MORE than a hundred Barbarians players from clubs and countries around the globe were killed during the World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45.

The fallen 103 are listed in full below and include some of rugby’s great names like Edgar Mobbs and Prince Alex Obolensky.

But there are poignant stories that are much less familiar.

One of those is the New Zealander Henry John Innes Walker, an outstanding sportsman and captain in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

HJI Walker

Captain HJI Walker

Walker joined the British Army in 1911 and starred in athletics and rugby, playing for Blackheath and Kent before making his three appearances for the Barbarians in 1913. 

He featured against Penarth, Newport and Cardiff alongside some of that period’s greats in Mobbs and ground-breaking England flanker Cherry Pillman.

Mobbs, who represented Northampton and England, fell at Passchendaele in July 1917. 

Walker died two years earlier in the second battle of Ypres in April 1915 and his body was lost until rediscovered by battlefield archaeologists in 2016.

The burial of Captain HJI Walker

The 2018 burial of Captain HJI Walker. Picture: Eric Compernolle

A Belgian documentary touchingly records their work in excavating and identifying his remains. Walker was duly buried in a moving ceremony at the New Irish Farm Cemetery in 2018.

Walker’s story is further brought to life by the vivid letters he wrote to his family from the trenches, including a rare eye-witness account of the 1914 Christmas truce.

He writes: “At midnight I hopped on to the top of the trench and called for three cheers for the King, and then we sang the National Anthem. I’m blowed if the Germans didn’t join in. I turned in about 1am and they were still at it. 

“Next morning the most farcical affair took place. Our men and the Germans met half-way between the trenches, shook hands, exchanged cigars and cigarettes, and talked matters over… They gave us photos of themselves and we gave them bully beef, jam, etc., which they were mighty pleased to get.”

HJI Walker's headstone

The headstone at the New Irish Farm Cemetery. Picture: Eric Compernolle

You can explore his story in full via the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website here

Probably the most revered rugby name on the list was Obolensky, who played seven times of the Barbarians after scoring two tries on his England debut against New Zealand in 1936. He was killed during training in Suffok in March 1940.

Another pilot, Donald Cobden, was capped by New Zealand, then moved to England to join the RAF and went on to play for the Barbarians. A Spitfire pilot, he was killed in action in the Battle of Britain in August 1940.

The full list of fallen Barbarians is below. The seasons listed indicate the ones in which the players made their debuts for the club.

One Barbarians player also passed away in the Boer War.

Albert Elliott was a surgeon who volunteered to serve in field hospitals in South Africa and died of enteric fever in Middleberg in December 1900. A former Cambridge Blue, he was capped by England in 1894.



1898-99 C. Y. ADAMSON Durham City

1905-06 H. ALEXANDER Birkenhead Park

1892-93 C. D. BAKER Blackheath

1914-15  C. F. BATTY Mill Hill School

1909-10 S. H. BEATTIE Wanderers (Dublin)

