Thomas Malcolm MacQueen, was the Shanghai Rugby Club’s Captain in the unfinished 1914 - 15 season.
In a letter written from the front in early 1916 Thomas thanked the residents of Shanghai for a gift of money at Christmas 1915. He told them that he had used the money to purchase ‘a Rugger ball and that it is great fun to feel one’s feet on a pill once more. We are having some great games behind the lines’.
His rugby playing days ended abruptly. He was killed on the 15 July 1916. Born on 16 January 1887, he was not yet thirty. His Commanding Officer wrote to MacQueen’s father telling of his valour. ‘His courage was unsurpassable as was shown on this occasion, he was advancing well in front of the battalion when he was hit by a bullet which he had bandaged up and then proceeded to join the front line; he caught them up and was hit in the head by a piece of shrapnel.’
His Shanghai days had been happy ones, he had played in two interport fixtures, one each against Tientsin and the South Wales Borderers. His last game in Shanghai in November 1914 was just a few weeks before he left for England in December 1914.
His other pursuits were racing ponies under the name of Mr ‘Thomas’ following the Foot Hounds and being a member of the Light Horse Company.
Extract from Eastbourne College Roll of Service 1914-1918
ROLL OF WAR SERVICE T. M. MACQUEEN Lieutenant Thomas Malcolm MacQueen was the second son of Dr and Mrs MacQueen of Eastbourne, and was at the College from 1899 to 1905.
He was killed in action near Pozieres on July 15th, 1916, aged 29. After leaving the College he was for some years with the Yangtsze Insurance Association in London. Early in 1912 he went out to China in their service, and was first stationed at Hong Kong with the firm of Shewan Tomes and Co., the Yangtsze Association's agents at that port.
The following year he was transferred to the Company's head office in Shanghai and remained there until December 1914, when he left for home to join the Army. In February 1915 he obtained a commission in the East Lancashire Regt. and went overseas in July 1915.
While in Shanghai he took an active part in all sports, especially Rugby football, and was captain of the Shanghai Rugby Football Club when he left for home.
The notice of MacQueen's death in the North China Herald on 29 July 1916
Thomas Malcolm MacQueen (1887 - 1916)