Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Back Row (L-R): O.Siepmann, G.Barlow, G.W.Palmer, T.S.Peppin, F.Borwick, H.Clissold, H.M.Ruddock, S.T.Irwin, W.H.S.Laxton, G.H.Clark, P.S.Jeffrey. Middle Row: A.H.Peppin, C.H.St.L.Russell, W.A.Shenstone, H.C.Payne, R.T.Cartea, Rev H.Pentecost, J.E.Pearson, A.T.Martin, W.O.Moberly, W.W.Vaughan, C.H.Spence, R.D.Budworth. Front Row: H.M.Buller, J.H.Fowler, Rev W.Asquith, H.W.Household, R.J.Morich, Rev H.C.Watson, E.H.C.Smith, Michael George Glazebrook (Headmaster), Rev J.H.Wiseman, E.J.Barff, A.W.Targett, M.A.North, Rev P.W.H.Kettlewell.

Above the Masters of Clifton College in 1900, from a photograph by W.Clark, with ex Clifton RFC players Edward James Barff, Richard Dutton Budworth (Oxford Blue and England International) (started at Clifton RFC 1879-80). Harry Clissold (started at Clifton RFC 1894-95) and William Octavius Moberly (the England International and first Varsity Oxford Captain) (Started at Clifton RFC in 1876-77). M A North (started at Clifton RFC 1891-92). Frank Borwick (started at Clifton RFC in 1891-92). William Wyamar Vaughan (1865-1938), educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. Master at Clifton College 1890-1904. (House Tutor in Tankred Tunstall-Behrens' house until end of 1893). Headmaster of Rugby School 1921-1931.


Above F.J.Hannam who was made Captain of the 1st XV from 1901-03. He took over during a decline in the club both in results and number of players, but helped turn things around. This season included the big fight back against Bridgwater. Loosing 5-11 at half-time and winning 13-11 at the end. The season also included wins against Knowle (twice), Cheltenham, Marlborough, Clifton and Cheltenham Colleges, Taunton (twice), Bath and Stroud. Above right Hon. Secretary E.L.Marriott who along with Hannam turned the club around. For more on Francis Hannam click here. For more on Edward Marriott click here.

Clifton RFC player George Strachan John Fuller Eberle plays in his first Varsity match for Oxford University in 1901. He also played the following year.

Above: George Fuller Eberle in his Oxford blazer. Born 14th October 1881.

For more on George Eberle click here

Back Row (L-R): Leonard W.Baker, W.W.Vaughan, H.W.Millard, G.W.Templar, H.B.F.Bingham, J.H.Inskip, A.S.Mills, H.Clissold, E.L.Marriott, C.W.W.James, S.B.Smith. Middle Row: G.H.Beloe, E.S.B.Smith, F.J.Hannam, Mr H.W.Beloe, H.Mills, E.F.Eberle. Front Row: H.W.Mearns, A.H.C.Fargus, D.A.Clark, F.O.Wills.

Above Clifton XV of 1901-02


Back Row (L-R): H.Clissold, A.J.Gardner, ?, ?, J.H.Inskip, V.Green-Armytage. Sitting; ?, H.B.F.Bingham, Mr H.W.Beloe, F.J.Hannam, E.F.Eberle. On Ground: Claude Watkins Baker, D.A.Clark

Above Clifton XV of 1902-03

Back Row (L-R): J.Howlett, E.Gardiner, T.W.F.Henderson, R.Lowe, H.C.Hicks, M.Leonard, H.S.Evans, V.Green-Armytage, C.L.Taylor. Middle Row: D.W.Smith, A.Lowe, P.T.Rowe, F.J.Hannam, L.J.B.Durnford, A.V.Board, S.B.Smith. Front Row: P.J.Slee, Cecil W.Baker, L.W.Baker

Above Clifton 2nd XV 1902-03

Edward Watkins Baker makes first of 7 appearances for The Barbarians. He is the only Clifton player to have played for the Barbarians but never represented his country. Other players have played for the Barbarians before or after joining Clifton. The Barbarians didn't start playing Countries until 1948.

OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1903-04

Career Record: P7, W1, D0, L6, Tries 1, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

11-04-1903 v Swansea (St.Helen's, Swansea) L 0-28

13-04-1903 v Cardiff (Cardiff Arms Park) W 10-4

28-12-1903 v Newport (Rooney Parade, Newport) L 5-17

01-04-1904 v Penarth (Penarth) L 4-5

02-04-1904 v Cardiff (Cardiff Arms Park) L 0-8

05-04-1904 v Devonport (Devonport) L 8-19

06-04-1904 v Plymouth (Plymouth) L 8-26

Edward Watkins-Baker joined Clifton from Bristol, a rare event, probably due to the fact that his brother Claude had been made Vice-Captain of the Clifton 1st XV and his brother Tom had left Bristol. He scored his only try for the Barbarians against Cardiff 13th April 1903. During his time playing for Bristol he was a student at Edinburgh University, on twenty-two occasions he traveled down to play in a match.

For more on Edward Watkins-Baker click here

Above: Tom Watkins-Baker, started with Clifton in 1896 and then he joined Bristol. He left with several other players in 1901 but did return to Clifton in 1907. He became President of Bristol Saracens RFC between 1906-07 and 1908-1910


Back Row (L-R): J.H.Inskip, E.Gardiner, ?, G.H.Beloe, ?, ?, ?, ?, V.Green-Armytage. Sitting: E.Fuller-Eberle, D.A.Clark, W.W.Vaughan, Mr.H.W.Beloe, A.J.Gardner, Claude Watkins-Baker, ?. On Ground: ?, Cecil Watkins-Baker.

Above Clifton XV of 1903-04.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Bristol v Clifton match played on 28th November 1903. Bristol won 3-0

Back Row (L-R): L.H.Porter, (A or R) Lowe, Cunning, John Henry Board, Gerald Herbert Douglas Metcalfe, Clifford Oswald Brettelle, (C.E. or W.C.) Lavington, Henry John Carew Gribble, Wilfred Fabian Waite. Middle Row: Joseph John Leech Harvey, E.N.N.Sellman, R.Austin, H.G.Greenwood, Cecil Leecroft Watkins Baker (Captain), Charles Herbert Hart, Thomas Howard Butler, Stuart Bertram Sleeman. Front: Edward Alfred Harris, Edward Featherstone Briggs, J.H.B.Lloyd, J. Merrick Lucas.

Above - Old Cliftonians

Above Clifton 3rd XV of 1903-04. Henry Gribble in the above photo is the nephew of Walter Gouldsmith Gribble who was one of the original Clifton RFC players and appears in the 1872 photo of the Clifton College players and the 1873 Clifton RFC photo.

Defeated Gloucester 5-3 at Kingsholm. Later in the season also defeated Bath at the Rec. The win against Gloucester was probably the most memorable victory in the clubs history. Not for over 20 years had Gloucester been beaten at Kingsholm. The side that played for Clifton that day was F.O.Wills, back; E.F.Eberle, E.W.Baker, Claude W.Baker, P.J.Slee, three-quarters; Cecil W.Baker, Leonard W.Baker, halves; A.J.Gardner (captain), J.H.Inskip, V.Green-Armytage, A.V.Boad, A.C.Godwin, E.E.Davies, H.Clissold and E.Gardiner, forwards. The team included 4 Baker brothers. For more click here

Leonard Watkins-Baker

Claude Watkins-Baker

Cecil Watkins-Baker

Above Clifton Cap of 1903-04. Possibly awarded to G.F.Mathews.


Back Row (L-R): F.J.Hannam, G.F.Matthews, L.J.B.Durnford, H.G.W.Prideaux, E.Gardiner, E.E.Davies, E.J.G.Higham, S.F.Sykes, E.S.B.Smith, H.Gardiner, P.T.Rowe, A.B.Yeomans. Middle Row: P.J.Slee, A.J.Gardner, Mr H.W.Beloe, Claude W. Baker, L.W.Baker, E.F.Eberle. Front Row: A.Gardiner, Cecil W.Baker.

