The 1946 Rugby Team That Toured By Aircraft Carrier

Posted on November 7, 2019

Built to house an armada of fighter planes, it now reverberates to the drumming of feet, as shouting, puffing and panting fills the air.

Twenty-six young men, gently baking and bronzing in the heat and glare, have their eyes on one prize; the leather rugby football which is being tossed between them. Suddenly, there is a splash. The ball has been errantly whizzed over the side of the ship, tumbling into the waters below. Without hesitation, one of the players leaps from the towering carrier, falling a dizzying height into the sea. Eventually, he scampers up the side, sodden but clutching his cargo.

For rugby league centre Eric Batten, there is a severe telling off from the ship’s captain… “There are sharks in that water.”

But he knows those balls are precious.

It is 1946, and Great Britain’s elite rugby league team – 26 of the best players the British Isles can muster – is heading for Australia and New Zealand. Little more than six months since World War Two ended, the men are trading the ration-book austerity of post-war Britain for new horizons down under. Their transport is a 23,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the Indomitable, ferrying them 10,000 miles over four weeks, stopping at far-off lands, for a six-month tour.

To read the full story, click on the link below:

BBC News >

POLL

At what point should you start the Resettlement Process?

  • More than 2 years before you depart? (40%, 6 Votes)
  • 2 years before departure? (33%, 5 Votes)
  • Around 6 months before last day? (13%, 2 Votes)
  • 12 Months prior to departure? (13%, 2 Votes)

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