Yorkshire Chess History



Edwin Arthur Greig











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1876/77, Batavia, Java




29/04/1952, NE Cheshire




Non-Chess Life


Edwin Arthur Greig was born in 1877 in Batavia, Java, in what was then the Dutch East Indies.  There was also a Frank E Grieg who was similarly born in Batavia, but in 1873/74, and an Alexander Greig living in Cheshire in 1902 might also have been related.  The two look rather like brothers who came to live in the Lancashire-Cheshire border area.  That Edwin appears to have played in the Scottish Championship rather points to his father having been born in Scotland, as that was one qualifying criterion.


There seems no trace of Edwin in the 1881 census, suggesting his family was still in the East Indies. The first we see of Edwin in England is when he was at school in Great Malvern.  It may be that his family had returned as a whole from the East Indies to the British Isles, of it may be that one or more sons were sent back to the British Isles for the benefit of their education.


The 1891 census found 14-year-old Java-born British subject Edwin A Greig to be a boarding schoolboy at Malvern College, College Road, Great Malvern.  Meanwhile 17-year-old Frank E Greig was a cotton-broker’s clerk living in lodgings in the Toxteth Park area of Liverpool.


The 1901 census found 24-year-old Batavia-born British subject Edwin A Greig to be an insurance clerk living in his own home in Maple Street, Birkenhead.


Later in in 1901, in Birkenhead, Edwin Arthur Greig married Alice Ann Nickson (born 1870/71, Birkenhead).


Kelly’s 1902 Cheshire directory listed Edwin Arthur Greig living at Woodbine Cottage, Hooton Road, Willaston, Cheshire.  Willaston is about 8 miles south of Birkenhead, but he was absent seemingly from the 1914 Cheshire directory.


The 1911 census found married 37-year-old (brother?) Frank E Greig to be a merchant shipper (importer or foreign produce and exporter of textiles) living in Hale, Cheshire.


Alice A Greig died aged 43 in 1913/14 in London.


Edwin would appear to have joined the army, becoming a Captain in the 8th Lancashire Volunteer Artillery, and on 18/04/1915 becoming a temporary Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery and while serving in this capacity he was awarded the Croix de Guerre around December 1917.  Thereafter he became a Major.


An Edwin A Greig married Florence E Jarvis in 1918, in Wandsworth.  This would appear to have been the chess-player re-marrying.  There were subsequent marriages of a person or persons called Edwin A Grieg.  It is difficult to believe these involved the same groom.


In 1931, a certain Violet Lilian Geig died aged 45 (hence born 1885/86, and Edwin Arthur Greig was the beneficiary of her will.  Whether this was a wife




Edwin Arthur Greig died aged 75 on 29/04/1952 in North East Cheshire.




Gore’s Liverpool & Birkenhead directory dated 1900 contained the entry, “Chess Club (E. A. Greig hon. secretary) New City Hall buildings, Eberle Street.”  E. A. Greig is thereafter recorded playing for Liverpool Chess Club or in its internal events.


At county level he initially represented Cheshire. As for instance in the matches 18/04/1896 Cheshire v Yorkshire, 25/03/1905 Yorkshire v Cheshire, and 18/01/1908 Cheshire 817 Yorkshire.


It seems Scotland took the view that having a Scottish-born father was sufficient to qualify to compete in the Scottish Championship or to represent Scotland.  This explains what follows.


On 14/03/1903 he played for Liverpool against Glasgow.  A little later on eh played in the 1903 Northern Counties Chess Union v Scotland match representing the NCCU.  Years later, however, perhaps due to having found out about Scottish eligibility rules, he played in the 1909 Northern Counties Chess Union v Scotland match representing Scotland!


Soon after, E. A Greig, described as being of Edinburgh, came 5th out of 10 players on 4½ points out of 9 in the 1910 Scottish Championship held in Edinburgh.  The “Edinburgh” attribution given by his name seems not a correct representation of his place of residence, but was perhaps the place of his father’s birth.


After the first world war, he switched his county allegiance to Lancashire.  Examples of him representing Lancashire between the wars are:

14/01/1933, Northumberland & Durham v Lancashire

18/03/1933, Yorkshire v Lancashire

21/10/1933, Lancashire v Surrey

09/12/1933, Lancashire v Warwickshire

23/03/1935, Yorkshire v Lancashire

21/03/1936, Yorkshire v Lancashire

19/03/1938, Yorkshire v Lancashire


He wrote at least two chess books.  One Hundred Pitfalls on the Chessboard appeared in 1910.  The 3rd edition of Chess Recipes on the Principal Openings was available in 1914 from Chess Amateur Office, Strand, London, at the price of 2s. 3d. net.





Copyright © 2019 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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