Above Clifton XV 1904-05

Above a mystery photograph from between 1903-05. Clifton with unknown opposition.

Arthur Edward James Collins, holder of the highest known innings in any form of cricket joined Clifton RFC in February 1905. He never rose above the 2nd XV. He is most famous for scoring 628 not out at Clifton College on 22,23,26,27,28 June 1899 (played over 5 afternoons, 5-ball overs) which beat AE Stoddart (485 for Hampstead v Stoics in 1886) in 6 hours 50 minutes, 1 x 6, 4 x 5, 31 x 4, 33 x 3, 146 x 2. Collins was dropped on 80, 100, 140, 556 and 612. He was 13 years-old at the time.

Above left A.E.J.Collins aged 13. Above middle the plaque (not fixed until 1962) on the Guthrie Road wall behind which is the pitch that the match took place. Above right a portrait of Arthur Edward James Collins.

This did not happen on the main Clifton College pitch but on a smaller one, see sketch below left.

Above right the original Junior School buildings (now demolished) at Clifton College. The Collins match was played just to the right of the buildings, on what is known as 'Collins' Piece'.

Collins not only played cricket and rugby but also boxing, rackets, cross-country, and swimming. He very rarely played any sport after passing his entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in September 1902. He died during the 1st World War only 3 months after it had started on 11th November 1914. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. For more on Collins click here

Above image of rugby pitch at Clifton College in 1904


Back Row (L-R): F.J.Hannam (Hon.Sec.), E.E.Davies, T.H.Butler, P.T.Rowe, H.W.Beloe (President), T.Miller, G.F.Mathews, L.W.Baker, A.V.Board, P.H.Thomas. Middle Row: E.Gardiner, A.J.Gardner, P.J.Slee (Captain), E.J.G.Higham (Vice-Captain),. Front Row: N.H.B.Lyon, S.H.Lockyer, C.W.Baker, M.Lucas, E.F.Eberle.

Above Clifton XV 1905-06

Clifton, with 8 reserves playing, narrowly lost to Stade Francais 3-6 at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris on 21st January 1906. Above both teams.

Above club accounts for 1905-06. The biggest gate receipts of the season was for the Bristol match, £10-9-0. Gloucester, Bridgwater and Stroud get bigger gate receipts than Bath. There is still involvement with the Kings Arms as it records that it cost £15 to hire a room there.

Field goal abolished in 1905.

Charles Gardner joined Clifton in 1907/08. He was born on 7th December 1883. Died on 3rd July 1963. He also appeared in the 1906 varsity match. Educated at St.Andrew's College, Grahamstown. He was one of the first Rhodes Scholars. He became a lawyer in 1907. He was a Lieutenant (Acting Captain) and Adjutant, R.F.A. He served in France in 1917; in Italy in 1917-19. M.C. on 3rd June 1919 and mentioned in despatches from Italy in 1919. He became a K.C. in 1927. He was an acting judge in 1940. Liaison Officer 1941-44. Judge Advocate U.D.F. and Member of Courts Martial; Lieutenant-Colonel from 1944. Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, Eastern District Local Division. Judge President Local District Supreme Court 1949-53. For more on Charles Gardner click here

Worthington Wynn Hoskin joined Clifton in 1906/07 (he appears in the 1908/09 picture below). Although both Hoskin and Gardiner played for Clifton during their vacations. Their first match was officially during the 1904-05 season v Bridgwater. The team for that Bridgwater match made rather unusual reading, for there were four Watkins Bakers - three playng on the line, A.J.Gardner, C.J.Gardner and the three Gardiner brothers - H., E and A. Worthington Hoskin ended the season scoring 1 try for Clifton

Hoskin was born on 8th May 1885. Died on 4th March 1956. He appeared in 4 varsity matches in 1904-7. In the last of these he was captain of Oxford. He was the first Rhodes Scholar to win an Oxford Blue. He was a private tutor in England from 1908 - 1912.

OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1905

Career Record: P2, W0, D0, L2, Tries , Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

26th December 1905 v Newport (Rodney Parade, Newport) L 3-11

27th December 1905 v Cardiff (Cardiff Arms Park) L 0-15



Hoskin also played rugby for the Barbarians (while at Blackheath), Blackheath, Northampton and Gloucestershire. He left to become house master at his old school, St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown, South Africa and rose to become Vice-Principal there from 1925-39. He was 1st team rugby coach there from 1913. The college celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2005.

For more on Worthington Wynn Hoskin click here


Back Row (L-R): T.Miller, F.L.Mullaly, E.W.Baker, F.T.Boucher, A.J.Gardner, P.T.Rowe, V.F.Eberle, F.J.Hannam. Middle Row: G.F.Matthews, E.Briggs, P.H.Thomas, P.J.Slee, E.J.G.Higham, E.N.N.Sellman, A.Reid. Front Row: L.G.Dimmer, Cecil W.Baker, A.Gardiner, E.F.Eberle.

Above Clifton XV of 1906-07 with Barbarian Edward Watkins-Baker.

What is believed to be the Clifton and Racing Club of France sides that played in 1906-07. Clifton captain P.J.Slee holding the ball.

Above signed menu from the 1907 Annual Dinner held at the Chivers Rooms.

Above club accounts for the season 1906-07.


Back Row (L-R): C.W.Baker, G.F.Matthews, E.Gardiner, R.Fedden, H.G.W.Prideaux, P.T.Rowe, F.J.Hannam. Middle Row: A.J.Gardner, F.T.Boucher, E.F.Eberle, E.J.G.Higham, E.Briggs, C.M.Welsby. On Ground: A.L.Weir, R.Witchell, A.Gardiner, L.W.D.Wathen.

Above Clifton XV 1907-08. For more on Roy Feddon, above standing centre, click here

Above group of 4 Clifton XV's at the annual match v Clifton College. November 30th 1907.

Back Row (L-R): F.Cavanagh, J.F.Holloway, W.H.Gale, S.D.Withers, H.E.Townsend (Coach),

Above the Ariel Rowing Club Committee 1907 with Clifton RFC's S.D.Withers standing extreme right, he joined Clifton in 1908-09.

Back Row (L-R): W.T.Pearce, J.W.Jarman (Bristol), E.S.Bostock-Smith (President), R.A.Roberts (Hon.Sec.), C.J.Woolf. Standing: F.J.Hannam (Clifton), A.E.Wood, W.Johns (Gloucester), J.Nelmes, V.F.Eberle (Clifton), H.Quixley, A.Hall, A.Redding (Cinderford), A.Hudson, J.H.Tratt. Seated: J.Hart (Hon.Treas), E.F.Eberle (Clifton), G.Cook (Gloucester), D.Hollands, J.L.Mathias (Bristol) (Captain), A.Teague, F.Niblett, J.Hyndham (Cinderford), C.E.Brown (Vice-Pres)

Above the Gloucestershire side that played Cornwall on 20th February 1908, in front of 4,000 spectators, with Cliftons Victor and Ellison Fuller-Eberle. Cornwall, despite playing with only 14 men for 60 minutes, won by 3 goals to 1 penalty goal. Cornwall went on to beat Durham 17-3 on March 28th 1908 to win the County Championship. They then represented England in the Olympic Games at White City Stadium on October 26th and 27th, 1908. They lost the final to Australia 32-3 and were awarded the Silver Medal

Above signed menu from the 1908 Annual Dinner at the Chivers Rooms.

Above club accounts for 1907-08.


