Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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BUSH , PERCY FRANK , ( 1879 - 1955 ), rugby player . Born 23 June 1879 , in Cardiff . The family came originally from Penygraig . His father, James Bush , was an art teacher and one of the founders of the Cardiff rugby club in 1875 . Percy Bush was educated at University College , Cardiff .

He won 8 caps as an outside-half between 1905 and 1910 . He was a remarkable character, full of humour and the unexpected on the rugby field. He was completely self-possessed and independent. He first played for Cardiff in Nov. 1899 . He was a member of the British team in Australia and New Zealand in 1904 , where he was considered to be one of the best outside-halves ever seen there. He scored 104 points on that tour, 17 of them in one match. He captained Cardiff in 1905-06 , when they won every game except the one against the All Blacks , and Bush was held responsible for that failure. He played a key role in Wales ' historic (3-0) victory over the All Blacks on Dec. 16th 1905 . In 1907 , he was the captain of Cardiff when they defeated South Africa 17-0. He won only 8 caps , because of the contrast between his style and that of Dickie Owen , the Welsh scrum-half .

He was a schoolmaster until 1910 , when he settled in Nantes , where he continued to play rugby . In 1918 , he was appointed British Vice-Consul in that city. He returned to Wales in the mid-1930s , and was awarded the Médaille d' Argent de le Reconnaissance Française in recognition of his services to French relations with the Celtic nations. He d. in Cardiff on May 19, 1955 . The pacifist , Ethel M. Bush , was his sister.

Bibliography:

  • David Smith and Gareth Williams , Fields of Praise. The official history of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 , Cardiff, 1980 ;
  • Western Mail , May 20 1955 ;
  • The Times , May 20 1955 .

Author:

Professor Gareth W. Williams, Aberystwyth