Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Post Script to The Ashe-Obolensky story

After sending me the image of the Ashe School Cricket XI, shown in the previous post, Nigel was browsing the W.W. Winter profile, and came across the image shown below, a large format portrait of a soldier identified on the reverse only as, "B.O. Corbett."

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nigel says:
Strange coincidence here! I decided to have a look at your WWW photos this evening. During my Obolensky investigations I contacted a man in his late 70s who had a connection with the local history society in Etwall, and he did tell me something about the Ashe school, as he had been at a rival school in nearby Mickleover. He told me that the school was run by... "the Corbett brothers". So when I went digging at the local studies library I looked for "Corbett", and all I found of interest was this short obituary in Derbyshire Countryside (Vol 33. No 2. Feb 1968, p23).
Incidentally your photo is almost certainly a Grenadier Guards officer. I think you already know, as I told you in a different context, that traditionally the Grenadier Guards (see regimental badge) have recruited in Derby.
Thank you, Nigel, for identifying this person, and for providing so much information about him.

Bertie Oswald Corbett was born at Thame, Oxfordshire on 15 May 1875, son of the Vicar of Thame, Elijah Baggott Corbett (1837-1893) and his wife Mary Anne nee Davies. He was educated at Thame Grammar School before attending Oriel College, Oxford. He became a teacher, and was a schoolmaster at Brighton College before being appointed headmaster of a school in Dorset. B.O. Corbett and his brother C.J. Corbett both ran schools in Derbyshire. "Bertie" had a school at Shardlow Hall, while "John" was headmoster of Rycote on the Kedlestone Road, Derby, and later The Ashe at Etwall.

Bertie Corbett married Ella Stagg in Essex in 1912. He died at Waddon Manor, Portesham, Dorset on 30 November 1967.

He got a blue for football at Oxford and played for the Corinthians Football Club (London) from 1897 to 1906, where he was known as an "extremely fast dribbler ... on the outside left," and in 1906 he published the "Annals" of that club. On March 18, 1901, he played his only full "A" international, which England won 6-0 due to four goals from famous Steve Bloomer.

He was also a right-handed batting cricketer, making a single appearance for the Derbyshire county side against Kent. He only scored one run during the match, being stumped for a duck in the second innings.

His older brother Leonard Bagott Corbett had attended Malvern College and All Souls, Oxford and beame a teacher, while his younger brother Cornelius John Corbett (1883-1944) was an even more accomplished cricketer, batting and fielding for Derbyshire on 27 occasions between 1911 and 1944.


Mr. B.O. Corbett (Obituary), Window on Derbyshire, in Derbyshire Countryside, Vol. 33, No. 2, February 1968, courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

1841-1901 Census images, Public Record Office, courtesy of Ancestry.com

International Genealogical Index, courtesy of FamilySearch.com

Birth, Marriage & Death Registration Indexes, courtesy of FreeBMD

Oxford Men 1880 - 1892, courtesy of Ancestry.com

Bertie Corbett (1875-1967) Biography, in Wikipedia

Bertie Oswald Corbett - Cricket Archive


  1. How interesting this article is. Bertie Corbett was my great uncle, and his brother Leonard Corbett was my grandfather who definitely did not become a cleric. He taught at Bromsgrove School and was Housemaster of Gordon House.

  2. Thanks very much for the correction and further information about your grandfather and great-uncle. I have amended the article accordingly. Regards, Brett

  3. Bertie's brother Rex also played football for England. They won one cap each, each against Wales, and lived to a ripe old age!
    Cris Freddi

  4. Bertie served in the Royal Artillery during WW1 not Grenadier Guards. He said not serve overseas during the war.
    During WW2 he was a special constable almost certainly as part of his duties as a town councillor. He was awarded the Special Constabulary Medal for this service.

    1. Thank you Philip, for clarifying this matter and providing the extra material about Bertie Corbett, and apologies for having taken so long to respond. I don't know why I didn't spot this at the time.


Join my blog network
on Facebook