Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Moved to new ground at Eastfield. For more details click here

Back Row (L-R): R.B.Tapp, V.E.Rogers, M.Durant, T.N.Bowerbank, E.S.Bromhead, E.G.Everett, L.J.W.Ewens, E.Seymour-Bell (Hon Sec). Seated: J.P.Hitchings, M.A.James, M.E.K.Westlake, E.C.Ball, B.Whitelaw. On Ground: L.C.Waters, F.V.Griffiths, E.C.Evans.

Above the Clifton XV 1920-21, taken at the commencement of the season.

Back Row (L-R): J.W.Pooley, E.O.Lambert, H.J.Goddard, V.E.Rogers, J.Parker, F.J.M.Cook, J.D.Burch, R.D.Just. Sitting: R.G.Lumley, J.Hunt, B.W.Hunt, S.B.Organ, G.S.Castle, F.V.Griffiths, C.N.Hatcher. On Ground: E.C.Evans, R.G.Adams.

Above Clifton 2nd XV of 1920-21

Back Row (L-R): W.Bennett (Trainer), F.M.Arkle, P.J.Williams, F.J.Coventry, W.J.Allen, J.S.Tucker, S.H.Carey, M.V.Shaw, J.Broughton, R.Meyer, T.G.Spoors, J.Oates. Seated: H.Feltham, F.V.Feltham (Vice-Captain), R.C.W.Pickles (Captain), L.J.Corbett, R.G.B.Quick, H.Haysham. Front: W.J.Wring, T.Bateman, S.H.Budd.

Above the Bristol side that was reformed after the 1st World War. Most important in this line-up was F.M.Arkle who had the season before played for Birkenhead Park in Cheshire. He played a few games with Bristol and took part in an England Trial match. In 1920 he permanently joined Clifton RFC. By the end of the season he was Vice Captain of the 1st XV and the following season was made captain. He became Club President from 1935-50.

Back Row (L-R): E.Seymour-Bell, G.Hasler, W.F.Gaisford, E.C.Ball, T.N.Bowerbank, E.G.Everett, J.Dommett, R.D.Just. Middle Row: G.Ellis, T.D.Lewis, A.N.Carruthers, Mr.H.W.Beloe, F.M.Arkle, B.S.Chantrill, J.L.W.Ewens. Front Row: J.Bromhead, J.P.Hitchings, L.C.Waters.

Above the Clifton XV towards the end of the 1920-21 season. The above photo includes the England player Bevan (Bunny) Stanishaw Chantrill. He played for Clifton pre-war and since demobilization had been stationed in London and played regularly for Richmond. He played for Clifton again from the Boxing Day match of 1919 v Weston until the end of the season.

Back Row (L-R): E.Seymour-Bell, ?, T.N.Bowerbank, ?, ?, ?, J.P.Hitchings, R.D.Just. Front Row: L.C.Waters, ?, B.S.Chantrill, A.N.Carruthers, F.M.Arkle, J.L.W.Ewens, W.S.Gaisford,?.

Above future England player, Bunny Chatrills copy of the 1920 Clifton XV.

The rear of the above photo annotated by Bunny Chantrill. He says 1913 and this must refer to when he joined Clifton as this photograph had to be taken in in the period after WW1 that he played as F.M.Arkle is also in the picture.

Above 2 Clifton caps presented in 1920-21. Its difficult to know who these were presented to as in this year 14 caps were presented to A.N.Carruthers, F.M.Arkle, E.S.Bromhead, T.M.Bowerbank, E.C.Ball, B.S.Chantrill, E.G.Everett, E.C.Evans, J.L.W.Ewens, W.F.Gaisford, J.P.Hitchings, T.D.Lewis, V.E.Rogers, R.B.Tapp and L.C.Waters.

G.N.Loriston-Clarke has a trial with England.

Back Row (L-R): C.T.H.Harrison, H.Merrick, S.Evans, R.C.Hobbs, A.Gardiner, W.M.Martin, G.V.Gibbs, F.Ellerton, R.S.Witchell, R.Hunter, A.B.Sellman, J.W.Pooley. Front Row: J.A.Dommett, M.Durant, E.Briggs, A.J.Gardner.

Above Old Members XV who played Clifton Club on 2nd April 1921.

Above: Prince of Wales visits Bristol on the 10th June 1921. After his visit to the Colston hall at noon, where he met the sword bearer James Bush, the City Chamberlain Mr A.C.S.Paul both ex Clifton players, he met outside 50 men from the 4th Glosters and 50 men from the 6th Glosters under the command of Capt. H.C.Fisher of the 6th. The band of the 4th Glosters played, and the King's colours were borne by Clifton RFC player Lt.A.C.Baker of the 4th Glosters.

