Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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John Ernest Bush


John Ernest Bush. Born 31st December 1859 Brislington, Bristol. He was commissioned, from the Militia, as a Second Lieutenant in the 106th Bombay Light Infantry in 1880. He fought in Egypt with the 2nd Battalion DLI at the Battle of Ginnis in 1885 and served in the Boer War in 1902 as Garrison Adjutant at Orange River.

He was given command of 2 Durham Light Infantry from 1906 to 1910 and was made a Brigadier General in 1914. He commanded the York and Durham (150th) Brigade during the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915 until January 1916. He was awarded the Order of the Bath in 1916 and retired from the Army in 1917.

Above left John Ernest Bush in the 1879-80 Clifton XV photo. Above right Brig.-Gen. John Ernest Bush. Brother of James Arthur and Robert Edwin Bush. Born 31st December 1859. Clifton College 1870 - 1877.

In 1861 the Bush family lived at Weston Villa, Park Place, Weston-super-Mare. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Robert Bush Head 52 Retired Major in the Army Bristol
Emily A Bush Wife 39 Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Henry F T Bush Son 15   Tasmania
Alfred G Bush Son 14   Perth, Western Australia
Mary A E Bush Dau 12 Perth, Western Australia
James A Bush Son 10   Cawnpore, India
Robert E Bush Son 5   Redland, Gloucestershire
James P Bush Son 3 Brislington, Somerset
Emily E F Bush Dau 2   Brislington, Somerset
John E Bush Son 2 Brislington, Somerset
Euphemia Sullivan Bush Dau 8   Brislington, Somerset
Elizabeth Hoggitt Serv 27 Housemaid Woolavington, Somerset
Harriet Parker Serv 25 Nursemaid Tiddesham, Gloucestershire
Rebecca Inailand Serv 26 Cook Domestic Wick, Gloucestershire

Weston Villa is 2 Park Place and is now an office of the British Mountaineering Council

In 1871 the Bush family lived at 7 Rodney Place, Clifton. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Robert Bush Head 62 Retired Major of Army & Landowner Bristol
Emily Adria Bush Wife 49 Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Henry Frederick Tobin Bush Son 25 Merchant & Ensign of Volunteers Tasmania
Alfred George De Lisle Bush Son 24 Merchant Western Australia
Mary Ann Eliza Bush Dau 22 Western Australia
James Arthur Bush Son 20 Clerk to a Merchant Bengal
Robert Edwin Bush Son 15 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire
James Paul Bush Son 13 Scholar Brislington, Somerset
Emily Eliza Fanny Bush Dau 12 Brislington, Somerset
John Ernest Bush Son 12 Scholar Brislington, Somerset
Adria Georgina Bush Dau 9 Brislington, Somerset
Euphemia Sullivan Bush Dau 8 Brislington, Somerset
Mary Ann Bridget Dyer Serv 32 Governess Bristol
Emma Bartram Serv 24 Housemaid Stringston, Somerset
Emily Milson Serv 23 Cook St.Georges, Gloucestershire
Emily Day Serv 18 Housemaid Alveston, Gloucestershire
William Scott Serv 16 Page Bristol

Above 7 Rodney Place, Clifton.

John Bush is part of a forthcoming book "Lions Led By Donkeys". See Centre For First World War Studies at Birmingham University click here

On June 9th 1917 his daughter married. The announcement in The Times on June 11th said


The marriage took place on Saturday, at the parish church, Tring, of Mr. William Lional Morris, Cadet Battalion, Berhamsted, only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Morris, of Penarth, and Miss Violet Joan Bush, only child of Brigadier-General J. E. Bush, C.B., and Mrs. Bush, of Westcroft, Tring.

The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white georgette trimmed with Limerick lace (the gift of her godmother, Mrs George Dickson), her only ornament being a diamond bracelet (the gift of her late grandmother, Mrs Henry Beverly).

There were no bridesmaids. Captain Edwin Clarke, of the bridegroom's batallion, was best man.

He died on 28th October 1943 at Berkhamsted.

On November 1st 1943 The Times wrote his obituary


Brigadier-General John Ernest Bush, C.B., late Durham Light Infantry, died at Berkhamstead on Thursday.

The son of the late Major Robert Bush, 96th Regiment, he was educated at Clifton and joined the army in 1880. He played Rugby football for Gloucestershire and for England against Ireland, 1880-1881.

The 1947 Clifton College Register says that John Ernest Bush played rugby for Ireland in 1881.

John Bush never played for England or Ireland in 1880 or 1881. A player selected for England to play Ireland on 30th January 1880 was replaced by Ernest Woodhead of Dublin University when he suffered from the effects of sea-sickness on the voyage to Dublin for the match. This was Woodhead's only match for England.

His medals are held by the Durham Light Infantry Museum, Medal Case 19, Display Group 6. For a list of his medals click here