Oliver Piper

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Oliver Piper
O.J.S. Piper with the British Isles team in 1910
Birth name Oliver James Southwell Piper
Date of birth 13 January 1884
Place of birth Neath, Wales
Date of death 22 April 1933
Place of death (registered in) Marylebone, London (aged 49 years 99 days)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Great Britain

Oliver Piper (1884–1933) was a rugby union international who represented Ireland from 1909 to 1910.[1][1]

Early life[edit]

Oliver Piper was born on 13 January 1884 in Neath.[1] He was the son of Oliver Stephen Southwell Piper (born 1855), a prominent figure in the British shipbuilding industry, and his wife Ann (born 1851). Both Piper's parents were English and Oliver spent much of his early life in England and Wales. He was one of six children, though two siblings died before adulthood.[2] In 1898, when the docks at Passage West, Cork, were bought by the Jacobs brothers, Oliver Piper's father Oliver Piper senior was brought over as managing partner of the firm, then called the Channel Dry Docks Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited.[3] After two years Piper moved into Glenbrook House, Cork.


Oliver Piper senior eventually bought the company he had been directing and re-established the concern as the Queenstown Dry Docks Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd and in so doing revived its fortunes. His efforts in bringing Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, on a guided tour of the Royal Victoria Dockyard when he came to view Cork Harbour in the summer of 1912 did not result in as much Admiralty work as hoped, although there were many ships needing repair. Early in 1917, the company was sold to Furness, Withy and Co. Ltd. and a new limited company, the Queenstown Dry Docks Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd., was formed. Oliver Piper junior was appointed managing director and by the end of 1917, some 800 workers were employed at Passage and Rushbrooke. By August 1919, the Albert Dry Dock had been extended into the river. However, by 29 December 1930, it was proposed to wind up the Queenstown Dry Docks Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. and the concern was put in the hands of a liquidator.[4]

Rugby union career[edit]

Piper made his international debut on 13 February 1909 at Lansdowne Road in the Ireland vs England match.[1] Of the 8 matches he played for his national side he was on the winning side on 2 occasions.[1] He played his final match for Ireland on 28 March 1910 against France at Parc des Princes. He was selected for the British & Irish Lions and played on 6 August 1910 at Ellis Park in the South Africa vs British and Irish Lions match.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Oliver Piper Profile on scrum.com
  2. ^ Census 1911 return
  3. ^ Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, page 81, (The Society, 1931)
  4. ^ /www.passagewestmonkstown.ie, History: 1900 - today