Back Row (L-R) E.J.G.Higham, F.T.Boucher, P.L.Ealand, J.H.Savory, G.W.Coles, W.W.Hoskin, A.J.Gardner, F.R.R.Rudman, R.Lowe, P.J.Slee, F.J.Hannam. Middle Row: C.M.Welsby, E.Gardiner, E.F.Eberle, H.W.Below Esq., E.Briggs, A.L.Weir, V.F.Eberle. Front Row: R.Witchell, A.Gardiner, J.A.Brown, C.Slee.

Clifton RFC 1908-09. Thanks to Richard Savory for the above photo. His grandfather,Harry (James Henry) Savory is in the back row. He one of the few players to return from the 1st World War having survived being shot in the neck in 1915.

Australia beat a Gloucestershire side 16-0 on 1st October 1908 at Kingsholm, Gloucester in front of 8,000 spectators. Included in the line-up were 3 Clifton players. For more details click here

1909 - Clifton provided 6 players to a joint Clifton/Bristol team that lost to Australia 11-3 at Gloucestershire County Ground in front of a crowd of 5,000. For more details click here

Back Row (L-R): J.H.Fowler, H.N.Matthews, M.A.North, F.L.Carter, F.Borwick, F.W.Rootham, G.W.Palmer, A.H.Peppin, R.O.Beachcroft, F.Wilson, F.S.Gardiner, Rev C.W.Wordsworth, H.A.Butt, W.J.Hemsley, J.L.Burbey, L.G.Pilkington, E.C.Atkinson, H.H.Symonds, T.S.Peppin, H.W.M.Parr, C.Chittock, W.P.Milne, H.Clissold, E.B.Ludlam, R.A.Raven, O.R.Langley, Gax, H.M.Buller, C.A.Jaccard, H.B.Mayor, R.C.Fawley, H.C.Beaven, W.E.Smith, K.Fisher, T.R.Crawley-Boevey, A.D.Imlay, E.P.Lewis, C.B.Gray, Rev A.Fish, Lieut G.Carlson. Front Row: E.H.C.Smith, E.J.Barff, W.W.Asquith, D.Rintoul, W.O.Moberly, Albert Augustus David (Headmaster), C.H.Spence, S.T.Irwin, Rev J.Polack, O.Siepmann, G.H.Clark, H.G.Barlow.

Above the Masters of Clifton College in 1909. From a photograpgh by G.L.Eves. The photograpgh includes ex Clifton RFC players Harold Castlereagh Beavan (started at Clifton RFC 1904-05), Rev Christopher William Wordsworth (Oxford Rugby Blue in 1902. Great-grandson of the poet) (started at Clifton RFC 1906-07), Harry Clissold (started at Clifton RFC 1894-95) and William Octavius Moberly (the England International and first Varsity Oxford Captain) (Started at Clifton RFC in 1876-77). Frank Borwick (started at Clifton RFC in 1891-92). Hugh Wharton Myddleton Parr was one of the 44 Clifton players that died in World War 1. M.A.North (joined Clifton RFC in 1891).

Above John F. Holloway who joined Clifton RFC in 1909-10. He was also captain of Ariel Rowing Club in 1910,11,15,22,23, and 1925. He worked for his father, George, as a Printer and Wholesale Stationer. They lived in Westbury-on-Trym

Above signed Menu from the 1909 Annual Dinner held at Chivers Rooms. Signatures identifiable are J.H.Savory, A.J.Gardner, H.W.Beloe,E.F.Eberle, H.Clissold.


Back Row (L-R): F.T.Boucher, J.H.Savory, P.L.Ealand, A.N.H.Churchill, A.J.Gardner, J.A.Brown, H.Hosegood, P.H.A.Matthews, E.Gardiner. Sitting: J.A.Dommett, C.M.Welsby, E.F.Eberle, E.Briggs, H.W.Below Esq., V.F.Eberle, A.B.Sellman, H.G.W.Prideaux. On Ground: C.Slee, R.Witchell.

Above 1st XV 1909-10

Above group of 4 XV's taken at Clifton College on 17th November 1909.

Gloucestershire beat Yorkshire in the County Championship final at Kingsholm with Clifton RFC player Victor Fuller-Eberle. For more click here