After the long-awaited cease in hostilities, international rugby was quick to resume. Having stood shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield, Englishmen and Scotsmen now faced-off against each other for a ‘Victory’ international test match at Twickenham Stadium.
Many of those in the crowd, having only recently returned from overseas, were dressed in military uniforms. The stadium itself bore evidence of the blitz, with numerous flack holes in the roofs of the stands. The upper tier of the West Stand had been damaged by a V-1 bomb and remained out of service until the War Damage Commission found time to assist in its rebuilding.
Despite the damage to the stadium, and the wider infrastructure of the nation, British sport witnessed some of its largest ever crowds during these years, as players and spectators alike made it clear that they would carry on as before.
About the Author – This article is an extract from the book ‘Twickenham: Home of England Rugby’ available from Amazon. Phil McGowan has been a member of the World Rugby Museum team since 2007.