Dave Howie

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David Dickie Howie
Date of birth (1888-05-12)12 May 1888
Place of birth Rosebery Temple, Midlothian
Date of death 19 January 1916(1916-01-19) (aged 27)
Place of death Cairo, Egypt
School Kirkcaldy High School
Notable relative(s) Bob Howie
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1908–14 Kirkcaldy RFC ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1912–13  Scotland 7 0

Military career
Buried Cairo War Memorial Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1914–1916
Rank Second Lieutenant
Unit Royal Field Artillery
Memorials Kinghorn War Memorial

David Dickie Howie (12 May 1888 – 19 January 1916) was a rugby union player, who represented Scotland and Kirkcaldy RFC. He enlisted as a trooper in the local yeomanry in September 1914, at the start of the First World War. After undergoing training in England, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery in April 1915 and despatched to Gallipoli in August. During the evacuation of Anzac Bay, he contracted pneumonia, and died in Cairo, Egypt, after shooting himself with a revolver while in a state of delirium. He is buried at the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery.

Howie, who played as a forward, was capped seven times for Scotland between 1912 and 1913.

Early life and family[edit]

David Dickie Howie was born in Rosebery Temple, Midlothian, to Archibald and Jessie Howie.[1] He attended Kirkcaldy High School. While there, he played as a forward in the school rugby XV for three years. He also was the winner in 1903 of the Nairn Cup, awarded to the school's champion athlete.[2]

Howie, like his father, was a farmer. He married Marie Winifred Gibson, with whom he had a daughter, Eleanor Margot Linton Dickie, born 4 May 1915 in Skegness.[1]

Dave Howie was the brother of Bob Howie, who also played for Kirkcaldy and also gained seven national caps, in the 1920s, as well as representing Great Britain in four games on the 1924 tour to South Africa.[3] Although he and his brother gained fourteen caps between them, their father, a grim farmer, never watched them once, saying: "Rugby an' fermin' will no agree, an' A ken which'll pit mair money in yer pooch."[4]

Rugby career[edit]

Scotland XV v France, 1 January 1913, Parc des Princes

Howie began playing for Kirkcaldy RFC in 1908.[5][6] He was considered a "useful forward",[2] and in 1912 became the first Kirkcaldy RFC player to earn selection for Scotland.[5] His debut came in Scotland's first international match of 1912, with a convincing win against France. He went on to play in each of the subsequent Home Nations Championship games that year, as well as participating in the game against the South African tourists in November. He was again selected in 1913 for the games against Wales and France.[2]

International appearances[edit]

Opposition Score Result Date Venue Ref(s)
 France 31–3 Won 20 Jan 1912 Inverleith [7]
 Wales 21–6 Lost 3 Feb 1912 Swansea [8]
 Ireland 10–8 Lost 24 Feb 1912 Lansdowne Road [9]
 England 8–3 Won 16 Mar 1912 Inverleith [10]
 South Africa 0–16 Lost 23 Nov 1912 Inverleith [11]
 France 3–21 Won 1 Jan 1913 Parc des Princes [12]
 Wales 0–8 Lost 1 Feb 1913 Inverleith [13]

Military service and death[edit]

On 8 September 1914, Howie enlisted as a trooper in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry. He remained in training in England until April 1915, when he was commissioned into the 1st Highland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, and sailed for Gallipoli in August 1915. During the evacuation of Anzac, he contracted pneumonia and died in Cairo on 19 January 1916.[2] His death was from 'self-inflicted revolver wounds, whilst temporarily of unsound mind, due to the delirium of pneumonia'. According to Sister Laycock, who was tending to him, he was "quiet and drowsy" during most of the day, and shot himself a few minutes after she had last seen him alive, apparently sleeping: she heard the shot on entering the room again.[1]

He is buried at the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Grave No. 267 D[14] and is commemorated on the Kinghorn War Memorial.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McCrery 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Sewell 1919.
  3. ^ Bath, p139
  4. ^ Bath, p28
  5. ^ a b Raymond Mann. "Club History - Kirkcaldy Rugby Football Club". 
  6. ^ Bath, p138
  7. ^ "ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  8. ^ "Results and Fixtures: 1911–12". Welsh Rugby Union. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Ireland 10 Scotland 8". ESPN.com. 
  10. ^ "ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  11. ^ "ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  12. ^ "ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  13. ^ "ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  14. ^ "David Dickie Howie". CWGC. 
  15. ^ "Kinghorn War Memorial" (PDF). Kinghorncommunity.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007 ISBN 1-905326-24-6)
  • Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)
  • McCrery, Nigel (2014). Into Touch: Rugby Internationals Killed in the Great War. Pen and Sword. ISBN 1473833213. 
  • Sewell, Edward Humphrey Dalrymple (1919). The Rugby Football Internationals Roll of Honour. London, Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack.