Later this month Wales will meet the Barbarians and it is timely to recall the first meeting between the two teams on 17 April, 1915, which was played at Cardiff Arms Park to raise recruits and money for the war effort.
LEST WE FORGET – WELSH RUGBY INTERNATIONALS WHO FELL IN THE WORLD WARS
Born: 8 May, 1863, in Ruabon
KIA: 24 January, 1915, in Battle of Dogger Bank
Wales: 9 caps, 1884-1887
Born: 14 March, 1891, in Newport
KIA: 31 July, 1915, in Hooge, Flanders
Wales: 3 caps, 1912-1913
Born: 15 June, 1856, Llowes
KIA: 25 September, 1915, at Battle of Loos
Wales: 1 cap, 1881
Born: 24 February, 1878, in Newport
KIA: 14 March 1916, Cambrai
Wales: Four caps, 1900-1901
Born: 14 October, 1883, Ferndale
KIA: 7 July, 1916, Mametz Wood
Wales: 4 caps, 1906-1909.
Born: 3 January, 1882, in Cardiff
Died of Wounds: 12 July, 1916, at Corbie
Wales: 17 caps, 1906-1911
Born: 14 March 1886, in Maesteg
KIA: 14 July 1916 at Bazentin Ridge, France
Wales: 4 caps, 1914
Born: 30 September, 1882, in Newport
Died of Wounds: 14 August, 1916, casualty clearing station, Chocques
Wales: 14 caps, 1904-1910
Born: 28 July, 1890, Pentyrch
KIA: 3 September 1916, at Ancre
Wales: 2 caps, 1912-1913
Born: 4 January, 1891, in Pontardawe
KIA: 2 April, 1917 Ypres, France
Wales: 2 caps, 1912-1913
Born: 10 October, 1882, in Cardiff
KIA: 28 August, 1917, at Wieltje
Wales: 1 cap, 1906
Born: 28 January, 1889, in Bath
KIA: 14 December, 1917, in Arras
Wales: 6 caps, 1908-1910.
Born: 9 May, 1891, in Briton Ferry
Died of Wounds: 1 December, 1918, in a clearing station weeks after the armistice
Wales: 5 caps, 1912-1913
Born: December, 1881 in Margam
Died of Wounds: 15 December, 1921 in Cardiff
Wales: 6 caps, 1906-10
Born: 12 September, 1912, in Pontypridd
KIA: 24 December, 1941 over Brittany
Wales: 1 cap, 1934
Born: 12 September, 1911, in Newport
KIA: 8 March, 1943, in Tunisia
Wales: 1 cap, 1934
Born: 16 March, 1906, in Cardiff
KIA: 5 August, 1944 in Montchamp
Wales: 2 caps, 1933
1915 – WALES 10 BARBARIANS 26
The first meeting of Wales and the Barbarians was on the Cardiff Arms Park on 17 April, 1915 and was termed as a Military International between ‘Wales and England’. It was, however, a Barbarians team that took the field with two Irishmen, one Welshman and 12 English players.
While Wales used eight forwards, the Barbarians used seven and played an extra back! It was the way they had in the Baa-Baas even that far back. The match was arranged to boost recruitment for the Welsh Guards and raise money for the War effort. It succeeded on both counts as stirring appeals during the interval saw many Welshmen enlist and over £200 being raised.
As for the match – in which Wales did not award caps – the fiery forward, Rev Alban Davies, already an Army Chaplain, was the home captain. He led a side made up of 13 capped players and another, Tom Parker of Swansea, who went on to gain 14 caps. The lone player never to win a cap was a Cardiff forward Dan Callan (a Munster Fusilier), who played when Tom Williams of Swansea withdrew.
Joseph Quinn, the Blackrock wing, who had won 15 caps for Ireland, scored two tries and soon afterwards earned a Military Cross. He had scored seven tries in his last five international appearances.
The Welshman who appeared in the Barbarians side was actually a South African international! It was Joseph Edward Crawshay Partridge, known as ‘The Bird’. Born in Abergavenny in 1879, he went to Dulwich College and played for Newport, Blackheath (skipper in 1906) and London Welsh.
Partridge was a lieutenant in the Welsh Regiment in the Boer War and joined Pretoria Harlequins then the Transvaal and was capped by the Springboks against the British Team of 1903. Later a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, he was one of the founding fathers of the Army Rugby Union. He died in Abergavenny in 1965 at the age of 86 and his cap was presented to the Regimental Museum.
The referee was Bill Douglas of Cardiff, a Barry man, who won four caps for Wales in 1886 and 1887. He had refereed four international matches from 1891-1903 and was the first WRU referee to control a game in which Wales played, thus acting as a forerunner to Nigel Owens later this month.
Wales: Robert Williams (Cardiff); Trooper Ivor Davies (Llanelly / 2nd Dragoon Guards), Lance Corp. William Evans (Llwynypia / 13th Battalion Welsh Regiment), Corp Jack Wetter (Newport / 8th South Wales Borderers), Trooper Bryn Lewis (Swansea / Glamorgan Yeomanry); Lieut Clem Lewis (Cardiff / Cardiff City Battalion), Tommy Vile (Newport); Rev. Alban Davies (Swansea / Chaplain 6th Welsh Regiment), Lieut. Edgar Morgan (Swansea / South Wales Borderers), Percy Jones (Pontypool), Thomas Lloyd (Neath), Private Dan Callan (Cardiff / Munster Fusiliers), Corp. Dai Watts (Maesteg / Shropshire Light Infantry), Corporal Billy Jenkins (Cardiff / West Kents), Tom Parker (Swansea)
Scorers: Tries: B Lewis, I T Davies; DG: Clem Lewis
Barbarians: Lieut. George Wood (Cambridge / Gloucestershire Regiment); Lieut. John Minch * (Ireland / R.A.M.C), Lieut. Joseph Quinn * (Ireland / R.A.M.C), Lieut. John Birkett * (R.G.A.), Lieut. Edgar Mobbs * (Northampton / 7th Northamptonshire Regiment), Lieut. G. E. Butcher (Devon County); Private H. L. Higgins (Old Edwardians / Warwickshire Regiment), Private Arthur Horan, (Blackheath / Honorary Artillery Company); Captain Geoffrey Roberts * (Harlequins / 8th Devonshire Regiment), Capt. Joseph Partridge * (Blackheath / Welsh Regiment), Arthur Bull * (Northampton), A J Osbourne (Bedford), Private M T Atkinson (London Welsh / 16th Middlesex), Private G. E. Kidman, (O.C.T / Guy’s Hospital)
Scorers: Tries: J Quinn 2, A Bull, J Minch, A Horan, J Birkett; Cons: E Butcher 2, G Roberts 2.
Referee: W M Douglas (Cardiff)