Pat Dullard


Local Juniors
21-03-1936 v Batley
Liverpool Stanley
1938- Struck Off Register
22 (0)

Biography of Pat Dullard

When Saints’ Heritage Society member Dave Dooley received a first-ever communication from the Netherlands, a marvellous story began to unfold and especially poignant as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The e-mail was from a lady called Nienke Noijen, from Nijmegen, who, since April this year has volunteered to write about the war victims in her area, starting with the Irish Guards Regiment.

Nienke explained why she wanted more information from the society, but it all began with the birth of her daughter, Pleun, on October 25, 2017. In Amsterdam, they are building a memorial for all holocaust victims and to finance this a victim’s name can be adopted. Nienke duly chose a name from the memorial with the same date. Yet she wanted to remember another victim of the terrible conflict, closer to home with that October 25 date as a further link.

“So we went to the military cemetery at Jonkerbos and searched for our own hero,” she explained.

“Patrick Dullard, of the Irish Guards, was the one whose death fitted our date criteria. So, every October 25, we light three candles – one for my daughter’s birthday, one for our holocaust victim and one for Patrick.”

Although born in St Helens, Dullard had a strong Irish connection. His father, William, was a farm labourer from Kilkenny; while his mother, Ellen, was born in Royal Oak, Kildare, and was also from a farming background. Employment prospects were bleak and they moved to St Helens, where William got a job as a chemical labourer. Patrick was born in St Helens on St Patrick’s Day 1910 and worked down the mine, initially. The family lived in Crispin Street and in 1933 Patrick married Gertrude (Haddock) in St Helens and by 1939 was living in Eldon Street.

His professional rugby league career was triggered by Saints’ vice-chairman Syd Morris, who watched him playing a junior league match on the local sandbeds in the early 1930s and subsequently signed him on as a second row forward. Mobile and agile on the field, he had a good pair of hands and he was hailed as a fine example of the rugby talent that could be found in the town. He was an A team regular for a long period during which time he also turned out at hooker on several occasions.It was in this position that he made his senior debut at Mount Pleasant, Batley, on March 21, 1936, when Saints were defeated 18-6. His two front-rowers were Roderick MacDonald and James Worsley. This gave him the heritage number #445. Patrick went on to play for the seniors on 22 occasions, all in the hooking role and made his final appearance during a busy Easter period in 1937-38 when the Saints played four matches in six days.

Patrick played against Liverpool Stanley at Knowsley Road in a 4-17 reversal on April 16. It should be noted that the team had just returned from two matches on the road, against Barrow on April 13 and Wigan on April 15. On April 18 they were at home to Leigh. What would they think of such fixtures today? Patrick was struck off the Saints’ register in October 1938, but rugby was no longer a priority.

As an Army Reservist, he received an early call-up at the start of World War Two and, unsurprisingly, given his Irish family background, he joined the 3rd Battalion Irish Guards. As welcome respite from the fray, Patrick did manage to play in some rugby union matches for his regiment where his experience was much valued.

In 1944 and by now promoted to Lance Sergeant, he found himself as part of the Allied forces’ attempts to capture bridges over the River Rhine as part of Operation Market Garden. Following several failed expeditions in September 1944 the Irish Guards then focused their efforts to secure the town of Nijmegen from the Germans. Tragically, Lance Sergeant 2716800 Patrick Dullard died on the October 24, 1944, and is buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands.

Saints’ Heritage Society duly contacted Patrick’s daughter, Helen, a St Helens resident, who was, quite understandably, amazed that this connection had been made. She has visited her father’s final resting place in the past and is immensely proud that his sacrifice will not be forgotten.

The next step? Dave Dooley said: “It was indeed very touching to know that men like Patrick are still remembered with such affection after all these years and that the Heritage Society has been a part of this incredible story and was able to provide further information.

“When things have settled down somewhat, we will present Patrick’s Heritage Number Certificate to Helen and I’m sure that a copy will also find its way to the Netherlands too at some point.”

We must never forget the contribution made by the people of St Helens who gave their lives in the cause of freedom and it is so comforting to realise that this is reciprocated elsewhere.

Among Patrick’s array of campaign medals is a scroll from King George VI with some poignant words: “May his sacrifice help to bring the peace and freedom for which he died.”

The last words are with Nienke: “The picture you have on the Saints Heritage site is hanging on our wall at home. We didn’t know his story, but we did know he died to liberate us. I’m so glad I know much more about him now.”

Alex Service


Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1935~36 0 0 0 7
1936~37 0 0 0 6
1937~381 0 0 9
TOTALS:1 0 0 22
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches


21st Mar 1936 1
9 Batley L A 6 18 VIEW
28th Mar 1936 2
9 Streatham and Mitcham L H 22 11 VIEW
10th Apr 1936 3
9 Wigan L A 0 14 VIEW
11th Apr 1936 4
9 Warrington L H 5 10 VIEW
13th Apr 1936 5
9 Rochdale Hornets L H 0 2 VIEW
20th Apr 1936 6
9 Barrow L A 7 19 VIEW
26th Apr 1936 7
9 Bradford Northern L H 15 8 VIEW
29th Aug 1936 8
9 Widnes L A 0 28 VIEW
5th Sep 1936 9
9 Widnes L H 2 0 VIEW
12th Sep 1936 10
9 Liverpool Stanley LC1 A 14 3 VIEW
19th Sep 1936 11
9 Leigh L H 4 4 VIEW
23rd Sep 1936 12
9 St. Helens Recs LC2 A 4 10 VIEW
26th Sep 1936 13
9 Salford L A 12 34 VIEW
28th Aug 1937 14
9 Widnes L H 11 7 VIEW
2nd Sep 1937 15
9 Broughton Rangers L H 7 6 VIEW
11th Sep 1937 16
9 Broughton Rangers LC1 H 0 11 VIEW
25th Sep 1937 17
9 Bramley L H 18 9 1 VIEW
19th Mar 1938 18
9 Warrington L A 8 28 VIEW
26th Mar 1938 19
9 Broughton Rangers L A 12 19 VIEW
2nd Apr 1938 20
9 Batley L H 15 9 VIEW
15th Apr 1938 21
9 Wigan L A 12 27 VIEW
16th Apr 1938 22
9 Liverpool Stanley L H 4 17 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 8 | LOSSES : 13 | DRAWS : 1


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