The Edgar Mobbs Centenary

The Edgar Mobbs Centenary

The Mobbs Memorial Match takes place at Bedford Blues every year and the 2017 event was especially poignant as it marked 100 years since the death of OBM Edgar Mobbs in the First World War.


Mobbs joined Bedford Modern School in 1892 with his two older brothers and played cricket and rugby, although he never played in the 1st XV.  After leaving school in 1898, Mobbs went on to play rugby for Northampton Saints, the East Midlands and England (1909-10), scoring the first ever try against Australia in 1909. Over the course of his career for Northampton Saints, he scored 179 tries in 234 appearances before retiring in 1913.

On the outbreak of war, Mobbs was initially turned down for a commission due to his age, but he rallied the people of Northampton to volunteer with him for military service and, by mid-1916, had been promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the battalion, known as the ‘Mobbs Own’. He was wounded three times, mentioned in despatches twice and awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his bravery. Lt-Col. Mobbs died on 31 July 1917, charging a German machine-gun post during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate and on memorials at BMS, Franklin’s Gardens and in Northampton, ‘erected by subscriptions of admirers the world over to the memory of a great and gallant sportsman’.

Image credits: Images of Mobbs representing England, 1909-1910, home injured on leave, 1916, all with thanks to Graham McKechnie.