1905 All Blacks: "The Originals"

It is 100 years since the first, and perhaps most famous rugby tour took place - the visit of Dave Gallaher and the remarkable First All Blacks. In all they played 36 games in Britain, Ireland, France and Canada. They won 35, lost 1, scored 1022 points, conceded 72. In Britain and Ireland they played 32, won 31, lost 1, scored 830 points, conceded 39. And these in the days of the three-point try.

Several books have been published to reflect on that tour, but Rugby Memorabilia Society Members Dave Fox, Mark Hoskins and Ken Bogle have gone a stage further. They have written a book which looks at the 1905 tour, and every match played by New Zealand in Britain and Ireland since the All Blacks took the field in Exeter in September 1905 to their "Grand Slam" encounter with Scotland at Murrayfield in November 2005. "A Century of the All Blacks in Britain & Ireland" has been recently published. It contains full teams, scorers and a comprehensive match report for every game. Click here to order a copy.

Well illustrated, here are some of the illustrations used which relate to the 1905 tour.

 

Click on thumbnail for a bigger image

Matches in Britain and Ireland:-

Devon

16 September 1905
Exeter
won 55 - 4

The New Zealand side which faced Devon in Exeter in the first match of the tour.

-Billy Wallace, complete with sun hat, kicks a goal

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Cornwall

21 September 1905
Camborne
won 41 - 0

 

The team which faced Cornwall

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Bristol

23 September 1905
Bristol
won 41 - 0

The programme -
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The New Zealand side photographed at the County Ground, Bristol -
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Northampton

28 September 1905
Northampton
won 32 - 0

 

Both sides pose together before the match

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Leicester

30 September 1905
Leicester
won 28 - 0

 

Action from the game at Welford Road.

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Middlesex

4 October 1905
London
won 34 - 0

 

A line-out in the Middlesex game, played at Stamford Bridge, home of the newly-formed Chelsea FC

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Durham

7 October 1905
Durham
won 16 - 3

 

The remarkable Billy "Carbine" Wallace, who scored two tries against Durham and was leading points scorer, amassing 230 in Britain & Ireland. Wallace is one
of the first truly great All Blacks.

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Hartlepool Clubs

11 October 1905
West Hartlepool
won 63 - 0

 

"Poor Rovers", wrote a sympathetic rugby follower on this fixture card after Hartlepool Rovers combined with the other clubs in the northern town to take on New Zealand. The tourists crossed for 15 tries, 4 by Jimmy Hunter.

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Northumberland

14 October 1905
North Shields
won 31 - 0

 

Jimmy Hunter scored 5 tries against Northumberland. Top try scorer on the tour with 44 (39 in Briatin and Ireland), Hunter scored 10 tries in the three games New Zealand played in the North East of England.

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Gloucester

19 October 1905
Gloucester
won 44 - 0

 

Forwards Charlie Seeling and William "Massa" Johnston, photographed during their stay in Gloucester. Seeling scored one of the 10 tries scored by New Zealand at Kingsholm.

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Somerset

21 October 1905
Taunton
won 23 - 0

The match programme

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"General" Ernest Booth attacks the Somerset line

Devonport Albion

25 October 1905
Devonport
won 21 - 3

 

The match kicks off. Devonport Albion were the only club side the All Blacks faced who are no longer around - they later merged with the Plymouth club to form Plymouth Albion.

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Midland Counties

28 October 1905
Leicester
won 21 - 5

 

 

A lineout in the All Blacks' second visit to Leicester.

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Surrey

1 November 1905
Richmond
won 11 - 0

 

Referee Billy Williams incurred the displeasure of players, spectators and journalists by constantly blowing his whislte. It was described in the Daily Mail as "The Whistling Fantasia"

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Blackheath

4 November 1905
Blackheath
won 32 - 0

The programme and match ticket from this great win for the All Blacks against a strong Blackheath side.

