Thomas William Kirkwood

Last updated

Thomas William Kirkwood, OBE (1884–1971) was a Scottish champion polo player. He competed in the 1924 International Polo Cup. [1]


Kirkwood was born 17 February 1884, the younger of the two sons of Col. James Nicholson Sodon Kirkwood (1846–1926) and Minnie Charlotte Fergusson (d. 1924), daughter of Major Home Fergusson of The Park, Elie, Fife. The family lived at Woodbrook, County Roscommon. Kirkwood was educated at Blairlodge School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, where he was a member of the 1901 cricket team. [1]

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Indian army on 21 January 1903, [2] and attached to the 17th Bengal Lancers. Gifted in languages, Kirkwood was sent to Moscow (from 1905) and St Petersburg to study Russian, and in 1919 he commanded an officers’ training camp at Omsk. He later served as an intelligence officer in Japan and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun and appointed and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1919.

Kirkwood retired with the rank of major and returned to Ireland, where he entered the Jameson distillery, where his father-in-law, Andrew Jameson, was chairman and managing director.

He regularly played polo wherever he stayed, playing on the winning teams in the Indian cavalry tournament (c.1907) and the British cavalry inter-regimental tournament (1920). After his return to Ireland, he continued to play polo and became treasurer and president of the All Ireland Polo Association and the Irish representative to the Hurlingham Polo Association, the international polo association. In 1924 he competed for the British Isles against the USA in the Westchester cup matches and he also played for Ireland on several occasions. However, his greatest contribution to polo was undoubtedly his tireless efforts to keep the game alive in Ireland after the second world war. [1]

Kirkwood married on 4 May 1910 Harriet Jameson (1880–1953), daughter of Irish politician and businessman Andrew Jameson. She was a celebrated artist, known as Harriet Kirkwood. They lived at Collinstown Park, Clondalkin, Dublin.

He died 22 December 1971 in Dublin.

Related Research Articles

The history of the Gaelic Athletic Association is much shorter than the history of Gaelic games themselves. Hurling and caid were recorded in early Irish history and they pre-date recorded history. The Gaelic Athletic Association itself was founded in 1884.

Events from the year 1886 in Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ireland national football team (1882–1950)</span> Former national association football teams

The Ireland national football team represented the island of Ireland in association football from 1882 until 1950. It was organised by the Irish Football Association (IFA), and is the fourth oldest international team in the world. It mainly played in the British Home Championship against England, Scotland and Wales. Though often vying with Wales to avoid the wooden spoon, Ireland won the Championship in 1914, and shared it with England and Scotland in 1903.

Patrick Christopher "Christy" O'Connor was an Irish professional golfer. He was one of the leading golfers on the British and Irish circuit from the mid-1950s.

Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) is the rugby union club of Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, which plays in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Noel Purcell (sportsman)</span> Water polo player

Noel Mary Joseph Purcell was a water polo player who represented both Great Britain and Ireland at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics respectively. He was also an Ireland rugby union international and rugby union referee. He was the first Olympic athlete to represent two different nations. He is also the only Ireland rugby union international to ever win an Olympic Gold medal. In 2012 his collection of medals and international caps were donated to Belvedere College by his daughter Rosemary and son Noel.

Major-General Sir David Dawnay was a British Army officer who became Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was also a British polo player who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Jameson (politician)</span> Irish politician and businessman (1855–1941)

Andrew Jameson PC (Ire) DL was a Scottish-born Irish public servant, politician and businessman. He was chairman of the Jameson whiskey business and the Irish lighthouse authority, and a member of both the Senate of Southern Ireland and then Seanad Éireann until 1936.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John O'Hanlon (chess player)</span> Irish chess master

John O'Hanlon was an Irish chess player. He won the Irish Chess Championship nine times, the first title in 1913 and the last in 1940. He competed in the Chess Olympiad three times, Paris in 1924, Warsaw in 1935 and Buenos Aires in 1939.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ireland men's national water polo team</span> Mens national water polo team representing Ireland

Ireland is an international men's water polo team representing the island of Ireland. The Irish Water Polo Association (IWPA) was founded in 1964 and is affiliated to Swim Ireland.

Captain Charles Thomas Irvine "Pat" Roark (1895–1939) was an English polo player. He held a ten goal handicap at the peak of his career.

Major Frank Brereton Hurndall of the 20th Hussars was an English polo player. He was captain of the 1924 British polo team that competed in the International Polo Cup.

Colonel Eric Garnett Atkinson MVO, was a British-Indian soldier and an India 9-goal polo player. He competed in the 1924 and 1927 International Polo Cup.

Major-General Claude Ernest Pert was a senior cavalry officer in the British Indian Army, and British India polo champion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard J. Mecredy</span> Irish racing cyclist and writer (1861–1924)

Richard James Patrick Mecredy (1861–1924) was an Irish bicycle racer, journalist and writer. He is credited as being the inventor of Cycle polo, the rules of which he drew up in 1891.

George Dockrell was an Olympic swimmer, best known for competing at the 1908 Summer Olympics in the men's 100 metre freestyle event for Great Britain. He had a lengthy swimming, and military career, until his death in 1924.

Lieutenant-Colonel Evelyn Hey Cobb, OBE was an officer in the British Indian Army and served as political administrator in various capacities in North-West India. He started the tradition of holding a polo festival at Shandur.

Grace Harriet Sara Kirkwood was an Irish artist, known for her landscape and still life paintings.

Brigadier Jack Rose Compton Gannon was an Irish first-class cricketer and British Army officer. He served initially with the British Army's South Staffordshire Regiment before joining the Indian Army's 23rd Cavalry. He saw active service in the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War and was mentioned in dispatches. Gannon later served as assistant military secretary to the British commander-in-chief in India before his retirement in 1933. He was recalled to service in the Second World War and was recognised for his contributions to the war on the western front by two further mentions in dispatches and appointment to British and Dutch honours. In retirement he was manager of The Hurlingham Club – an exclusive sports club – and honorary secretary of the Hurlingham Polo Association. Gannon played eight first-class cricket matches for Marylebone Cricket Club and the Europeans.

John Andrew Ferguson is a British water polo player. He spent his career playing for his hometown side Motherwell and competed at the 1952 Summer Olympics and the 1956 Summer Olympics. After retiring from playing, he coached the British national side for four years.


  1. 1 2 3 "Dictionary of Irish Biography". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  2. "No. 27517". The London Gazette . 20 January 1903. p. 390.