1909-10 W. J. BEATTY North of Ireland

1902-03 D. R. BEDELL-SIVRIGHT West of Scotland

1896-97 M. A. BLACK London Scottish

1910-11 L. C. BLENCOWE Richmond

1913-14 G. E. BRADSTREET Dublin University

1913-14 R. B. BURGESS Dublin University

1908-09 G. M. CHAPMAN London Hospital

1907-08 W. P. COWPER London Scottish

1911-12 W. M. DICKSON Blackheath

1914-15 A. J. DINGLE Richmond

1905-06 G. E. B. DOBBS Devonport Albion

1911-12 W. M. DODDS Northern

1898-99 A. H. DU BOULAY Blackheath

1892-93 R. F. EASTERBROOK London Scottish

1908-09  E. G. EDE United Services

1899-1900 H. G. GARNETT Liverpool

1910-11 W. P. GEEN Newport

1904-05 V. F. GIBBS United Services

1910-11 R. M. GOODMAN Richmond

1908-09 R. H. M. HANDS Blackheath

1910-11 L. HAIGH Manchester

1919-20  C. F. G. T. HALLARAN United Services

1905-06 E. HERSCHELL Birkenhead Park

1907-08 F. W. HININGS Headingley

1913-14 R. R. JACKSON Liverpool

1899-1900 P. D. KENDALL Birkenhead Park

1913-14 J. A. KING Headingley

1911-12 R. V. KNIGHT Bedford

1905-06 D. LAMBERT Harlequins

1912-13 B. R. LEWIS Swansea

1911-12 A. S. LIEBSON Guy’s Hospital

1914-15 R. LUMB Headingley

1906-07 B. MACLEAR Blackheath

1911-12 E. R. MOBBS  Northampton

1910-11 D. L. MONAGHAN Rosslyn Park

1913-14 A. L. W. NEAVE Richmond

1898-99 T. A. NELSON Edinburgh Academicals

1913-14 F. P. O’REILLY United Services

1913-14 A. B. READ Richmond

1901-02 J. ROSS London Scottish

1913-14 J. E. ROSS Liverpool

1906-07 F. W. C. SAWYER Blackheath

1896-97 R. O. SCHWARZ Richmond

1901-02 R. S. SMYTH Dublin University

1913-14 H. R. SOMERVILLE Old Edwardians

1910-11 S. S. L. STEYN London Scottish

1912-13 G. L. STOKES  Blackheath

1911-12 H. W. THOMAS Cambridge University

1894-95 A. F. TODD Blackheath

1911-12 D. O. H. TRIPP Harlequins

1914-15 J. L. URQUHART Rosslyn Park

1914-15 C. A. VAUGHAN

1905-06 A. L. WADE London Scottish

1903-04 R. H. WADE-GERY Marlborough Nomads

1912-13 H. J. I. WALKER Blackheath

1913-14 W. M. WALLACE London Scottish

1913-14 L. B. R. WANSBOROUGH United Services

1903-04 R. O. C. WARD Harlequins

1911-12 J. H. D. WATSON Edinburgh Academicals

1908-09 H. WEST London Scottish

1895-96 C. E. WILSON Blackheath

1908-09 J. S. WILSON United Services

1904-05 W. A. B. WREY R.M.C. Sandhurst



1935-36 R. ALEXANDER North of Ireland

1929-30 B. H. BLACK Blackheath

1909-10 H. E. C. BLAGROVE United Services

1932-33 L. A. BOOTH Headingley

1925-26 H.V. BRODIE Harlequins

1938-39 D. G. COBDEN R. A. F. and HSOB, NZ.

1938-39 P. COOKE Richmond

1922-23 V. G.  DAVIES Harlequins

1935-36 J. R. EVANS Newport

1929-30 D. ST. CLAIR FORD United Services

1937-38 J. G. S. FORREST Cambridge University

1937-38 H. D. FREAKES Oxford University

1932-33 R. A. GERRARD Bath

1941-42 R. L. HALL St Bartholomew’s Hospital

1919-20  C. F. G. T. HALLARAN United Services

1928-29 E.W.F.deV. HUNT Rosslyn Park

1939-40 I. S. JACKLIN St  Mary’s Hospital

1920-21 P. H. LAWLESS Richmond

1936-37 R. M. MARSHALL Oxford University

1941-42 A. W. MASTERS Metropolitan Police

1915 J. B. MINCH Bective Rangers

1938-39 J. S. MOLL Blackheath

1904-05 P. MUNRO London Scottish

1936-37 A. S. OBOLENSKY Leicester

1919-20 R. C. O’CONOR United Services

1934-35 M. F. PEACOCK Richmond

1938-39 W. M. PENMAN United Services

1925-26 H. REW Exeter

1937-38 G. ROBERTS Watsonians

1934-35 H.J. M. SAYERS Richmond

1942-43 J. C. SWANSON Middlesex Hospital

1929-30 C. C. TANNER Richmond

1936-37 D. E. TEDEN  Richmond

1934-35 C. THOMPSON Harlequins

1911-12 G. G. N. TINSON Blackheath

1942-43 P. N. WALKER  Gloucester

1909-10 N.A. WODEHOUSE United Services