At 3pm he was escorted by ex Clifton RFC player and Gloucestershire cricketer Robert Bush around the County Cricket Ground during the Gloucestershire v Australia match. Bush, wearing the silk hat, is nearest to the Prince of Wales, who in 1936 became Edward VIII.


Back Row (L-R): A.N.Carruthers (Hon.Sec.), G.S.Castle, G.Hasler, E.G.Everett, J.B.Cooper, E.O.Lambert, R.W.Whitelaw (Vice Capt.), T.D.Lewis, G.A.Rose, R.D.Just (Hon. Teas.). Middle Row: E.H.Esbester, M.A.James, F.M.Arkle (Captain), Mr H.W.Beloe (Pres.), A.B.Sellman, W.F.Curtis, J.L.W.Ewens. Front Row: L.C.Waters, E.C.Evans, R.C.Organ.

Above Clifton XV of 1921-22. The above photograph includes E.H.Esbester who along with W.F.Gaisford (see 1920-21 photo) won the County Championship with Somerset against Leicestershire at Bridgwater.

Above Ellison Fuller-Eberle's invite to the 1922 Jubilee Dinner.

Above cover of Jubilee Dinner brochure held at the Grand Hotel, Broad Street, Bristol on Saturday March 25th 1922. This has been signed by several people who were there, those that I can see are A.C.S.Paul who played from 1872, W.B.Pearse who played from 1879, E.J.G.Higham who played from 1904, L.J.C.Mitchell who played from 1919, J Paul Bush who played from 1879, J.P.Hitchings who played from 1919, J, G and E. Fuller-Eberle and F.O. Wills who played from 1900. Thanks to Mark Hoskins for this.

The Jubilee Dinner's chief guest was Mr.E.Prescott, the President of the Rugby Union. The following old members attended 1872-73: W.S.Paul, A.C.S.Paul, E.J.Taylor, J.A.Bush, F.Morris, H.G.Edwards, and J.Fuller-Eberle. 1879-80 Paul J.Bush, H.W.R.Gribble. 1883-84 G.W.Palmer and 1889-90 F.W.Hunt. W.C.Strachen, the first Captain of the Club, had signified his intention of attending, but unfortunately was unable to.

Above left the Menu at the Jubilee Dinner. Above right Wine List.

Above Grand Hotel, Broad Street, Bristol. Now a Thistle Hotel.


50th anniversary of formation of club.

Back Row (L-R): A.N.Carruthers (Hon.Sec.), J.A.Dommett, J.P.Hitchings, J.Bourne, V.E.Rogers, G.S.Castle, R.Huntly, L.H.Hatcher, H.Pyrke, L.C.Waters. Seated: C.N.Hatcher, E.H.Esbester, F.M.Arkle (Captain), H.W.Beloe (President), J.H.Bromhead, W.F.Curtis, W.A.Thomas. In Front: R.D.Evans, G.A.Rose.

Above Clifton 1st XV in Jubilee year 1922-23

Back Row (L-R): J.G.Coole, K.H.Bain, W.M.Kendall, G.L.Gough, E.H.B.Usher, H.J.Goddard, W.J.D.McArthur, F.J.M.Cook. Front Row: B.J.Foster, G.A.Rose, W.G.Wheatland, E.C.Evans, R.C.Organ, F.G.Pratten, J.G.Gilchrist.

Above Clifton 2nd XV in Jubilee year 1922-23

Above Club President, Harry Beloe, from the 1922 Clifton RFC book.

Standing (L-R): ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?. Seated: ?, J.Parker, J.H.Bromhead, R.G.Lumley, ?, W.G.Wheatland, C.N.Hatcher, ?, ?. On Ground: ?, ?, R.C.Organ

Above mainly 2nd and 3rd XV players in 1922-23 (possibly 1921-22)

Back Row (L-R): J.Reed (Bridgwater), L.W.Bisgrove (Bath), A.J.Spriggs (Bridgwater), F.G.Spriggs (Bridgwater), W.H.Sheppard (Bath), P.Lewis (Bridgwater), C.N.Mannings (Bath), L.J.Richardson. Seated: J.Jarvis (Bridgwater), H.Richardson, R.G.B.Quick (Captain) (Bristol), F.A.Meine (Bath), W.F.Gaisford (Clifton). On Ground: H.Vowles (Bath), S.G.U.Considine (Bath).

Above the Somerset side of 1922-23 with W.F.Gaisford. This is not the side that played in the final. Quick, who was injured, was replaced by Esbester for the final. Jarvis was captain for the final.

