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Irish Internationals who Died in World War 2


 

There are eight Irish International rugby players listed by the Commonwealth & War Graves Commission as having died in World War 2. They are

Commander Charles Francis George Thomas Hallaran 21st March 1941.

Royal Navy, HMS Springbank

He was born on 10th June 1897 in Ceylon , the son of Colonel William Hallaran and Mrs. Hallaran and educated at Eastman’s College, RNC Dartmouth, US Portsmouth . He played rugby for the Royal Navy, the Barbarians and Surrey .

His father, who served in the RMC in India also played rugby for Ireland against Wales in 1884 but he played under the name R.O.N. Hall so that his father, who was a clergyman would not know. His father died in World War 1.

He played 15 times for Ireland they were

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

12th Feb 1921

England

Twickenham

27,500

Lost

0(0)-15(3)

26th Feb 1921

Scotland

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Won

9(3)-8(8)

12th Mar 1921

Wales

Balmoral Showgrounds, Belfast

 

Lost

0-6

11th Feb 1922

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Lost

3(3)-12(6)

25th Feb 1922

Scotland

Inverleith, Edinburgh

 

Lost

3(3)-6(0)

11th Mar 1922

Wales

St. Helen’sSwansea

40,000

Lost

5(0)-11(3)

10th Feb 1923

England

Welford Road , Leicester

20,000

Lost

5(0)-23(15)

14th Apr 1923

France

Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes , Paris

20,000

Lost

8(5)-14(6)

26th Jan 1924

France

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

20,000

Won

6(3)-0(0)

9th Feb 1924

England

Ravenhill, Belfast

15,000

Lost

3(3)-14(3)

23rd Feb 1924

Scotland

Inverleith, Edinburgh

 

Lost

8(5)-13(10)

8th Mar 1924

Wales

National Stadium, Cardiff

35,000

Won

13(8)-10(3)

1st Jan 1925

France

Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes , Paris

35,000

Won

9(0)-3(3)

23rd Jan 1926

France

Ravenhill, Belfast

20,000

Won

11(8)-0(0)

13th Feb 1926

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Won

19(6)-15(10)

 

He played ? for the Barbarians.

Above the 1923 Barbarians Easter tour party. Standing (L-R): H.G.Periton, C.F.G.Hallaran, J.D.Clinch, N.Knox, G.C.Parker, J.R.Wheeler, D.J.Malan, F.Spriggs, E.McLaren, G.W.Simpson, R.Armstrong, J.J.V.Van Druten. Seated: J.C.R.Buchanan, H.L.G.Hughes, M.P.Atkinson, H.W.Backhouse, E.de Lissa, T.Lawton, C.Adams, N.A.Clarke, D.Marsden-Jones. On Ground: G.G.Atkins, J.L.F.Steele, D.R.Wheeler, T.G.Wallis, J.C.Seager, D.Drysdale, H.P.Jacob.

 

Above the 1924 Irish side that played Wales . Hallaran is seated extreme right.

 

Charles was engaged to Annita Lindsay Sinclair in May 1923 and married her at St. Bernard’s Parish Church , now Stockbridge Parish Church , Saxe-Coburg Street , Stockbridge, Edinburgh on 25th February 1924. She went on to marry Lieutenant-Commander Hugh Chubb on 1st June 1934.

He got married for the second time to Elizabeth Joyce Philpott, the eldest daughter of Rev. R. G. Philpott of College Precinct, Worcester in London on 3rd May 1934.

On the night of 21st March 1941 a motor-boat came alongside Cdr. Hallaran's ship to take off the pilot. A swell made this boat roll and pitch heavily, and a stoker was thrown overboard between it and the ship's side. He was seen to be in difficulties, and was in danger of being crushed as the swell kept heaving the boat against the ship. Cdr. Hallaran climbed into the boat, jumped into the sea, and swam round to help him. He got the stoker back to the boat, but as he did so was thrown against it. His skull was fractured and he was drowned before he could be got back on board. He was awarded the Albert Medal posthumously.

He was buried at Belfast City Cemetery .

