1914 to 1918

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale


The 1914-1915 season was the 50th year since foundation, and the Committee looked forward to celebrating the event with “suitable rejoicing.”

Sadly, this was not to be.


Games known to have been played on the Rec.



A Bath XV v Kingswood School, on the Recreation Ground. Proceeds to Belgian Relief Fund.



A Bath XV v CANADIANS (On the Rec.) Drawn 6-6.


Sept 1915

Used by Bath City (Soccer game), for a Recruitment Rally


Sept 1915

Used for North Somerset Yeomanry game.



A Bath XV v Kingswood School on the Recreation Ground. The Bath Club to defray the ground expenses, and the total proceeds to be given to the Belgian Relief Fund.



v Canadians. (Stationed on Salisbury Plain prior to moving to the Front)A match was played, resulting in a 6-6 draw.

Bath had trouble raising a team: “but with the aid of the 10th Devons (Kitchener’s Army), the side was completed.

Bath Team:- W Porch, Pte C Goodman (10th Devons), Pte H Rees (10th Devons), A Blanchard, Pte. P G Shute (10th Devons), A Hatherill, H Vowles, F G Cashnella (Capt.), Corpl A Ford (R.A.M.C.), Cpl. W Stribling (10th Devons), S Head, E S Cambridge, W B Parker (72nd Canadian Highlanders), C Mannings and R Porch.

Shute scored the first Bath try; in the second half Blanchard went over, and then Bourns and Holmes scored for the Canadians. Private L M Spiers, the Canadian captain (who was an old Scottish international) had the misfortune to put his shoulder out.

There was a sad follow-up to the 16th January game reported in the 3rd April 1915 edition of the Weekly Chronicle:



“A letter received by Mr. Arthur Taylor, Chairman of the Bath Football Club conveys intelligence which will be heard with sorrow by all who took part in the reception of the Canadian Highlanders, who played a Bath team at Rugby football on the Recreation Ground on the 16th January. The letter mentioned that C.B.C. Cream who played forward, has been killed in action, shot through the head. The information comes from Pte. Sceales of the 16th Canadian Highlanders, who himself had a narrow escape. A bullet ploughed through his scalp, and he is now in Rouen Hospital. The writer says: ‘Another eighth of an inch and I should have been under the clay.’ Mr. Sceales says the Canadians have not forgotten their visit to Bath, and often recalled its pleasures when in the trenches.”



The first regimental Rugby match on the Recreation Ground, between the 10th Devons (quartered in Bathwick) and the 12th Gloucestershires. (Bristol’s Own).

The Gloucesters won 12 points to 5 points.



Reported on Kingswood School v R.A.M.C.. The game was organised by former Kingswood games master Corporal A W Keeley and Sergt. Ford of the Bath Club.

Kingswood won 11-0.


No Matches played





A Bath XV v Army Cyclist Corps game on the Rec. Drawn 3-3.

Team: E J Hodges, Lt. L Chasey, W Holmes, A Hole, A Blanchard, F Russell, Pte Bannister, F J Cashnella, S Head, Sgt. D Fisher, Lance Corp. G Keeling, Pte. Baines, J Cliff, Pte Buck, and Pte. Weston.

Teams changed in the Royal Swimming bath. Proceeds in favour of Bath Prisoners of War Fund.

Played in the pouring game, it was difficult to hold the ball and play was scrappy. Bath had to defend strongly until a fine rush by Hole, but the Army side came back and burly forward, Lieut. Chambers scored leaving Bath 0-3 down at half time.

A torrential downpour greeted the second spell, with Bath forwards doing well with a series of forward rushes. Private Buck nipped through cleverly for Bath’s try, but Hodges conversion attempt fell short. “Play became very even, though Russell worked very hard at the scrum. It was not an uninteresting game, though very scrambling.”



v London Rifle Brigade on the Recreation Ground. Won 9-0 Team:- E F Gooding, Captain A F Kitching (Capt.), A Hole, A Blanchard, W Rummings, F A C Millard, J Russell, Captain O B Corey (ASC MT), Sergt. D Fisher (NSY), T Hanney, S Head, E J Hodges, T Fisher, F Russell and E Odey. Referee Lieut. F Graham Brown, K.O.S.B.

“A very level first half was witnessed. The visiting forwards were very good, and play was interesting, although it was found difficult to handle the ball owing to the wet. On the run of play the scores should have been level at the interval, but Bath had secured the advantage through a try by J Russell, which was not converted.

