John Russell Pound

John Russell Pound © IWM (HU 117116)

7th June 1887 – 27th April 1915. King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (2nd Battalion)

John Russell Pound was a former Manchester FC player who was a captain in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Pound was born in London, and went to the Merchant Taylor’s School. He then proceeded to Oxford University (St. John’s), where he gained First Class Honours in Mathematics before starting a Master’s degree. He also played against Manchester in rugby when he was at Oxford, and captained the St John’s XV. In 1909 he joined Shrewsbury School as Assistant Master, where he, of course, taught maths.

Pound joined Manchester FC in 1912, and he excelled in the pack during the 1913-1914 season, his second for the club. He earned county colours for Cheshire and also represented the North against an England side at Newcastle. That year, he was close to earning an England cap; put on reserve for England’s Five Nations clash with France. Perhaps, had war not been declared, Pound’s rugby career might have reached greater heights.

Pound had spent considerable time with the Shrewsbury OTC as a captain, and so volunteered for active service as soon as the war broke out in 1914. That same year, he married Elsie Pendlebury in Shrewsbury.

He was killed in the trenches near Ypres in April 1915, shot through the head by a sniper.

Pound is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, Panels 47-49.

Imperial War Museum
Manchester Guardian
Shropshire Roll of Honour
Paul Chapman – Menin Gate North: In Memory and in Mourning
World Rugby Museum

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