A fellow officer wrote in The Times on 4th September 1941

I crave your indulgence that I may write a word in personal sorrow at the quick and untimely death that claimed by brother officer, Charles Hallaran – I had only known him a few months – short, as many of his friendships go – but in that time I, and all of us had come to rest upon him as the pillar of his ship’s existence. He had a sure sense of affairs and was an utterly loyal senior – a priceless man. In duty inflexible, in pleasure he was warm, and the widespread company of those who mourn him will testify to the gaiety and sunshine of his spirit. His tantrums were great – as tremendous as himself. He had a mighty joy in a row, whether he was right or wrong. What did it matter! all was soon blown over, and once more that slow and attractive smile would take the sting from any words of his. We his messmates miss him. We are leaderless. No greater tribute can we give than to say how hollowly we feel an absence where once, so lately, dwelt, such a massive presence.

 

Above HMS Springbank an Anti-Aircraft ship. Six months later she was part of the Atlantic convoy HG-73 and was hit by the German submarine U-201 and scuttled by HMS Jasmine north-northeast of the Azores .

   

Wing Commander Patrick Bernard Coote 13th April 1941

Royal Air Force, 211 Squadron

He was born on 7th January 1910 in Eton . He was the son of Comdr B.T. Coote, O.B.E, R.N., and. He was educated at Woking County Grammar School .

 

Above Paddy Coote at Woking County Grammar School

 

In 1925 Paddy Coote enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft Apprentice and was stationed at RAF Halton. In 1928 he was awarded the Sir Charles Wakefield Scholarship of £75 for an apprenticeship/cadetship at RAF Cranwell College . In July 1930 he was awarded the Sword of Honour for being the most outstanding student at Cranwell, beating Douglas Bader into second place, and was awarded the Air Ministry prize for aero-nautical engineering after getting the highest marks.  

He was an all round sportsman. In January 1928 he made his first appearance for the RAF Rugby Team against Cambridge University (he also played against the Royal Navy and the Civil Service that season). He also represented RAF Cadet School , Cranwell against Uppingham School in October. In March 1929 he took part in putting the weight at the Service Cadets Athletics match for RAF College Cranwell against the Royal Military Academy , Woolwich and the Royal Military College , Sandhurst at the Aldershot Command Athletic Central Ground. He also played hockey for RAF College Cranwell.


In 1931 he won the RAF Squash Championship and was runner-up the next year (whilst carrying a rugby inflicted injury). In February 1931 he was a member of the RAF Bobsleigh team representing Great Britain in the Gold Cup at St. Moritz (this was the first time the RAf represented GB in a international bobsleigh championship), they lost to Switzerland. He again represented the RAF at rugby in 1931 playing against the Royal Navy (playing along side Douglas Barder), United Banks and the Army (playing along side F.S. Hodder of RAF Henlow and London Irish).


In July 1931 he took part in the RAF Lawn tennis Championship at the All-England Club, Wimbledon . He was knocked out in the second round in the singles and the doubles (his partner was Douglas Barder). In October 1931 he played Rugby for London v South Africa at Twickenham. London lost 30-3. The after match dinner took place at the Savoy , and the entertainment was a sound film of the match. In December 1931 and 1932 he represented the RAF in the Inter Services Squash Racket Tournament. In January 1932 he took part in the Ireland trail match playing for the Blues.

 

RAF that lost to the Royal Navy 16-0 on 22nd February 1931. Pilot Officer P.C.B.Coote of RAF Tangmere seated third right. Also in the photo are RAF captain and Ireland International George Beamish seated 4th right and WW2 Ace Douglas Bader seated extreme right.

In 1932 he again represented the RAF at rugby playing against Coventry , Pontypool and the Army, and in 1933 against Cambridge University , Northampton , Royal Navy, and the Army. In 1933 he played for East Midlands against Warwickshire and Leicestershire in the County Championship . On 1st April 1933 he won his only international cap for Ireland v Scotland ( Ireland lost 8-6). Between1931-33 he played 27 times for Leicester . He is the second Leicester player to be capped by Ireland .

RAF side that lost 21-14 to Northampton on 7th January 1933. Paddy.Coote seated third right. Also in the photo are RAF captain and Ireland International George Beamish seated 4th right. His brother Charles Beamish, another Ireland International, is seated second from the right.


