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The Hasluck Family 

 

Daniel Sidney Hasluck and his second wife, Sarah, had 13 children, seven sons and six daughters. Sidney Herbert, their eldest son was drowned, in a boating accident, at the age of 14, in 1868, while his brother Robert Howard only lived for a few months following his birth in 1855.

 

The couple’s third son, Henry Vandyke, was born in 1856, while Ernest Edward was born circa.1858, Harold circa 1862, Willoughby circa 1863 and Howard circa 1866.

 

Like their late brother Sidney, Henry, Ernest and Willoughby Hasluck were educated at King Edward’s School. Henry took part in the school’s annual athletic sports, which were held on 10th June 1875, in poor weather, at the grounds of the Birmingham Gymnasium, Portland Road, a venue at which Moseley’s second XV played on occasion. At this event he won the over-15 trial of strength in throwing a cricket ball with a distance of 93 yards two feet and was then victorious in the half-mile flat race.

 

Ernest and Henry both played for the school rugby side in a match with Moseley, at Balsall Heath, on 11th March 1876 that was won by the school with a score of one goal and one disputed try[1] (touched down by Henry Hasluck) to nil. Also in the school side was Mylins who may have been the E. Mylins that later played for Moseley.

 

On 2nd July 1879 Willoughby played for the school cricket team in a home match with Leamington College, which the latter side won by 38 runs. Willoughby’s contribution was four runs.

 

After King Edward’s Henry went up to Oxford University and on 26th October 1876 matriculated at Queen’s College. While at Oxford he continued his athletics career and on 15th November 1877 at the Queen’s College Athletic Sports he won the 100 yards handicap race, by six inches, in a time of 16 4/5 seconds, having been given a four-yard start.

 

There is nothing to indicate that Henry played rugby at Oxford but it seems likely that he did because when he came down from Oxford, without having taking a degree, he became, in 1878/79, Moseley’s third captain in succession to Denston Gibson. Unfortunately no match reports or records of his captaincy have yet been traced.

 

Both Henry (three quarter) and Willoughby (halfback) played for Moseley in October 1880 in the game with Leicester at the Belgrave Road Cricket Ground, which was the latter club’s inaugural fixture. Immediately before no side was called Denston Gibson scored a disputed try for Moseley and inaugurated a run of several contentious early matches between the sides.

  

Ernest Hasluck went up to Cambridge University and unlike brother Henry obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, which was conferred in December 1880. As is the case with his brother there is no evidence that he did or did not play rugby while at university.

 

 

Henry and Willoughby Hasluck played together for Moseley on several occasions usually in the same positions as in 1880 against Leicester although on at least one occasion they appeared together in Moseley’s three quarter line.

 

The brothers played in the club’s first game in the inaugural Midland Counties Challenge Cup, in October 1881, when Kettering were overwhelmed by three goals, one dropped goal, two tries and seven touchdowns[2] to two touchdowns. One week later they again played when Moseley defeated Burton in the second round of the cup at home and Willoughby scored one of Moseley’s six tries.

 

In November 1881 Willoughby took part in a controversial away match at Gloucester during which he ‘played brilliantly’. The controversy arose in the first half during which each side scored a try. Moseley’s conversion attempt was definitely a failure, however, Gloucester’s attracted differing opinions.

 

Moseley’s umpire[3] ruled that the ball struck a post while Gloucester’s official who was better placed ruled that a goal had been scored. Moseley contended that the ball swerved in front of the goal while Gloucester thought this occurred after it had crossed the bar. Several Moseley players and many spectators behind the goal were sure a goal had been scored but Moseley would not give way and the game ended as an unsatisfactory draw which was nonetheless played ‘most amicably’ with ‘a good natured “ give and take” feeling pervading both teams.’

 

In December 1881 Ernest Hasluck was ordained as a deacon and was appointed curate at St. Matthias, Birmingham. In later years he served as a curate at Aston and All Saints, Birmingham, as vicar of St. Chrysostom, Birmingham and as rector of Handley-with Gussage, in Dorset.

 

Towards the end of the 1881/82 season Willoughby Hasluck played at three quarter in Moseley’s return fixture with Gloucester and as in the earlier game there was a disputed score. During the second half F. Fowler scored a try for Moseley from what Gloucester considered an offside position and they refused to charge the conversion attempt and for the remainder of the game played in a half-hearted manner. The Gloucester Citizen newspaper commented that ‘the rules of off-side do not appear to be well understood by the umpires around Birmingham’.

