December 29. International rugby players in WW1. Roll of Honour

On the first day of 1912 Ireland played France at rugby in Paris. When Irish internationals Alfred Squire Taylor, William Victor Edwards and William Beatty sprinted on to the Parc des Princes turf. Edwards, from Strandtown, Belfast, who played in the pack for Ulster, was making his first appearance in Irish colours. He was chosen to be Ireland’s new number eight. He was killed on 29/12/1917 during the defence of the city of Jerusalem. Taylor was to die at the third battle of Ypres and Beatty died shortly after the war. Edmund Smyth from Banbridge was another former international player to die. See today’s Sportsmans’ RH. William Smith from Bushmills died in a Japanese POW camp in 1941. He had been in the ill-fated HMS Repulse.

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