1918 to 1919

Match Reports by Peter Hall and Colin Gale




Capt. Royal’s Team:- G Purrington, Lieut. L W Palmer, Cogan, J Russell, V Holmes, H Vowles, A Hatherill, Capt. W H Royal, G Fisher, E J Hodges, F Russell, G Royal, F Moody, C Lawrence and C Smith.

Mr. W Fear’s Team:- T Whittaker, A Hole, A Blanchard, H Baker, H Richardson, A Anderson, W Fear, F Moorman, Capt. W Worger, G St. Clair Johnston, G Hopkins, D Shore, W S Whiting, G Ediford, R H J Hulbert, W Sheppard, C East, T Burgess, J Blake, Butcher and Lieut. J Helps.

K.O. 2-45pm on the Recreation Ground. Referee Mr. H Sparkes.

Captain Royal’s team won by 21 points.


Bath Rugby Club on Saturday drew a large attendance. Captain Royal’s team won by a good margin. (21pts.), it is true, but on the run of the game hardly deserved to be so many points up. Both full-backs did well, F Coates appearing to be sound, although perhaps hardly fast enough. Young Whittaker shaped well, and should have a future. The ‘threes’ on the winning side had most chances, and Lieut. Palmer did many good things. Playing with Norman Coates he should do well, for he has a good turn of speed, and his play on Saturday showed him to be above the average. His wing man, H G Cogan, had few chances, but gave nothing away. Jim Russell sent Holmes over with one good try, but some of his passes were very badly timed and several went astray. Holmes has a wonderful turn of speed and should get many more tries yet. Harry Richardson and A Anderson were the pick of the opposing ‘threes,’ the latter who is a returned prisoner of war, looks to have plenty of football in him, and Richardson must be persevered with. Both are products of the Schools’ Rugby Union. The find of the match, no doubt, was H G Walker, the stand-off half. With Hatherill not over-anxious, he should make a fine partner for Harry Vowles. The forwards on both sides were well led by Captain Royal and Billy Fear’s deputy. It was a surprise to many how well some of the ‘old hands’ stuck it to the last. Hodges, Johnstone and Hulbert are not done with yet, and Padfield, who has just returned from the East, did remarkably well. G Fisher should be one of the regular eight, and among the new ones Pope, who got the second try was noticed, and has played for Abertillery. Norman Coates got three tries for Leicester on Saturday, but it is hoped to see him in a Bath jersey on Saturday next against Bristol.”

Boys admittance to be 3d. Wounded soldiers admission free.

Loan of ropes from Bath C C on the condition that they be taken down after each match.


v Bristol United, Home. Won 8-3. (1g 1t to 1t)

Bath Team:- H Whittaker, V Holmes, Lieut. L W Palmer, J Russell, H G Cogan, H G Walker, H Vowles, Capt. W H Royal, G Padfield, E Hodges, F Russell, R J H Hulbert, F Coles, J Pope and G Fisher.

Bristol United Team:– T Bateman, J H Manley, F G Hore, Len J Corbett, Sam Tucker, W Wring, H Harwood, F V Feltham, F J Coventry, W Allen, W J Smith, A C Sage, PG H Cripps, T J O’Connor and P J Williams.

A good game, despite wretched conditions. For three parts of the game Bristol looked the better side, but could only register the single try. Bath’s first try was one of the brightest moments in the game, as Walker cut out a capital opening, Jim Russell ran on, before feeding to Holmes, who went over in the corner. Vowles defended valiantly. The Bath forwards displayed impressive stamina, with Royal leading several good rushes. Feltham and Fisher were sent off.



v New Zealand Command Depot, Home. Lost 3-13.

The Bath Team: W Pope, Lieut. R R MacBryan, F. Cashnella, Lieut. S.W Palmer, R. Hubert, E.J Hodges, V. Holmes, T. Whittaker, Lieut. W Moore M.C, Captain W. H Royal, Captain W Worger, J Russell, H Vowles, H.G Walker.

Bath Weekly Chronicle – 8th March 1919

For the Second match of their post-war revival Bath, last Saturday entertained the New Zealand (Command Depot) team from Codford, the visitors winning by a dropped goal, a penalty goal and two tries (13 points) to a penalty goal (3 points).”



v Bristol United, at Radnor Road, Horfield.. Lost 3-5. Team:- W Lane, V Holmes, P P Hope, L W Palmer, H G Cogan, H Vowles, H G Walker, Capt. W H Royal, Capt. G G Powell, Capt. W Worger, Lieut. R R MacBryan, G Fisher, R H J Hulbert, F Russell, J Russell.

Jim Russell was the Bath scorer after Cogan, Vowles and several forwards had handled. Bath held the lead until a minute before half time, then: “Wring obtained from a scrum in Bath’s 25, and after Spoors and Corbett had handled, Quick was unmarked, and scored in the corner. William’s kick, quite a difficult one gave Bristol their victory.”

