Ernest Faber Fookes: [Heath 1890–1892]

Ernest Fookes was born on in Waverley, Taranaki, New Zealand, the fifth child of Albert Cracroft Fookes (?1839–1916) and Harriet Hirst (1839–1918), who had been born in Luddenden and emigrated to New Zealand with her father, Thomas Hirst JP (1805–1883), in 1851. Ernest travelled to England in 1889, living in Midgley with his great aunt, Elizabeth Bracken, and attending Heath Grammar School from 1890 to 1892, paying his way as a clerk in a paper mills. In 1892 he entered Owens College in Manchester to study medicine, qualifying as a doctor in 1899.

Head and shoulders of Ernest Fookes
Ernest Fookes

Described as ‘one of the best three quarter backs in the English football world,’1 he played for Halifax until they joined the Northern Union, Sowerby Bridge RFC, Barbarian FC, Yorkshire whom he captained, occasionally for Heath Old Boys and ten times for England between 1896 and 1899 scoring five tries. His first international match was England v Wales at Blackheath on and his last England v Scotland at Blackheath on .

He returned to New Zealand, becoming a medical practitioner at 41 Courtney Street, New Plymouth.2 On , he married Evelyn McLeod Farrington, who had been born in 1872 in Fyrabad, Oude, India, in St Mary’s Church, New Plymouth but she died on , nine days after giving birth to twins, one of whom died at birth, the other being Evelyn Grace Farrington (1903–1977).

On , he married Winifred Laura Capel (?1876–1927), daughter of Captain Sydney Augustus Berkeley Capel, at St Mary’s Church, New Plymouth and they had four children, Sydney (1906–1983), Kenneth (1907–1984), Harold (1909–1972) and Ernestine Emily (1912–2006). He died in New Plymouth on and is buried at Te Henui Cemetery.

1 Wanganui Chronicle XXIX(12287)
2 Calderdale Companion

Updated .