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Captain Waterlow Fox and Mrs A M Nicholson
(By Steve Tillotson with additional info from Lyall Payne, Bletchley Hall Afghan hounds NZ,
Mary Thompson (Chair) and Clare Simpson of the Sutton Courtenay Local History Society
and Bridgette Burrows - great granddaughter of Captain Fox )

Captain Fox at Maiden Erleigh, early 1920's, PHOTO Capt. T S Waterlow Fox Wyke Afghan hounds UK

We wish to express our appreciation to Mesdames Mary Thompson (Chair) and Clare Simpson of the Sutton Courtenay Local History Society who kindly gave us permission to publish photos and other information from SCLHS archives. We also wish to thank Bridgette Burrows who is the great-granddaughter of Captain Fox for giving us permission to publish family photos.

Captain Waterlow Fox was born Thomas Sydney Waterlow Fox, son of Edmund Fox, a Jeweler in Canterbury (Kent, UK) . After completing a period of military service the Captain purchased a property ("The Lodge") in Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire, England, and opened a school for boys preparing them for Army/University. The Captain also purchased several nearby cottages, used as dormitories for the school and (a later purchase) a large hall (The Norman Hall).

Captain Fox married Jessie Hay Fox and they had a daughter (Beryl Innes May Waterlow Fox) who was born at Sutton Courtenay. Beryl Fox married Noel Burrows and they had a son (Ken) and a daughter (Jill). Beryl Fox/Burrows daughter Bridgette has kindly allowed us to include some of her family photographs in this article

Capt., Mrs Fox wedding announcement 22nd September 1906

Capt., Mrs Fox (left), Daughter Beryl and Son-in-law Noel (right), Marriage Announcement Beryl Burrows Wyke Afghan hounds UK

Bridgette's grandmother (Beryl) with two Afghan hounds at the Kennel Club
Dog Show held at Crystal Palace (London) in 1928,, PHOTO  Beryl  Fox Wyke Afghan hounds UK

2. THE CAPTAINS NAME? Capt. Waterlow Fox Wyke Afghan hounds UK Signature HEIGHT=205

Afghan hound breed history books usually refer to the Captain as Captain Waterlow Fox, or Captain Waterlow-Fox (with a hyphen). We note that when he entered his Kerry Blue terrier at Crufts in 1925 his name is printed in the show catalogue as Capt. T.S. Waterlow-Fox (hyphenated). We show another scan of his actual signature in the 1920's when he filled in the school details for Courtenay Lodge, where he signed himself T.S.W. Fox (hard to discern whether that is a hyphen or a speedily written period between the end name components). In The Dog World Annual" for 1930 he placed a photo-advert of his Afghan hound Champion Taj Mahip Of Kaf in which he states "in the kennels of Captain T S Waterlow Fox, Sutton Courtenay, Berks". Clare Simpson (SCLHS) informs us that in the editorial and articles they call him Captain Fox and that was also how he was called in the parish council minutes..

The following information about Courtenay Lodge School 1905 - 1932 is an extract taken from a presentation given by Clare Simpson (SCLHS) on 26th January 2016 -

(begin extract)
"Courtenay Lodge School was a private school for boys, which attracted many of its pupils from abroad as it could offer an all year round education. In its first years it mainly prepared boys for the Army, but after the First World War it concentrated more on getting pupils into Oxford and Cambridge".

"The school was run by Captain Thomas Waterlow Fox and his wife. They gradually bought several of the cottages in Church Street, to use as dormitories. They purchased the Norman Hall in 1920 and 30 acres of land at the back to use as playing fields. They played sport against several of the Oxford Colleges and regularly won matches."