In December 1933 whilst playing for Leicester away to Swansea in a tackle he suffered a serious neck injury and concussion, he was hospitalised for a few months at RAF hospital Uxbridge. He never played rugby again.

He was then granted a permanent commission as a Pilot Officer then got posted to a fighter squadron (No. 43) at RAF Tangmere. In September 1931 he was selected for a flying instructor’s course and reached category A.1. in 1936.


He then returned to Cranwell as an instructor until 1933. In February that year he was transferred to the staff at the central flying school at RAF Wittering. December 1934 he was appointed Abjuntant of a bomber squadron. The following year he returned to flying instructors duty this time in the Middle East . He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in January 1936. In February 1938 he was seconded to the Special Duty List of the British Military Mission in Eypgt. In October that year he was promoted to Squadron Leader. In October 1940 he was promoted to Wing Commander.

He played once for Ireland in 1933 against Scotland .

 

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

1st Apr 1933

Scotland

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Lost

6(3)-8(4)

 

Above the 1933 Irish side that played Scotland with Coote standing second right.

 

On the 1st June 1935 he married Muriel Evelyn Elsmie at St. Peters Church in Ealing, they lived in Chobham. Muriel Coote Died on 5th December 1995. They had 2 daughters.

In February 1941 he served with 211 Squadron during the Greek Campaign. He arrived at Parammythia to setup the advanced operations wing. At the end of February 1941 as ‘W’ Wing leader flying an 80 Squadron Gladiator, he took part in an air battle over the Tepelene coast and was credited with shooting down an Italian Fiat CR42a Falco.


On 19th April 1941 he went as an observer to assess the progress of the German advance in a group of 6 Blenheims. As they approached Lake Prespa on the border of modern day Macedonia , Albania and Greece some 40 miles short of the target area. They were spotted by three Messerschmitt Bf108e’s of 6/JG27 based at Gazala in Libya . The Blenheims didn’t have a fighter escort, in the space of 4 minutes all 6 Blenheims were shot dow. The plane he was travelling in (L4819) crashed near the village of Trigonon . There were only 2 survivors from all 6 crews. Coote's aircraft was the first of 29 kills of the Luftwaffe ace Unteroffizier, (later Lieutenant) Fritz Gromotka. His pilot, Richard Herbert, did manage to bail out but the aircraft was too low and he died. The two survivors, Godfrey and James, made contact and buried those of their dead comrades that they could find before making their way by foot, mule and Greek lorry to Larissa, 150 miles distant.


He was buried at the Phalron War Cemetery in Greece along with the rest of the crew.

At the time of his death he was credited with 1 biplane victory.


Image

Woodham War Memorial, Woking

 

Major Edward William Francis De Vere Hunt 20th December 1941

Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery, 1 Hong Kong Regiment.

Ted Hunt was born on 12th December 1908 the son of John Theodore de Vere Hunt and Ada Mary de Vere Hunt. He was educated at the Dragon School , Oxford and Rugby School . He played rugby for the Army, Rosslyn Park , Hampshire, Wanderers and the Barbarians.

 

Above Hunt in the 1931 Barbarians Easter Tour Party. Back Row (L-R): R.J.Henderson, H.S.Mackintsoh, L.L.Bedford, J.L.Farrell, J.H.Beattie, W.R.Logan, J.A.Bassett, D.T.Kemp, N.Murphy, A.W.Walker, O.L.Owen. Middle Row: D.P.Henshaw, J.W.Allan, J.McD.Hodgson, D.St Clair Ford, F.W.S.Mair, R.Bolton, S.J.Huins, J.R.F.Popplewell, R.Burgess, F.Le S.Stone. Seated: A.F.Heppenstall, J.J.A.Embleton, A.Wemyss, H.A.Haigh Smith, E.de Lissa, H.L.G.Hughes, D.J.MacMyn, C.R.Hopwood, I.M.B.Stuart. On Ground: A.Key, E.W.F.deV.Hunt, B.R.Tod, F.L.Williams, J.E.Forrest, J.B.Nelson, S.C.Cravos, C.C.Tanner.

