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James Gowans (rugby union)

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Name  James Gowans

Role  Cricket Player
James Gowans (rugby union) Chris and James Gowans left their mark on SA football after moving
Died  March 14, 1936, Gauteng, South Africa
Education  Clare College, Cambridge, Harrow School

Major James Gowans, DSO (23 April 1872 – 14 March 1936) was an English-born sportsman who played international rugby union as a wing for Scotland and as a cricketer represented Marylebone Cricket Club.


Personal history

Gowans was born in Westoe, South Shields in 1872 to Dr. William Gowans of Westoe House. Gowans was educated at Harrow before matriculating to Clare College, Cambridge in 1890. Gowans joined the British Army as an officer in the Durham Artillery Militia, a militia regiment. He saw active service fighting in South Africa during the Second Boer War, where he reached the rank of major on 9 November 1901. From March to June 1900 he served in operations around Natal and later around the Zululand Frontier, including the defence of Forts Itala and Prospect. For his actions during the conflict he was mentioned in despatches (final despatch by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902) and also received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the Queen's South Africa Medal with three clasps and the King's South Africa Medal with two clasps.

In 1902 he married Erin Laura Muriel, daughter of William Wheelwright of Durban, and settled in South Africa.

Gowans served his country again during the First World War, serving as a temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Field Artillery, and was mentioned in despatches on another two occasions.

Rugby career

Gowans first came to note as a rugby player when he represented Cambridge University whilst a student at Clare College. He played in two Varsity Matches in 1892 and 1893, winning two sporting 'Blues'. Gowans played his rugby on the wing and was first capped for Scotland, while still a Cambridge student, in the 1893 Home Nations Championship, against Wales. His seven others caps for Scotland were also in Home Nations encounters and he took part in their successful 1895 campaign where they claimed their first ever Triple Crown. It was during the 1895 tournament that Gowens scored his first international points, scoring a match winning try in the encounter with Wales. He would score one more try, in his final match, during the 1896 game against England.

Cricket career

In 1891, Gowans played a first-class cricket match for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Cambridge University. Playing as a wicket-keeper, he top scored in their first innings with 40 and wasn't required to bat in the second. The bowler who dismissed him, Cyril Wells, was also a rugby union international, representing England.


James Gowans (rugby union) Wikipedia

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