"A comment from the school magazine: "There was created amongst us the spirit of self-denial to undergo hard and incessant training, which brought us out on cold mornings in the winter to practice particular movements until we got them absolutely right, and the spirit of resolution and fearlessness which enabled us very frequently to beat teams vastly superior to ourselves in weight and experience."
(end extract)

Advert for Courtenay Lodge School 1921,Advert for Courtenay Lodge 1921

The Norman Hall is on the other side of the road from Courtenay Lodge. Captain Fox bought it in 1920, but sold it and Courtenay Lodge in 1932 when he moved the school to a bigger building near Reading, called Maiden Erlegh. Captain Fox was Headmaster at Maiden Erlegh School near Reading in Berkshire for the years (at least) 1940/41 through to 1946, (in 40/41 there was a national survey of land use for food production potential and 'the school's headmaster Captain Fox was running nearly 100 chickens on "The Old Potato Patch"!). In 1946 he is still listed as headmaster in the phone book for that year. He allowed Maiden Erlegh School to be used every year for a fundraising fete.

Our earliest information about the Captain's involvement in dogdom, starts in 1924 when the Captain (as President) along with Miss Evelyn Denyer of Kaf Afghan hounds (as Secretary) and Miss Clara Bowring of Larkbeare Afghan hounds (as Treasurer) founded the Afghan Hound club - The first Afghan hound breed club in the world, which drew up the first Afghan hound breed standard in December of 1924.

We next find the Captain at Crufts in February 1925 exhibiting a Kerry Blue Terrier puppy (dog) he owned - Boggy Fog of Courtenay, Born 27 March 1924 bred by Mrs. Francis Brennan who lived close by at Pangbourne Rectory in Berkshire. A note on Kerry Blue history - Mrs Brennan bred the first female Kerry Blue (Festive Bells) to become a champion. Kerry Blues were recognized by the KC and first exhibited at Crufts in 1922. So Captain Waterlow-Fox was one of the early enthusiasts in that breed as well as Afghan hounds. WKYE Afghan Hounds, Waterlow-Fox and/or Mrs  A M Nicholson

Clare Simpson (SCLHS) uncovered some additional information about the Captain's involvement with dogs when she went to the Berkshire Records Office (in Reading) as Sutton Courtenay was in Berkshire till 1974 to do some research for her talk on the school. They had a number of documents and there was one relating to the kennels, which was an advert. Clare informs us that the advert states - " Kerry blue terrier, Cocker spaniels, Bedlington terriers, Afghan hounds, dogs or puppies can be seen anytime but the manager would prefer an intending visitor to drop a card beforehand, to ensure the dogs are not out at exercise".

Coincidentally, shortly after Clare informed us about the above advert we found an article dated 1926 published in the illustrated magazine "Eve". A copy of the first page is shown below. Most of the information and photos of Afghans is already known to us, and we will mention the dogs later in this article KAF Afghan Hounds, ADVERT 1926 HEIGHT=


In studying the breeding record of the Wyke kennel (see next page) we discovered that a Mrs A.M. Nicholson is listed as the breeder, instead of the expected Capt. Fox. Noting that earlier reference to Capt. Fox's Kerry Blue Terrier (item 3 above), and that the dog's name carried a kennel name "of Courtenay" (the village Capt. Fox lived in) this gave us a clue that maybe Capt. Fox was not the breeder behind the Wyke affix? We found a show result from 1925 for a Pekingese dog registered with the Wyke affix, owned and bred by a Mrs A M Nicholson. We believe we have identified this lady, she lived in the East Ridings of Yorkshire, close to a town named "Wyke". WKYE Afghan Hounds, Waterlow-Fox and/or Mrs  A M Nicholson

We have since found another news archive from 1929 that appears to support our suggestion that Mrs Nicholson was behind the kennel name Wyke, see below scan - WYKE Afghans hounds advert

The breed history books tell us nothing about Mrs A.M. Nicholson. She is mentioned in Margaret Niblock's book "The Afghan Hound, A Definitive Study" (page 111) , but simply as "one of the pioneer breeders in the 1920's". Study of the kennels breeding (see next page) reveals that Capt. Fox never bred a litter of Afghan hounds using the name of Wyke. Every Afghan hound carrying that kennel affix of Wyke was bred by Mrs A M Nicholson. We were surprised with this discovery, because the breed books consistently state that Capt. Fox was the breeder of the Wyke Afghan hounds, Although we were initially surprised, such a situation is not so unusual, many breeders in the past have used other breeders kennel affix's or allowed other so use their affix. However, we have been unable to establish the details of any arrangement between Capt. Fox and Mrs Nicholson on this matter. It seems apparent though. that Capt. Fox and Mrs Nicholson worked together as a team. Our conjecture is that Capt. Fox, perhaps, provided the kenneling and breeding facilities, and helped with the care and management of the dogs.

