Henry Berry (rugby union)

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Henry Berry
Full name Henry Berry
Date of birth (1883-01-08)8 January 1883
Place of birth Gloucester, England
Date of death 9 May 1915(1915-05-09) (aged 32)
Place of death Festubert, France
School St Mark's School, Gloucester
Occupation(s) Soldier / Publican
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1910  England 4 (6)

Henry Berry (8 January 1883 – 9 May 1915) was an English international rugby union player. He played club rugby for Gloucester and appeared in four games for England during the 1910 season.[1] He died serving his country during the First World War.

Personal history[edit]

Berry was born on 8 January 1883 in Gloucester to James and Hannah Berry.[2] One of ten children he was educated at St Mark's School in his home town. A career soldier, he joined the British Army at the age of 16 and served with the 4th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.[2] He was posted to South Africa after the outbreak of the Second Boer War. In March 1900 he was posted to the Atlantic island of Saint Helena where he served as a prison guard for two years.[2] He remained on after his battalion returned to Britain and instead joined the 1st Battalion Gloucester Regiment which was posted to Trincomalee in Ceylon.[2] He remained there until 1909 when he was forced to return to England to recover after contracting malaria.[2]

He married Beatrice Evelyn Arnold in 1910 and they became publicans, running first the Red Lion and then The Stag's Head. Their first child, Henry George Berry was born in August 1911. Berry remained a reservist throughout his time in England, and with the outbreak of the First World War he was called back into service as a corporal in the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. He was posted to France in 1915 and wad killed in action on 9 May 1915 at Aubers Ridge. A month later Beatrice gave birth to his second child, a daughter, Phyllis Irene.

In 2006, one of his grandchildren appeared on the BBC television programme Antiques Roadshow, filmed at Gloucester Cathedral, with some of his caps.[3]

Rugby career[edit]

Berry first became interested in rugby while at St Mark's School. A heavy forward player he retained his interest in the sport throughout his army career, and played for D company out in India. On returning to England in 1909, he became a member of Gloucester Rugby and within a year he has shown enough quality to be called into the England national team for the 1910 Five Nations Championship. His first international was against Wales in the opening game of the tournament.[4] England won 11-6 and Berry played well enough to gain reselection for the following three games of the tournament. England drew 0-0 against Ireland, and on 3 March 1910 Berry scored one of three tries in the away win over France. He scored a second try in the win against Scotland, which gave England the Championship.

1910 also saw Berry selected at county level for Gloucestershire, playing in the county final against Yorkshire.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Henry Berry". The Rugby History Society. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Tragic Henry true hero of Kingsholm". thisisgloucestershire.co.uk. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gloucester Cathedral 1". Antiques Roadshow. Season 29. 3 September 2006. BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Five Nations - Twickenham, 15 January 1910: England (11) 11 - 6 (3) Wales". espnscrum.com. Retrieved 27 February 2013.