Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Above Clifton 4 XVs that played Clifton College in 1930

Back Row (L-R): R.A.Gerard (Taunton), P.P.Pike, J.N.Hazell, J.W.R.Swayne (Bridgwater), J.W.Bruford, N.W.Matthews, D.J.Snook, T.J.M.Barrington (Bridgwater). Front Row: G.G.Gregory (Taunton), H.Sherman, T.W.Twose, T.D.Corpe (Clifton), A.W.Lillicrap (Bristol), I.F.M.Spence, K.J.McIntyre.

Above the 1930 Somerset side captained by Clifton's T.D.Corpe. Above photo taken before match v Gloucestershire

Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, T.B.Young, ?, ?, ?, ?. Middle Row: ?, ?, S.Hall (Captain), ?, ?. Front Row: ?, ?, ?.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1930-31.

Above the Clifton and Woodford sides that played against each other 0n 21st February 1931 at Woodford.

Standing (Players only) (L-R): M.A.McCanlis (Gloucester), F.Wadley (Gloucester), J.Davies (Lydney) Dr.R.N.Williams (Barts Hospital). Seated: H.Boughton (Gloucester), D.Burland (Bristol), L.Saxby (Gloucester), S.Tucker (Captain) (Bristol), A.Carpenter (Cinderford), P.Lambert (Bristol), K.Salmon (Berry Hill). On Ground: C.Osbourne (Cheltenham), C.B.Carter (Bristol), W.Thomas (Lydney), K.Dowling (Bristol).

Above the Gloucestershire side that won the County Championship in 1931 at Kingsholm. No Clifton players but Club Chairman Gilbert Castle standing extreme right.

It was in April of 1931 that the reporter John Rickman moved to Bristol to work for the Bristol Evening World. His nom de plume at the time was Trymdon which he chose after Westbury-on-Trym where some of his friends lived as well being the place of Clifton Rugby Club’s ground and the name of a famous racehorse. A regular at the ground, he was occasionally persuaded to play for the club. When the club were 2 men short or a match at Weston-super-Mare he was persuaded to play centre three-quarter. This made him an hour late for his report and a severe reprimand form the newspapers editor. John Rickman went on to become a famous Horse Racing commentator in the 1970s on ITV's World of Sport.

Above left John Rickman on his wedding day on April 29th 1939. Above right John Rickman in the 1970s


Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?. Sitting: ?, ?, S.Hall (Captain), ?, ?. In Front: ?, ?.

Above Clifton 1st XV from 1931-32

Above 4 Clifton XV's v Clifton College. October 17th 1931.

Above invite to the unveiling of the Memorial.

CLIFTON RUGBY CLUB MEMORIAL UNVEILED. - Mr. Bostock Smith (Bristol RFC), Mr.L.T.Masters (captain of Wellington), Mr Walter Pearce (President of the English Rugby Union), Mr J. de S.Hall (captain of Clifton), and Mr R.E.Bush standing at the memorial after the ceremony.

Above newspaper cutting from the Bristol Times and Mirror, Monday November 23rd 1931. Robert Bush was an ex Clifton player and brother of Clifton's first international, James Arthur Bush.

Back Row (L-R): J.Evans, G.H.Turner, P.C.Lowe, Brierley, G.Ehlers, Toad Parsons, Cyril Butler. Front Row: G.W.Davey, Brig?, Chris Gardiner, Peter Gardiner, Bill Jeffries, ?. On Ground: ?, ?

Above the Clifton 2nd XV in 1931-32 (Possibly at the beginning of the season). For more on George Hamilton Turner click here

Back Row (L-R): Freddy Thuell, Toad Parsons, T.H.B.Burrough, Philip Lowe, Jock Nicholson-Robinson, ?, ?. Sitting: Scruffy Leach, G.W.Davey, Chris Gardiner, Peter Gardiner, Bill Jeffries, Titus ?. On Ground: Peter Rynch, Tony Price. Names in this photo need to be verified.

Above Clifton 2nd XV from 1931-32 taken in March 1932. For more on Tom Burrough's click here For more on Tony Price click here


Above 4 Clifton XV's v Clifton College. October 14th 1932

On 28th September 1932 Clifton beat Bristol 8-6. The first time we have won in 11 years. Above newspaper article from the Western Daily Press.

First rugby club to fly to an away fixture.

First team to fly

The above appears in the book "One Hundred Years with the Clifton Rugby Football Club" but I'm afraid its not true. Harlequins flew from Croydon Airport to play the Army of the Rhine at Cologne on 10th February 1923 and were the first club XV to fly.

Above from the Bristol Evening World, October 22nd 1932. Clifton had just beaten Bath 14-3 that day at Eastfield Road

Above the Clifton side than beat Taunton 21-0 at Eastfield Road on 31st December 1932. Oxford Blue, Charles Richards, is seated 3rd left.

Back Row (L-R): R.Ainslie, Scruffy Leach, Steve Carwardine, Tiny Neale, H.S.Robinson, ?, Ken Cottell, Dick Peters. Sitting: Ken Wells, Tom Corpe, A.F.B.Ham, Ken Foss, Kit Smith. In Front: Hugh Evans, Pat Mortimer, Tom Mathias.

Above Clifton 1st XV taken in March 1933.