“It is doubtful if Vowles has ever done better. Time after time he beat both Wring and Beasley, and on more than one occasion when the Bristol forwards had heeled he robbed the opposing halves and went off on his own.”

The Bath team as a whole, deserved praise for their display.



v Auckland Battalion N.Z.E.F. Home. Won 15-5 Team :- E C Hartell, V Holmes, H G Walker, L W Palmer, H Richardson, H Vowles, A Hatherill, Capt. Royal, Capt. Worger, Capt. Powell, E Hodges, G Fisher, F Russell, J Pope, R Hulbert.

“The first time the overseas men attempted passing Palmer intercepted nicely, but Lieut. Lawless broke away from the scrum, and the ball going loose, a Bathonian passed wildly and Sergt. Major Slater obtained an easy try which Lieut. Moore converted.” Bath then came back to the attack and caught Lieut. Moore off-side. Hodges kicked a beautiful penalty goal from nearly half-way. “The game opened out splendidly now-to the delight of the spectators-and matters ruled even at half-way. Again Bath were passing. Palmer gathering beautifully, but he gave a difficult one to Walker and a scrum resulted. Lieut. Palmer, however, was again just after, and with the ball being flung about excitement was at concert pitch. Again the Bath three-quarters were moving.” “………….. Walker cut out a beautiful try a moment later. He ran through in good style, going straight through the opposition and then gave to Hulbert, who literally flung himself to the line and got there giving Bath a one point lead, for Hodges could not goal. (6-5)”

“In the second half Bath played finely, Pope sent Walker away with the leather, who passed to Richardson, who scored a fine try. (9-5). Palmer registered Bath’s third try, but there was still no goal kicked. (12-5). Holmes registered another try under the posts, but Hatherill failed with the kick. (15-5). The visitors next had a spell of attacking. There was no more scoring and the home side won handsomely.”

This was undoubtedly the best game since the 1914 close-down.



v Bristol University. (Home) Game scratched as ground flooded.



v Bristol University, Home. Won 43-0. Team :- Capt. A E Jones, Capt. Kitching, H G Walker, Dr Beck-Cluckie, Capt. Runtz, H Vowles, Corp. Shortus (Australian A.S.C.), Capt. Royal, F Russell, T Cox, E Hodges, J Richardson, G Fisher, F Burrow and R Penley.

Extracts from Chronicle Match Report:

“Bath lost the toss, but almost immediately afterwards Kitching secured in midfield though he appeared to have knocked on, and raced down in his old style, to the delight of the crowd, and scored behind the posts, Vowles adding the goal points. Passing on the left wing broke down, but following a fine dribble by Fisher the forward scored from the ensuing scrum.”

“Open work took Bath back, Shortus getting away and Kitching started off on a nice run which Vowles ended admirably. The goal kick failed. It was not long before Vowles was over again, dribbling through the visiting backs from the 25. Play was pleasantly open though not very accurate. Runtz showed a fine turn of speed twice, the second time giving to Kitching who was almost over in the corner. He passed inside but the recipient lost the ball after he was over the line. The University were quite outclassed, and after a further period of pressure Beck-Cluckie took a long pass in front of goal and scored, Vowles converting.”

“The fly half was holding on too long, however, considering the fine long passes given him by Vowles. Kitching shot over from one of his runs just before the interval.”

(Half Time 22-0)

In the second moiety: “Runtz made the running very nicely, and after doing all the work to the full-back gave Shortus an easy try, which Vowles goaled.”

Play was more even for a time.

Then: Beck-Cluckie cut through and Kitching scored another, which Vowles goaled. It was raining hard now, and Runtz dropped the slippery ball at the end of a most promising run. Walker was the next to cross. Another fine run of Kitching’s from half- way roused enthusiasm, for he rounded everyone and scored.”



v Avonmouth Old Boys, Home. Won 14-7. Team:- M Macey, V Holmes, H G Walker, Capt. N Coates, Capt. Runtz, H Vowles, A Hatherill, Capt. W H Royal, E Hodges, F Russell, G Fisher, W Sheppard, J Richardson, J Pope and J Froude.*

(* Newly returned from the Far East).

Much of the first half was ‘kick and rush,’ and no score resulted. However: “Bath restarted in fine style, and eventually Richardson managed to notch the first try, but Hodges could not convert. Soon came the best move of the game, when Coates and Runtz passed and interpassed finely on the left wing. The movement ended in Runtz scoring after a good run. Coates put in a good kick, but could not convert. Bath restarted in very lively fashion, Russell doing well in the loose, and then Vowles gave out to Hatherill and he to Coates, who got over with another try. Hodges tried to convert but failed.

