A few words about our first Club President

We are indebted to Martin Edmonds for the following information about his great grandfather, Hilton Jason Saunders, who was the first President of The Rotary Club of Twickenham.

H Jason Saunders

Hilton Jason Saunders was born in 1853 near Dunstable where his ancestors had farmed for many years.

He married Sarah Maria Webb in 1878 and they had 10 children.

Hilton began his working life as a schoolmaster. He later became a Solicitor's clerk and ran a tobacconists in Brentford, Middlesex, where he was also deputy clerk to two burial boards and Registrar of Marriages.

In 1888, he initiated the Royal Alfred Lodge and in 1920 was one of the unsuccessful petitioners for an Association Football Lodge.

He became Clerk to the newly formed Twickenham UDC in 1897 and later became Town Clerk of the new Twickenham Borough.

In the First World War he was Honorary Secretary to the local War Distress Fund and Secretary of the Belgian Relief Committee. Later he was recognised by the Belgian Government with an order believed to be the Freedom of Bruges.

He was one of the original shareholders of Brentford Football Club and in the mid 1920s he was Chairman of the club when they were playing in the First Division.

He was one of the founding members of The Rotary Club of Twickenham and became the first President of the club on its inauguration in 1925.

On his retirement he moved to Folkestone and became involved in Folkestone Football Club.

He died in Teddington in 1941 at the age of 88 years.