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NORTHAMPTON, EDGAR MOBBS WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © martin Edwards 2006

The memorial originally stood in The Market Place, Northampton but was moved in 1937 to the Garden of Remembrance (Memorial Garden), Northampton. The memorial is in the form of a robed female figure representing the Goddess of Fame, holding a wreath in her left hand and a staff raised in her right. The figure stands on a tapering pillar which in turn rests on a three stepped base. On the front face of the pillar is a bust of Colonel Mobbs with a wreath behind his head. On the front of the memorial is a bust of Lt. Col Mobbs; on the left side is a relief panel depicting a rugby match, and on the right a battlefield scene.

Edgar Roberts Mobbs DSO (1882 - 1917) was an English rugby union footballer who played for and captained Northampton R.F.C. and England. He played as a three quarter.

After initially being turned down as too old to join the army in World War 1, Edgar raised his own "sportsmans" battalion of 250 sportsmen (also known as Mobbs' Own) for the Northamptonshire Regiment. He rose to command his battalion with rank of Lt. Col.

Edgar was killed in battle, in July 1917, at Zillebeke during the Third Battle of Ypres, whilst attacking a machine gun post. His body has never been found, so his name is on the Menin Gate memorial.

In 1921 the first Mobb's Memorial Match was held between the East Midlands and the Barbarians at Franklin's Gardens and has continued ever since.

From an old photograph

IN MEMORY OF
EDGAR R MOBBS
DSO
ERECTED BY SUBSCRIPTIONS
OF ADMIRERS THE WORLD OVER
TO THE MEMORY OF A
GREAT AND GALLANT
SOLDIER SPORTSMAN
WHEN THE GREAT WAR BROKE OUT
HE FOUNDED
"MOBBS COMPANY"
JOINED AS A PRIVATE AND ROSE
TO COMMAND THE BATTALION
TO WHICH IT BELONGED HE DID HIS DUTY
EVEN UNTO DEATH

LT.- COL. Edgar Roberts MOBBS DSO (1882-1917 - BMS 1892-98)


Picture courtesy & copyright BMS

Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment who was killed in action in the Battle of Passchendale on Tuesday, 31st July 1917 charging an enemy machine-gun post. Age 37. Son of Oliver L. and Elizabeth Anne Mobbs, of Northampton. At Bedford Modern School school from 2nd Term 1892 to 3rd Term 1898 - lived at Olney, Buckinghamshire. Former England International Rugby Football player. Awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Commemorated on Yres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 43 and 45.
See also Olney and Bedford Modern School

Life size (three-quarter) posthumous portrait by Barbara Chamier, originally unveiled 1925. Location: Corridor adjacent to School Entrance Foyer.

From 'The Millennium Eagle' published by BMS.

"It has been ninety years since Edgar Mobbs played rugby for England. At school he was regarded as the greatest sportsman BMS ever produced and was a hero to every man and boy who played, and loved the game, of rugby football. He had a natural aptitude for the game, to which he added great technical skill. Since he could run 100 yards in a little over 10 seconds, it was not surprising that he became a wing three-quarter of genius.

In 1904 he was invited to play at Northampton and only a year later he was made captain. He played for the East Midlands and the Barbarians before being awarded an England cap against Wales in 1909. The new cap was said to be majestic and full of a will to win: his legendary status was born. In 1909 he captained his country against the touring Australians.

Mobbs was a charismatic leader and at the outbreak of the First World War he personally raised a company of volunteers of the Northampton Regiment, known as 'Mobbs Own'. He was killed in the battle of Passchendale, charging an enemy machine-gun post. Today there stands a memorial to him in Northampton bearing the words '...By subscriptions of admirers the world over, to the memory of a great and gallant soldier and sportsman, Lieutenant-Colonel E R Hobbs.' His name is also commemorated in the annual Mobbs Memorial Match between the East Midlands and the Barbarians."

 

Last updated 27 August, 2006

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