Every year in November Eton College celebrates St Andrew’s Day with an open day for the families of the students to come and see various events and activities at the school.
One of the key events on St Andrew’s Day is the Wall Game match between Collegers (King’s Scholars) and Oppidans (the rest of the school), the main match in the year of this unique Eton sport. It is a tough game and one in which it is incredibly difficult to score a goal. In fact, no goal has been scored in this match since 1909. In the Wall Game two teams of ten players try to prevent their opponents moving the ball towards their goal, which develops into a static scrum. Although no goal has been scored for over a century, it is possible to win by scoring shies (won by lifting the ball against the wall with your foot).
It is played on a strip about 5 metres wide against a wall built in 1717 that runs between Slough Road and the Playing Fields. The goals are a door in an adjacent wall and a tree.
At this match, Eton remembers one particular player of the Wall Game: Logie Colin Leggatt (1895-1917; at Eton 1908-13). Leggatt was a keen sportsman, a renowned Wall Game player and Keeper of College Wall from 1910-1912. Playing for College in 1907 he even scored a goal, which was denied after an Oppidan claimed he had touched the ball before the goal was given.
During World War One Leggatt was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards. On 31st July 1917 he went into action at Pilckem Ridge in Belgium with his College Wall scarf around his neck and reportedly died wearing it that same day.
In 1921 his parents, William and Alice Leggatt, gave this plaque, which has traditionally been presented to the captain of the Collegers’ Wall Game team at the annual St Andrew’s Day match. In the late 20th century this was replaced by a tankard, but the plaque was reinstated in 2013 by Leggatt’s great-nephew Sir George Leggatt (KS ’75). The image is that of Logie Leggatt as Keeper of College Wall. For over a century a toast has been drunk by the College team on the night before the St Andrew’s match; since about 2012 the toast has been ‘In piam memoriam LCL’.
This plaque was exhibited in the Verey Gallery during In Memoriam. Great War Remembrance at Eton in 2018, alongside a 20th century scarf in the College colours of purple and white, similar to that which Logie Leggatt would have worn.
By Rebecca Tessier, Collections Cataloguer and Museum Officer