Fred Russell got the next try after a good move by Walker and Pope. This was just behind the posts, and Vowles converted (14-0). Avonmouth got quite a delightful try just after, Roberts picked up at mid-field, and made off towards the left. He gave nicely to Nicholas, who fed his wing man, and Matthews scored. It was right in the corner, and there was no goal (14-3). Another surprise came to the home side a few minutes later, from near the 25 line, and Nicholas dropped a nice goal (14-7).”



v Australian A.S.C. (‘Kangaroos,’ based on Salisbury Plain)

Won 11-0. Team:- C Walwin, P P Hope, H G Walker, J Pope, V Holmes, H Vowles, H Richardson, Capt. W H Royal, Capt. Worger, Lt. R R MacBryan, E Hodges, F Russell, J Froude, G Fisher, and J Richardson.

.Hodges landed a goal from a mark within three minutes of the start. However, honours were even in the early stages until a kick from Vowles found touch almost on the goal line, and from the ensuing line-out F Russell went over.

“A quarter of an hour from the restart Bath rushed to the visitors’ rut, and Vowles stole round on the blind side of the scrum and got a try almost on the touch line. Then Hodges kicked a really wonderful goal, so that Bath were 11 points to the good. Very little three-quarter play was being seen now, but the forwards were having a royal battle with matters pretty even. The visiting half was again penalised for offside and Walwin gained a good piece of ground. Another free to Bath placed them well in the visitors’ 25, and here Hope got away in a very determined fashion. He made his usual old time dash, but was forced into touch at the corner flag. Hodges then got away from a line out, and was going strong when he gave to Russell, who could not gather. Excitement ran high when Holmes dashed away on the far wing, but the visitors were tackling finely, and the movement was stopped. Walwin was having plenty to do for the Australians were kicking strongly, but Fisher and Richardson led a capital forward rush, the ball went over the line, and Holmes grounded it, but a scrum out was ordered. Nothing further was scored, and the result was Bath 2gls (1 marked), and 1t. (11pts) to Kangeroos nil.”



v New Zealanders Command Depot, (Southern Command Champions) (Codford Camp) Home. Lost 0-6.: C Walwin, I J Pitman ,* H G Walker, H Richardson, V Holmes, H Vowles, Cpl. Shortus, Capt. W H Royal, Capt. Worger, E Hodges, F Russell, J Pope, F Froude and G Fisher and J Richardson.

*I J Pitman. The Eton athlete’s first game for Bath.

“There was a splendid crowd to witness the War-cry of the visitors, which was capitally rendered, and the turf and the weather were ideal.”

Worger and Russell were prominent in early dribbles, but Pitman was hard pressed on occasions. However, Shortus was outstanding in defence and cleared the line with his kicking. “Vowles goes on improving week by week.” Excitement was intense, with both sides giving a fine display. Pitman was playing better and earned applause for a smart pick up and punt to safety. There was still no score at half-time and loose play at the restart let in Jameison in the corner.

Seconds later he made another dash for the line and appeared to have been stopped by Walwin and Fisher, but a try was awarded. Bath came back, but Pitman was bundled into touch. The game ended with Bath attacking strongly.

Of the New Zealanders: “Two faster wings than Jamieson, and Mexted have seldom been seen on the Bath ground, but they were opposed by Holmes and Pitman, and the ex-Combe Down man looked after Mexted well and prevented more than on score with fine tackling.”



v Burnham. Home. Won 42-0. (3 goals and 9 tries) Team:- J Russell, P Hope, H Richardson, A Woodward, L V Burt, H Vowles, S G U Considine*, W H Royal, F Russell, L J Richardson, G Wilkins, R S Chaddock, W H Sheppard, F J Cashnella, and E Hodges.

Tries:- Woodward (4), Hope (2), Considine (2), Sheppard, Burt, Cashnella and Vowles one each. Conversions by Considine, Hodges and Woodward.

* S G U Considine’s had a fine first game for Bath.



v Abertillery, Home. Lost 0-14. (1g and 3t to nil) Team:- J Johnson, Llew Jones, H G Walker, Corp. Shortus, I J Pitman, H Vowles, A Hatherill, Royal, Worger, Hodges, Pope, Russell, Froude, Hulbert, Fisher.

The visitors entertained an appreciative crowd with their good passing movements. Abertillery crossed the Bath line four times for an impressive win.



v Pontypool. Home. Won 8-4. (1goal, 1try to 1 drop goal)

Team:- C Walwin, V Holmes, H Richardson, F Shortus, L Jones, H Vowles, S G U Considine (ex Blundells School)*, Royal, Worger, Russell, Pope, Hulbert, Hodges, Richardson and Budden.

New player Budden, was one of the best of the forwards.

“It was a capital game from start to finish, and the result was in doubt until the last.”

