H J Brougham

Henry J Brougham was born in 1888 at Wellington College and joined the Stanley in 1901, becoming Head of School in 1907. Described as “one of the great sportsmen of the period immediately before the Great War” he excelled on the cricket pitch, the rugby field and on the rackets court.

At Wellington he was in the XI for three seasons, captaining the side in 1907. The same year he won the Public Schools Championship Rackets. The following year he played rackets for England in the 1908 Olympics, winning a bronze. He went up to Oxford, where he won a Blue for cricket in 1911, scoring 84 in a “free and attractive innings” in the Varsity match. At county level he played for Berkshire from 1905 whilst still at Wellington right up to 1914, scoring centuries against Carmarthen, Devon, and Buckinghamshire in the minor counties and represented the Minor Counties against South Africa in 1912.

The same year he was capped four times on the wing for the England XV against Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and France. He also played for Harlequins. Interestingly he never made the Wellington XV, nor did he get a Rugby Blue.

When war broke out he joined the gunners, and fought through to 1917 rising to the rank of Major when he was invalided out as a result of being terribly gassed. His health never recovered, the gas particularly affected his breathing, a cruel blow for such a distinguished athlete. He died from the affects of gas in 1923.[1]

In addition to his many achievements, he was initiated into the Lodge in Khaki Dress at the start of the Great War, an extremely rare event, even in times of war.


[1] Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack (all references)