Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Charles Strachan


Clifton's first captain from 1872 to 1877. Born in 1854 at Prestbury, Gloucestershire. An Oil Merchant. In 1861 living with his parents at 2 Wellington Square, Cheltenham. He was educated at Cheltenham College. In 1871 they were living at Argyle House, Pembroke Road, Clifton.

Above Argle House, 107 Pembroke Road, Clifton. In 1881 and 1891 Charles Strachan and his family were living at Wick House, Durdham Down.

Above Charles Strachan

It is believed that his cousin was the cricketer, George Strachan, Gloucestershire (1870-1882), Surrey (1872-1880) Captain (1872-1875, 1877-1878), MCC 1870-1871. They lived next door to each other in Wellington Square, Cheltenham. It is believed that their father Richard Ellison Strachan (Charle's) and Henry S. Strachan (George's) were brothers. George was born on 21st November 1850 in Prestbury, Gloucestershire and diend on 29th December 1901 in Middelburg, Transvaal, South Africa.

His sister Ada married on 5th September 1887. The announcement was made in The Times on 7th September 1887 and said

On the 5th inst. at the parish church, Westbury-upon-Trym, near Bristol, WILLIAM AUGUSTUS WOODLEY, only son of William Augustus Woodley, Esq., of No. 3, Worcester-terrace, Clifton to ADA CONSTANCE STRACHAN, youngest daughter of Richard Ellison Strachan, Esq., of Wick House, Durdham Park, Redland, Bristol.

He married Bessie Louise Clarke in 1900. Born abt. 1857 Truro, Cornwall. Her father, Robert Clarke, was a Tailor and Outfitter.

In 1901 he was living at Towerleaze.

Above: Towerleaze, the house owned by 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.

Above Towerleaze Hydro, west front, post 1950, with new wing to the south.

Above the gardens at Towerleaze Hydro.

His wife, Bessie Strachan, died on February 23rd 1923. On April 26th 1923 The Times detailed the Will of Bessie Strachan. It said



Mrs BESSIE LOUISA STRACHAN, of Tower Leaze, Stoke Bishop, Bristol, who died on February 23, wife of Mr. Charles Strachan, left estate in her own disposition of the gross value of £57,548, with the net personalty of £57,159.

Mrs Strachan left:-

£500 each to the Bristol Dogs Home and the National Anti-Vivisection Society; a life annuity of £52 to her chaffeur; life annuities of £20 each to her gardener and cook; and £10 for each year of service to each other in or out-door servant of over two years service in her service at her death.

Subject to other legacies, amounting in all to £6,000, she left the residue of her property to her husband for life, and on his death.:-

£2,000 to the Bristol Benevolent Society and £1,000 each to the Bristol branch of the National Society for the prevention of cruelty to Children, the Bristol branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dr. Barnardo's Homes, Agnes Weston's Homes, St. Dunstan's Institution for the Blind, and the Grateful Society, Bristol, and, subject to legacies to individuals amounting to just over £18,000, the residue to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Above the announcement of Charles Strachan's death in the Clifton RFC Diamond Jubilee Report of 1931-32.

His brother Walter also played for Clifton. Walter died on June 14th 1936. His obituary in The Times on the 17th June 1936 said

STRACHAN.-On June 14, 1936, WALTER STRACHAN, Barrister-at-Law, of 31 Apsley Road, Clifton, Bristol, third son of the late Richard Ellison Strachan.

Above the flats on the site of Towerleaze in 2007