Reginald F Corwen

By Geoffrey Butler
EBUQ June 1984

All bridge players of long standing will be sad to read of the recent death of Reg Corwen, former Chairman and President of the English Bridge Union, and several times captain of the British Bridge League’s team at European and World level.

As Chairman of the Selection Committee, I had much to do in bringing him from West Yorkshire bridge into prominence on a world wide scale when my committee first appointed him as captain of the team to challenge the Americans who had continuously held the Bermuda Bowl from the first year after its inception. The event was precluded by a comprehensive win in the European Championships in Montreux in the summer of 1954, and the team unanimously requested the same captain (Reg Corwen) for the Bermuda Bowl contest which followed in January 1955 and resulted in a convincing win for our one and only Bermuda Bowl success. Reg held the Chairmanship of the EBU for twenty six years until his retirement in October 1957. To mark the occasion a subscription was raised and Reg generously passed it over to provide a bed in the Royal Marsdon Hospital for children suffering from cancer.

Reg was elected President of the English Bridge Union, a post he filled with energy until ill-health forced his retirement in 1981. It is perhaps a comment on his unique status in the game that no successor has to date been appointed.

He was above all an excellent captain, matching his players shrewdly against his opponents in season after season and never lost a challenge match. I went with him on many of his forays when he was nearly always accompanied by his charming wife Rene to whom we all extend our sympathy. As a great writer said on another occasion “We shall ne’er see his like again.”

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1952

Tollemache Cup winner: 1950