“Both tries were got in practically the same manner, and were the result of keen following up. The first one by Russell came through Vallis failing to hold, but the second by Shortus was a surprise to everyone. Vowles attempted to goal from a free, and the Australian followed up so well that he secured the leather and fell over with as good a try as we have seen this season.”

“Ponty put up a good game, but the side now does not include a Ponty Jones or a Jack Jones, and their outside play would not compare with that shown by Abertillery on Saturday.” However, Lewis dropped a smart goal.

“In the second half the home backs showed several passing movements which should have brought tries, but the ‘Pool tackling was good and at times strenuous.”

The home pack were congratulated, as they more than held their own, with a fine all round display. “J Richardson, Royal and Worger were perhaps the most noticeable, and Pope again did smart things, especially in picking up and punting to touch when the visitors appeared to be getting dangerous.”


“A match was arranged yesterday afternoon at the Athletic Ground, Bathampton, between Married and Single, resulting in a victory for the Married by 5 goals to 3.”

For the Married A Hunt accounted for three, and Blanchard and R Dolman for one each.



Bath (in red) v Canadians (in blue), Home. Lost 6-11. Team:- J Johnson, I J Pitman, H G Walker, F C Shortus, Llew Jones, H Vowles, S G U Considine, Capt. Royal, Capt. Worger, F Russell, E Hodges, J Pope, J Richardson, J Budden and G Fisher.

Considine figured early in defence, but several Bath players muddled badly and the Canadians scored a gift try in the first five minutes, and indeed, Bath were eight points down in eight minutes! Corporal Perry added another try after good passing. Despite being eleven points down, Bath began to have the better of the play: “…Pitman made one great dash to get home, and was only brought down a yard outside.” (0-11 at half-time)

In the second spell: “Considine brought off the move of the match so far, for picking up very awkwardly near the home rut, he beat quite half a dozen before a burly Canadian pushed him into touch. The homesters were really waking up now, and Walker and Pope were often in evidence, the former getting in another of his great runs. The home side were rewarded for there was a great forward rush, a high punt, and the Canadians failing to gather, Fisher scored but Vowles could not convert. (3-11) Each side attacked in turn now, and Kenning was penalised for being round too smartly on Vowles. Hodges obliged again with a wonderful kick almost from half way, so Bath were reducing the lead.” (6-11)

The game ended with Shortus and Walker pressing strongly near the Canadians’ line.


Capt. A F Kitching could only play in one match, but he heads the list of try getters with four to his name against Bristol University. Other scorers were Vowles (3), Holmes, Pope, Shortus, Walker and F Russell (2 each), while the following players scored one each:- J Russell, Hodges, H Richardson,, Palmer, Fisher, Beck-Cluckie,

J Richardson, Runtz, Coates and Hulbert.

Hodges kicked seven goals (four of which were penalties) and Vowles five.

It will be remembered that some of Hodges’ kicks were really splendid ones, while many of the easy ones were missed.


The following list contains the names of Players who had appeared in the Bath colours at some time, and lost their lives as a result of First World War service. The names were accumulated while scanning through daily pages at the Bath Chronicle Archives. We wish to apologise to any descendants, if any Bath Football Club player has been omitted.

Sergeant Alf Cleall killed at the Front 17th February 1915 aged forty. He was a Vice Chairman of the Club.

Rifleman Tom West lost in action 29th September 1915. A former Oldfield Park Club centre, he played for Bath and Somerset. He subsequently played for Northern Union Club Rochdale Hornets.

Private E (Eddie) L Clarke lost in action 8th July 1916. Another Oldfield Park player, who played for Bath ‘A’s, with appearances for the 1st XV. He had emigrated to Canada and returned with a Canadian Contingent.

Sergt. Arthur Douglas West posted missing, presumed dead 13th-15th November 1916.

Had joined Northern Union Club Oldham.

Lt. Commander G N Biggs. On 9th December 1916, the Bath Chronicle announced that he had been lost at sea. Played one game 1904-5 season.

CHRONICLE REPORT 24th March 1917 on the death of Lt. Colonel G A Perreau of the Indian Infantry, killed in Mesopotamia aged 43. A former Hermitage School player, appeared for Bath 1891-95, and in Old Crocks XV 1900-01 Season.

BATH CHRONICLE REPORT 12th January 1918 – reported Private Alfred (Loo) Hatherill as missing in action. It subsequently transpired that he had been killed.

He was an immediate pre-war player and Committeeman.

Walter Fletcher died in London Military Camp aged 41. He had been invalided home with shell shock. CHRONICLE REPORT 25th May 1918.

D (Dave) Fisher, a Bath stalwart immediately pre-war. He was wounded in France, and died in the Isle of Wight, where he was working on munitions.

BATH CHRONICLE REPORT 17th September 1918 – Lord Alexander Thynne fell in action in command of a Wiltshire Battalion. He was a Vice President of the Bath Football Club.


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