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A Drinking Club with a Running Problem
Founded: 1976 by Brigadier Ray Thornton
(ex-Joint Master of Singapore Hash)
Donnington Hash House Harriers, DH3, has the distinction of being the third Hash to be founded in the United Kingdom; it started its life at the Army Ordinance Depot of Donnington in Telford in 1976.
Our founder was Brigadier Ray Thornton and in the early days of DH3 we were allied to the military establishment with the members being army personnel.
Technically the 1st Hash to be established in the UK was Commando Forces H3 formed in 1969 by Brigadier Ray Thornton, it flourished in the early 1970’s but due to military postings it soon petered out.
So Bicester now lays claim to being the 1st Hash in the UK, it was started in 1974 also by Ray Thornton, and is still going strong. The 2nd Hash to be formed was Surrey in 1975 and we have had many exchange visits with these two groups over the years, as we have with other Hashes that have proliferated in the UK & abroad since our inception in 1976.
The History of DH3
The first trail for Donnington Hash was at the Red House in Lilleshall on Monday 21st June 1976, – transport provided from the guardroom!
The trail was laid by two hares with ten hashers running the trail and one member on crutches who was watching the event. There was no Hash Kash in those days so the garrison commander contributed to the beer fund.
DH3 didn’t run during the winter of 76, due to the difficulty of finding & running trails on dark evenings, but in the summer of 1977 it re-started successfully and a decision was made that in future the run would be on Sunday mornings during the winter and revert to Mondays in the summer.
Eventually, as local people heard about Donnington Hash, the numbers started to rise every year, the first person being Jim P in October 1977 whose initiation trail was at the Bell in Donnington Wood and this was soon followed by some of the stalwarts from all areas of Shropshire who still run with us today.
Donnington Hash is now predominantly civilian having broken away from the military establishment approximately 10 years after its inception and, whilst people have come & gone over the years, we are still a strong Hash and are continuing to thrive and attract new members.
Meet: Every week
- 18.30 (Monday nights in the summer)
- 11.00 (Sunday mornings in the winter)
Cost: £1 per run, £1 raffle
A Brief History of the World Wide Hash
Having a fondness for “Hare and Hounds” paper-chase style runs, Gisbert, the founder of the World Hash House Harriers Movement, in 1938 gathered together a group of friends, including Ronald “Torch” Bennett, Frederick “Horse” Thompson & Cecil Lee, to form a “non-competitive” running club in Kuala Lumpur. Little did he know that what he started would later have a world-wide legacy.
Their philosophy was to have great fun, good fellowship, and exercise – and to drink beer.
The 1938 charter:
To promote physical fitness among our members
To get rid of weekend hangovers
To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
The group received its name from the Selangor Club Chambers, which due to the ‘lacklustre food’ served there was commonly referred to as the “Hash House”
Alberto Esteban (Stephen) Ignacio Gispert 1903 – 1942
Gisbert was born & grew up in Kent of Catalan parents and, after his schooling; he trained as a Chartered Accountant with Evatt & Co (later to become Price Waterhouse). In 1928 he applied for an overseas posting and was sent out to work in Kuala Lumpur.
In 1938 Gisbert joined the part-time militia, – the Federated Malay States Volunteer Reservists, reaching the rank of Captain.
In December 1941 he was on leave in Australia with his family when the Japanese invaded Malaya and he had to return promptly,
Once back in Kuala Lumpur he was seconded to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders regiment as Second Lieutenant.
It was in 1942 while in charge of a mortar platoon, Gisbert and his men were killed in action against invading Japanese forces on Dairy Farm Road, Singapore. Gispert’s body was never identified, and he is most likely buried in Singapore’s Kranji War Cemetery in one of the graves marked “All Unknown Soldiers.”
Since the inception of the Mother Hash in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 thousands of Hash House Harrier groups have been formed and it is now possible to Hash in many area of the UK & most countries throughout the world where you are welcomed to run & socialise with like-minded people in the Hash Family.
Sources: Donnington Hash Memorabilia & The Mother Hash Website