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  • Writer's picturePete Berthoud

The Marine Jockey Commission (M.J.C.) & Pepys Games

The Marine Jockey Commission was formed by Merchant Seamen held as Prisoners of War in Germany during World War II. They provided sporting entertainment for their fellow prisoners and raised over £3,000 for the British Red Cross whilst still in captivity.

Their most popular game involved an elaborate indoor version of Horse Racing and the Camp Race Nights attracted enormous crowds of fellow prisoners and turned a good profit.

In a nod to their naval origins and equine interests the P.O.W.s had wanted to call themselves the "Marine Jockey Club" but self-organised "Clubs" were forbidden under Nazi rule so the grander word "Commission" was substituted.

In 1946 Pepys began publishing the games that had been invented and enjoyed by the now repatriated former Prisoners of War. Putting themselves on a commercial footing, the M.J.C. became Marine Jockey Commissions Ltd. in 1945.

Early sets of two Pepys games, Horse Racing Tonight and Horsie Horsie, contained copies of this M.J.C. pamphlet published by "Pepys Games London & Glasgow".

The Marine Jockey Commission (M.J.C.) Brochure - Published circa 1946

The Marine Jockey Commission (M.J.C.) Brochure - Published circa 1946

Click below to open an expanded view of every page.

Pepys and MJC produced three games together: Horsie Horsie, Horse Racing To-night and Five-A-Side.

It is possible that M.J.C. were also involved with Pepys' Home Cricket but they are uncredited on the box and rules.


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