The date of this photo is uncertain, but we do know some of the people in it so it will come from just before the First World War, round about 1912 when we had a pretty strong team. At the time, of course, we were the Old Charltonians.
The captain, holding the ball, is FR (Freddie) Roberts. He played half-back (scrum-half?) for Kent and also represented London against Paris that year. We cannot be completely certain but the player on his right is probably HJ Turpin, who also played for the county.
Roberts survived the war to be captain again in 1919. On his left is Harold Hollis who was in the Kent side that won the County Championship in 1923.
The team reached the Kent Cup Final, beating Old Dunstonians, Catford Bridge (now Bromley) and Westcombe Park on the way, but lost he final to the Royal Engineers.
The gentleman in the suit on the left is one Mr Bumpus. His fame comes from the minutes of the 1910 AGM.
“Mr Bumpus rose to ask for an explanation as to why a non-member of the club had played in a match and had appeared in the club photograph. To this the Hon Treas. GM Fox replied that being short of men at the time, there being hardly enough to raise two teams owing to so many members being crocked, and slackness on the part of others, it was decided by the committee to play an outsider so that the A team (2nds) should not have to turn out short”. Plus ca change.
There was also consternation at the meeting about the club scratching from the Bedford match!!! Couldn’t raise a team, apparently.