Greenwood, Harold E

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Greenwood, Harold E

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  • Moke
  • The Little Moke

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In the 1971 Journal the following obituary, by Jack Beresford, appeared:

"Harold E. Greenwood died in the late autumn of 1970 at the age of 90. He was affectionately known to all rowing men as ‘ The Little Moke.’ He joined Thames at the tail end of the last century soon after leaving Cranleigh School; and he appeared at Henley Regatta for the first time in 1899 as the coxswain of our Thames Cup Eight, at 7 stone 11 lbs. This crew lost to Kingston in the first round. (Incidentally 1899 was the year of my birth.)
For three more years he was the Thames Cup coxswain. In 1903 and 1904, he steered both the Grand and the Thames Cup Eights.
1905 saw Moke winning his first and only Henley medal, when our second eight lifted the Thames Cup. From 1906 to 1931 he steered the Grand Eight only. In 1910, Jesus just got home from us by 2 feet. Tyke Richardson stroked that crew with my father at bow and ‘ Duggie ’ (W. S. Douglas) in the engine room.
Moke captained the Club in 1912 — the year in which King George V and Queen Mary attended Henley Royal Regatta. Little Moke steered that year at 9 stone 6 lbs. We were beaten by Leander, who lost in the final to the Australians, but avenged their defeat at Stockholm in the Olympic Games Regatta, winning a gold medal for Great Britain.
Little Moke steered largely by intimidation—except at Henley. He was feared by coxswains of other clubs, because of his forceful personality and great flow of invective. He was adept at pushing other crews over the ‘ flats ’ at the Metropolitan Regatta. Up river he invariably succeeded in getting the best of the stream and the advantage of the bends, to the discomforture of other crews.
Rivalry with London R.C. was always intense in his day; and feelings between the two clubs ran high, even to the floor of the Stock Exchange, where our late President was a well known character.
Perhaps due to his love of horse racing, his aim when steering a boat was always to get onto the ‘rails.’ After the last war he was for a good many years Chairman of Kempton Park racecourse, and I believe not only put it onto its feet after the war, but made it one of the outstanding courses in the country.
Remenham Club has prospered through his foresight and wisdom when President. Those of us who were present will always recall his inspiring address at the opening of the new extension of that Club at Henley.
To me, Little Moke was a Thames man first and foremost, and his determination to see the Club prosper, both racing-wise and economically was paramount. In his latter years he appeared more and more to resemble a smaller version of Winston Churchill; and this applied even in delivery of the spoken word.
He was of Huguenot descent and succeeded the Earl of Radnor as Governor of the French Hospital in Rochester, remaining in that office until his death.
We all mourn his passing, but he ran his full span and led a full and varied life; he succeeded in extracting fun and enjoyment out of everything he undertook."


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