A. Mortlock

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Christopher Kreuzer
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A. Mortlock

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:53 am

Following on from the 'Champions names' thread, I'm putting here the notes I made on A. Mortlock (the British Boys' U18 Chess Champion in 1928) while attempting to confirm that his Christian name was Alfred. I've grouped the notes thematically and roughly chronologically within two sections: (a) the chess sources; (b) other: the sources about his family and careers.

A) CHESS

(1) British Boys' Chess Champion

(i) 1928 British Boys' U18 Chess Champion "A. Mortlock"

(from the two lists of British chess champions, maintained by John Saunders and Alex McFarlane, with discussion taking place on the English Chess Forum in September 2010)

http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/britchamps.html
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p37814

(2) Brighton and Sussex chess history

(i) "In the 1935-6 season the Students fielded the strong Hastings player A. Mortlock on top board [...]" and "Charles Stacey enjoyed a remarkable run of success during the 1930s. In 1932 he lost in the county championship final against A.J. Mackenzie of Hastings, but in 1933 won the title after defeating another Hastings player, A. Mortlock, at the final stage. In 1934 he retained his title by defeating Arthur Winser in the final, only to lose to the same player a year later at the same stage of the competition. In 1936 he won the title for the third time after again defeating A. Mortlock in the final."
(A HISTORY OF CHESS IN BRIGHTON 1841-1993; Chapter 6 - 1922-1939 - A GOLDEN AGE, Brian Denman, 1994)

http://www.brightonandhovechessclub.org ... k3_Ch6.htm

(ii) "Unfortunately I seem to have mislaid my notes on the death of A Mortlock. Some years ago I discovered that he was born in 1910, but unfortunately there were two possibilities. I discovered two births at that time with the initial 'A', one was an Albert Mortlock, the other an Alfred Mortlock. Surprisingly in Sussex chess literature I have never been able to find a single reference to his Christian name. Somewhere in the mid-1990s I heard that an A Mortlock was still a member of the BCF and had a Bexhill address. Later I seem to recall that about 1999 an A Mortlock died in the Bexhill area and his date of birth went back to 1910. If you have found details of this person's death, it is very likely that he was the chess player. Unfortunately I cannot remember the Christian name of this person.

Mortlock was a strong Hastings player, who competed in the 1933 British Championship at Hastings. He reached the final of the Sussex Championship on two occasions, in 1933 and 1936, but both times was runner up to Charles Stacey. In the 1935-36 season he played for a Brighton Students team in the county team championship. After World War II he does not seem to have been such an active player, though I remember him playing on a high board for the county. He was still playing for Sussex in 1966, but I suspect that this was close to the end of his county chess career. Perhaps he lived on for some 30 years after virtually giving up chess and by that time he was probably virtually forgotten at the Hastings CC after representing them for several years. I can go down to our local library and find out the Christian name of the A Mortlock, who died about 1999, but I suspect that you already have details of this person."

(Brian Denham, e-mail communication quoted by Richard James in a post to the English Chess Forum, September 2010)

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p38462

(3) Rubinstein Trap (sideline)

(i) Fairhurst-Mortlock game from Scarborough 1930 (Major Open)

"Although this score is to be found in various databases, on page 52 of the February 1950 BCM J.A. Seitz, writing from Buenos Aires, reported that the game (which had also been published as a Seitz loss on page 294 of the August 1930 BCM) ‘was not played by me but probably by some other opponent of Mr Fairhurst in the Major Open of the BCF 1930 Congress at Scarborough’. After checking the matter with Fairhurst, the 1950 BCM confirmed that Seitz had not been the loser, and said that the game was probably W. Fairhurst v A. Mortlock from the same tournament."

(Edward Winter, The Rubinstein Trap, date of publication of website not given, but was available in September 2010 and the games originally published in C.N.s [Chess Notes columns] 2187, 2588 and 3354)

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... stein.html

EDIT: Changed section title and corrected spelling of 'Rubinstein'

(ii) Original reference is The British chess magazine, Volume 70, 1950

Page 52: "The above-mentioned score was probably that of the game Fairhurst-A. Mortlock"

(4) References in chess magazines

(i) Six references in The British chess magazine, Volume 55, 1935

Pages 132, 222 and 281 among others (the first and last ones being listings in chess matches, winning on board 4 against an A. T. Watson and winning on board 5 in a Hastings-Brighton match against an E. G. Reed). Someone with a copy of this issue would be able to confirm the details here.