 

In the book Barbarian Football Club 1890-1955, Andrew Wemyss (Gala, Edinburgh Wanderers and Scotland ) recollected

A UNIQUE IRISHMAN

E. W. F. de Hunt the Irish full-back and centre three-quarter, was just one of the host of outstanding players who have added something out of the ordinary to my rambling story.

That he won a tense game against Newport by dropping a goal in the last minute is worth mention though not more so than other match winning feats I have recalled “Ted” Hunt, however, developed into one of the many personalities who added gaiety to Barbarian occasions both off and on the field and I will never forget how a frantic run he made at Cardiff gave the crowd at the Arms Park surely the biggest laugh they had ever had. It was so comical and altogether extraordinary that it reduced nearly all the players, friend and foe alike, to a state of laughing immobility.

Hunt was on his first tour and playing full-back when he won the match at Rodney Parade in 1929. I can see it now, a tall athletic figure with the fresh complexion of an unshaven boy, his flaxen hair parted in the middle and wearing Rosslyn Park stockings. He had been competent in everything he did, but hardly looked like making a memorable contribution to the game.

Newport, with only minute to play, were leading by a penalty goal kicked by their international full-back, Bill Everson. We, however, were attacking strongly in an endeavour to save the game when, to the consternation of the home supporters, for they seldom see such things, a wild clearing kick went upfield towards Hunt, who was standing almost of the centre spot. “Ted” gathered that rather round pumpkin of a ball and, with the calm assurance of a Bancroft, to everyone’s amazement he sent it sailing between the posts with a beautiful drop kick. That meant four points in those days and an altogether unexpected win for us.

Hughie and I walked round to the station together for the journey back to London and all the way we hooted with laughter as we discussed our win and how “Ted” had seemed the most unlikely player in the wide world, as he stood on the field, even to have a go let alone score from 50 yards range.

As a prelude to the Cardiff incident I have to explain that when playing for Ireland there a few weeks earlier in the 1932 international which Ireland had won 12-10, Hunt had caused Wales a lot of trouble, one being the manner in which he got out of seemingly safe tackles.

Against Cardiff we were playing towards the Taff end and pressing in the vicinity of the “25” flag on the new stand side near the players’ entrance. From a maul Cardiff got the ball. It went back to Harry Bowcott at stand-off and instead of clearing to touch down the stand side he kicked away across towards our “25” on the opposite side. I was running the line in front of the old stand and had a perfect close-up of all that happened.

The ball did not reach touch by a bit. It kept rolling and bumping, and with R. W. Langrish as full-back guarding the line on the other side, “Ted” Hunt came after it, and easy first,. As he ran back after it, however, he could not gather it. He kept knocking it out of his reach as Little Tich used to do with his elongated boots when he was trying to pick up his silk hat in his well-known comic stage act.

By this time four Cardiff forwards, with a glint in their eyes which showed they were not going to allow Hunt to repeat his “international” nonsense were closing for the kill. “Ted” at last picked up the ball, but no sooner was it in his hands when the human avalanche arrived.

Crash, bang, wallop, thud, and as I looked to see if no help was coming “Ted” suddenly jumped out of the welter of arms and legs and raced away straight across our “25” line. Langrish, who had got back to the vicinity of the posts, like everyone else was bewildered and I thought to myself, “Good heavens, he’ll be away out the other side of the ground and up Westgate Street if nobody stops him”

However, when he was nearly at the other side “Ted” apparently took a look at his compass, suddenly changed direction and went tearing up the other side of the pitch. After whistling past about the only two Cardiff players capable of moving, Hunt found Ben Tod racing alongside, although he, too, was bursting with laughter. Then, as if to say “That’s been great fun, Ben, you have a go now,” Hunt gave the ball to Tod who scorched the remaining 30 yards or so to score an astonishing try which Brian Black converted.

My other yarn about Hunt is all-Irish, he and Paddy Coote as opponents at centre taking part in the wildly exciting race which ended not with a try but a great saving tackle in the Leicester match of 1931.

Play was close to the Tiger’s line and our full-back, Leslie Bedford, joined in an attack which broke down. In a flash Paddy Coote gathered the loose ball and set off for the pavilion end with no-one to beat.

