Defeated Champions In 1919

The year 1919 seems to have been a bad year for some British sport Champions, if one is to believe Tom Webster’s cartoon on top. Webster had earlier that year made a cartoon about how Ernest Barry had lost the World Professional Sculling Championship title to Alf Felton (see HTBS’s “Felton Beats Barry In 1919, on 4 March, 2011 – where you will also find more information about Tom Webster).

In the cartoon above, “Our Defeated Champions”, Webster is mocking Ernest Barry, on the right, and four famous British boxers at the time, from the left: Jim Driscoll, featherweight; Walter Ross, bantamweight; Joe Beckett, heavyweight; and Jimmy Wilde, flyweight. The ex-champions are singing: “We are but little children weak”, and Webster’s comment: “Sung with great success by the British Quintette”.

At least Barry would take back the title the following year, 1920. I do not know if any of the boxers in the cartoon ever were able to reclaim the Championship title in their classes. It might interest you readers to know that some of the watermen on the Thames, and Doggett’s Coat and Badge winners, were also making money in prize fights.

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