The Rugby History Society

Return to Articles



Frank Jacob 'Deke' Gard


The Gard family originally emigrated from Bideford, Devon to America in the early 17th century. Frank was born on 27th March 1892 in Tremont City , Ohio the eldest child of Emerson Earl Gard and Laura E. (nee Shanley). His father held various jobs, farmer, grocer, a wholesale and retail meat business in Ohio before moving to California in 1905 and starting Orange growing. He became President of Glendora Heights Orange & Lemon Association.; Vice-President of First National Bank, Glendora ; First Natl. Savings Bank; Glendora Irrigating Co. Methodist.



Above the Gard house on Grand Avenue . Built by his father in 1910. Image courtesy of Glendora Library.


Above the Gard House (left of picture) on Grand Avenue, Glendora, California in 1955 (left) and 2010 (right) Photos courtesy of the Gledora Historical Society


Frank was educated at Citrus Union High School , Glendora , graduating in 1910, and Stanford University from 1910 to 1914, graduating with an AB. He was captain of the 1914 American Football and rugby sides. He was affectionately known as "Deke" or "Deacon"


Above t




The Stanford Freshman Footballers that played California Cardinals on 15th October 1910 at Palo Alto (L-R): Presley (Coach), Mitchell, Olmstead, Watkins, Kauffman, Clover, Barman, Brown, “Dad” Moulton (Trainer), Gard, Knight (sub), Murray (sub), Gilmore (sub), Blas (sub), Boulware, Henry (sub), Tilton, Hall, Geissler (captain), Harrogan, Reeves, Darsie.

Above the 1911 Stanford Freshmen rugby team. 1. Watkins, 2. Boulware, 3. Burbank , 4. Brown, 5. Darsie, 6. Presley, 7. Kauffman, 8. Clover, 9. Reeves, 10. Barman, 11. Geissler, 12. Hall, 13. Gard, 14. Tilton, 15. Harrigan.



Above the 1911-12 Stanford University side. Frank Gard no.10.


Above the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at Stanford University in 1912. Back Row (L-R): Kilpatrick, Rounds, Schaupp, Wright, J.L.Arrell. Second Row: Hayes, Robertson, M.Rounds, Krost, Gehrman, C.Knight, Third Row: Nimmo, H.Knight, Bickel, Stoll, D.Arrell. Front Row: Smith, D’Journal, Gard, Burns.


Above Frank’s chapter at Stanford, the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at Stanford University.


Above Frank Gard at Stanford in 1912


Above the USA side that played Australia in 1912. Back Row (L-R) Guerin (Olympic RFC) (not used), Robert Howe Fletcher (University of California) (not used), William Norris King (University of California), Chris Martin Momson (Santa Clara University), Karl Ludwig Schaupp (Stanford University), Frank Jacob Gard (Stanford University), James Lee Arrell (Olympic RFC), Warren L. Smith (Stanford University), Chester Arthur Allen (University of California), Eugene Francis Kern (Stanford University) (not used), Glasscock (Olympic RFC) (not used), Phillip Frederick Harrigan (Stanford University). Front Row: Charles Allphin Austin (Olympic RFC), Augustus Mudge Sanborn (Stanford University), Joseph Louis McKim (University of California), Stirling Benjamin Peart (University of California), Laird Monterey Morris (University of California) (Captain), Benjamin Edward Erb (Stanford University), Ralph Matthews Noble (Stanford University), Louis Cass (Stanford University) (not used) , Bertram Risling (Stanford University) (not used).



In the match against Australia the USA were beating the Olympic Champions 8-6 with five minutes to go before Australia finally won 12-8.


Above Frank Gard in 1913


Above the 1913 Stanford University side. Frank Gard  no.6. 1 Maloney (Trainer), 2 Partridge, 3 Darsie, 4 Burbank (Manager), 5 Smith, 6 Gard. 7 Urban, 8 Corbett, 9 Harrigan, 10 Hall, 11 Presley (Coach), 12 Sanborn, 13 Schaupp, 14 Cass, 15 Kern, 16 Erb, 17 Dingley, 18 Risling, 19 Noble.



He played rugby for All America from 1911 to 1913.  He captained the United States in their first two matches v Australia on 16th November 1912, at Berkeley , and on 15th November 1913 against New Zealand , at Berkeley . He played flanker in both matches.


