SHEFFIELD Chess History



Robert Walker Meek

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Made in Sheffield




03/04/1900, Leeds


29/04/1900, All Saints, Leeds


1948, Sheffield


27/04/1948, City Road, Sheffield


Robert Walker Meek is the “Meek” after whom the Sheffield & District Chess Association’s Batley-Meek Memorial Trophy is named.


Non-Chess Life


Robert Walker Meek’s parents were William Meek (born 1874/75, Carlisle) and Mary Meek (born 1870/71).  This couple had married in 1896/97, and by 1911 had had three children:


Robert Walker Meek

born 03/04/1900, Leeds

Jeannie Meek

born 1902/03, Aberdeen

James Arthur Meek

born 1906/07, Cheltenham


Entry 276 in a baptism register of All Souls, Leeds, records the baptism there on 29/04/1900, by Hugh Bright, assistant curate, of Robert Walker Meek, son of William Meek, tuner/turner, and Mary Meek of 33 Garton Mount, Leeds.  The date of birth was given as 03/04/1900.


The family had clearly moved around the United Kingdom, probably in connection with William Meek’s employment.  Parents William and Mary were both born in Carlisle in the first half of the 1870s.  Their first child was born in Leeds in 1900.  Their second child was born in Aberdeen in 1903/04.  Their third child was born in Cheltenham in 1906/07.


The 1911 census found the parents and three children living at 21 Roman Road, Cheltenham.  Father William described his own occupation as “mechanical piano player expert”.  At this stage 11-year-old Robert Walker Meek was at school.


Our man had seemingly come to live in Sheffield by 1926, as the marriage of Robert W. Meek to Margaret T. McCulloch (born 24/07/1903) was registered in the fourth quarter of 1926, at Sheffield.


In 1939 Robert, who worked as or for some sort of electrical business, and wife Margaret lived at 17 Crowder Crescent, in the Southey Green area of Sheffield.




The death of Robert Walker Meek, aged 48, occurred in April 1948.  On 27/04/1948, he was cremated at City Road, Cemetery, Sheffield.




“R. W. Meek” played frequently, usually on board 10, for Sheffield in the 1933-34 Woodhouse Cup competition.


More data are no immediately to hand, but he appears to have been an established figure on the Sheffield chess scene in the decade before World War II.


When, after the war, a third division of the “league” was introduced, and a trophy needed to be furnished, the problem arose as what to call the new trophy.  One school of thought supported commemoration of William Batley.  Another school of thought supported commemoration of Robert Walker Meek.  A compromise led to the name “Batley-Meek Memorial Trophy”.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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