Draughts in Cornwall

Out of others misfortune comes some good for us.

When one of our grandfathers died, his widow instantly went to live with her son – one of our uncles. He suddenly had an influx of stuff he couldn’t cope with and some went in the shed. Later, uncle found that the old photos he’d put there were wet and spoiled. He burnt them. A treasure trove of photos was lost and gone.

Years later, a nephew of the grandfather died. Still later his widow developed dementia and had to be cared for in a home. Her daughter had learning difficulties and wasn’t quite capable of independent living and went into sheltered accommodation.

It was relatives of nephew’s wife that did the house clearance but when they found a treasure trove of photos that reflected our side of the family they got in touch and items came to us. Some of this replaced photos that had been burned, but there were also scrapbooks.

So here I introduce our Great Aunt Dolly and, in particular, her husband, Wilfred Welch Piper.

Wilfred was a draughts player living in Cornwall. Back in those early years of the 20th century draughts was obviously news in the west. The scrapbook contains newspaper cuttings with accounts of matches played and had a regular column about individual players – one of whom was our Wilfred.

Wilfred was born in 1873 so, judging by age in the photo, this article dates from soon after 1900.



image004It isn’t the best quality copy – but how amazing that so much can be made of draughts!

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3 Responses to “Draughts in Cornwall”

  1. chmjr2 Says:

    How nice that they took the time and effort to contact you, and made sure the photos and scrapbooks got into the right hands.


    I am writing abook on Cornsh Draughts and players through the years, since 1800 to present and wonder if you kindly contact me, so that I may see the Scrapbook etc. I have played for Camborne, Cornwall and England. John Gillbard

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