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Stirling Benjamin Peart


 

He was born on 24th December 1890 in California. The son of Benjamin Franklin Peart and Sophia Elizabeth (nee Fiske). The Peart family were one of the original settlers in the USA tracing their family back to 17th Century Yorkshire.

He was educated at Woodland High School, California and the University of California gaining a degree in Agriculture in 1915.

Above University of California in Paris 1911. San Francisco Call 19th August 1911. Peart 2nd from the left

Above the University of California side in 1911.J.Schaeffer (Coach), 2. Pauley, 3. Watts, 4. Hardy, 5. Jordan, 6. W.Christie (Trainer), 7. M.Farmer,(Manager), 8. C.Voltz (Assistant Trainer), 9. C.Phleger, 10. Schwartz, 11. Markwart, 12. King, 13. Evans, 14. Elliott, 15. Stroud, 16. Morris, 17. Allen, 18. Dwiggins, 19. Peart, 20. Dills, 21. H.Phleger, 22. Emerson, 24. Wheeler, 25. Hansen, 26. Brandt.

 

Above the University of California side in 1911. Back Row (L-R): David Brandt, Harold Ashley, Ray Jordan, William King, George Hansen, Myron Harris, David Hardy, Tio Emerson, Thomas Dills. Middle Row: Edward Watts, Carl Phleger, Irving Markwart, Burton Schwartz, Charles Pauly, Amos Elliott, Clinton Evans. Front Row: Herman Phleger, Charles Wheeler, Chester Allen, Jan Dwiggins, John Stroud, Stirling Peart, Laird Morris.

Above Peart at the University of California in 1912

Peart played rugby twice for the USA, against Australia in 1912 and New Zealand in 1913.

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 Peart in1913

The University of California review of their match against the All Blacks on 25th October 1913 said

Roberts, Taylor, McGregor, McDonald, Stohr, and the rest of them – long will they live in the memory of Californians. Never was such passing, such dodging, or such running seen on a Californian field as shown by the New Zealand All-Blacks.

On October 3 they landed in California, and on November 15 they left for Canada on their way to the Antipodes. In that five weeks those swarthy men from the southern seas played and won twelve Rugby games and scored 515 points. Against them were scored six points, representing one try made by Jack Abrams for California, and one converted penalty kick made by Stirling Peart, playing on the All-American team.

Three games were played with the California Varsity. The first, on Wednesday, October 8, was an easy victory for the Islanders. The Varsity seemed to be absolutely helpless under the wonderful attack of the visitors, and could do little against their furious onslaughts.

When next the two teams met, on October 25, the Varsity was better primed for a fast contest and there was that “do or die” look in every man’s eye. The battle that ensued has been called the most wonderful that was ever seen on California field. After labouring through many weeks of mediocre Rugby the California team suddenly came into its own. With a rush the Blue and Gold men met and repelled every seemingly irresistible sweep of the invaders. Every man seemed to rise up out of himself and out-Newzealand the New Zealanders. Every lightning pass, every shooting run of the All-Blacks was equalled by one of the same sort by the California men. The packed bleachers went wild as their team came out from behind the shadow after eight weeks in darkness and found itself. But suddenly Dick Roberts shot out from the back and over the line he went – the first score of the day. Then a moment later another, and the score was New Zealand 6, California 0.

Above the All Blacks do the Haka before the 1913 match v the University of California

Three minutes after the second half opened the rooters, who had been constantly on their feet, broke into a pandemonium. The Varsity had the ball on the 5-yard line. Suddenly McKim picked the ball from the loose, passed to Abraham – a moment of suspense – and the first score ever made against the All-Blacks in America was registered to the credit of the California Varsity. The final score was 31 to 3, but Californians had seen what it was possible for their team to do; they had scored against the All-Blacks, and the bleachers were already speculating the downfall of the Cardinal Red when the varsities should meet two weeks from that day. One more game was scheduled to be played between the New Zealanders and California. But on the day set it rained and the game could not be played until the Monday before the Big Game. With the final test so near Coach Schaeffer could take no chances of injuring his best men, and so he sent in a second team to face the All-Blacks. The game was played on a muddy field and was at the best a disappointing exhibition of Rugby. The second Varsity fought hard and did its best but could not meet the attack of the invaders. The ball kept well covered with mud; the men slipped from one position to another until the Islanders had run up a score of 38, and then the whistle ended the dismal contest.

Above the 1913 University of California rugby squad. Back Row (L-R): Cerf, Fleming, King, Fletcher, Dills, Voltz (Trainer), Schaeffer (Coach). Second Row: Peart, Saunders, Miller, Hoskins, Douglas, McKim, Donald (Manager. Third Row: Allen, Carpenter, Stroud (Captain), Morris, Evans, Brant. On Ground: Hazeltine, Fish.

Two weeks later the All Blacks played the USA, with Peart playing on the Wing.

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).

The review of the match by the University of California said

On November 15, one week after the Big Game at Stanford, the New Zealand All-Blacks brought their American tour to a victorious close by defeating an American All-star team 51 to 3 on California field. California had four representatives on the All-Star team, Stanford seven, Santa Clara two, the Olympic Club one, the Los Angeles Athletic Club one and the University of California Club one.

In a nutshell the causes of America’s overwhelming defeat were, first, the even more than usual excellence of the New Zealanders, and second, the lack of team work of the Americans.

