Welsh rugby team will pay trib­ute to war dead ahead of to­day’s match

South Wales Echo - - Wwi Remembered -

WELSH rugby is set to pay a fit­ting trib­ute to those who lost their lives dur­ing World War One ahead of their match against Aus­tralia at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium to­day.

Sev­eral trib­utes to hon­our the fallen have been planned, in­clud­ing the lay­ing of wreaths and a two-min­utes’ si­lence ahead of kick-off.

There will also be two Tommy sil­hou­ettes “guard­ing” the play­ers’ tun­nel, along with 13 smaller per­spex ver­sions, which will fea­ture the names of the 13 Wales in­ter­na­tion­als who lost their lives dur­ing the 1914-18 con­flict.

Among those be­ing hon­oured are Charles Tay­lor, who died on Jan­uary 24, 1915, at Dog­ger Bank in the North Sea.

The first Welsh in­ter­na­tional to die in ac­tion dur­ing the Great War, Tay­lor was pre­vi­ously the coun­try’s lead­ing pole vaulter.

Af­ter win­ning nine caps for Wales at rugby, he would later go on to en­joy a distin­guished naval ca­reer, and was en­gi­neer­cap­tain of the HMS Tiger upon his death at the age of 51, which fol­lowed on from the Bat­tle of Dog­ger Bank.

Fel­low in­ter­na­tional Dick Thomas died some 18 months later, on July 7, 1916, at Mametz, Somme.

A po­lice­man and am­a­teur boxer, Thomas played for Glam­or­gan against New Zealand and South Africa in 1905 and 1906 re­spec­tively.

Af­ter en­list­ing in the Welsh Reg­i­ment in Jan­uary 1915, he was pro­moted to Com­pany Sergeant Ma­jor and was killed in ac­tion with the 16th Bat­tal­ion aged 35 dur­ing the in­fa­mous Bat­tle of the Somme.

And Dai Wes­ta­cott – a docker with a fierce rep­u­ta­tion – died at the Third Batt­tle of Ypres at the age of 35.

Dur­ing his rugby ca­reer had played for Glam­or­gan against New Zealand at St He­len’s in 1905, be­fore be­ing named in the Wales side to take on Ire­land a year later.

In 1908, he played in the Cardiff XV that beat Aus­tralia 24-8 – the Wal­la­bies’ heav­i­est de­feat of that tour.

He later served as a pri­vate in the 2/6th Bat­tal­ion Glouces­ter­shire Reg­i­ment be­fore his un­timely death dur­ing World War One.

The men will be re­mem­bered at to­day’s match along­side fel­low Welsh in­ter­na­tion­als who died dur­ing the First World War, namely Billy Geen, Lou Phillips, Johnny Wil­liams, David Watts, Char­lie Pritchard, Ho­race Thomas, Bryn Lewis, Phil Waller, Fred Per­rett, and Richard Garnons Wil­liams.

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