Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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George Strachan John Fuller Eberle


George Strachan John Fuller Eberle born 14th October 1881. His father, James Fuller-Eberle, was a Carriage Manufacturer originally from Devonport. He went on to be an honorary member of Clifton Rugby Club at its foundation in 1872. In 1881 the Eberles had a modest house at 13 Pembroke Vale, Clifton, just across the road from the side of the present day Clifton Cathedral. In 1891 they had moved to the larger 96 Pembroke Road, Clifton. They were still there in 1901.

Above 96 Pembroke Road, Clifton which became the home of Clifton RFC's Harold Rudman in 1912. He died in WW1.

Above North Town Caps, Clifton College 1898. (L-R) G.S.J.Fuller-Eberle, D.W.Smith, A.C.McWatters, H.S.Hall, P.G.Robinson


















Above a photo of George Fuller-Eberle which was found in the album of fellow Clifton College and Clifton RFC player Alfred Gardiner.

Eberle plays the Varsity rugby match for Oxford University in 1901 and 1902. He played for Gloucestershire in 1902. He also represented Oxford University at Swimming.

Above George Fuller Eberle in his Oxford blazer.

The Isis of 1902 described George Eberle as so "Stands 6ft. 1in and 131/2 stone - is indeed a monsttrum horrendum informe ingens... acrobes his physique to an unvarying diet of porridge and chocolate mint". He was educated at Clifton College and joined Clifton RFC in 1900. After University he joined Bristol. He played in all the England trials of 1901/2 and 1902/3. He severely damaged a cartilage in the final Trial in 1903. He was elected captain of Bristol but again damaged the cartilage in the third match of the season against Bridgwater and never played again. He helped with the coaching at Clifton after his injury. He became a solicitor in Bristol and retired in 1958. As captain of the Clifton College Cadet Corps he mounted a guard of honour on the occasion of Queen Victoria's last visit to Bristol. During the First World War he was a Territorial Officer (Lt.Col.) with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gloucestershire Royal Engineer Volunteers and was mobilised in 1916. His 3 brothers also played for Clifton RFC.

Back Row (L-R): V.H.Cartright, G.S.J.F.Eberle, N.Kennedy, W.B.Odgers, D.D.Dobson. Sitting: S.H.Osbourne, E.J.Walton, J.E.Crabbie, F.Kershaw, R.C.Grellet, J.Strand-Jones. On Ground: A.J.Swanzy, H.F.Terry, J.E.Raphael.

Above Oxford XV of 1901 with George Fuller-Eberle.

Above action from the 1901 Oxford v Cambridge match played at Queen's Club on December 11th. Oxford won 8-0

Above image from the London Illustrated News showing action from the 1901 Varsity rugby match. The image shows the Oxford three-quarters with George Fuller-Eberle on the extreme left in the foreground. John Edward Crabbie, the Oxford captain and Scottish international, scored 2 tries in the match which Oxford won 8-0

George Eberle from the Isis on February 1st 1902.

Back Row (L-R): C.D.Fisher, W.B.Odgers, G.S.J.F.Eberle, C.W.Wordsworth, R.O.Hutchison, A.D.Sloane, G.V.Kyrke. Sitting: A.J.Swanzy, V.H.Cartright, R.C.Grellet, S.H.Osbourne, J.E.Raphael. On Ground: A.D.Stoop, J.R.P.Sandford, A.M.P.Lyle.

Above Oxford XV of 1902 with George Fuller-Eberle and Charles WIlliam Wordsworth.

The 1902 Varsity match also featured another Clifton RFC player, Christopher William Wordsworth on the Oxford side. He also gained a hockey blue, had rugby trials for England and also played cricket for Westmorland. Ordained in 1905. From 1906 to 1912 he was assistant master and chaplain at Clifton College. He was great-grandson of the poet William Wordsworth. He joined Clifton RFC in 1906-07.

Above Ralph Cleaver's illustration for the Illustrated London News of the 1902 Varsity rugby match. The captions reads the pass that lead to Oxfords second try. However Oxford only scored 1 try in the match which was scored by George Eberle and converted by Charles Wordsworth.

George Fuller-Eberle from the Isis on the 2nd Decmber 1902. His face on the Sheldonian Theatre.

He became a solicitor in Bristol.

On the 20th April 1911 he married Violet Brittan. It was announced in the Times on April 22nd and said

EBERLE : EVANS. - On the 20th April, at Emmanuel Church, Clifton, Bristol, by the Rev. E. Drewe, vicar of St. Stephen's, Launceston, and the Revd. George Hemming, Vicar of Emmanuel, GEORGE STRACHAN J. FULLER EBERLE, eldest son of J. Fuller Eberle, of 110, Pembroke Road, to VIOLET BRITTAN, eldest daughter of H. BRITTAN EVANS, of 32 Pembroke Road, Clifton, Bristol.

In World War 1 he became a Territorial Officer (Lt.Col.) with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gloucestershire Royal Engineer Volunteers and then joined the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment (48th Div.) and served in France, Belgium and Italy. He was mentioned in dispatches 3 times and received the Distinguished Service Order and Territorial Decoration.

Back Row (L-R): H.Merrick, C.M.Welsby, F.E.Metcalfe, A.J.Gardner, R.L.Austin, E.J.G.Higham, R.Lowe, F.Ellerton, M.H.Laxton. Front Row: G.F.Eberle, A.Gardiner, D.A.Clark, E.F.Eberle, V.F.Eberle. On Ground: G.V.Gibbs, R.S.Witchell.

Above the Old Members XV 1919-20 who played the Present XV.

Above George Fuller-Eberle in the 1920 match Clifton Past v Clifton Present.

He became President of the Bristol Incorporated Law Sociey in 1933-34.

In World War 2 he was a Major in the Home Guard. He was the father of 2 sons and 1 daughter.

His address in the 1947 Clifton College Register is listed as Wick House, Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset. His address in the 1962 Clifton College Register is listed as The Red Lodge, Leigh Woods, Bristol.

Above Wick House, Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset. Built circa 1894. Eberle's home in 1947.

George Eberle died in 30th May 1968 on the Leigh Woods Golf Course. He was a large man and very deaf. The story is always told that he was walking to the first tee with his three rather younger but regular golfing partners when he heard one of them, who did that George had his hearing aid on, say, “Who is going to have to play with George today?” George was so determined that he was not going to loose that day that he put all his strength into his first drive, and fell dead.

His obituary appeared in The Times on June 1st 1968 it said

EBERLE.- On May 30th 1968, suddenly. GEORGE STRACHAN JOHN FULLER EBERLE. of the Red Lodge, Leigh Woods, Bristol, aged 86 years, beloved husband of Violet Brittan and much loved father of Mollie, Alan and John. Funeral service on Wednesday 5th June, at Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh, near Bristol, at 11.45am. no flowers, please, but (if desired) a donation to the N.S.P.C.C. (Bristol Branch) 84 Colston Street, Bristol 1.