The Final Whistle
The Great War in Fifteen Players
Date of publication: July 2012
Publisher: The History Press
Sport and war was inextricably intertwined in the years leading up to the First World War, as training for play was seen as 'training for war'. Many members of the Rugby Union formed the officer class of the Great War, their training, dedication and team spirit helping them lead men into battle. The Final Whistle plays tribute to the role rugby played during the First World War by following the poignant stories of fifteen men who played for Rosslyn Park, based just outside of Richmond Park, London.
These men came from diverse backgrounds, with players from Australia, Ceylon, Columbia, Ireland and South Africa, but they were joined together in their love of the game and in the courage in the face of war. Their stories take us from London to the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Italy and Dublin. They took part in some of the most famous engagements of the war and many were honoured for their bravery on the battlefield.
This is the first time their story has been told in full through personal diaries, letters and previously unpublished photographs. It is a must-read for any rugby enthusiast or First World War historian.