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News > Archives & History > Bishops V Bosch - U15A in 1913

Bishops V Bosch - U15A in 1913

This is a photograph from 1913 of the Bishops v Rondebosch, U15A match played in August of that year - photographer unknown.
Rugby at Bishops in 1913
Rugby at Bishops in 1913
The school archivist Paul Murray came upon a rather interesting photograph.  On the back of it is written, 'Bishops v RBHS U 15A - August 1913'.  This comes at a relevant time as the Bishops/Bosch Derby will be taking place over the course of the forthcoming weekend. 

The photograph however needed to be 'decyphered' a bit more.  This led him to the names of the 1915 1st XV, which would have had some of those 1913 - U15s in it.  One of the names was Ian Dallas, the father of David Dallas OD, who currently resides in Australia.  As it happens, Paul & David have been corresponding about Bishops' history, in particular about important and interesting biographical detail of a number of ODs who were at Bishops at the time of  David's father I. E. D. Dallas (Bishops, 1908-15).   Paul then sent a copy of the 1913 photograph to David, who kindly assisted in working out some interesting details. 

It seems that the match is being played on what was called the 'Top Field'.  This area became in use when the School (as opposed to the College) came across from Feldhausen in Claremont in January 1901.  New playing space was required which saw the so-called 'Top Field' cleared.  It is reported in the history of the school that the field had some problems, viz., moles and the need for water. 

The pine trees, 'firs' as they were known then, are explained by Dr W. H. Ross one of the first boys at Bishops, who recalls how the college grounds were hemmed in by 'firs' in thick groves and avenues, planted by his grandfather Mr Hamilton Ross prior to his purchase of Sans Souci and settlement at Newlands.  So if read correctly, the posts in the photograph must then surely be on the periphery of the Graveyard at St Thomas'. 'Top Field' was subsequently converted to the Range, Cemetery and Avenue fields in the 1940s, although today they lie in a different direction.

The U15 team for 1913 was: N Jay (full-back); J Powell, S Syfret, H Eedes, R Southey, IE Dallas (capt) (three-quarters); C Wrentmore, E Palmer, I Grant (halves); JA Currie, T Melck, A Robb, B Roux, G Owen-Smith, H Gadd, R Morris, B Schierhout, R Campbell, D Cowan (forwards).

We look forward to the Bishops-Rondebosch Derby at Bishops this weekend.

For details of fixtures etc., plse go to


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