The very first photograph of Sherborne School’s 1st XV was taken in December 1868.

The previous month a letter had appeared in The Shirburnian, asking ‘Would it not be advisable to take the opportunity of the first fine day, and have the Fifteen photographed?  That of the Eleven may be seen in almost everyone’s study, and so it is only fair to conjecture that that of the Fifteen would be equally popular.’ The writer went on to suggest that the photograph should be taken of the team wearing their new colours – red and black stripes on a white ground, with cap to match.

The next month a letter appeared in reply in which it was noted that there was little point in photographing the team wearing their new colours because the photograph would be in black and white (colour photography did not become widely available until the 1950s).  The writer suggested that instead the team should be photographed wearing black coats and white trousers.

The resulting photograph shows the team, standing outside what was then the Headmaster’s house at the east end of Sherborne Abbey, wearing both their new colours and black coats with white trousers.  From 1868 up to the present day, there has been an unbroken sequence of School XVs whose names are honoured in the Pavilion on the Upper.

1st XV, 1868.
Standing (l to r): A.J. Sturmer, A.F.E. Forman (captain), W.B. de Winton, C.C. Tancock, L.E. Upcott, E.W. Holland W.H. Game, J.F.T. Peter, H.T. Twynam, O.H. Channer, J.P. Wills.
Seated (l to r): J.H.N. Barton, C. Eade, R.W. Boodle, E.S. Hall.

The taking of the team photograph was indicative of an increased interest being taken at Sherborne in the game.  It was even suggested that boys were now taking as much interest in the rugby football as in cricket, ‘for though the game in itself is not quite equal, yet it is quite worthwhile to make it a School game just as cricket’ (The Shirburnian, November 1868).

The 1868 season saw the following games played:

  • 8 October 1868. First Six v. Next Eleven – ‘A very one-sided game, the six carrying everything before them and succeeding in kicking three goals by Forman, Wills and Cave.’
  • 13 October 1868. First XI v. Next XX –‘Again the first eleven were victorious by three goals to none, notwithstanding the great help Mr Price afforded the other side. They were kicked by Forman, Hall and Barton.’
  • 14 October 1868. Organ v. Pulpit side of the Chapel – ‘The pulpit side was decidedly the stronger; Hall kicked one goal for it.’
  • 15 October 1868. School v. School House – ‘Though there was no goal kicked, the School had much the best of the game, scoring seven touch downs, but as the wind was strong against them they did not get a goal.’
  • 20 October 1868. School v. Counties of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and Wilts – ‘This also was a very one-sided game, the School having the best of it all through.’
  • 22 October 1868. Sixth v. School – ‘The Sixth was the strongest nine, as the result showed, though it was not at first thought so. They succeeded, however, in keeping the ball down near their enemies goal, almost all through the game.’
  • 28 October 1868. Organ v. Pulpit side of Chapel – ‘The organ side managed to defeat their adversaries by one goal kicked by Forman, thus reversing the game played on the 13th.  Tancock, Boodle, and Game also played up well for the winning side, and Hall did his best for the pulpit men.’
  • 31 October 1868. Sixth v. School, 9 a-side – ‘Resulting in an easy victory for the Sixth. Their main point of superiority was in weight, for in a scrimmage they seemed to carry all before them.  Forman succeeded in kicking two goals for the Sixth, and Sturmer one for the School.  The back play of Wills and Hall for their respective sides, and the forward play of Tancock and Boodle for the Sixth, and of Game and Cave for the School, was especially noticeable.  We were very glad to observe the marked improvement in kicking since the beginning of the season, though we hope ere long, we shall see two of our number, though excellent in everything else, improve their kicking propensities.’
  • 4 November 1868. A to G v. School – ‘Cave succeeded in kicking a goal for the letters, who were the strongest all through notwithstanding the resistance of Tancock and Twynam.  Forman and Boodle played up well for their side.’
  • 7 November 1868.  School v. Town (day boys) – ‘As tame a game as possible, the School winning just as they liked by three goals, and numbers of touch-downs. The goals were kicked by Wills, Game, and Hall.’
  • 11 November 1868. Fellows with ‘E’ in their name v. School – ‘The School were the strongest throughout, and won by a goal of Forman’s, and several touch-downs. They of course ought to have won as they had the first four-fellows in the fifteen on their side.  Boodle, Cave, Eade, and Game, played very well for their side.’
  • 18 November 1868. School v. School House – ‘The School had it all their own way, except at the first.  Hall kicked a goal for the School House, and Nicholson and Eade kicked one each for the School.  The School played very well together all through, but the School House fell off rather towards the end of the game.’
  • 20 November 1868. First XV v. next forty – ‘It is quite incomprehensible why the forty did not do better, for they had some good fellows; the only reason we can think of is that their captain did not rouse them up enough.  The fifteen got five goals, viz., Forman two, Game, Eade, and Channer one each.’
  • 21 November 1868. First VII v. next XV – ‘It was thought the seven would be over-weighted, as both Hall and Wills were unavoidably absent. They however managed to defeat their opponents after a hard game, Eade kicking a goal for them. Everyone played up hard on both sides, and the play (making allowances for the slippery ground) was very good.’
  • 21 December 1868. Past v. Present – ‘The Annual Match of Past v. Present, which resulted in a victory to the Present by 10 touches, although the bad weather prevented any goal being kicked. All the Old Fellows played up very well, but the superior training of the Present told.  Easton and Perry’s play was especially noticeable for the Past, and for the Present, Twynam played very pluckily throughout, and was in exceedingly good form.’