Bath had the better of the restart but with a nice three-quarter promising well Kitching was given a pass he could not hold.

By good kicking and following up the Riflemen twice got down, Gooding only just finding touch in his own 25, Bath did quite as good work in the loose, and then when the visiting backs were attacking, their passing broke down and Kitching, given the ball by Hole, in his own half, rounded every visitor with one of those brilliant fast runs which used to delight the Bath crowd, and scored amid much enthusiasm. A few minutes later he made another fine run, this time through the centre of the field, but close to the goal posts his pass was not taken. Fine forward work by the soldiers brought play back to midfield. Intercepting wonderfully smartly, Kitching again secured in midfield, and was off for the line like a flash, and Howells had no chance. Hodges’s kick failed once more. The visiting forwards thoroughly deserved a score for their fine play, and got right back, but the backs were poor, and lost an easy chance.”



v Royal Naval Division, Blandford. Team:- E F Gooding, 2nd Lieut. R Cracken (A.S.C. M.T.), Cadet. W Moore, A Hole, A Blanchard, J Russell, Pte. Goodman A.S.C.), Captain O B Corey (A.S.C.), Sergt.-Major Ben Hurst (Wessex R.E.), S Head, F Russell, G Fisher, T Hanney, J Richardson, and J Mackay. Referee W F Long.

Proceeds in aid of Bath Sailors’ Week Fund. Teams changed at Royal Swimming Bath. The silver band of the Provisional Battalion entertained the crowd.



v Downside College. Won 5-3. Team:- B Shore, Pte Bradley (A.S.C.), A Blanchard, E Hole, Lieut. G V Gibbs (R.E.), J Russell, W Rummings, Pte. Comley (A.S.C.), F J Cashnella, E J Hodges, T Hanney, H Russell, E F Gooding, H Webber, and G Robbins. Referee:- Father R S Trafford.

Proceeds in aid of Mayor’s War Fund.

Cashnella got in with a soft try, which Blanchard converted with a fine kick. Downside showed good form in open play resulting in a try by Turner. Hole did some good work for Bath. A high spot saw Downside switching the play from side to side in a brave attempt to break the Bath defence.

After the interval, two magnificent dribbles brought Downside on the offensive, but they could not penetrate the heavier Bath forwards. Nevertheless, the Schoolboys attacked with spirit and were very unlucky to hit the corner flag in a lunge for the line. In the closing stages, Downside had the better of the play.



Bath unable to raise a team for scheduled match with New Zealanders. Tentative arrangements made for 20 January v Royal Flying Corps., and 20th February being the re-arranged date for the New Zealanders.


Bathwick v A.S.C., played on the Rec. Drawn 3-3.



In a match played on the Recreation Ground, an Army Service Corps XV beat St. Mary’s Bathwick by three points. Proceeds to the Mayor’s War Fund.



A.S.C. V Regimental Team, on the Rec. A.S.C. Won 34-0. (5g 3t)

The A.S.C. side included Reg Edwards, a Newport forward, W L Jones, an old Welsh International schoolboy, and Staff-Sergt. Watson, a Scottish International.



A.S.C. v Stothert and Pitt’s, played on the Rec.



v New Zealand (Command Depot) Rugby XV, Recreation Ground. Lost 4-16. (1dg to 2g 3t) The Regimental Band was to turn out, to play in Milsom Street and Abbey Churchyard. Proceeds of the match to the Bath War Hospital. Teams changed in the Royal Swimming Bath. Bath team:- Cadet Bell, A Blanchard, Cadet Lewis, A Hole, Private Jones A.S.C., Lieut. F H Wheeler A.S.C.(Dublin University), J Russell, F J Cashnella (Capt.), F Russell, T Hanney, Staff Sergeant Watson A.S.C., Cadet Sykes, Private Edwards A.S.C. (Newport), Cadet Wood and Lieut. McLaughlin A.S.C. (St. Thomas’s Hospital).

The Bath team included several of Prior Park School’s army cadets.

Referee:- Mr. Eddie Simpkins. Cadet Lewis is credited with scoring a beautiful drop-goal.



A.S.C. v Bristol O.T.C., played on the Rec. O.T.C. won 6-0.




