Ossie Newton-Thompson

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Ossie Newton-Thompson
Full name John Oswald Newton-Thompson
Date of birth 2 December 1920
Place of birth Paddington, London
Date of death 3 April 1974
Place of death near Lüderitz,
South-West Africa
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Scrum-half
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1947 England 2 (0)
Ossie Newton-Thompson
Personal information
Full name John Oswald Newton-Thompson
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Bowling style Right arm slow
Domestic team information
Years Team
1946 Oxford University
1948 Western Province
1948 Cape Province
First class debut 4 May 1946 Ox. Uni. v Gloucs
Last First class 6 November 1948 Cape v M.C.C.
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 9
Runs scored 281
Batting average 16.52
100s/50s 0/1
Top score 78
Balls bowled 144
Wickets 0
Bowling average >125
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 0–20
Catches/stumpings 6/0
Source: CricketArchive

John Oswald "Ossie" Newton-Thompson (2 December 1920 – 3 April 1974) was a South African sportsman and politician. He played international rugby union for England and was also a first-class cricketer. From 1961 until his death in 1974, Newton-Thompson was a member of the South African parliament.

Early life and education

Newton-Thompson was born in London to lawyer Cyril Newton-Thompson and his wife Joyce, who later became the first female mayor of Cape Town. He however grew up in South Africa, where he attended Diocesan College and then the University of Cape Town. In 1940 he returned to England after receiving a Rhodes Scholarship for Trinity College, Oxford. His brother was Christopher Newton Thompson.

World War II

His studies at Oxford were interrupted by World War II, where he served with the South African Air Force. He was awarded a DFC after fighting with a Spitfire Squadron in Italy.[1]

Sport at Oxford University

In 1946, Newton-Thompson appeared in seven first-class matches for the Oxford University Cricket Club as a right handed middle order batsman. He could only score 171 runs from 14 innings and went wicket-less from his 24 overs of right-arm slow bowling.[2]

He also played rugby union for Oxford University as a scrum-half and was the team's captain in 1946.

International rugby

England selected Newton-Thompson in two Tests during their 1947 Five Nations Championship campaign, which saw them share the title with Wales. He was first capped in England's win over Scotland at Twickenham and made his other appearance in their defeat of France at the same venue.[3]

Return to South Africa

Newton-Thompson played two further first-class cricket matches after returning to South Africa. He scored 78 in his debut innings for Western Province against the Marylebone Cricket Club in Cape Town, his only half century at that level. Four of the MCC's bowlers were Test cricketers, including a young Alec Bedser, who dismissed him in both innings.[4] He was then picked in a Cape Province representative team which played the MCC a week later but he couldn't repeat his previous effort and scored 0 and 28.[5]

A lawyer, he ran successfully in 1961 for a seat in South African parliament, as the United Party candidate for Pinelands.


He re-contested his seat in the 1974 general election and was campaigning in South-West Africa when he was killed in an air crash.[6]


  1. "Wisden Obituaries in 1974". Cricinfo.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "First-class Batting and Fielding For Each Team by Oswald Newton-Thompson". CricketArchive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Ossie Newton-Thompson". ESPN Scrum.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Western Province v Marylebone Cricket Club". CricketArchive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Cape Province v Marylebone Cricket Club". CricketArchive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Eglin, Colin (2007). Crossing the borders of power. Jonathan Ball. p. 140.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>