|Full name||Reginald Oscar Schwarz|
4 May 1875|
Lee, London, England
|Died||18 November 1918
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
Major Reginald Oscar Schwarz MC, known as Reggie (born 4 May 1875 in Lee, London, England, died 18 November 1918 in Étaples, France) was a South African cricketer and international rugby union footballer.
Schwarz was born in Lee in 1875 to Robert George Schwarz, a merchant from Bagshot in Surrey. Schwarz was educated at St Paul's School in London, and matriculated to Christ's College, Cambridge in 1893. While at Cambridge he joined the Cambridge University rugby team and in the Varsity Match of 1893 he won his only sporting Blue. Although Schwarz became better known as a cricketer than a rugby player, he did not win a Blue for cricket.
Schwarz won three caps for England at rugby against Scotland in 1899, and Wales and Ireland in 1901. At club level, Schwarz played for Richmond and in the 1896-97 season was invited to play for the Barbarians.
Schwarz played a handful of games for Middlesex in 1901 and 1902 before emigrating to South Africa and joining Transvaal; but it was on his return to England with the South African cricket team in 1904 that he made his mark, having learning from Bosanquet how to bowl the googly. Unusually, he bowled it as his stock delivery, with considerable success: in 1904 and 1907 he topped the bowling averages, in the latter year taking 137 wickets at just 11.70 apiece, and he was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1908. On that 1907 tour, the first on which South Africa played Tests in England, they had no fewer than four leg-break and googly bowlers, Schwarz having passed on the secret of the googly to Aubrey Faulkner, Bert Vogler and Gordon White.
Schwarz retired from regular playing after the 1912 season, though he appeared thrice more for L Robinson's XI over the next two seasons. In all he took 398 wickets at a fine 17.58 average, and in Tests he took 55 at 22.60. Schwarz made one first class century: 102 in a non-Test game against an England XI at Lord's in 1904.
Personal and military career
Schwarz was a Member of the London stock exchange from 1899 to 1902, before joining the South African Railways in 1902 after his emigration to South Africa. From 1904 to 1911, he was a Member of the South African stock exchange until he rejoined the London stock exchange on his return to Britain.
Schwarz was a major in the King's Royal Rifle Corps regiment of the British Army who fought on the Western Front in World War I. He was given the role of Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General and was Assistant Controller of salvage. For his actions during the war he was Mentioned in Despatches and was awarded the Military Cross. He survived the war, but died in the Spanish flu epidemic in Étaples, France just seven days after the Armistice had been signed. He was 43.
- "Schwarz, Reginald Oscar (SCWS893RO)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Marshall, Howard; Jordon, J.P. (1951). Oxford v Cambridge, The Story of the University Rugby Match. London: Clerke & Cockeran. p. 83.