Above the USA side that played New Zealand in 1913. Back Row (L-R): Daniel Brendon Carroll (Stanford University), Clark Lewis Boulware (not used) (Stanford University), Haley (not used) (Stanford University), William Pettigrew Darsie (Stanford University), Herbert Rowell Stolz (replacement) (Stanford University), Brant (?) or Flemming (not used) (?), Joseph C. Urban (Stanford University), A.Knowles (replacement) (?), Charles A. Austin (Olympic), G.Voight (Santa Clara University), Frank Jacob Gard (Captain) (Stanford University), Roland Roy Blase (Stanford University), William Norris King (University of California). Front Row: Forbes (not used) (?), Stirling Benjamin Peart ( University of California ), Joseph Louis McKim ( University of California ), G.Glasscock (Olympic), E.B.Hall ( Stanford University ), Benjamin Edward Erb (not used) ( Stanford University ), Louis Cass ( Stanford University ), Mowatt Merrill Mitchell (Los Angeles Athletic Club), Quill (not used) ( Santa Clara ), J.A.Ramage ( Santa Clara University ).

Ten thousand spectators saw both matches at California Field, Berkeley , California . Australia won the first match 12-8 and New Zealand the second 51-3.


Above New York Tribune 16th November 1913


Above the 1914 Leland Stanford Junior University . 1. Watkins, 2. Blase, 3. Maloney, 4. Gard, 5. Clover, 6. Wilcox, 7. Urban, 8. Wines, 9. Austin , 10. Carroll, 11. Brown, 12. Lachmund, 13. Davidson, 14. Darsie, 15. Peck, 16. Andrews, 17. Erb, 18. Hall, 19. Reeves, 20. Tilton.


He graduated from Stanford University in 1914 with a degree in Chemistry.


Frank enlisted in the US Army at Glendora , California on 13th June 1917. He received honourable mention from his superior officers for the rapid strides he made in training camp at Presidio, San Francisco . Ten straight shots to the bulls-eye were made by Gard in one minute and twenty seconds. This was more remarkable as it was necessary to reload with each shot. He was made a First Lieutenant in the 362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Division, known as “The Wildwest Division” as they were recruited from the eight Western States in 1917.


Above Frank Gard’s draft card


Above a panoramic view of Camp Lewis




Above Frank Gard in uniform


The 362nd Infantry left Camp Lewis , Washington at four o’clock on the afternoon of 23rd June 1918 by train to New York City . They sailed from New York aboard the Empress of Russia on 6th July 1917 in the largest convoy that up to that time had crossed the Atlantic .


Above the 362nd board the Empress of Russia in New York on 6th July 1917


Above the Empress of Russia


Nine days later they arrived in Liverpool . The next day they marched through the streets of Liverpool and on to Knotty Ash Rest Camp. They then travelled by train to Southampton and then to Le Havre .


They were quartered in temporary barracks and trained for several weeks and then marched to the front as part of the Meuse-Argonne offensive (also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest ) which was the largest battle ever fought by US troops so far in their history.


On the 26th September 1918, the first American Army took the place of the Second French Army, and began a series of attacks upon the Germans stationed in the broad valley of the River Meuse. The main object of the American attack was the Sedan-Mezieres railway, the principal line of transportation of supplies for the German forces along an important section of the western front. The 91st Division was placed in bivouac in the Foret de Hesse. Their orders were to attack almost due north between Avocourt and Vauquls on September 2.30 in the morning. All the guns of the corps and divisional artillery went into action. As soon as the barrage lifted the soldiers rushed ahead and took the enemy front line trenches at Cheppy Woods. These were found to be deserted by the enemy. The first waves of the division penetrated into the Bols de Cheppy and in spite of the thick forests, full of wire entanglements and wrecked and torn by the bombardments, they reached the German positions at La Neuve Grange Farm and along the Ravin de Lal Fuon.


Above La Neuve Grange Farm from Hill 197.


 Heavy enemy machine-gun fire was encountered at these points. The German machine guns were, however, silenced, and the troops went ahead, taking position after position. The Village of Very was captured after strong resistance. Headquarters were established here after the day’s fighting.


Above no-mans-land in the Argonne


Gard was killed on 27th September 1918 when the 362nd Infantry Regiment moved towards Gesnes. Both officers and men of the 91st complained about the lack of air support in the region. As it was impossible to get aeroplane reconnaissance of the enemy gun positions Gard was one of the men given the job of identifying the enemy positions.