(ii) One reference in CHESS, Volume 31, 1965

Page 192, a reference to £8 prize or donation of some sort. Someone with a copy of this issue would be able to confirm the details here.

(iii) One reference in Chess, Volume 33, 1967

Page 112: a letter signed "A. MORTLOCK; New Barnet, 25 November 1967". Someone with a copy of this issue would be able to confirm the details here.

(iv) One retrospective reference in The British chess magazine, Volume 98, 1978

Page 520, a brief reference to Mortlock as the person to whom someone else was runner-up in 1928 in the British Boys' Championship at Hastings in "an entry of 48". Someone with a copy of this issue would be able to confirm the details here.

(5) Tournament Crosstables

(i) Listed as "Mortlock, A", he appears twice in Anders Thulin's 2005 index to "Name Index to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables": (i) "7-9 Hastings 1929", page 873 and (ii) "8-9 Scarborough 1930", page 909.

http://www.anders.thulin.name/SUBJECTS/ ... CIndex.pdf

Someone with a copy of Gaige's book would be able to confirm the details here.

(ii) One reference in "Aug 1933 - Championship Tournament. The results of the British open championship at Hastings"

http://www.keesings.com/search?kssp_sea ... ck&x=0&y=0

Someone with a copy of the tournament cross-table (or willing to pay to access it in the Keesings Archive) would be able to confirm the details here.

(6) Miscellaneous

(i) Two references in "Surviving Changi: E.E. Colman : a chess biography" (Urcan and Tan, Singapore Heritage Society, 2007)

Page 124 says "In the ninth round, Colman could only secure a draw against A Mortlock and in the tenth round he won by default against the retired William Winter. The eleventh round, the tournament's last, saw Cole playing White against Colman."

Someone with a copy of the book, or able to tell from the names mentioned here, would be able to confirm which tournament is being mentioned here.

(ii) "I have a book - God knows where - inscribed by A Mortlock."

(James Pratt, post to English Chess Forum, September 2010)

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p37931

Possibly a book from his personal library. More details could be interesting, such as the title of the book, the year it was published, and when and where it was obtained after it left Mortlock's possession.

B) OTHER

(1) Initial family history details

(i) "Alfred Mortlock, born 1910, died September 1999 in Hastings. He married Katherine M Hare, again in Hastings, in 1977. A family tree mistakenly gives his death date as 1977. The only birth record for Alfred Mortlock in 1910 was in Worcestershire."

(Richard James, post to English Chess Forum, September 2010)

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p37926

(ii) "Was at University School, Hastings, which no longer exists"

(Richard James, post to English Chess Forum, September 2010)

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p37920

(iii) "The death certificate gives his d.o.b. as 12 July 1910, so, if the qualification criterion was under 18 the previous 1 September this would fit."

(Richard James, post to English Chess Forum, September 2010)

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ock#p38423

(2) Radio engineer career

(i) "MORTLOCK, Alfred, B.Sc. New Barnet" is listed as a Lt-Cmdr in 'The Radio and electronic engineer', Volume 6, Issue 5 (1946)

(ii) In the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) Directory of 1953, there is the following listing: "MORTLOCK, ALFRED (A'43) Snr. Radio Engr., Standard Telephones & Cables Ltd., New Southgate, London, N.11, England. Home: Abington Lodge, 17 Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings, England. In the 1960 IRE Directory, he is listed as in "New Southgate", though whether working or living there is not made clear.