From the patriotic point of view the feature of the game was the lone try scored by the Americans. It was contributed, as was the only score made against the New Zealanders, by a University of California man. It was the Varsity Captain Stirling Peart’s beautifully converted penalty kick, taken after Mow Mitchell, a former Stanford captain, had rushed the ball to the 40-yard line, that turned the trick for the Americans.

California’s representatives, Peart, King and McKim had a large share in the work of advancing the ball and in defending the American line. McKim displayed all of his customary vigor, and was a constant menace to the New Zealand forwards. Big Bill King was noticeable not only for his size and strength, but for his persistence in following the ball and for his efficiency in the line outs.

The total record of the All Blacks in the United States in 1913 was

 

4th Oct Olympic Club at Saint Ignatius Field, San Francisco 19-0 (Att:2,500)

8th Oct University of California at California Field, Berkeley 31-0 (Att:500)

11th Oct Barbarians at Saint Ignatius Field, San Francisco 30-0

15th Oct Stanford University at Stanford Park , Palo Alto 54-0 (Att:6,000)

18th Oct Stanford University at Stanford Park , Palo Alto 56-0 (Att:6,000)

22nd Oct University of Santa Clara at Golden Gate Stadium, Santa Clara 42-0 (Att:10,000)

25th Oct University of California at California Field, Berkeley 38-3

29th Oct University of Nevada at University Ground, Reno 55-0

3rd Nov University of California at California Field, Berkeley 33-0

5th Nov St. Mary’s College at Saint Ignatius Field, San Francisco 26-0

8th Nov University of Southern California at Boyard Field, Los Angeles 40-0

12th Nov University of Santa Clara at Golden Gate Stadium, Santa Clara 33-0

15th Nov United States of America at California Field, Berkeley 51-3 (Att:10,000)

19th Nov Victoria ( British Columbia ) at Oak Bay Ground, Victoria 23-0

22nd Nov Victoria ( British Columbia ) at Oak Bay Ground, Victoria 35-0 (Att:2,500)

24th Nov Vancouver at Stanley Park , Vancouver 44-0 (Att:3,000)

 

Above Peart kicks a penalty against Stanford in 1913

 

 

Above Peart in 1914.

 

Above Peart in 1914

 

Above University of California rugby squad 1914. 1. Christie (Assistant Coach), 2. Hunt, 3. Brant, 4. Fleming, 5. Schaeffer (Coach), 6. King, 7. Lockhart, 8. Sanders, 9. Fenstermacher, 10. Volz, 11. Donald (Grad. Manager), 12. Russell, 13. Lane, 14. Abrams, 15. Peart (captain), 16. Hazeltine, 17. Gianelli, 18. Canfield, 19. Fish, 20. McKim, 21. Crane.

Above: Peart in 1915

 

Peart was a Farmer and Cattleman in Yolo County. He met his wife, Gladys Vesta Elkins, in 1919 after a valuable consignment of sheep, belonging to Peart, went missing. He complained to the agent of the railroad company, Gladys. She had substituted as a railroader during the war because of a lack of male workers. They married in 1921 and had two children, a daughter Carol and a son Stirling.

Above his wife Gladys in 1921

Above the first reunion on the 25th anniversary of its big game victory over Stanford of  the University of California rugby team on 19th November 1937. Peart is front second right. Back Row (L-R): David Brandt, Harold Ashley, Ray Jordan, Myron Harris, David Hardy, Thomas Dills. Middle Row: Edward Watts, Carl Phleger, Milton Farmer, Cedric Serf, James Schaeffer, Clinton Evans, Walter Christie. Front Row: Herman Phleger, Charles Wheeler, Chester Allen, Jan Dwiggins, John Stroud, Stirling Peart, Laid Morris. (note the caption has Chester Allen labelled twice)

Above the second reunion of the University of California rugby team on 21st November 1947. Peart is front second right. Back Row (L-R): David Brandt, Harold Ashley, Ray Jordan, Milton Farmer, Myron Harris, Walter Christie, Thomas Dills. Middle Row: Cedric Serf, Carl Phleger, Irving Marwart, Burton Schwartz, James Schaeffer, John Stroud, Chester Allen, David Hardy. Front Row: Edward Watts, Herman Phleger, Charles Wheeler, Chester Allen Amos Elliot, Stirling Peart, Laird Morris.

Above the third reunion of the University of California rugby team in 1957. Peart is back row extreme right. Back Row (L-R): David Brandt, Harold Ashley, Myron Harris, Walter Christie, Thomas Dills, Stirling Peart. Middle Row: Edward Watts, Carl Phleger, Burton Schwartz, James Schaeffer, Clinton Evans. Front Row: Herman Phleger, Charles Wheeler, Chester Allen, Clarence Price, Amos Elliott.

Above the fourth reunion on the 50th anniversary of the University of California rugby team in 1961. Peart is front row extreme left. Back Row (L-R): Thomas Dills, Edward Watts, Russell O’Hara, Jim Black, General LeRoy Hunt, Amos Elliott, Herman Phleger, Robert Sproul, James Schaeffer, Newton Drury, Clinton Evans, Carl Phleger, Harry Lawton. Front Row: Stirling Peart, Charles Wheeler.

He died on 26th November 1963 in Yolo, California.

      

© Patrick Casey, 2011
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