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Oxford University

7 November 1905
Oxford
won 47 - 0

 

 

A hand-bill produced to advertise the game with the Oxford Students

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Cambridge University

9 November 1905
Cambridge
won 14 - 0

 

Duncan McGregor scored two of New Zealand's four tries against Cambridge. The speedy wing later scored four in the international with England

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Richmond

11 November 1905
Richmond
won 17 - 0

 

Richmond were captained by former Oxford Blue and England international Harry Alexander. He lost his life on active service in Hulluch, France, in 1915

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Bedford XV

15 November 1905
Bedford
won 41 - 0

 

Bedford bolstered their team with several imports to avoid an embarrassing defeat. It didn't work. Amongst those was Edgar Mobbs, dropped from the Northampton side for their game. Mobbs, later an international and a Barbarian, also died in the Great War.

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SCOTLAND

18 November 1905
Edinburgh
won 12 - 7

The match programme -
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Action photo -

Scotland proved the first real challenge for New Zealand

West of Scotland

22 November 1905
Glasgow
won 22 - 0

 

"Simon" Mynott had a wonderful game against a team which could easilly have been billed as Glasgow. Mynott scored a try and helped create several of the other five.

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IRELAND

25 November 1905
Dublin
won 15 - 0

 

The first "all ticket" international was that between Ireland and New Zealand. Here is a ticket, and the post-match dinner menu

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Munster

28 November 1905
Limerick
won 33 - 0

 

Munster captain Basil Maclear faced the All Blacks for the fourth time on tour and was again left unrewarded. A fine footballer and rugby icon of his time, MacLear scored a magnificent try for Ireland against South Africa in 1906. He was killed in action at Ypres in 1915

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ENGLAND

2 December 1905
London
won 15 - 0

 

 

England were humbled by New Zealand and, in particular, Duncan McGregor who scored four tries. Here are the match programme and banquet menu

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Cheltenham

6 December 1905
Cheltenham
won 18 - 0

 

Cheltenham were a leading club side in 1905. They performed better than some teams with bigger names but still lost. Here are the programme and the menu for "High Tea" at the Town Hall afterwards.

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Cheshire

9 December 1905
Birkenhead
won 34 - 0

 

Percy "Toggie" Kendall, captain of the Cheshire side. England international Kendall later served in the Army with distinction before he too lost his life at Ypres in 1915.

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Yorkshire

13 December 1905
Leeds
won 40 - 0

 

The match programme from a comfortable win.

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WALES

16 December 1905
Cardiff
Lost 3 - 0

 

 

 

This may be the most famous rugby game ever played. Did Bob Deans score? Was he tackled short of the line? The record books show this was the only defeat of the tour.

The official programme, and post match banquet menu

 

The victorious Wales team:

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Glamorgan
21 December 1905
Swansea
won 9 - 0

 

 

All Black "great" George Smith, try scorer against Glamorgan

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Newport

23 December 1905
Newport
won 6 - 3

 

 

The programme and ticket from a close, hard game which Newport could have won.

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Cardiff

26 December 1905
Cardiff
won 10 - 8

 

 

The match programme from the Cardiff game New Zealand did win.

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Swansea
30 December 1905
Swansea
won 4 - 3

 

 

Swansea were the unluckiest side to face New Zealand. The scored a try to a dropped goal, but lost. These days they would have won 5-3.

Here is the match programme

 

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Matches on the way home:

FRANCE

1 January 1906
Paris
won 38 - 8

British Columbia

10 February 1906
Berkeley
won 43 - 6

 

New York

1 February 1906
New York
won 46 13
(unofficial game)

 

 

British Columbia

13 February 1906
San Francisco
won 65 - 6

Tour captain Dave Gallaher (left), and vice captain Billy Stead.

 

Gallaher's All Blacks

The book is due to be officially launched on the day of the Wales v New Zealand match in Cardiff on 5th November 2005

To order a copy of the book, please click here to email the author, Dave Fox, for details.

The book is published by Tempus Publishing, of Stroud. Their website is http://www.tempus-publishing.com/

 

Previous memorabilia displays:

British Lions in New Zealand

 

The tour Squad.

Not the usual photograph. This was taken at North Cliffs, close to Redruth, around the time of the Cornwall match in mid September.