EDIT: Corrected spelling of 'Abington Lodge'

(iii) In both the 1966 and 1970 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) membership directory, he is listed as "MORTLOCK, A." with an address given of "66 Richmond Rd, New Barnet, Barnet, Herts., England"

EDIT: Corrected address (another transcription error)

(3) Death notices

(i) Name of Deceased (Surname first): MORTLOCK, Alfred; Address, description and date of death of Deceased: Northern Hotel, Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. Bank Official (Retired). 31st August 1999; Names, addresses and descriptions of Persons to whom notices of claims are to be given and names, in parentheses, of Personal Representatives: Gaby Hardwicke Yearwood & Griffiths, 2 Eversley Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 1EY. (Ref. JAC.) (Michael Robert Bugden.); Claim Date: 19th November 1999; Notice Number: (002)

(London Gazette, Issue Number 55611, 15 September 1999)

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... otices/888

(ii) "Mortlock Alfred 89, 31st August 1999"

(Death notice under the "New Southgate" heading on the Obituaries page of Issue 60, Winter 1999, of 'Diary', a newsletter produced for the Nortel Pensions company).

http://www.nortelpensions.com/documentl ... r_1999.pdf

Presumably Mortlock worked for this company in New Southgate at some point.

(4) Further Mortlock family history

(i) Possible connections with Cornwallis House and Cornwallis Terrace and Cornwallis Gardens in Hastings, and a family history there that may indicate that his father was Charles Mortlock, and his mother was Emily Blackburn. This needs further confirmation, but the location of Hastings (where he was brought up) and the history of banking in the family make the connection likely.

(Date of publication of this part ("Various Mortlock 2") of a family history website is not given, but was available in September 2010 and is a copy reproducced by permission of an article titled 'The Banking Mortlocks, Laying the Foundations, 1453-1775, PART II, stated as copyright 2000 by R. J. H. Griffiths)

http://web.singnet.com.sg/~tonym/mortl003.html

Although the connection is not explicit, it does seem that the Alfred Mortlock who was a radio engineer and banker who lived at various times in the Barnet region of London (both New Barnet and New Southgate) and in Hastings, is the same as the A. Mortlock that played chess for Hastings and Sussex, and who was the British Boy's Champion in 1928. The connection seems to be the letter to CHESS in 1967 with an address of "New Barnet", which can be compared to the listing of Alfred Mortlock, the radio engineer living in New Barnet in 1946.

That is as far as I can go with the sources I can access. Hopefully others can flesh this out some more.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

Richard James
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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:01 am

Many thanks for that, Christopher.

I have most of the sources here in the Chess Palace and will look them up later.

I would add here that it seems that he also worked for a pensions company in New Southgate.

The game against Fairhurst - it's not really the Rubinstein trap, is it? Isn't that specifically playing Nxd5 when if cxd5, Bc7 traps the queen? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen's_Ga ... stein_Trap

Roger de Coverly
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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:28 am

Richard James wrote:I would add here that it seems that he also worked for a pensions company in New Southgate.
Nortel is a made-up word from Northern Telecom. Without delving into Company histories, it would be my guess that Standard Telephones & Cables Ltd. became or was taken over by the company that became Nortel. His employment with Standard gave rise to pension rights which were inherited by Nortel and administered by Nortel Pensions.

I'd suspect that the reference to retired banker is also incorrect and should have said retired (electrical) engineer.

E Michael White
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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by E Michael White » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:53 pm

I may have a lead, which may confirm the above.

As someone already mentioned Mortlock attended University School Hastings. This school closed in 1932 but copies of their annual magazine "The Cinque Port" seem to be held in local Hastings libraries for 1877 to 1932. I dont think anyone else has mentioned this but I haven’t time to look through all the threads.

https://e-library.eastsussex.gov.uk/02_ ... earch.aspx

If anyone local to Hastings is sufficiently interested they can borrow these from the Hastings Library; its a bit far for me to go.

Mortlock played in the U18 in 1926 and just failed to qualify for the top section so there may be some mention of his chess exploits with firstname in those magazines dated 1920 - 1928.

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:53 am

I'm not yet completely convinced that the electrical engineer is the same person as the chess player. I think there is some evidence that there were two Alfred Mortlocks born in 1910, one of whom died in 1977 and the other in 1999.

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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:40 am

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:I'm not yet completely convinced that the electrical engineer is the same person as the chess player. I think there is some evidence that there were two Alfred Mortlocks born in 1910, one of whom died in 1977 and the other in 1999.
Jon

We have two addresses for the electrical engineer, one in New Barnet and one in Hastings.

