In spring 1915, Camborne Rugby Football Club sent a ball out to the Front to the R.A.M.C. 25th Field Ambulance. The Cornish soldiers organised a series of three matches against a Devon team. Capt. William Blackwood of Camborne kicked off all three matches.
Here is the West Briton cutting describing the three matches. One of the best forwards, Penhorwood of Newquay (who was a policeman in Bodmin) was killed after the second game. For more about Penhorwood, click here.
A letter from Pte. Ernie Fletcher,who played in the matches, was published in the West Briton on 13 May 1915:
Through the kindness of Camborne Football Club, who were good enough to send us a Rugby ball, we, the 25th Field Ambulance, have been able to arrange a series of matches between the Cornish lads and the Devon lads. The first match proved a victory for the Devons by 2 tries to nil. A week later we shifted down the line near La Bassee and played a return match, which proved a win for the Cornish lads by two tries to a dropped goal. Capt. W. Blackwood, of Camborne, kicked off in each match. After having a few days in the trenches we arranged the final, which ended in a victory for the Cornishmen by a try to nil. The Cornish lads well deserved their win, as in the last match they were handicapped by Brown, their back, having to retire within the first fifteen minutes. This match was played on Whit-Monday, and instead of having the privilege of listening to the bands in Camborne, we had the music of the guns. One of the best Cornish forwards, Penhorwood of Newquay, late police constable of Bodmin, was killed after the second game during our stay in the trenches. The teams for the final match were:-
Cornwall – Back, R. Brown: three-quarters, W. Bosanko, R. Chinn, J. Soloman, R. Treeby; half-backs, E. Fletcher and Paltridge; forwards, L. Pentecost, A.J.Williams, F. Head, E. Bray, W. Trimm, F. Negus, A. Young and Dunstan.
Devon – Back, F. Lovell; three-quarters, G. Lovell, Sergt. Pike, E. Curtis, F. Williams; half-backs, W. Eliott and C. Evans; forwards, Mullins, Reed, Sergt. Cross, Downing, Walters, Whitford, Pepperell and sergt. Patey.
Linesmen, W. Brookes and E. Rule. Referee, Sergt. J. Phillips (Camborne).