The “History of the 362nd Infantry Regiment” records


GARD, Frank J., 1st Lt.

Killed in action Sept. 27, 1918. Killed either by machine gun or rifle fire while observing machine gun fire during the advance through Gesnes Sept. 29, 1918. Location at time of death, Very 1/20,000 5.2-0.6. Death was instantaneous. Buried Oct. 6, 1918. Map Very 211 5.8-9.8.


Gard is buried at: Plot B Row 33 Grave 24, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery , Romagne , France . This is the largest American military cemetery in Europe .


Above the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery , Romagne , France


Above plan of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery , Romagne , France . Gard is buried at  Plot B Row 33 Grave 24


The Meuse-Argonne offensive lasted from 26th September to 11th November 1918 and involved 1.2 million American troops. There were 117,000 American casualties, 70,000 French and 1000,000 German. The American casualties represented 40% of their total battlefield losses during the war.


Above map of the Meuse-Argonne Region on the Northeast Wall of the Vestibule


The Glendora veterans group, which formed in 1919, was named in his honor and became Frank J. Gard American Legion Post #153.



Above the WWI (and WWII on the other side) memorial at Oakdale Cemetery in Glendora . Gard’s name at the top. Photo courtesy of the Gledora Historical Society


A bronze memorial plaque was also placed at the Citrus High School .



Memorial plaque inside Citrus Union School . Photo courtesy of the Gledora Historical Society.




Above his Service Card


His mother, then living at Route 3, Pasadena , Los Angeles put her name forward for the US World War 1 Mother's Pilgrimage in 1930.  This was organized by the United States Government who compiled a list mothers and widows of deceased soldiers killed in World War I and offered to send them to their loved one's final resting place in Europe . The pilgrimages were not without controversy. The War Department segregated black women from the white, forcing them to travel on separate, but not equal, pilgrimages. The black women endured second-class treatment in the U.S. before experiencing unprecedented freedom in Paris . In addition, a number of citizens protested what were perceived as “luxury” foreign trips at government expense during the depths of the Great Depression. Nevertheless, the trips proceeded as planned. 


Above his sister, Mary Gard, acting at Stanford in 1915


In 1947 his sister, Mary Carolyn Gard Jamieson, donated $10,000 towards Frank J. Gard Post #153 to build a Legion Hall. In April 1966, the building was deeded to the city of Glendora and continues to be used by the Community Services Department. According to Bob Antonoplois, 20-year Post Commander, “The taxes were so high, we couldn’t afford the place. When we gave the building to the city, we reserved the right to continue to meet there.”

Above Frank J. Gard American Legion Post #153 which was Glendora 's first City Hall, police station and fire department, built in 1913. Photo taken in 1958 courtesy of the Gledora Historical Society.


Memorial plaque outside in front of the Frank J. Gard American Legion Post #153. Photo courtesy of the Gledora Library.


Above Membership list of the Frank J. Gard Legion in 1919.


His sister, named her only son Frank Gard Jameson, who also went to Stanford University . He became a prominent Southern California aeronautics industry executive and philanthropist. His 3rd wife was Eva Gabor, the Hungarian-born socialite and actress. He was her 5th and last husband. He died of a heart attack on 16th May 1993 while attending a conference at a Rancho Mirage hotel, he was 68. He was buried at Pacific View Cemetery in Newport Beach . Surviving him were children Jim Jameson of Rancho Santa Fe and Frank Gard Jameson Jr. of Boulder City , Nevada ; two daughters, Joanne Jameson Hunt of Corona del Mar and Mary Gard Jameson of Beverly Hills , and seven grandchildren.



Above Frank Gard Jameson with his final wife Eva Gabor


After Eva Gabor’s death on 4th July 1995 there was a dispute the trustees of her estate.  Gabor set up the trust a year before she died, naming as trustees her stepdaughter, Mary Gard Jameson, and long-time manager, Raymond Katz.


Thank you to


Ryan Price, Glendora Historical Society

Janet Stone, Glendora Library



T.Ben Meldrum. History of the 362nd Infantry Regiment. A.L.Scoville Press. 1920.


© Patrick Casey, 2011
For Permission to reproduce this article please CLICK HERE