Lest We Forget – Edgar Roberts Mobbs (England), 31/07/1917


Edgar Roberts Mobbs was born in Northampton.  He was one of six children of Oliver Linnel Mobbs and his wife Elizabeth Anne.  His father was an engineer and his mother came from a background in shoemaking, for which Northampton was famous.

Edgar’s education was at Bedford Modern School, where records show him as a modest scholar who was taken away early and put to work, being at one time a car salesman and later director of the Pytchley Auto Car Company.

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Lest We Forget – Arthur James Wilson (England), 31/07/1917


Photo courtesy of Glenalmond College

Arthur James Wilson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, the son of Henry Bainbridge Wilson and his wife Emily Jane.  Henry was a wool, skin and hide broker, and Emily’s father was a master rope maker.  In all they had five children, of whom Arthur was the youngest.

From 1900 he spent four years at Glenalmond College in Perthshire, where he became a prefect and was a regular member of the rugby XV and of the cricket XI in his final two years.

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Passchendaele and the last moments of Edgar Mobbs, 31st July 1917

Mobbs, Edgar Roll of Honour

By capturing the village of Passchendaele, the British hoped to progress in the direction of the Belgian coast where the Allies might curtail the threat of the German U-boat.  After long deliberation Prime Minister Lloyd George agreed Field Marshal Haig’s plan and zero-hour was set for 3.50 am on the morning of the 31st July, after a fifteen-day four million shell bombardment.

Lieutenant Colonel Mobbs had made his battalion headquarters inside a waterlogged trench in advance of Hill 60, where Fin Todd had been shot two years earlier.  Further south Lieutenant Colonel Livesay and the New Zealand Division were forming up on the edge of the front line on the southern extremity of Messines Ridge.

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Ireland 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup

The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 is around the corner, taking place in Belfast and Dublin from 9-26 August 2017.  The Irish Rugby Football Union was chosen to host the eighth Women’s tournament in May 2015 and looks set to deliver a phenomenal event.


The Women’s Rugby World Cup. Photo: Joe Bailey @FiveSix Photography / World Rugby.

With its beginnings as an invitational event in 1991 to one with a hefty qualification process, the Women’s Rugby World Cup has ingrained itself as a major international competition in the sporting calendar.  The importance of the tournament extends further than the event itself, with World Rugby explaining that the tournament ‘’is extending the reach of women’s rugby to new audiences, inspiring participation, interest and engagement.’’

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The Plight of the Northern Amateur

This work is based on cuttings in a scrapbook given to me in my capacity as archivist of Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland, home of Sunderland RFC (founded 1873).  The origins of the scrapbook are uncertain but it seems to have been put together during the 1907/8 rugby season and covers most of the rugby related output in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Newcastle Journal and Sunderland Echo with occasional cuttings from the Northern Daily Mail, the Sunderland Football Echo and Athletics News.  The content, as with most media sport reporting, exhibits a mixture of fact and comment with two of the main commentators working under the pseudonyms of ‘Touch Judge’ in the Chronicle and ‘Argus’ in the Journal.  The subject matter of articles ranges from international rugby union to local junior games with an emphasis upon weekly local rugby in the old counties of Northumberland and Durham.

Historical Context

The scrapbook was put together at an interesting time in the development of rugby football in England and Wales.  Already the stronger Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs had broken away to form their own Northern Union (better known today as the Rugby League).  This professional game had been going since 1895 although it is clear from all the writing in the scrapbook that the breakaway union was still regarded as a close if errant member of the Rugby Union family.

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Goals From A Mark, 1871 – 1914


AE Stoddart

On January 2nd 1886 towards the end of the first half of their match against Wales when they were leading by two tries to nil, the English forward CH (Charles) Elliot caught a miscued kick for touch by the Welsh full back DH (Harry) Bowen on the full and claimed a mark.  Instead of taking the kick himself, he handed the ball to the renowned dual cricket and rugby international AE (Andrew) Stoddart who proceeded to kick the first goal from a mark in international rugby.

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Remembering Drewy Stoddart – ‘the most famous sportsman in Queen Victoria’s empire’

Name: Andrew Ernest Stoddart andrew-stoddart

Birthplace: Westoe

Position: Threequarter
Total Caps: 10

Calcutta Cups: 1 retained

Triple Crowns:  0

Outright Championship Victories: 0
Grand Slams: n/a
World Cups: n/a

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