Ronald Simson

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Ronald Francis Simson (6 September 1880 – 14 September 1914) was a Scottish rugby union player for Scotland.[1] Simson was the first Scottish rugby international to die in the First World War.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ronald Simson was born in Edinburgh on 6 September 1880.[3] He attended Edinburgh Academy and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, where he represented the Woolwich XV in a 49–9 victory over Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[3] He also played for London Scottish, a team especially hard hit because many of them joined the London Scottish regiment.[2]

Rugby career[edit]

Simson was selected to play for Scotland in one match, against England at Twickenham on 18 March 1911. Simson scored one try for Scotland in the game, which they lost 13–8.[4]

Military service[edit]

Simson joined the Royal Field Artillery in July 1911.[5] Having played for the Army & Navy team, he was selected to represent Scotland against England in 1911.[1] He was promoted in July 1914 to Lieutenant in the 116th Battery, 26th Brigade.[3] Simson was killed in the First Battle of the Aisne,[2] which was the Allied follow-up offensive against the right wing of the German First Army (led by Alexander von Kluck) & Second Army (led by Karl von Bülow) as they retreated after the First Battle of the Marne earlier in September 1914. A shell exploded below the horse he was riding; both he and the horse were killed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bath, p. 109
  2. ^ a b c "An entire team wiped out by the Great War". The Scotsman. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Clutterbuck, L. A. The Bond of Sacrifice: A Biographical Record of all British Officers who fell in the Great War. 1. Navy and Military Press. pp. 360–361. ISBN 978-1843422259. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission: SIMSON, RF. Retrieved 8 December 2009
  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007 ISBN 1-905326-24-6)

External links[edit]