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Frank MacRae

Frank was born in 1900 in Banniskirk, Caithness, in a cottage built by his grandfather.


One of ten children, he first shot a gun at the age of 14, hitting an upturned bucket with a shotgun left by his brother when he emigrated to Canada.


His early years were often spent truanting from school and poaching grouse, partridges, pigeons, rabbits and, in the winter snows, tracking hares from the turnip fields to their lairs in the uplands.


Other than the occasion when he accidentally shot his mother's cat, his hunting trips were usually successful.


After returning to the Bank of Scotland, following service in the first world war, Frank was tempted by an advert in "The Scotsman" to apply for a post in London with the Royal Bank of Canada. He moved to London in late 1920, later joining the National City Bank of New York.


London had no handy possibilities for game shooting but one day, walking through the race- course area at Alexandra Palace he saw the sign "To the Rifle Range".


On following the sign and speaking to two members he was informed that target shooting took place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons.


So started his career in rifle shooting in the Society of Miniature Rifle Club, later to become the Small- Bore Rifle Association.


With some colleagues from the bank Frank formed the City Bank Rifle Club which went on to win the London Banks Cup and the Shortis Cup. And so to the MacRae Handicap...


On one occasion the City Bank Rifle Club won, on handicap, the City of London Rifle League Cup.


Frank team's handicap, based on team average, was 18 points. The team scored 592 out of 600 so the final score was 610, a score that no team with a handicap less than 11 could possibly beat.


In the furore that followed Frank pointed out that if the handicap system he had devised had been used it would be possible for any team showing a better improvement over average than City Bank to win.


In due course the City of London League drew up handicap charts using Frank's formula and the National Small- bore Rifle Association, with his collaboration, prepared and published the charts available on this site.


These were, at the time, considered the fairest method so far devised. They are still used today.


Franks achievements include:


  • individual champion in the City of London Rifle League

  • Surry and Middlesex County open meeting Championships

  • Member of the Scottish International Team

  • County Championships for Middlesex, London and Surrey


Frank served as Vice- Treasurer and Vice- President of the National Small- bore Rifle Association and President of the City of London Rifle League.

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