Captained Blackheath. Played for Newport RFC 1898-1901 and 1904-11. Newport debut 1898-99. Lt Partridge went to South Africa (Boer War). Played for Pretoria Harlequins and played for South Africa vs British Isles in August 1903 - his cap is in the regimental museum in Cardiff. Played 18 times for Barbarians 1905-15.
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The following two articles were published in the match programme for Newport v Blackheath on 12th October 1946, the first in a series entitled 'Personalities of Newport Rugby Club', the second in a series entitled 'A Peep in my Diary':-
"PERSONALITIES OF NEWPORT RUGBY CLUB."
"No. 5.-J. E. C. PARTRIDGE."
"Probably the happiest of Newport's Committee men to-day, and looking ten years younger, will be "Birdie" Partridge when he welcomes the Blackheath team to Newport after an absence of over seven years, and the reason, of course, is that during a long and useful Rugby career he had the distinction of being a regular member of two of the most distinguished clubs in the country - Newport and Blackheath."
"Colonel Partridge first played for Newport in the 1898-9 season, and for eight seasons between 1898 and 1910 was more than a useful performer in the Newport pack. His career in the Army, however, led him far afield and gave him a wide-experience of football in other spheres. Stationed in South Africa early in this twentieth century, he actually had the distinction of representing South Africa in the first Test Match against the British Touring Team at Johannesburg in 1903. Soon after his return he commenced his association with the Blackheath Club, for whom he played regularly between 1905 and 1908, and he is proud of the fact that he had the honour of captaining the famous London Club in the 1907-8 season. His connections in English football won him his place in the Kent County side during this period, and he was selected in the English Trial Matches of 1906. For many years he was an obvious choice for the British Army team, whom he captained in 1909."
"Nearly half a century has passed since Colonel Partridge first donned the Black and Amber jerseys - fifty years of service to the game he loves so well - and so much of which he has directed with wisdom and energy to the affairs of the Newport Rugby Club."
"If you see "Birdie" to-day - hands plunged deeply into his pockets and almost certainly chuckling - see if he is wearing the Blackheath Tie. We wager he will have unearthed one somewhere from the recesses in honour of "The Club's" visit."
"A PEEP IN MY DIARY"
"No. 5. - COLONEL J. E. C. PARTRIDGE"
"(The former Newport and Blackheath Forward)"
"During a period of leave in the season 1906-7 I enjoyed several games with the Newport team. My leave over, and being stationed near London, I was invited to play for Blackheath, and the first Saturday I was chosen they happened to be playing Newport at the Rectory Field. Such giants of the game as C. M. Pritchard, Beddoe Thomas, T. T. Hodges and George Boots were in the Newport pack, and Fred Birt, Reg. Plnmmer and T. H. Vile (all great friends of mine) in the backs. In that match I started playing in the long line, and had got the ball out to the backs on one or two occasions when one of our opponents saw who was responsible for this! The next time I got the ball, . . . well, when I got up I thought I was in the close vicinity of an exploding shell!!"
"I have had the pleasure of playing in many grand games for both clubs, but the one that stands out was Blackheath's game with the 1905-6 "All Blacks," who were, in my opinion, the greatest of all sides, both physically and as exponents of the game. Blackhealh had twelve Internationals in their side that day, but were beaten by 32 points."
"And in conclusion, I was playing at one time for a side in Dublin, and was following up in a forward rush when, to my surprise, I was suddenly hurled to the ground. Getting up, I said to the tackler, "What are you doing? I haven't got the ball." To which he replied, "Ach. and sure you wore the nearest to it!". "