Image of Jesus College war memorial

Henry Brydges Yates, Lieutenant-Colonel, Canadian Army Medical Corps

Henry Brydges Yates came up to Jesus College in 1883 from Charterhouse School.

Born: Montreal, Canada on 10 May 1865

Died of illness: 22 January 1916

H.B. YatesA distinguished civillian career

Yates graduated with a BA in 1888 and went on to become an MD at McGill University, Montreal, in 1893. He later became a demonstrator in Pathology, a lecturer in Bacteriology and was regimental surgeon to the Victoria Rifles of Montreal from 1894 to his death in 1916.

He was also the Norwegian Consul General at Montreal from 1906-09 and was made a Knight of St Olaf in 1908. He married Alice Mary Bunting on 11 January 1896 and they had two sons. (from Alumni Cantabrigienses by J.A. Venn.)

College sportsman

The Jesus College Society Annual Report 1916, describes him thus: “A sturdy well-built youth, he was an all-round athlete but was most notable as goal-keeper for the Association team. In the season 1885-6 he allowed only three goals to be scored against us” (p31). It seems all did not go quite so well the following year when Jesus suffered several defeats, losing to St Johns 6-1 in one game alone!

He appears to have been granted a testimonial during his final season at the College, when the first team played the H B Yates XI on the Piece on 17 October 1887. Jesus won 5-2. What is not known is whether or not Yates kept goal for his own team! (Chanticlere, Lent Term 1888, p18).

Yates is also recorded as having played tennis, coxed a four, and entered the 200 yards “Stiff’uns handicap” race.

He was a member of the Natives Club (most of whom were sportsmen) and of the Cranmer Debating Society.

The Yates cup

Once back in Canada his interest in sport evidently continued and he donated an inter-university cup for what was then called rugby union in 1898, now called the Yates Cup. This is now the longest running football cup competed for in North America and the oldest Canadian inter-collegiate trophy in any sport.

War service

He went to France around the time of his fiftieth birthday in May 1915 as second in command of No 3 Canadian General Hospital, but fell ill with bronchitis in December of that year. He failed to rally and was sent back to England where he died of pneumonia on 22 January 1916. He is buried in Canada.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War

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