When Hunt took up the chase he was more than a good five yards behind and as Coote crossed the centre line it seemed he was bound to score. Running like a man possessed, however, the Baa-Baa skipper gradually narrowed the gap, and as he closed the roar of the crowd was tremendous. Fifteen yards to go, then ten and still Hunt was just out of distance. But when it looked hopeless he hurled himself through the air and made a brilliant tackle which felled Coote to the ground just inches short of the line.

Incidentally, Morgan Crowe, another Irish cap, was the Tigers’ other centre in that game.

He played five times for Ireland between 1930 and 1933. He scored a try in the 1932 match against Scotland and in his last match in 1933 against England .

 

Above the 1933 Irish side that played England . Hunt’s last cap for Ireland , in which he scored a try. He is standing third from the left.

He played 5 times for Ireland they were

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

25th Jan 1930

France

Ravenhill, Belfast

25,000

Lost

0-5

13th Feb 1932

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Lost

8(3)-11(6)

27th Feb 1932

Scotland

Murrayfield, Edinburgh

 

Won

20(5)-8(0)

12th Mar 1932

Wales

National Stadium, Cardiff

 

Won

12(3)-10(3)

11th Feb 1933

England

Twickenham

 

Lost

6(3)-17(9)

 

He played for the Army against the RN & RAF in 1929 & ‘32 and against the FR Army in 1929 &’31. He attended the RMA Woolwich between 1927 and 29. Second Lieutenant Royal Artillery, Aldershot . In 1933 he was appointed Lieutenant Royal artillery.

He married Nancy Rudkin on 5th June 1934 at St. Nicholas Compton, Guildford . She was the eldest daughter of Major Hugh Robert Ernest Rudkin OBE of Brook House, Compton , Guildford .

In 1935 he switched to the Royal Horse Artillery with whom he served as a Captain in Egypt and Palestine . On the 25th December 1938 he was posted to the Hong Kong & Singapore Royal Artillery, with whom he served as a Major. He was killed at Wong Nei Chang Gap on 20th December 1941 during the Japanese attack on the island.

 

 

Above he is commemorated at Sai Wan Memorial, Hong Kong .

 

It was some time before his death was announced. His wife advertised in The Times 0n 14th March 1942 for information about his whereabouts. His death was finally confirmed in June 1944

 

 

 

Lieutenant Colonel John Joseph Clune 12th September 1942

Royal Army Veterinary Corps

He was born on 2nd April 1890 and educated at Blackrock College .

He played six times for Ireland between 1912 and 1914, they were

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

30th Nov 1912

South Africa

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

20,000

Lost

0(0)-38(12)

8th Mar 1913

Wales

St. Helen’s, Swansea

 

Lost

13(8)-16(8)

24th Mar 1913

France

Mardyke, Cork

6,000

Won

24(8)-0(0)

1st Jan 1914

France

Parc des Princes

 

Won

8(0)-6(3)

14th Feb 1914

England

Twickenham

40,000

Lost

12(7)-17(6)

14th Mar 1914

Wales

Balmoral Showgrounds, Belfast

 

Lost

3(3)-11(3)

He married Catherine Chichester. She was the daughter of Lt. Col. Alfred Chichester of the 28th Punjabi’s. She died on 25th June 1947, aged only 43, at the West Country Hospital, Penzance . She is buried at the Barnoon Cemetery , St. Ives.

 

Above the Ireland and South Africa sides that played in 1912. Clune is third from left on the back row. Minch , who also died in World War 2 is third from left on the front row.

He died on 12th September 1943 aged 53 in the Mediterranean .

He is commemorated at Brookwood Memorial.

 

Lieutenant Colonel John Berchmans Minch 8th November 1942

Royal Army Medical Corps

He was born on 29th July 1890 in Athy, Co. Kildare, the second son of Matthew Joseph Minch MP, JP of Rockfield House, Athy. His father was Member of Parliament for South Kildare from 1892 to 1903 and owned the largest maltsters in Ireland , Minch Malt, at Athy. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College , University College Dublin and played rugby for Bective Rangers, the Army and the Barbarians.