We also note that Capt. Fox is shown as the registered breeder of two "Kaf" Afghan hounds (Kaf being the kennel affix of Miss Evelyn Denyer, see next page), and is another example of a breeder allowing another person to use/share their kennel name. Following her marriage to Mr. Barton, Miss Denyer transferred ownership of all her "Kaf" Afghan hounds to Captain Fox. She left England on 13 January 1927 for the Malay State where her husband was employed as a manager at a rubber plantation. We note that Miss Denyer's hounds were already resident at Sutton Courtenay prior to the formal transfer of ownership. Captain Fox's Sutton Courtenay premises seem to have been the physical home of the Kaf hounds (just like with Mrs Nicholson's Wyke hounds), and we note that Miss Denyer's address, ever after marriage, and as given in dog show catalogues, was - Courtenay Lodge.

Students of the breed will recognize the kennel names "Bell-Murray" and 'Ghazni" the former owned by Major Bell-Murray, in close association with Jean Manson ("Cove" Kennel), and the latter owned by Major and Mrs Mary Amps. These two kennels (Bell Murray and Ghazni) were the two primary kennels that introduced the breed to the western world, Bell-Murray and their group of imported hounds returned to the UK from Afghanistan/India in 1921, and the Amps and their group of imported hounds returned from Afghanistan/India to the UK in 1925. The competition between the two kennels eventually culminated in an all-out public relations battle, played out in 1927 in the UK's national press and specialist canine newspapers. Basically each kennel claimed its type, and only its type was the"true" Afghan hound type. Capt. Fox and Evelyn Denyer bred only the Bell-Murray type of Afghan hound,

The Fish Restaurant/pub in Appleford Rd, Sutton Courtenay is where Asra of Ghazni was born in 1928. Mr. Taylor and wife raised this Ghazni litter (and had other Ghazni hounds there also). If you Google maps The Fish and look at the map presented by Google, you can use your mouse to walk down the street (10 meters) and the road turns the corner and becomes Church St. Number 12 is on the left about 30 meters along and you can see Courtenay Lodge on the left hand side. It seems quite likely that when the Ghazni dogs at The Fish howled in earnest - that the Bell-Murray hounds of Captain Fox/Evelyn Denyer howled in return with equal gusto. They were after all - pretty much straight across the fence from each other! Mr. Taylor with Ghazni puppies The Fish Pub, Courtenay Lodge School, Sutton Courtenay 1930

Asra of Ghazni was exported to Q A Shaw Mckean's kennel in Connecticut, USA. Taj Mahip Of Kaf, bred by Miss Denyer, and later owned by Captain Fox was the grandfather of Ku-Mari of Kaf who sired the litter brothers Badshah and Tufan of Ainsdart, both of whom were also exported to the USA. Badshah went to Q A Shaw Mckean, and Tufan went to Amelia and Elizabeth white in New Mexico. These three Afghan hounds - Asra, Badshah and, Tufan are amongst the small nucleus of hounds that provided the foundations for the breed in the USA. And we should also note that the KAF Afghan hounds of Miss Denyer were very important founding elements to the breed, and of course, their home was - Sutton Courtenay.

Related content:

Sutton Courtenay Local History Society
Mrs Couper (Garrymhor)
Miss Evelyn Denyer "Kaf" Afghan Hounds UK. (Author Lyall Payne
Bletchley Hall Afghan hounds New Zealand) October 2013

The Afghan Hound Is An Ancient Breed, by Evelyn Denyer 1925
The Dog Of The Mystic East, by Jean Manson, 1929
Next Wkye Afghan hounds page
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