Dr Francis Hessey Anderson 

Written and researched by David Bohl, with the kind help and documents supplied by World War 1 historians worldwide.

                        Played 1913-14

Francis Hessey Anderson was born on the 29th November 1894, the son of Harry Anderson of Richmond, Natal, South Africa and attended Hilton College, Natal. He started his Medical Degree at Manchester University in 1912 where he excelled in both rugby and cricket, gaining his colours in the 1912-13 season. 
In the 1913-14 Winter Sports Supplement of the Manchester University Magazine he is described as follows “ The most determined of the defensive halves: invaluable in saving and tackling, and keen almost to a fault, Much improved in passing out, and appreciates the value of the blind side of the scrum. Played for Lancashire throughout the season”.
There seemed to a close connection between the medical fraternity of the Aliens and their Manchester colleagues with South African stars such as Von Mengerhausen and Anderson playing frequent games in the 1913-14 Season.

[Many thanks to Dr James Peters, Archivist at Manchester University Archive & Records Centre]

4th Feb 1913


The Aliens broke the spell which has remained so long on their homeland at Clubmoor by a brilliant 25 points to 3 victory. Southport were weakly represented, their team including eight reserves, Twy being absent from the pack, and Gifford much missed at half-back. Aliens opposed them with an exceptionally strong combination, which included Hessey-Anderson, the Lancashire half-back, and Von Mengershausen, Manchester University and ex-South Africa three-quarter. Aliens asserted themselves early, as after three minutes H. Anderson obtained from a five yards' scrum, and eluding Grimshaw, Wainwright and Mackintosh "docked" safely. Later Anderson's astuteness enabled Ellis to slip through unmolested. After dominating the scrum the Aliens heeled out to Anderson, who artfully enabled the veteran Croston to get in near the posts, Bishop later cleverly negotiating the major points. Following a line out, Trist also traversed the Southport lines. Von Mengershausen engineered a bright venture, and parted to Croxford, who worked the oracle once more. Aliens thus had 19 points to their credit at the interval.
Olympic resumed with the wind in their favour, and soon managed to catch their hosts napping. Following a five yards' scrummage Grimshaw got away with oval to Baldwin, who got home smartly, and thus scored Southport's solitary try. The homesters, however, continued to dominate, and further tries came from Anderson and O'Donnell. The outstanding feature of the game was Anderson's irrepressibility.
Post 4/1/1914

3rd Mar 1914

British Medical Journal 14/2/1914

He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and in June 1915 was appointed Surgeon Probationer(like a GP) aboard the destroyer HMS Legion.

3rd July 1915

Book 1979

By 1916 he had been promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant

8th April 1916

13th May 1916


After a break for war service he graduated with his medical degree in 1920 and returned to South Africa to continue his career and sporting prowess.

Dr. F. H. Anderson in South Africa.

Dr. F. H. Anderson, ex-captain of Manchester University and Lancashire County Rugby XV., has lost very little time in making his mark in African Rugby football circles. Soon after his return to that country he led his club, the Wasps Wanderers of Pietermaritzburg, to victory in final of the Murray Cup; and the Blue Riband of Natal Rugby. That was on September 24, 1921, the last Saturday of that season.
On May 6 Dr. Anderson played in a Natal trial match for the Rest of Natal v. Combined Durban. Durban won by 18 points to 12 (thanks to superior kicking), but so greatly did the Doctor impress that he was not merely selected to partner W.H.Townsend, the Springbok half-back, but he was actually, on his first selection for Natal, appointed captain of the team in succession to H. W. Taylor, the South African cricket captain, who has now retired from active participation in Rugby football.
The distinction which has accorded Dr. Anderson will be understood better when it is explained that the Natal team selected contains no fewer than five members of the South African side which visited New Zealand last year and of those five one is a former captain.
The Natal team was due to sail from Durban on May 19 for the purpose of playing three Currie Cup matches in the Cape Province, their opponents being the Border, the Eastern Province, and. the Western Province.
To play these three matches the team will have to travel over 2,400 miles, and will be away from Natal 13 days.
Athletic News 1922

According to the South African Medical Journal in 1924 Dr Anderson had branched into Gyneacology and was Secretary of this section.

A request to the Secretary of Collegians Rugby Club, Willie J. Field in Pietermarizburg for information on his later life has disappointingly revealed nothing.

Dr Anderson passed away in Adelaide, Eastern Province in 1949

Dr F.H.Anderson M.B. Ch.B.