It will have escaped few of us that this year (on July 28 to be precise) marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1.
So, against this background, it was with no small measure of delight that whilst perusing the club records recently on what I was convinced would be a fools errand that I discovered the photograph featured above!
For with it and the wise words of the Sage of Anniesland as they appear in the current edition of “Etcetera” ringing in my ears, I realised that 100 years ago to this very day (28th March) these handsome chaps left the pitch at Hamilton Crescent having once again “pumped” local rivals West – by 27 pts to 9 on that occasion – and so brought the curtain down on another successful season. The celebrations would have then commenced much as we did last weekend and no doubt in a similarly raucous fashion for they too weren’t a bad team – played 26, won 22, lost 3 with 1 drawn. With 500 points scored by them and only 76 conceded, there wouldn’t have been many sides in the country (by which I mean the UK and not just Scotland) at the time who’d have been better.
But it would be only a month or so after this photo was taken that the quite “detached-from-reality” heir to the Habsburg Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand paid his ill-conceived visit to Sarajevo on a Bosnian National Holiday and so set in motion the chain of events that culminated in the horrors of WW1: how little these guys have must have known of their fate as they posed for this one. Nor can they have realised that for 60% of them, this photo would have been their last involvement with our Club and with our game.
Of this 1913 / 14 team of Academicals – for they were all “Academicals” back then in the literal sense – 10 did not survive the Great War. A full century on, take just a wee moment from your day boys and think about that. Remember too that whilst for us there’s next season, this picture marks their final one.
Glasgow Academicals 1st XV 1913 / 14: for their selfless sacrifice they were remembered then, they are honoured now, and they will never be forgotten.
Back Row, l to r: Eric T Young – Capt., Cameronians, awarded the 14/15 Star, killed at Gallipoli 1915; Arthur A Russell – Lieut., Highland Light Infantry, killed on the Somme 1916; Robert A Gaillie – Capt., Glasgow Yeomanry, awarded the Military Cross and Belgian War Cross, survived the war; George L MacEwan – Lieut., Highland Light Infantry, awarded the 14/15 Star, killed at Gallipoli 1915; Archibald D Templeton – Lieut., Cameronians, killed at Gallipoli 1915; Frank W Sandeman – Highland Light Infantry, wounded in Mesopotamia 1918; George H Warren – Highland Light Infantry, survived the war.
Front Row, l to r: Thomas Stout – Lieut., Cameronians, awarded the 14/15 Star, killed at Gallipoli 1915; George P Speirs – Major, Highland Light Infantry, awarded the French WC, killed 1918; John R Warren – 2nd Lieut., Royal Engineers, awarded the Military Cross, wounded and survived the war; Arthur D Laird (captain) – 2nd Lieut., Highland Light Infantry, killed on the Somme 1916; John S Smith – Highland Light Infantry, injured at Gallipoli 1915; Thomas M Burton – 2nd Lieut., Highland Light Infantry, awarded the Military Cross, wounded 1916; Charles W Andrew – Highland Light Infantry, awarded the Military Cross, wounded on the Somme, at Ypres, and at Arras
Seated, l to r: John M Sandeman – 2nd Lieut., Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, wounded in Palestine; William Barras – 2nd Lieut., Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, awarded the Military Medal, killed in France 1916.
Missing from photo: Robert Arthur – Glasgow Yeomanry, awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian War Cross.
1. The Etcetera article mentioned above, penned by the redoubtable Hugh Barrow Esq., is entitled “The Final Whistle”, is an excellent read and can be found here: http://www.theglasgowacademy.org.uk/fps/publications/etcetera .
2. The author accepts responsibility for all and any errors contained herein: for those that anyone might consider exist, please accept our assurance that any such error was not deliberate and GARFC would apologise in advance for any unintentional offence that may have been inadvertently caused. Considerable care and attention, and no little amount of research by him (and others) has gone into the preparation of this post but regrettably various source documents consulted do conflict.