Sherborne School’s 1st XV in 1868:
John Henry Nowell Barton (1851-1924)
John was the son of the Rev. Henry Nowell Barton and Caroline Sarah (née Wortham) of Southampton.  He attended Sherborne School (Abbey) 1866-1870, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 & 1869 and of the 1st XI in 1869.  He went on to Keble College, Oxford (BA 1877) and was ordained in 1877, becoming curate of Belbroughton & Fairfield in Worcestershire, and Vicar of Turkdean in Gloucestershire 1902-1907.  He died at Stratton in Cornwall where he was buried on 4 August 1924.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
J.H.N. BARTON. One of the best kicks in the Fifteen, a useful man anywhere in the field.

Richard William Boodle (1850-1918)
Richard was the son of Robert Hockin Boodle and Margaret (née Thompson) of White Hayes, Chilcompton, Somerset.  He attended Sherborne School (Abbey) 1863-1868, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868.  He went on to Magdalen College, Oxford (2nd class Classics, 1872; 1st class History, 1873).  From 1886 to 1890 he was Librarian of the Fraser Institute, Montreal, Canada, and from 1891-1892 and 1894-1902 he was an assistant at Birmingham Reference Library.  He died on 17 November 1918 after being knocked down by a tramcar in Hagley Road, Birmingham.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
R.W. BOODLE. A capital forward player, with determined pluck; does not mind being knocked about; excellent in scrimmage. Must improve his kicking.  Has left.

Osborne Henry Channer (1853-1937)
Osborne was the son of Colonel George Girwood Channer of the Royal (late Bengal) Artillery and Susan (née Kendall).  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1866-1870, where he was a member of the 1st XV 1868 & 1869, and the 1st XI in 1869 & 1870.  He qualified as a doctor and in 1876 joined the Indian Medical Service, serving in the Afghan War 1878-1880 (despatches).  In 1896 he was awarded the rank of Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel and served as Sanitary Commissioner for Bombay, 1896-1899. He died on 16 September 1937 at Brookheath near Fordingbridge, Hampshire.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
O.H. CHANNER. A very pretty but not effective player; useful in a small game, but at a loss against numbers; rather fallen off since beginning of season.

Walter Bernard de Winton (1850-1944)
Walter was the son of the Venerable Henry de Winton, Archdeacon of Brecon, and Thomasina Septima (née Collinson) of Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire.  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1861-1868, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 and the 1st XI in 1867 & 1868.  He went on to the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper’s Hill in Surrey (1871-1874).  In 1874 he joined the Public Works Department in Madras and from 1897 served as Chief Engineer and Secretary to the Government of Madras.  In 1903 he was awarded a Companion of the Indian Empire.  He retired in 1905 and died on 10 March 1944 at Great Malvern, Worcestershire.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
W.B. de WINTON.  Was unfortunately prevented from playing this season in consequence of a bad accident he received in the first game: we feel sure he would have been one of the best players. Has left.

Cyril  Eade (1851-1927)
Cyril was the son of Joseph Eade and Rachel (née Hawkins) of Greenhill, Sherborne, Dorset.  He attended Sherborne School (Foundationer) 1864-1869, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868.  He qualified in 1875  as a solicitor and practised in London.  He died on 7 March 1927 at 148 Ebury Street, Belgravia.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
EADE. At times kicks very well indeed, but is rather uncertain; is especially successful in playing half-back.

The Shirburnian, December 1868:
Eade’s kicking during the last few games has been excellent, and we hope he may continue to improve, and he will soon be a first-rate drop kick.

Arthur Francis Emilius Forman (1850-1895)
Arthur was born in Gibraltar on 26 July 1850, the son of Richard Forman and Mary (née Heath) of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.  He attended Sherborne School (Abbey) 1863-1869, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 (captain) and the 1st XI in 1866-1869.  He went on to Trinity College, Oxford (BA 1873, MA 1876).  He was an Assistant Master at Repton School, 1874-1895 and played for Derbyshire XI, 1877-1882.  He died at Repton on 13 February 1905 and is commemorated on a memorial brass in Sherborne School Chapel.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
A.F.E. FORMAN. Captain this season: is very useful anywhere in the field; one of the best kicks in the School.

William Henry Game (1853-1932)
William was the son of William Game and Elizabeth (née Beale) of Stoke Newington, Middlesex.  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1865-1872 and was a member of the 1st XV 1868, 1869, 1870 (captain), 1871 (captain), and the 1st XI in 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871 (captain), 1872 (captain).  He went on to Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1875) where he was a member of the Oxford XI for four years (captain 1876) and the Oxford University XV, 1873; in 1873 at a OUAC Meeting he threw a cricket ball for 127 yards.  He played for Surrey XI.  He died on 11 August 1932 at Brancaster, Norfolk.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
W.H. GAME. Runs extremely well with the ball; very good place kick with oval ball; works hard the whole time.

Edward Stephenson Hall (1851-1928)
Edward was the son of Colonel Edward Hall of the Bengal Army and Harriette Jane (née Dally) of Bruton, Somerset.  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1863-1870 and was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 & 1869.  He went on to Worcester College, Oxford (BA 1878).  He was ordained in 1878 and served as curate at Arundel, Sussex, and in 1885 to the Bombay Ecclesiastical Establishment.  He died on 6 April 1928 at Deanfield, Jesmond Road, Clevedon, Somerset.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
E.S. HALL.  A good all round player, useful anywhere; the best runner, and very fair kick.

Edward Wilmot Holland (1850-1912)
Edward was the son of the Rev. Edward Holland, Rector of Camerton near Bath, and Eliza Ann (née Honnywill).  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1865-1870, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 and the 1st XI in 1869 & 1870. He went on to Clare College, Cambridge (BA 1874) and studied medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital  (MRCS Eng., 1879; LRCP 1880).  He practised at Chelmsford, Essex and was surgeon to a Convalescent Home at Rugeley, Staffordshire.  He died on 26 October 1912 at Fairview, Amberley, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
E.W. HOLLAND. Useful man in playing back, but we should like to see hiim take more interest in the game; kicks well at all times.

The Shirburnian, December 1868:
‘E. Holland is very useful to play back, and Upcott, Parsons, Nicholson, Bishop, and W. Fenwick, have all wonderfully improved.’

John Franklen Thomas Peter, later Thomas-Peter (1851-1897)
John was the son of John Luke Peter, registrar of Redruth County Court, and Mary Selina (née Collins) of Redruth, Cornwall.   He attended Sherborne School (School House & The Green) 1865-1870, where he was the first Head of House at The Green, and won both the Digby Prize (Mathematics & Science) and the Mathematics Medal.  He was also a member of the 1st XV in 1868 & 1869.  He went on to St John’s College, Cambridge (BA 1874, 15th Sen. Op., 1874), and in 1877 became a Barrister-at-Law (Middle Temple).  In 1874 he assumed the surname of Thomas-Peter when his uncle John Thomas Henry Peter of Chiverton and Harlyn left him all his property.  He died on 29 January 1897.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
J.F. PETER. Strong and useful in playing up; ought ot improve his kicking powers.

