Harry “Henry” Fletcher


BIRTH: 20 April 1888
Newtown, NSW
DEATH: 24 November 1951 Parramatta, NSW
DEATH: 24 November 1951
Parramatta, NSW


RESIDENCE: Phillip St, Alexandria, NSW


  • Alexandria Borough RU 1905, 1906
  • Waterloo Federals RU 1907
  • South Sydney (Northern Union Rules 12 a side) Possibles v Probables 22 March 1908
  • South Sydney RL 1908, 1909, 1911
  • Wests RL First Grade 1909
  • South Sydney Federals RL 1910


Harry “Henry” Fletcher required a bit of tracking down. He appears in the Rugby League Project as Henry Fletcher (South Sydney) and E. Fletcher (Wests). A search of newspapers of the time indicated that he was recorded as E. Fletcher and H. Fletcher in Wests team lists. So this raised the question as to whether he was Henry Fletcher or E. Fletcher. The short answer to this was that he was neither.

To advance the search it was necessary to build a playing time line to try and establish a likely age and location for Wests player #43. Fortunately there were not that many Fletchers playing at the time and as he had some history playing with the South Sydney Club this was an appropriate place to start. It was readily observed that a Fletcher who played in the halves was a prominent player with the Alexandria Borough rugby Union Team in 1905 and 1906.

A search of NSW BD&M records and cross referencing these with Ancestry records, indicated that there was no Henry Fletcher or E. Fletcher of the right age in the South Sydney District and in particular the suburb of Alexandria. However a search of Electoral Rolls from 1913 did show up a Fletcher family living in Alexandria.

There was a Henry Andrew Fletcher, known as Harry, but this person was too old to have played football at the relevant time. However, Henry Andrew Fletcher had a son by the name of Harry who was known as “Henry” Fletcher. Harry “Henry” Fletcher is the perfect fit for the person that played with South Sydney and Wests. In 1913 Harry “Henry” Fletcher was living with his wife in Belmont St Alexandria and his marriage record from 1909 indicated that he was living with his parents in Phillip St Alexandria.

Henry Fletcher was quite a good footballer from the South Sydney District. He was a prominent junior rugby union player with the Alexandria Borough team before switching across to play rugby league with South Sydney in 1908. South Sydney in those years had many talented footballers and so making it into First Grade was always a difficulty. Henry Fletcher played mostly in the Souths Second Grade team but did make an appearance in the South Sydney First Grade team at the start of 1909.

In round six of the 1909 competition, Wests played South Sydney and inexplicably Henry Fletcher made an appearance with Wests. Wests in the later part of the season “borrowed” a number of players from other Clubs and so it would appear that this may have been the start of that type of arrangement for Wests over the remaining rounds. There is no record of any formal arrangement between Souths and Wests for the transfer of Henry Fletcher and the transfer predated the transfer permit system that came into effect in 1911.

The arrangement was certainly to the advantage of Henry Fletcher who now had the chance to play more First Grade football but it would appear that there was mixed results for Wests. Newspaper reports from the time indicate that Henry Fletcher scored a try against Souths in that first match from individual brilliance, however another report indicated that the combination of Fletcher and Ray Gormley in the halves was not effective. Henry Fletcher returned to South Sydney in 1910 and played with South Sydney 2nd Grade and South Sydney Federals over the next two seasons.

Henry Fletcher lived all his life in the suburbs of Redfern and Alexandria. He died in November 1951 and is buried at Rookwood General Cemetery, Zone D, Anglican Section 15, Grave 3461.

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