He played five times for Ireland between 1912 and 1914, they were

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

30th Nov 1912

South Africa

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

20,000

Lost

0(0)-38(12)

8th Feb 1913

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

15,000

Lost

4(0)-15(9)

22nd Feb 1913

Scotland

Inverleith, Edinburgh

 

Lost

14(5)-29(18)

14th Feb 1914

England

Twickenham

40,000

Lost

12(7)-17(6)

28th Feb 1914

Scotland

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Won

6-0

 

 

Above Minch in the 1912 Irish side that played South Africa

 

He became engaged to Lesley Grogan Anstruther Murray in 1922. She was the daughter of Mr and Mrs William Anstruther Murray of Regent’s Park, London .

During World War 1 he was with the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in India .

See Irish Journal of Medical Science (1926-1967)  Volume 18, Number 2, 59-61, DOI: 10.1007/BF02952249

He is buried at Delhi War Cemetery

 

Group Captain Reginald Vere Massey Odbert 18th July 1943

Royal Air Force

He was born on 9th February 1904, the third son of Herbert Massey Odbert and Annie Emily Odbert, of Monkstown, Co. Dublin . He was educated at Blackrock College and Dublin University and was in their 1st XV in 1924-25. He also captained the RAF rugby XV in 1928 and 1932.

He joined the RAF, with a short service commission in June 1927 from Blackrock College . In 1930-31 he served in the Middle East command, and from 1934 to 1936 was an experimental pilot in the Armament testing Squadron. In March 1939, he was appointed to the Directorate of Operational Requirements at the Air Ministry. He was promoted squadron leader in June 1936, wing commander in March 1939, and group captain in September 1941.

Above Reginald Odbert in the 1924-25 Trinity 1st XV seated extreme right.

 

He played once for Ireland in 1928 against France in Belfast

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

28th Jan 1928

France

Ravenhill, Belfast

20,000

Won

12(6)-8(8)

 

Above the 1928 Irish side that played France with Odbert standing second from the left.

 

Above the Monkstown Parish Church World War 2 Memorial with Odbert’s name.

 

A brother officer wrote his obituary in The Times on 9th August 1943, it said

In the course of 20 years service in the Royal Air Force men such as Group Captain R. V. M. Odbert acquire many friends. In captaining the rugger team he still further enlarged that circle. All who knew him will agree that “Oddy” gave his whole life to his profession and closely approached the ideal officer. Those who served with him pay tribute to his honesty of purpose and tenacity: his simplicity of living was exemplary, his only luxury being his generosity to others. These qualities evoked a profound respect both from those who saw eye to eye with him and those who differed in the many difficult problems in which he dealt. After many years of hard work he had his reward. It was clear from talking to his officers and men that during the few months in which he commanded an operational station in Bomber Command they saw in him the man who gave his utmost and who was grateful for the support that inevitably followed. Although he leaves so many friends, there will be many to greet him.

He died on 18th July 1943 in Scunthorpe and is buried at Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery , Nottinghamshire.

See http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1928/1928%20-%200634.html?tracked=1

 

Tim Massey Odbert of Wasps

 

Captain Robert Alexander 19th July 1943

Royal Inniskilling Fusilers

He was born on 24th September 1910 in Belfast .

 

 

He played rugby for RBAI, Queen’s University, NIFC, Police Union, British Lions and the Barbarians. He played eleven times for Ireland between 1936 and 1939. He also played cricket for Ireland .

 

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

8th Feb 1936

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

36,000

Won

6(0)-3(3)

22nd Feb 1936

Scotland

Murrayfield, Edinburgh

 

Won

10(10)-4(0)

14th Mar 1936

Wales

National Stadium, Cardiff

70,000

Lost

0(0)-3(3)

13th Feb 1936

England

Twickenham

 

Lost

8-9

27th Feb 1937

Scotland

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Won

11(3)-4(0)

3rd Apr 1937

Wales

Ravenhill, Belfast

20,000

Won

5(0)-3(3)

12th Feb 1938

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Lost

14(0)-36(23)

26th Feb 1938

Scotland

Murrayfield, Edinburgh

 

Lost

14(3)-23(15)

11th Feb 1939

England

Twickenham

 

Won

5-0

25th Feb 1939

Scotland

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

 

Won

12(9)-3(0)

11th Mar 1939

Wales

Ravenhill, Belfast

28,000

Lost

0-7

He scored one try against Scotland in 1937.

