England Rugby War Hero C.N. Lowe. Cambridge University, England Rugby and First War War hero.

Cyril Lowe was small in stature but brave in Heart.

The modern game of rugby features incredible athletes with big physiques. Giant wing three quarters like Fiji star Nemani Nadolo who stands at 6ft 5” (195cm) and weighs 21st 8lbs (138kg). Or before him the legendary Jonah Lomu who was small in comparison. At only 6ft 5” (196cm) and 18st 13Lbs (116 Kg)!

So, today on the Ellis Rugby blog post we look at the incredible rugby career of someone with a very different stature to the giant Nadolo and Lomu. But, someone who was exceptionally skillful and extremely brave. Cyril Lowe was far from physically imposing. Standing at 5ft 8” (173cm) and weighing at only 9st 7Lbs (60Kg). His small stature led to his nickname at school being “Tich” Lowe.

An exceptional athlete and in an outstanding team

Lowe was born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. He attended Dulwich College. And excelled at a number of sports. He represented the school in swimming, cricket, boxing, athletics, and rugby. Also, he captained the Athletics squad in 1911. And the first XI cricket squad.
Also in the rugby team were Eric Loudoun-Shand and Grahame Donald who both went on to play for Scotland Rugby. In addition, there was W. D. Doherty who went on to play for and captain Ireland Rugby. And J. E. Greenwood who went on to play for and captain England Rugby.

England Rugby War Hero – The ‘Triple Blue’ design inspiration by Ellis Rugby

He went on to Cambridge University where he won rugby blues in 1911, 1912, and 1913, making him a rare triple blue. It was this feat, along with his success with England Rugby. And his heroic service for the RAF (Royal Air Force) in the First World War inspired our designs of our ’Triple Blue’ crest. The inclusion of the Lion and the Light Blue and White hooped quarter for Cambridge. In addition the Red Rose of England. And the Eagles from the RAF XI Squadron and the Purple & White diagonal design from the Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.
While still playing for Cambridge University, Cyril Lowe was selected for England in 1913. His international career spanned either side of the First World War. He went on to enjoy an exceptional England Rugby career. He scored a record 18 tries in 25 internationals. Also, he was on the losing side only three times. And he played in four Grand Slam-winning sides. In 1913 and 1914 he won back-to-back Five Nation Grand Slams. And he scored eight tries in 1914.

A true England Rugby War Hero of World War I

Lowe’s rugby career was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1914. And he didn’t return to play for England until 1920. He retired from international rugby in 1923 with 25 caps. He Joined the Army Service Corps as a temporary second lieutenant. And was promoted to lieutenant and then captain in 1916.
He was then transferred to serve in the Royal Flying Corps. And appointed a flying officer then posted to No. 11 Squadron. Flying a F.E.2b, Lowe gained his first victory on 15 March 1917, destroying a Type C aircraft over Bailleul. Nine days later he shot down a German Albatros D.III, but that same day was shot down and wounded whilst over Fontaine-lès-Croisilles in northern France.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the inspiration behind W. E. Johns’ character “Biggles”

Between 23 April and 1 July 1918. Cyril Lowe scored seven more victories, sharing one with Lieutenant Ronald T. Mark, destroying three and driving down four more out of control, to bring his total to nine. In 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service to the country and his heroics. The First World War flying ace credited with nine victories was the inspiration for W. E. Johns’ character “Biggles”.
So, while Lowe might lack the physical prowess of the modern rugby wing three-quarter. He lacked nothing in terms of skill and bravery – a genuine rugby legend.
Our England Rugby Shirt Vintage Triple Blue. Also, our Classic England Rugby T-Shirt Triple Blue Navy or available in Sky Blue. In addition, we offer a Classic England Rugby Shirt Polo Triple Blue. Each of these classic garments features the ‘Triple Blue’ crest inspired by the great C.N. Lowe.