Obituary

Lord Aberdare

ABERDARE, THE THIRD BARON (Clarence Napier Bruce), who died on October 4, aged 72, was one of the best all-round sportsmen of his time. His death was caused by drowning after his car fell over a precipice in Yugoslavia into three feet of water in a river bed. As the Hon. C. N. Bruce, he was in the Winchester XI of 1904 and would have gained his Blue at Oxford as a Freshman but for illness. Against Cambridge at Lord's in 1907 he scored only five runs, but the following year his 46 in the Dark Blues' first innings was second top score.

A fine batsman who hit the ball hard with perfect timing, due mainly to splendid wristwork, he first appeared for Middlesex in 1908 and played his last match for them in 1929. In all first-class games he scored 4,316 runs, average 28.96. Against Lancashire at Lord's in 1919 he hit 149 in two hours twenty-five minutes and two seasons later again trounced the Lancashire bowling on the same ground, scoring 82 not out and helping Hendren add 50 in quarter of an hour. In 1921 he also scored 144 against Warwickshire and 127 for Gentlemen v. Players at The Oval.

He won most honours at rackets, for he was the Winchester first string in 1903-4; won the Public Schools championship in 1904; played for Oxford v. Cambridge in 1905-8; won the Oxford University Silver Racket in 1907; won the Amateur Championship in 1922 and 1931; was ten times Doubles Champion; was Champion of the U.S.A. in 1928 and 1930.

At tennis, Bruce was U.S.A. Amateur Champion in 1930 and of the British Isles in 1932 and 1938. He played eighteen times for Great Britain in the Bathurst Cup and six times won the Coupe de Paris. He carried off the M.C.C. Gold Prize on five occasions and nine times won the Silver Prize. He also excelled at golf, playing for Oxford against Cambridge from 1905 to 1908, was a good footballer and a capital shot.

In 1937 he was appointed chairman of the National Advisory Council in connection with the Government scheme for improving the physical fitness of the nation. For twenty years he was a member of the International Olympic Executive and he played a big part in organising the 1948 Games in London. In his later years he devoted himself closely to work for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the St. John Ambulance Association, and was a member of the executive committee of the National Playing Fields Association. He succeeded to the title in 1929.

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