Francis Nathaniel Tarr was a typical Stoneygate School pupil. He was bright and he loved rugby and cricket. It was at Stoneygate over 100 years ago that he developed a passion for sport. Pupils can see his name in the dining room. He was captain of rugby in 1901.
After Stoneygate, Tarr went to Uppingham. From 1906- 1910 he read law at University College, Oxford. He played rugby for Oxford University.
Academia & sport….Tarr at Oxford (back row, far right).
Whilst playing for Oxford, his abilities were noted by an English rugby scout. In January 1909 Tarr won his first cap for England playing against Australia.
Having graduated from Oxford, Tarr then worked as a solicitor in Leicester, but continued to play rugby at the weekend! As tension in Europe mounted, Tarr was appointed lieutenant of his Leicestershire regiment in 1913. Tarr, handsome, sporty and articulate came to the attention of the War Office and their propaganda operations. If Tarr was fighting for his country, so could others.
During the second battle of Ypres in July 1915, Tarr was giving orders to his men, when a splinter from a shell struck him in the face.
He died instantly.
Another captain from the Leicestershire regiment, John Milne, described Tarr as… “.the most attractive personality in the battalion, young, good-looking, full of charm, with an eye that always had a twinkle in it, a born leader, yet the kindest person possible, a Rugger international, the idol of the machine-gun section, which he commanded before he became adjutant. Everybody was heartbroken, for everybody would miss him they would not look upon his like again…”
If you are interested in rugby and history, the RFU commissioned an excellent film on the sport and WWI called ‘The Rose and Poppy’. Below is a trailer…
Tarr’s passion for academia and sport began at Stoneygate, over one hundred years later we still want to produce gifted ‘all-rounders’.
On Wednesday this week we had numerous fixtures against Maidwell Hall. It was a tough afternoon for most teams- Mr Stocks and I were away with the U13’s and U12’s and despite both teams losing, they showed great determination and did not give in. Congratulations to the U11’s who defeated Maidwell with tries from Will, Jacob, Ezrah and Marcus.
Tarr would have been proud…
Mr J F Dobson