 

On 25th March 1882 both Willoughby and Henry Hasluck played for the Midland Counties in their defeat at the hands of Lancashire, at Coventry.  Henry appeared in his usual three quarter position, however, there is some dispute as to where his brother played as some newspaper reports listed him as a three quarter while others listed him as a back. The Midland Counties team also included club colleagues Albert Smith and Fowler (both three quarters), F. Reeve (halfback) and A. Otter (forward). During the first half Henry attempted a drop at goal but was unsuccessful.

 

One week later the brothers both appeared for Moseley in the final of the Midland Counties Challenge Cup, at Coventry, against Leamington Rovers. Unusually Willoughby played at three quarter and Henry turned out at halfback from which position he scored a try. In a somewhat one-sided game Moseley won the trophy by a score of three goals, three tries and seven touchdowns to nil.

 

Ernest Hasluck, who normally played for the second XV, made a rare appearance for the Moseley first team on 28th October 1882 when he played in the three quarter line alongside brother Henry in a second round Midland Counties Challenge Cup home win over Leicester by two goals, one try and five touchdowns to one touchdown.

 

That appearance may well have been the pinnacle of Ernest’s Moseley career for on 6th July 1883 he was elected a playing committee member of the recently formed Old Edwardians Football Club.

 

On 6th October 1883 Henry Hasluck was one of the Moseley three quarters in the historic first match at The Reddings when Leicester were defeated by three goals and two tries to nil. Willoughby did not play in the game because he was in Australia at the time.

 

Twenty-eight year old Henry Hasluck died from heart disease, at the family home The Austins, Handsworth in December 1884.

 

 

 

On Boxing Day 1885 Willoughby Hasluck played as a three quarter for Moseley in one of the club’s many contentious early matches with Leicester. During the second half he ‘dropped a splendid goal’ which Leicester disputed and even after the referee had ruled in favour of Moseley their opponents would not give way. Nothing daunted shortly afterwards Willoughby dropped another goal which was not disputed and Moseley won the game by one goal, one dropped goal and one try to nil.

 

Rugby was not Willoughby’s only sporting activity, he also played tennis representing the Edgbaston Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club and competing in the Midland Counties Lawn Tennis Tournament, which was organised by the club, albeit with little success.

 

He was also a member of the Birmingham Athletic Club and served as the club’s honorary secretary for five years. A number of other Moseley players, including the club’s first international J.H. Rogers were also members of the club. Willoughby took part in the club’s boxing competitions on a number of occasions.

 

In the early 1890s Willoughby took up another sport when he began rowing for the Birmingham Rowing Club at local regattas. He does not appear to have been very successful in this venture, as he always seems to have rowed in maiden races for crews that had never previously won a race.

 

Also during the 1890s Willoughby took up yet another sport when he turned out for Erdington Hockey Club. In December 1894 the club ended that season’s unbeaten run by the Moseley-based Orientals side with a team containing Willoughby and J.H. Rogers at halfback and led by F. Fowler who may well have been the Moseley player of that name. One of the winning goals was scored by Willoughby.

 

Not content with all these sporting activities during the late 1890s Willoughby Hasluck resurrected his cricket career and turned out for the Olton club.

 

Little is known about the other two brothers, Harold and Howard Hasluck. Harold was in business as a steel manufacturer, died in 1917 and was buried at Knowle Parish Church. Howard married in Olton in 1900 and died in Sweden in 1915.

 

Willoughby Hasluck died in 1931 having spent his working life as a businessman in the chemical industry. Having retired from the ministry in 1925 Rev. Ernest Hasluck died in 1949, aged 90.

 

This, however, was not the end of the Hasluck family’s connection with Moseley Football Club because Willoughby’s son, John Ernest Willoughby Hasluck, who was known as J.W. also played for the club during the 1930s.

 

Like his father J.W. Hasluck was a halfback and he made one appearance in that position for North Midlands, in a drawn match with Notts., Lincs. & Derbys. in 1932.

 

Like his father J.W. Hasluck also rowed for Birmingham Rowing Club.



[1] Many early games were contested without referees and not surprisingly many scores were disputed.

[2] A touchdown was scored when a side was forced to ground the ball in their own in-goal area.

[3] There was no referee at the match merely one umpire from each club.