Douglas Lambert

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Douglas Lambert
Date of birth (1883-10-04)4 October 1883
Date of death 13 October 1915(1915-10-13) (aged 32)
School Eastbourne College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1905–1914 Harlequins ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1907–1911  England 7 46

Military career
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Unit Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Battles/wars Battle of Loos
Memorials Loos Memorial

Douglas "Daniel" Lambert (4 October 1883 – 13 October 1915) was an English rugby player for Harlequins, England, and the Barbarians. He won 7 caps for England between 1907 and 1911, notably scoring 5 tries on debut against France (not bettered until 1995), and 22 points in another match against France, which remained an England record until 1990.[1] He was killed at the Battle of Loos during the First World War, while serving as a second lieutenant in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.[2]

Early life[edit]

Douglas Lambert was born on 4 October 1883[a] in Cranbrook. He went to school at St Edward's in Oxford and then Eastbourne College.[3]

Rugby career[edit]

Lambert, who was big, strong and fast, played for Harlequins A XV until he was selected to play wing for the first team in 1905.[3] Being large, he joined as a forward.[4] Adrian Stoop, who had been selected for Harlequins in 1901 while still at school at Rugby, was appointed club secretary in 1905 and was captain the following year. He brought about a transformation at the club, attracting exceptional back line players such as John Birkett, Ronnie Poulton, Herbert Sibree and Lambert: Harlequins became the leading club in England.[5] It was Stoop who brought Lambert into the first team as a threequarter after Lambert had demonstrated his speed and strength by tackling Stoop in practice.[4] After his first season with the first team, Lambert was invited on the Barbarians' Easter tour of Wales in 1906, but he was on the losing side in the three matches in which he played, against Penarth, Cardiff and Plymouth.[3]

Lambert's debut for England was against France in January 1907. Selected to play on the wing only after the original choice had pulled out, Lambert scored five tries, a record for any nation, which stood until Marc Ellis scored six tries for New Zealand against Japan in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.[3] Lambert was subsequently dropped from the England team until the following year. In the meantime, he continued to play for Harlequins and was again invited to tour with the Barbarians, winning two of the three matches.[3]

The England team for the England-France match on 28 January 1911.

He was brought back to the England team in 1908 to play in the fixture against France, and scored another try. He also played in the 1908 season's games against Wales and Scotland but was not selected again until 1911, when he played his final three international matches. After playing against Wales, he went on to score another two tries, five conversions and two penalties in the next game, England's first against France at its new home ground of Twickenham:[6] the 22 points were a record for England that stood until 1990 when Simon Hodgkinson scored 23 points against Argentina.[7] Four of the England backline that day were Harlequins players: Birkett, who captained England, Stoop and his brother Freek, and Lambert.[4] Lambert's final match was against Ireland at Lansdowne Road.[8]

Amongst Lambert's various records, he is the first player of any nation to have scored eight tries against the French. It was matched by Joe Rokocoko of New Zealand and Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland but while they managed to do so in 10 and 11 matches respectively; Lambert achieved it in 3.[4]

International appearances[edit]

Opposition Score Result Date Venue Ref(s)
 France 41–13 Won 5 Jan 1907 Richmond [9]
 France 0–19 Won 1 Jan 1908 Colombes [10]
 Wales 18–28 Lost 18 Jan 1908 Bristol [11]
 Scotland 16–10 Lost 21 Mar 1908 Inverleith [12]
 Wales 15–11 Lost 21 Jan 1911 Swansea [13]
 France 37–0 Won 28 Jan 1911 Twickenham [14]
 Ireland 3–0 Lost 11 Feb 1911 Lansdowne Road [15]

Military service[edit]

At the outbreak of the First World War, Lambert was commissioned second lieutenant in the 6th Battalion of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Before departing for France in December 1914, he was married to Joyce, his childhood girlfriend, and she fell pregnant. His battalion took part in the Battle of Loos in September 1915. On 13 October, in an attempt to break through German lines, The Buffs were decimated, losing 400 men in just a few minutes, Lambert amongst them. Two months after his death, his son was born.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McCrery gives his date of birth as 14 October 1883.[3]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Collins, Tony (2015). The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1408843722. 
  • McCrery, Nigel (2014). Into Touch: Rugby Internationals Killed in the Great War. Pen and Sword. ISBN 1473833213.