Back Row (L-R): W.H.Brown, S.M.J.Woods, Sir G. Duncan Grey, C.C.Wills. Standing: T.S.Bradford, W.F.Gaisford (Clifton), W.H.Sheppard (Bath), F.G.Spriggs (Bridgwater), W.S.Donne (Somerset Pres.), P.Lewis (Bridgwater), A.J.Spriggs (Bridgwater), L.W.Bisgrove (Bath), G.V.Kyrke. Sitting: F.West (Somerset Hon. Sec.), E.H.Esbester (Clifton), E.D.G.Hammett (Blackheath), A.E.Thompson (Wellington), R.G.D.Quick, J.Jarvis (Bridgwater) (Captain), F.A.Meine (Bath), C.N.Manning (Bath), W.J.Growtage (Somerset Hon. Treas.). On Ground: S.G.U.Considine (Bath), J.Reed (Bridgwater), H.Vowles (Bath).

Above the Somerset XV who won the County Championship v Leicestershire in 1923 at Bridgwater with Cliftons Gaisford and Esbester. Somerset won by a goal and try to two tries. Gaisford converted. This Somerset side, despite winning the County Championship, none of these players appeared in an international side this season.

W.S.Gaisford has a trial with England.

Above signed menu from the 1923 Annuanl Dinner at Fortt's Restaurant.

Above designs for the Bristol Grammar School World War 1 Memorial which includes the names of the Clifton players Francis J. Hannam, Stanley Frederick Hill, Burnett George James and Morton Leonard.


Back Row (L-R): A.N.Carruthers (Hon.Sec.), ?, ?, ?, J.L.W.Ewens, ?, ?, R.D.Just (Hon.Tres.). Sitting: R.C.Organ, ?, F.M.Arkle (Captain), Mr H.W.Beloe (President), ?, G.S.Castle, G.A.Rose. In Front: L.C.Waters, E.C.Evans.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1923-24 (possibly 1921-22)

Back Row (L-R): A.N.Carruthers (Hon.Sec.), ?, ?, ?, ?, ?,?, ?, G.S.Castle, R.D.Just (Hon.Tres.). Middle Row: ?, M.A.James, F.M.Arkle (Captain), Mr.H.W.Beloe (Pres.), ?, C.N.Hatcher. In Front: L.C.Waters, E.C.Evans.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1923-24

Possible 6 Clifton players in photograph. Need to identify. Esbester, Gaisford, Corpe, Hatcher, Thomas and Wirgman.

Above the Somerset side that played in the Semi-Final of the County Championship on 2nd February 1924 which they lost to Kent. Cumberland went on to beat Kent in the final 14-3.

Bevan Stanishaw Chantrill. Born 11th February 1897, died 1988.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD: England Appearances 1924

Career Record: P4, W4, D0, L0

19th Jan 1924 v Wales (St Helens) (FN) W 17-9

9th Feb 1924 v Ireland (Ravenhill) (FN) W 14-3

23rd Feb 1924 v France (Twickenham) (FN) 19-7

15th March 1924 v Scotland (Twickenham) (FN) W 19-0


For more on Bunny Chantrill click here

Above left, Clifton player, Frank Oliver Wills who was made Sherrif of Bristol in 1924. Above right in the 1960s


Back Row (L-R): F.T.Pollinger, E.O.Lambert, T.D.Corpe, D.McArthur, H.S.Holman, T.D.Harris. Sitting: B.J.Foster, E.Esbester, H.W.Thomas, J.H.Bromhead, F.M.Arkle, C.N.Hatcher, J.A.Dommett. On Ground: H.R.Wirgman.

Above Clifton XV of 1924-25

Above group of 4 Clifton XV's at Clifton College 1924-25

Above left: Programme cover from the 1924 matches played by Gloucestershire and Somerset v the All Blacks. Above right: cigarette card with a photo of the Somerset v All Black match played at Weston-super-Mare on 20th September 1924. The All Blacks won 6-0 in front of a crowd of 12,000 Produced by W.D.&H.O.Wills No.7 in a series called Homeland Events - A series of fifty real photographs in 1927. No Clifton players took part in the Somerset match. Need to check who was in Glos side.


