As the darkened leaves blew across the river Taff yesterday, it felt like a proper Autumn day in the Welsh capital.
A feeling of deja vu as yet again Wales faced the Wallabies, a fixture that used to be so rare, and exotic,but these days is an almost annual occurrence.
Sadly the deja vu also manifested itself in the result, a win for Australia.
But on November 11 it seemed appropriate to reflect on darker times, when Wales and Australia united and fought a much tougher battle on foreign fields, where many of them would pay the ultimate price.
I hope my roll call will continue to keep the names of these heroes alive, and remind us that when all is said and done. there are actually much more important things in life than rugby and although this is something we all tend to forget at times, we will always remember the brave men listed below.
THE 13 WELSH INTERNATIONALS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR
Born: Ferndale, 14 October 1883.
Killed in action : Mametz Wood 7 July 1916.
Wales: Four caps, 1906-1909.
John Lewis Williams
Born: Whitchurch, Cardiff, 3 January 1882.
Died of wounds: Corbie 12 July 1916.
Wales: 17 caps, 1906-1911.
Born: Cardiff, 10 October 1882.
Killed in action: Wieltje, 28 August 1917.
Wales: One cap, 1906.
Horace Wyndham Thomas
Born: Pentyrch, 28 July 1890.
Killed in action: Ancre, 3 September 1916.
Wales : Two caps, 1912-1913.
Richard Davies Garnons Williams
Born: Llowes, Radnorshire, 15 June, 1856.
Killed in Action: 25 September 1915 while leading his battalion at the Battle of Loos.
Wales: One cap, 1881.
Charles Gerald Taylor
Born: Ruabon, North Wales, 8 May 1863.
Killed in action: 24 January, 1915 at the Battle of Dogger Bank when his ship HMS Tiger was hit by fire from German cruiser SMS Blucher.
Wales: Ninecaps, 1884-1887.
Louis “Lou” Augustus Phillips
Born: Newport, Monmouthsire, 24 February 1878.
Killed in action: Cambrai, on 14 March 1916.
Wales: Four caps, 1900-1901.
Charles Mayrick Pritchard
Born: Newport, Monmouthshire, 30 September 1882
Died of wounds: 14 August, casualty clearing station, Western Front.
Wales: 14 caps, 1904-1910.
Phillip Dudley Waller
Born: Bath, Somerset, 28 January 1889.
Killed in action: Hit by shellfire, 14 December 1917, Arras.
Wales: Six caps, 1908-1910.
Brinley Richard Lewis
Born: 4, January 1891, Pontardawe.
Killed in action: 2 April, 1917 Ypres, France, hit by shellfire.
Wales: Two caps, 1912-193.
William “Billy” Purdon Geen
Born: 14 March 1891, Newport, Monmouthshire.
Killed in action: Hooge, Flanders, 31 July, 1915.
Wales: Three caps, 1912-1913.
Fred Leonard Perrett
Born: Briton Ferry, 9 May 1891.
Died of wounds: 1 December 1918, in a clearing station weeks after the armistice.
Wales: Five caps, 1912-1913
Born: Maesteg 14 March 1886.
Killed in action : 14 July 1916 at Bazentin Ridge, France.
Wales: Four caps, 1914.
THE THREE WELSH INTERNATIONALS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WORLD WAR II
Cecil Rhys Davies (1 Cap)
John R Evans (1 Cap)
Maurice J.L. Turnbull (2 Caps)
An estimated sixty Wallabies enlisted in the armed forces to fight in World War I
THE 10 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONALS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR
Blair Inskip Swannell 25 April 1915
Edward Rennix Larkin 25 April 1915
Harold Wesley George 10 May 1915
Frederick Herbert Thompson 29 May 1915
Arthur Verge 8 September 1915
George Harold Pugh 5 September 1916
Herbert Jones 4 November 1916
Clarence Wallach MC 22 April 1918
Bryan Desmond Hughes MC 6 August 1918
William George Tasker 9 August 1918
At least 139 Wallabies served in Word War II, including fourteen of the fifteen players that played in the last test against New Zealand, on 13 August 1938, six of this team lost their lives:
THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONALS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WORLD WAR II
Michael Clifford 9 October 1942
Edwin Sautelle Hayes 12 January 1942
Eric Ebsworth Hutchinson 27 January 1943
Winston Phillip James Ide 12 September 1944
Russell Lindsay Frederick Kelly 25 December 1943
Frederick Raymond Kerr 23 April 1941
Clifford Walter Patrick Lang 4 March 1942
Kenelm McKenzie Ramsay 1 March 1942