He played three times for the British Lions

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

6th Aug 1938

South Africa

Johannesburg

36,000

Lost

12(9)-26(13)

3rd Sept 1938

South Africa

Port Elizabeth

20,000

Lost

3(0)-19(10)

10th Sept 1938

South Africa

Cape Town

18,000

Won

21(3)-16(13)

He scored one try against South Africa in the match at Cape Town .

The Ireland side that played England 12th Feb 1938 at Lansdowne Road , Aleexander seted extreme right. Back Row (L-R): Dr H.Emerson (Pres IRFU), M.J.Daly (Harlequins), L.McMahon (Blackrock Coll), J.W.S.Irwin (NIFC), J.Megaw (Richmond & Instonians), R.B.Mayne (Queens University), A.H.Bailey (UC Dublin), D.B.O'Loughlin (UC Cork). Middle Row: P.Crowe (Blackrock Coll), E.Ryan (Dolphin), G.J.Morgan (Capt) (Clontarf), S.Walker (Instonians), C.R.A, Graves (Wanderers), R.Alexander (NIFC). Front: G.E.Cromey ( Queens University ), V.J.Lyttle ( Belfast Collegians & Bedford).

Before World War 2 he was in the Royal Ulster Constabulary. On the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusilers. While on home leave in 1942 he captained Ireland in a friendly game against the British Army. It was his last game for his country.

He was killed in action near Catania , Sicily on 19th July 1943 while leading his troops in an attack on the Simento River . A fellow officer, David Cole, said Bob passed me on the way. I wished him luck. He paused for a second and whispered to me with a smile, ‘It’s suicide’, and then went on.

He is buried at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily

 

Major Herbert James Michael Sayers 6th December 1943

Royal Artillery

He was born 1st May 1911 the son of Sir Frederick Sayers, C.I.E., and of Lady Sayers (nee Boyan), of Newtown, Co. Waterford . He was educated at Stonyhurst College and Sandhurst .

He played rugby for Lansdowne, the Army, Richmond , the Barbarians and Surrey .

He married Sheilah Joan Sayers.

He played ten times for Ireland between 1935 and 1939.

 

Date

Opposition

Venue

Attendance

Result

Score (HT)

9th Feb 1935

England

Twickenham

 

Lost

3(0)-14(5)

23rd Feb 1935

Scotland

Lansdowne Road, Ireland

 

Won

12(3)-5(5)

9th Mar 1935

Wales

Ravenhill, Belfast

35,000

Won

9(6)-3(0)

8th Feb 1936

England

Lansdowne Road, Ireland

36,000

Won

6(0)-3(3)

22nd Feb 1936

Scotland

Murrayfield, Edinburgh

 

Won

10(10)-4(0)

14th Mar 1936

Wales

National Stadium, Cardiff

70,000

Lost

0(0)-3(3)

12th Mar 1938

Wales

Swansea

40,000

Lost

5(5)-11(3)

11th Feb 1939

England

Twickenham

 

Won

5-0

25th Feb 1939

Scotland

Lansdowne Road, Ireland

 

Won

12(9)-3(0)

11th Mar 1939

Wales

Belfast

28,000

Lost

0-7

 

Above the 1939 Irish side that played Scotland . Sayers standing second left. He scored a goal from a mark in this match.

He was killed in an air crash on 6th December 1943. He is buried at Aylesbury Cemetery , Buckinghamshire.

He is listed as a Canadian War Dead.

See http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/searching-someone-military-genealogy/21194-royal-artillery-roll-honour-1939-47-a-47.html

 

http://sites.google.com/site/caseybooks/

http://www.cliftonrfchistory.co.uk/

with the assistance of and thanks to Willow Murray IRFU, Paul McCandless

Irish War Memorials http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie

Statistics www.scrum.com

   

© Patrick Casey, 2010
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