Back Row (L-R): A.J.Gardner (President), ?, ?, J.H.Bourne, ?. 3rd Row: ?, ?, F.M.Arkle (Hon.Sec.), E.W.Thomas (Hon.Tres.), J.H.Bromhead, A.F.B.Ham, C.F.Crinks. Sitting: ?, ?, C.N.Hatcher (Captain), ?, ?. In Front: R.D.Evans, ?, ?.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1925-26

Above opening of the new stand 1925

1926-27 - Moved to new ground at Eastfield Road in Westbury-on-Trym. First match Clifton v Bristol. Bristol won 35-6. For more details on Eastfield Road click here

Back Row (L-R): W.Saunders (Clifton's groundsman), J.Pippin of Bridgwater (Referee), J.S.Tucker, T.F.Hood, A.T.Hore, D.McArthur, F.G.Pratten, T.D.Corpe, J.H.Bourne, R.Thomas, H.Shreman, H.R.Wirgman, R.Ling, R.G.B.Quick, H.L.Shepherd, W.G.Francis, W.Rossiter, J.K.Morman. Seated: G.D.McMurtie, J.A.Tucker, R.D.Evans, L.J.Corbett (Bristol Captain), C.N.Hatcher (Clifton Captain), M.V.Shaw, A.M.Stotesbury, E.L.Stinchcombe, C.F.Crinks. In Front: T.Babington, J.H.Bromhead, C.B.Carter, A.F.B.Ham, F.J.Coventry.

Above Members of Clifton and Bristol Clubs that took part in the special match which opened the Eastfield Road Ground on September 11th 1926. Bristol in white.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the first match at Eastfield Road on 11th September 1926.

Back Row (L-R): Saunders (Groundsman), T.F.Hood, D.McArthur, T.W.Rossiter, T.D.Corpe, H.Bourne, A.F.B.Ham, R.Ling. Middle Row: F.S.Pratten, J.H.Bromhead, C.N.Hatcher, R.D.Evans, A.M.Stotesbury. In Front: G.D.McMurtie, H.R.Wirgman, C.F.Crinks.

Above Clifton 1st XV of 1926-27. This photograpgh was probably taken before the opening of Eastfield Road as C.N.Hatcher is captain. For this season R.D.Evans became captain.

Above group of 4 Clifton XV's at Clifton College 1926-27


Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, Parsons, Philip Wills, Leonard Olive, Kit Smith, ?, ?, Roger Austin, Peter Gardiner, Kenneth Campbell, Hugh Evans, Mike Parsons, Makepiece, Toad Parsons (Behind), Philip Wadlow, Pat Austin, Pelham Hawkes, ?, Eric Cadogan, ?, ?. Middle Row: Chick , ?, Ken Cottell, Jefferies, ?, ?, S.Leach, ?, ?, Chris Gardiner, ?, ?, Jerry Hunt, ?, Pug Price, ?, ?, George Foss, ?, ?, ?, Jake Easonsmith, ?. Front Row: ?, John Corpe, ?, Betty, Teddy Evans, Bill Hawes, Fenton Ham, Wilfred Peckett, Billy Wills, Joe Dommell, Frank Arkle, ?, ?, Tommy Young, Tom Hoad, Dick Evans, ?, Frank Pratten, Pyrke, Teddy Benson, Ken Durie.

Above 4 Clifton XV's at Clifton College 1927-28. This group included Oxford Blue, Edward Benson, and a 17 year old Jack Eason-Smith who was one of the 15 players to loose their lives in World War 2.


Back Row (L-R): R.S.Wilshire, J.H.Sears, H.H.Waugh, G.D.McMurtie, C.F.Crinks, T.W.Rossiter. Seated: B.W.Page?, F.G.Pratten, A.F.B.Ham (Captain), H.R.Wirgman, J.De S.Hall. On Ground: A.R.Williams, E.C.Evans, R.D.Evans, G.Foss.

Above Clifton XV of 1928-29.

Cliftons Edward Turk Benson wins his Oxford blue playing in the 1928 Varsity match as scrum half. Born 20th November 1907, Tredegarville, Cardiff. Died 11th September 1967 in Newlands, Cape Town. He went on to have a trial with England. He was also a cricket blue at Oxford playing in the 1928 and 1929 Varsity cricket matches as a wicket keeper. Played for Gentlemen v Players in 1929, and for Gloucestershire at cricket. He toured New Zealand in 1929 with A.H.A.Gilligan's team, but did not play in tests. He served in World War II as a Colonel in the Royal Artillery and spent some time in India. In about 1950 he joined the Prudential Assurance Co. in South Africa and from about 1957 was their branch manager in Cape Town. He retired in 1966 on account of ill health.

For more on Edward Benson click here


Back Row (L-R): J.Leach, N.F.Newsome, T.B.Young, White, T.D.Corpe, G.S.Price, C.J.Gardiner, G.Foss. Middle Row: K.D.C.Smith, R.S.Wilshire, J. De S.Hall, A.M.D.Whitcroft (Captain), F.G.Pratten, H.M.White, Saunders. Front Row: ?(B.W.Page or G.V.Davies), R.D.Evans, N.T.J.Fitzhenry.

Above Clifton XV of 1929-30.

Above group of 4 Clifton XV's at Clifton College October 5th 1929.

Above the Clifton and Woodford sides that played at Woodford on October 19th 1929. Woodford won 22-0.