An A Mortlock played chess in Sussex between the 1920s and 1960s - an A Mortlock wrote a letter to CHESS from an address in New Barnet.

The A Mortlock who apparently died in 1977 was from the banking family. The A Mortlock in Hastings must have been from the banking family as he named his house after the family seat. The A Mortlock who died in 1999 married in 1977 in the Hastings area and died in 1999 in Bexhill. The Nortel Mortlock, who must have been the electical engineer as Roger has observed that this is a telecoms company, died in 1999.

The only A Mortlock who died in 1977 was Albert E Mortlock who was in Cheshire, clearly a totally different person. There is no middle initial given in any of the records for the chess player or the engineer.

I think the evidence that the engineer and the chess player are the same person is pretty conclusive. If there really were two A Mortlocks they were both chess playing engineers, one in Sussex and one in New Barnet. I guess someone mistakenly gave 1977 as his death date instead of his marriage date.

The A Mortlock births in 1910 were: Albert in West Ham, Albert Edward in Poplar (presumably the one who died in Cheshire in 1977), Alfred in Martley, Worcestershire and Arthur L in Bromley.

The Martley Mortlock may be our man, but this is by no means certain: he might have been born abroad or there might have been a transcription error.

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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:09 pm

Alfred's branch of the Mortlock banking family had connections with Stanford Bridge in Worcestershire, which is 5.2 miles from Martley according to Google Maps, later moving to Cornwallis House in Hastings. So the Alfred Mortlock born 1910 in Martley must be the right one. I'm not sure that Cornwallis House still exists, but you'll find Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club at 2 Cornwallis Terrace.

Source: http://web.singnet.com.sg/~tonym/mortl003.html

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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:08 am

I emailed Tony Mortlock of the mortlock.info website and Robert Griffiths, apparently the world's leading authority on the Mortlock family.

Tony has acknowledged my email and asked permission to post my contact details on his website.

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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:52 am

This just in from Robert Griffiths
Robert Griffiths wrote:You are spot on re Alfred, my apologies for getting his marriage and his death dates mixed up, this will be corrected in the next update to the Mortlock Encyclopedia. Meanwhile thank you for the lead on this chap's biography. I have abstracted and precis'd some of your notes from the English Chess Forum website to go with the encyclopedia entry - hope this is OK. I think the Pension reference is just to the separate Pension company set up to administer Nortel's company pensions at arms length from the parent company (a legal requirement), AM would not have been 'employed' by it in the ordinary sense but when he retired his affairs would have been kicked over the wall to the Pension coy. The reason he was not so active post WW2 is that he was in Herts not Sussex I think. He may well have played in Herts though, don't know how to research this. If you actually have his death cert. (as quoted on the Chess forum) a scan would be much appreciated! Rgds RG.

Paul Buswell
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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Paul Buswell » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:25 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Following on from the 'Champions names' thread, I'm putting here the notes I made on A. Mortlock (the British Boys' U18 Chess Champion in 1928) while attempting to confirm that his Christian name was Alfred.
I'll check the Hastings Club Minute Books when next in

PB

EDIT: Sorry, no joy in the 1926 - 1929 Minutes. The Minutes from then generally do not give forenames, and indeed the only reference to Mortlock is a complaint to Committee about his having been placed in the 'First Class' of the Club tournaments.

PB
Last edited by Paul Buswell on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Richard James
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Re: A. Mortlock

Post by Richard James » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:44 pm

Brian Denman wrote:I have been reading the posting on the ECF forum by Christopher Kreuzer. He refers to the 1953 Institute of Radio Engineers Directory where Alfred Mortlock is given a home address of Abington Lodge, 17, Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings. This is the proof that we need, as the Sussex Chess Association yearbooks for 1960-61 and 1961-62 list the chess player A Mortlock as living at that very address. I think that we can now say with confidence that the chess player had the Christian name of Alfred.
I've also heard more from Robert Griffiths, who is very interested in our collective research. He may also at some point be able to find out more about Mortlock's time in the Royal Navy. I'll now try to put together a short biography, but it may not be for a few weeks as I'm busy on other chess projects at present.

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