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East of England

St. Nicholas Street / Cromwell Square

Prince Alexander Obolensky

Prince Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky - Александр Сергеевич Оболенский
St. Petersburg 1916 - Martlesham Heath Airfield 1940 (air crash)
Russian Rurikid prince and an international rugby union footballer who played for England; RAF pilot
Harry Gray

Ipswich /  Prince Alexander Obolensky   Ipswich /  Prince Alexander Obolensky


Bust of Prince Alexander Obolensky, bare-chested holding the ball behind him, at the moment of the forward thrust of his great Twickenham try.


a sporting icon.
the prince came from st petersburg as a baby
when his family fled the russian revolution in 1917.
an oxford graduate, obolensky became a
naturalised englishman.
he died near ipswich aged only 24.
obolensky, a winger, known as the prince of pace
scored two 'breathtaking' tries on his international
debut against new zealand in 1936,
bringing england's first victory over the all blacks.
his second score is called
'the greatest england try ever'.
he once played in an international rugby
trial at portman road football ground.
a volunteer raf pilot in the second world war,
obolensky's life was cut short when his
hurricane fighter crash-landed at
martlesham hearth in 1940.
obolensky is buried in ipswich cemetery
the tribute on the grave reads:
'his undaunted spirit and endearing qualities
live forever in the hearts of all who knew him'.
Signed: (bronze) GRAY
(pedestal) by / harry gray
On two rear chamfers: JH - SH At the front: DS MW EA PG MC
(JH = James Hehir, chief executive of the borough council)
what is the meaning of the other letters?


Unveiled on 18 February 2009 by the Prince's niece, Princess Alexandra Obolensky. The bronze study for the statue is a full running figure which is exhibited at the World Museum at the Twickenham Stadium.


Sources & Information


Location (N 52°3'19" - E 1°9'8")

Item Code: gbee026; Photograph: 1 August 2012
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