Full name Alexander Boswell Timms
Born March 2, 1872, Geelong, VIC
Died May 5, 1922, Marylebone (aged 50 years 64 days)
Major teams Great Britain, Scotland
|Test debut||Wales v Scotland at Cardiff, Jan 25, 1896 match details|
|Last Test||England v Scotland at Richmond, Mar 18, 1905 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Alexander Boswell Timms was born at Mount Hesse near Inverleigh, west of Geelong (Victoria, Australia) on March 2 1872. He was the fourth child (of nine) of William Timms who owned the 30,000-acres Mount Hesse Station, Victoria's leading wool exporters.
Timms junior, nicknamed "Shako" but usually known as Alec or Alick, entered Geelong College in 1882. A severe drought forced his family to sell their commercial interests soon after, and in 1883 Alec boarded at Melbourne Grammar School. He returned to Geelong the following year and earned fame there as a scholar and sportsman before finally leaving in 1892, having captained the school at Cricket and (Aussie Rules) football. He also played Aussie Rules for the Geelong club.
Both his parents were born in Victoria but married in 1866 in Fife in Scotland, his paternal grandmother's home. Alec Timms went back to the family's roots to study medicine in Edinburgh in 1893, played rugby for the University and Edinburgh Wanderers and won his first Scotland cap in their threequarter line against Wales in 1896. A noted all-round athlete he also held the Scottish Hurdles Championship title in 1896 and 1897.
He returned to Australia as part of Rev Matthew Mullineux's 1899 British/Irish touring team and was a fixture in the side's Test threequarter line, playing in the three winning matches of that series. After the tour he became a regular in the Scottish side, winning the last of his 14 caps in 1905 as captain of the team that won the Calcutta Cup.
During a distinguished international career he featured in two Triple Crown sides. He was ever-present in the 1901 Scottish side that carried all before them, and at Richmond two years later kicked the dropped goal that proved to be the difference between the sides when Scotland beat England 10-6 to seal another Championship and Triple Crown season.
Timms was renowned for the length of his drop-kicking, the legacy of his successful career as an Aussie Rules footballer. In the Welsh match of 1903 he landed a penalty with a sweetly-struck drop-kick and his four-pointer to secure the Calcutta Cup and Triple Crown at Richmond was met with "great applause from the Scotch supporters, who were present in large numbers" according to the Glasgow Herald.
After completing his medical studies at the Edinburgh College of Surgeons in 1903, Timms was in general practice in South Wales before the Great War and turned out 17 times for the Cardiff club between 1903 and 1905.
Later he was a GP in Redhill, Surrey and passed away in a London nursing home on May 5 1922, aged 50. Fundraising for a memorial stained glass window to Timms for installation in St John's Church, Redhill, in Surrey began soon after his death.
His youngest brother, Charles Timms, also studied at Edinburgh University and was a Lion in South Africa in 1910.