Top (L-R): R.P.Whissler, H.S.Russell, S.T.Carwardine. Second Row: H.M.Evans, C.G.Osmond, T.H.Burrough, A.F.B.Ham. Sitting: K.J.Foss, K.Wells, D.C.Osborn (captain), C.A.L.Richards, P.T.W.James. In Front: J.B.Leach, R.G.Strachan, K.G.Cottell.

Above Clifton 1st XV at the start of the 1933-34 season. Image taken from newspaper cutting dated September 30th 1933 after Clifton had beaten Old Edwardians 6-3. Part of a scrapbook belonging to T.H.B.Burrough.

Above programme cover and teamsheet for the Bath v Clifton match played on 28th October 1933. Bath won 21-14.

Back Row (L-R): H.M.Evans, H.C.Russell, G.W.Davey, P.Gardiner, A.T.G.Neale, E.P.Mortimer, G.Osmond, S.J.Carwardine, C.A.L.Richards. Sitting: H.S.Pamto, K.O.Cottee, D.C.Osbourn, A.F.B.Ham, T.H.B.Burrough. On Ground: H.S.Robinson, E.Robertson. (note spelling of names subject to confirmation)

Above Clifton XV taken in March 1934 with Oxford Blue Charles Richards. For more information on Charles Richards click here

Above: Towerleaze, the house owned by Clifton's first captain Charles Strachen. The house was built in the 1850/60s and faced The Downs. In 1934 it became a health hydro owned by T.J. and D.B. Elliott. It had 45 bedrooms and a new wing was added in 1950. The cost of a single room was between 17 and 21 guineas a week and double rooms were between 18 and 23 guineas a week. It was closed in the 1970's and demolished for flats bearing the same name. Behind is Ridgwood House which was once Drinagh House. This was Colwyn House Preparatory School for Girls.


Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?. Sitting: ?, T.H.B.Burrough, D.C.Osbourn, ?, E.P.Mortimer. In Front: ?, ?, ?.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1934-35

Above Clifton 4 XV's v Clifton College, October 1934.

Above local papers view on how to improve the Clifton side prior to the Weston match in 1935


Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?,?. Sitting: ?, T.H.B.Burrough, D.A.Brearley, ?, ?.

Above Clifton 1st XV from either 1935-36 or 1936-37


Above the 4 Clifton XV's that played at Clifton College in 1936.


Above programme from the Somerset v Gloucestershire match played on 23rd October 1937 at Kingsholm with Clifton's Tom Burrough in the Glos side.

Above image of the Clifton teams that played Clifton College on Saturday December 11th 1937. From the Bristol Evening Post. Image supplied by Jim Gresham of British Columbia whose father Tom Gresham is in the above picture. Tom Gresham also played for Bristol during the 1930s.

Above the 4 Clifton XV's that played at Clifton College on December 11th 1937.

Above left: Newspaper account of Tom Gresham winning man of the match for Clifton v Glamorgan Wanderers. Above middle: Newspaper article about Clifton’s Tom Gresham. Above right: Newspaper article about the players from Horfield Church who went on to play rugby for Bristol. Tom Gresham then went on to play for Clifton RFC. Images supplied by Jim Gresham of British Columbia son of Tom Gresham.


Back Row (L-R): J.H.N.Moss, G.J.Dillon, D.A.?, R.A.Garrett, B.G.?, G.?. Sitting: W.T.Gresham, T.H.B.Burrough, C.D.Garrett (Captain), R.G.?, M.?. On Ground: F.W.Grant, D.Fleming, D.B.E.Paine, ?.

Above Clifton XV 1937-38 taken on the 12th February 1938 v Bridgwater. Clifton won 24-8


1938 - Maurice J. Daly selected for Ireland (Right Wing) while playing for Harlequins. His one and only cap in which he scored one of four Ireland tries. Not sure of the Clifton playing dates but I suspect he started at Clifton RFC. He played for Old Haberdashers RFC from 1932 to 1937 and then joined Harlequins. The second world war interrupted his career but he did continue to play for Harlequins after the war (see 1940's).


Career Record: P1, W0, D0, L1, Tries 1, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

12th Feb 1938 v England (Lansdowne Road, Dublin) (FN) L 14-36




For more details on Maurice Daly click here

Back Row (L-R): D.A.Savage, F.J.Scoble, E.V.Manning, G.E.McWatters, D.S.Matthews, J.E.P.Wilcox, H.A.C.Hobbs, J.W.Tanner, G.P.Atkinson. Front Row: S.W.P.Brook, R.A.Garrett, K.G.Harvey (Captain), J.C.P.Beloe, T.W.Gresham, D.P.Gardner.

Above the Clifton team that played Bristol on September 21st 1938 at the Memorial Ground. Image supplied by Jim Gresham.

Above action from the 1938 Clifton V Bristol match. The caption read "A.DUTTON, the Bristol wing forward, breaking through in characteristic fashion in the Bristol v Clifton match at the Memorial Ground. H.A.Hobbs is seen cutting across an attempt to save." Behind A. Dutton is the Clifton Full-back Tom Gresham. Image supplied by Jim Gresham

Above progamme and match report of the 1938 Bristol v Clifton match at the Memorial Ground. Image supplied by Jim Gresham

Above programme and match report from Wasps v Clifton played on September 24th 1938 at Sudbury. Clifton were leading 8-5 at half-time but eventually went down 18-8. Image supplied by Jim Gresham.