Royal Ascot Cricket Club has been lucky to have had some very distinguished Club Presidents
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught & Strathearn 1883 – 1900
The seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He became the first Club President when Ascot Cricket Club obtained permission from Queen Victoria on Tuesday 24th July 1883 to form a cricket club on the heath. He was unable to attend the first meeting and the Earl of Cork & Orrory took the chair.
He lived at Bagshot Park up to 1900 when the family moved to Clarence House.
Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence 1901 – 1914
A prolific author, he was best known for his advocacy that Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays. He was MP for Truro between 1895 and 1906. In 1898 he was created 1st Baronet Durning-Lawrence of King’s Ride Ascot. His archive was donated to the University of London.
Percy Edward Crutchley 1915 – 1924
A servant of the club for over 57 years, Percy Edward Crutchley was a JP, a member of Marylebone Cricket Club and owner of Sunninghill Park until 1936. He scored 84 for the MCC against Kent in 1876, sharing a 5th wicket stand of 223 with WG Grace who top scored with 334. Born in Parson’s Town in Ireland he died at Sunninghill Lodge in 1940.
William H Tottie 1925 – 1930
His sons Oscar & Eric died in battle on the same day in World War 1. There is a window and plaque memorial to them in All Saints Church, Ascot.
Dr H C Crouch 1931 – 1936
Dr Crouch wrote several articles on medicine in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Lt Col G A Draffen 1937 – 1946
Served in The Queen’s Bays.
Lt Col Sir Archibald Weigall 1947 – 1949
Served in the Northamptonshire Regiment in World War 1, he was also MP for Horncastle between 1911 and 1920. He resigned to become Governor of South Australia for two years. He lived at Englemere in Ascot and his brother Gerry played cricket for Kent. His great-grandson is the actor Jake Weber.
Maj John Crocker Bulteel DSO MC 1950 – 1956
He was the Clerk of the Course from 1946 until his death in 1956. The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, initially the Festival of Britain Stakes was his brainchild and is credited as the main race to change top-level racing in the UK and beyond.
Maj Gen David Dawnay KVCO CB DSO & Bar 1957 – 1969
A distinguished career in the Army including service during World War 2 and Commandant of the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He won a Silver Medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games as part of the British Polo Team.
Became President when Secretary of the Ascot Authority and Clerk of the Course.
Capt the Hon Sir Nicolas Beaumont 1970 – 1994
A very strong supporter of the club, he was Clerk of the Course at Ascot Racecourse for 25 years.
Brig D V Erskine-Crum CBE 1995 – 2006
Chief Executive of Ascot for 13 years and oversaw the development of new Ascot Grandstand.
Ronnie J Wilkie LVO, SB St.J, FBIFM 2007 – 2009
A senior Director at consultancy Booz & Company , he became Chief Operations Officer at Ascot Racecourse from 2002 to 2010 seeing through the redevelopment of Ascot Racecourse. A very keen supporter of the club, he now undertakes consultancy in several businesses and sporting organisations.
Charles Barnett 2010 – 2015
Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse from 2007 to 2015. He read law at Oxford and is a qualified solicitor. He has also been CEO at Haydock, Chester, Cartmel and Aintree.
Guy Henderson 2015 –
Our 14th President is the new Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse. He was a partner at the global law firm Allen & Overy, and previously Chairman of Wincanton Racecourse as well as being a racehorse owner.