Bath & Wilts Chronicle and Herald 26/9/1917:

“Rugby football will be played on the Recreation Ground, Pulteney Street, this season by the A.S.C. team, whose matches and practices will take place on the area usually occupied by the Bath Football Club. Should any occasional game be arranged by the latter organization for war charities the A.S.C. will vacate the ground and assist in forming the Bath team. The A.S.C. ought to have a capable XV. They certainly possess a fine stand-off half-back in the person of Private Taylor, who is the Leicester Club performer. The Bath Club goal posts have been hoisted already, and the military begin their matches on Saturday next.”



R.S.P.B., Army Service Corps v Prior Park O.T.C. on the Rec.

A.S.C.: Pte Chalk, Corpl. Worsley, Pte. Richardson, Capt. Bedale, Pte. W I Jones, Lieut. Marton, Pte. F H Taylor, Lieut. Carless, Corpl. Jenkins, Corpl. Lockett, Pte. Whittaker, Pte. R Edwards, Lieut. Macauslin, Corpl. Gibson, and Pte. Watson.



Bath based Army Service Corps Privates, Llewellyn Jones and F M Taylor (ex Leicester Club), played for the Army side which lost to the Navy by 12 points to18 points at Leicester this Saturday.



News that ex Bath stalwart, Captain T.B.Timmins, of the Somersets, was convalescing and was to be released on sick leave from India.



Downside School played Blundell’s School on the Rec. Downside were reputed to be the finest school team in Great Britain that season.



A.S.C. (Bath) v Bristol O.T.C., Away. Team:- Pte. Wm. L Jones (Capt.), Corpl. Worsley, Pte. Hole, Corpl. Smith, Pte. Sykes, Pt. F H Tayler, Capt. Badale, Reg. Edwards, Staff-Sergt. Watson, Pte. O’Brian, Lieut. Macauslin, Pte. Dart, Pte. Bell. Corpl. Lockett and Sergt. Gibson.

“A very interesting Rugby football match will be played on the Recreation Ground on Saturday, December 29th, between a team of New Zealanders from Codford and the Bath club. As the Bath Club has most of its players at the front, the home side will be composed mainly of soldiers, including many expert players. The match will be in aid of the funds of the Royal United Hospital.”

A Bath XV v New Zealand Command Depot. (Codford Camp) Home. Lost 5-24 (1g – 8t)

Bath Team:- Pte. W Llewellyn-Jones, Capt. A F Kitching, C A Williams, C Hobson, W Read, F Russell, Corpl. Thomas, Pte. W Edwards (Capt.), Staff Sergt. Watson, Pte. W King, Sergt. Lockett, H Dennis, J Rowe, E J Hodges and J Evans.

Referee:- Captain C B Loudoun-Shand.

“Bath won the toss, and the opening exchanges were well contested. The Bath forwards made progress by capital rushes in the loose, but the visitors’ backs were well timed and one New Zealand rush placed Jones in difficulties and he was forced to carry over. The visitors failed to make use of the chance and Bath came back. Kitching made one or two good efforts to break through and following a good kick by Jones the New Zealand passing was broken down. Just later Jones single-handed stopped a rush of fiive New Zealanders but next time Dickson picked up in the loose and swept over for a pretty try. The kick was a poor one. The Colonials showed some clever combination, picking up the ball under difficult circumstances and after a chequered course finally over-powered the defence and Johnston won the race for the ball and scored. Play remained in the visitors’ favour till good rushes by the Bath loose forwards took them gradually to the New Zealand 25. Jones made a brilliant effort, racing back for the ball and getting clear to wind up with a long kick to touch. Some exciting play followed, Read doing good work on the wing. The Colonials kept getting the ball in the scrum and from one of many good attacks Dickson crossed. The Bath forwards kept dribbling well and Rowe made a good effort. Interval:

New Zealand. … 3t (pts)

Bath XV .. … nil

New Zealand reopened very vigorously and after some hard tussling with the defence MacAlister scored an unconverted try in the corner. The Bath centres were weak, and a pretty run by one of the visitors, who was brought down close to the line, led to Dickson again crossing. Bath were not out of the game, however, and after the forwards had worked up well, Edwards scored from the line out and kicked the first goal of the match, New Zealand came back with a beautiful run down the right and Dickson scored. Just after the left wing was left unopposed and Dickson scored his fifth. After some uninteresting play Fitzgerald scored the Colonials’ eighth. In the closing stages the game swept from end to end of the field.”





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