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Happy Valley Hash House Harriers

The History of the Happy Valley Hash

Cyprus can lay claim to being more than just the birthplace of Aphrodite, because it was here in 1967 that the British Forces formed arguably the first post-war hash in the Middle East, if not in Europe as well. The joy of of birth was first felt in Dhekelia and shortly thereafter in Episkopi too. Other hashes sprung up across the island and to a degree all followed the same pattern. In the Western Sovereign Base Area, Episkopi Hash opted to limit membership to Gentlemen Only as indeed did the Mother-Hash in 1938. Hashing was a sport for chaps, By Gad! Women on the hash? Unheard of - hurrumph!
In 2002 the Garrison Commander Episkopi ‘Tug’ Wilson proposed that a new Hash be established in Happy Valley and it should include females, thank goodness.
The first run was on 31 st October 2002 when 7 men and 2 ladies met in Happy Valley and set the ball rolling. 
They were.........Tug Wilson, Trevor Berry, Jon Kille, Paul Hall, Kevin Joyce, Moira Rowlands, Rebecca Lloyd, Noel Trimble and Will Craig.

Since then HVH has gone from strength to strength and frequently fields 35 – 40 hashers every Thursday afternoon, summer and winter. 

The Worldwide History of Hashing

The Hash House Harriers as we know it today was founded in Malaya (now Malaysia) by Albert Stephen Ignatius Gispert, an English chartered accountant. It was sometime during 1937 when Gispert (or simply "G" as he was known to his friends) acquired a taste for the paper chase with the Springgit Harriers in Malacca (also in Malaya). Shortly after being transferred by his accounting firm to Kuala Lumpur he gathered together a number of fellow expatriate businessmen to form a harrier group. The first run was held  in December 1938 and the founding members included Cecil H. Lee, Frederick "Horse" Thomson, Eric Galvin, H.M. Doig, and Ronald "Torch" Bennet.

The group's name came about primarily because local authorities required legal registration of the club. While the "Kuala Lumpur Harriers" would have appeared a logical choice, "G" decided instead to use the nickname for the Selangor Club where a number of the local harriers both lived and took their meals. It seems that due to its lackluster food, the dining room was commonly referred to as the "Hash House."


Hashing in Kuala Lumpur was suspended during the World War II occupation by Japanese forces, but then reestablished after peace returned. It wasn't long before the hash began slowly spreading around the world. Former members of the original Hash House Harriers started a hash in 1947 near Milan, Italy, but it wasn't until 1962 that the next group was formed in Singapore. The Singapore Hash was gradually followed by others until in 1973 there were approximately 35 hashes in 14 countries. 
Also in 1938 "G" had joined the part-time militia, the Federated Malay States Volunteer Reservists, reaching the rank of Captain. He was on leave in Australia when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. Although his wife and son had safely returned to England by then "G" rushed back to Malaya and was seconded to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders regiment as a Second Lieutenant. He was killed in action in the Battle of Singapore on 11th February, 1942. The family memorial is in Brockley Cemetery, South London. Take a beer for him if you visit.