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William Spiers "Billy" Glenn MC (21 February 1877 – 5 October 1953) was a New Zealand rugby union player who played for the All Blacks on their 1905 tour. He later became a Reform Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand.

Billy Glenn
Birth nameWilliam Spiers Glenn
Date of birth(1877-02-21)21 February 1877
Place of birthGreymouth, New Zealand
Date of death5 October 1953(1953-10-05) (aged 76)
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
SchoolManaia School
SpouseLinda Parsons
Rugby union career
Position(s) Loose forward
All Black No. 111
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1898, 1900–05, 12 Taranaki 20 ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1904–06 New Zealand 2 (0)

Early lifeEdit

Glenn was born in Greymouth in 1877[1] and moved to Manaia, Taranaki with his family as a child.[2] He was a keen sportsman, and as well as playing rugby, he became secretary of the Manaia Tennis Club. He was a member of the Egmont Racing Club and owned several race horses.[2]

In 1904, Glenn was elected a member of the Manaia Town Board. He owned a 142 ha (350 acres) dairy farm on the Waimate plain.[2]

Rugby union careerEdit

Glenn was a loose forward, and occasionally played at hooker.[1] He became a Taranaki rugby representative in 1899.[2] He made his All Blacks debut in 1904, playing against the touring British Isles team. He subsequently toured with the 1905 Originals. In all, Glenn played 19 matches for the All Blacks, including two test matches. He scored no points and never played in a losing All Blacks side.[1]

Military serviceEdit

In World War I, Glenn served with the Royal Field Artillery, reaching the rank of second lieutenant. In 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and ability as an observing officer. His citation reads that "he was exposed to heavy shell fire for several hours, but with great coolness and judgment corrected the fire of his battery throughout, and sent back constant reports on the situation."[3]

Parliamentary careerEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1919–1922 20th Rangitikei Reform
1922–1925 21st Rangitikei Reform
1925–1928 22nd Rangitikei Reform

Glenn was elected to the Rangitikei electorate in the 1919 general election, but was defeated in 1928.[4] In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[5]

He was the first All Black to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Knight, Lindsay; Akers, Clive. "Billy Glenn". New Zealand Rugby Union. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Manaia". Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts). 1908. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  3. ^ "No. 29637". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 June 1916. p. 6298.
  4. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 109.
  5. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Edward Newman
Member of Parliament for Rangitikei
Succeeded by
James Thomas Hogan