Arthur James Sturmer (1851-1930)
Arthur was born in Calcutta on 1 February 1851, the son of Arthur James Sturmer, Assistant Military Auditor in the General’s Office, and Anne (née Scotney), of 5 Moira Street, Calcutta.   He attended Sherborne School (Stanford’s house) 1866-1868, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868.  He went on to study medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Bentley Prize, Brackenbury Scholar).  In 1875 he joined the Indian Medical Service, serving in the Afghan War 1878-1880 and Chin Hills 1893.  In 1887 he was made Surgeon Major and in 1897 Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel. He was Professor of Midwifery at Madras Medical College and Superintendent Governor of the Maternity Hospital.  He retired in 1903 and died at 7 Beauford Road, Clifton, Bristol on 14 May 1930.

The Shirburnian, December 1868:
‘Twynam and Sturmer have shewn such marked improvement that they have both been put in the fifteen. ‘

Charles Coverdale Tancock (1851-1922)
Charles was the son of the Rev. Osborne John Tancock DCL, and Emma (née Sole).  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1864-1870, where he was Head of School in 1869 & 1870, and a member of the 1st XI in 1869 & 1870, and the 1st XV in 1868 & 1869.  He went on to Exeter College, Oxford (BA 1874), and was an Assistant Master at Charterhouse 1875-1886 and Headmaster of Rossall School 1886-1896. He was Vicar of Leck, 1896-1898 and Headmaster of Tonbridge School 1898-1909.  In 1906 he was made an Honorary Canon of Rochester.  He died on 16 April 1922 at Sussex House, Winchester, Hampshire.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
C.C. TANCOCK.  Plays up well throughout the game.  Successful runner with the ball, but should improve his kicking.

Henry Thomas Twynam (1852-1899)
Henry was the son of Thomas Twynam and Eliza (née Barney) of Fair Oak, Hampshire.  He attended Sherborne School (day boy) 1865-1870, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 & 1869, and of the 1st XI in 1869 & 1870.  He went on to Cambridge University, where he was a member of the University XV (captain 1879). In 1876 he originated the holding of Old Shirburnian dinners, and in 1879 he qualified as a solicitor.  He played for England XV 1879-1884 (8 caps, 4 tries).  He died on 19 May 1899 at 34 Warwick Gardens, Kensington, Middlesex.  He is commemorated on a memorial brass in Sherborne School Chapel.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
H.T. TWYNAM. A most useful man in any game, most especially against small numbers, playing in a plucky and scientific manner.

The Shirburnian, December 1868:
‘Twynam and Sturmer have shewn such marked improvement that they have both been put in the fifteen.  It is impossible to praise Twynam too much, for he plays with wonderful pluck and science.’

Lewis Edward Upcott (1851-1947)
Lewis was the son of John Samuel Upcott and Mary Ann (née Sears) of Cullompton, Devon.  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1865-1870, where he was awarded the Digby Prize (History and Modern Languages), the Classical Medal, the Parsons and Leweston Prizes, and the Sherborne Exhibition.  He was also a member of the 1st XV in 1869 and the 1st XI in 1869.  He went on to Christ Church College, Oxford (BA 1874).  He was an Assistant Master at Marlborough College, 1875-1911, 1916-1919, and Occasional Inspector of Schools to the Board of Education 1911-1921.  He died on 10 March 1947.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
L.E. UPCOTT. Strong man, always to the fore; would be a capital player if he improved his running; one of the best men in a scrimmage.

The Shirburnian, December 1868:
‘E. Holland is very useful to play back, and Upcott, Parsons, Nicholson, Bishop, and W. Fenwick, have all wonderfully improved. ‘

John Percival Wills (1851-1876)
John was the son of Dr John Wills, GP, and Harriott Catherine (née Gibson) of 60, David Place, St Heliers, Jersey.  He attended Sherborne School (School House) 1865-1869, where he was a member of the 1st XV in 1868 and of the 1st XI in 1867, 1868, 1869.  He went on to Edinburgh University.  He drowned on 17 February 1876 when the SS Strathclyde was hit by the German steamship Franconia off Dover in the English Channel, which resulted in the loss of 38 crew and passengers.

Report of the Fifteen from the Captain of the Games, March 1869:
WILLS. An excellent back player; very good place kick, using in playing up.

Rachel Hassall
School Archivist
3 December 2018

Further reading:
D.F. Gibbs, A History of Football at Sherborne School (Sherborne School, 1983).
Robert Hands, Rugby Football at Sherborne School (Sherborne School, 1991).
History of Rugby Football at Sherborne School

For further information about the Sherborne School Archives please contact the School Archivist.

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