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Robert Edwin Bush (11 October 1855–29 December 1939) was a first-class cricketer for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club from 1874 to 1877, and from 1890 to 1893 was a member of Western Australia's first Legislative Council under responsible government. During World War I, he converted his home into a war hospital at his own cost.
Robert Bush was born at Redland , Bristol on 11 October 1855; his father was Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Bush, who commanded a detachment of the 96th Infantry in Western Australia in the 1840s. Bush attended Clifton College from 1865 to 1875, captaining the school's cricket team in his last two years. Between August 1874 and June 1877, he played first-class cricket for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, alongside W. G. Grace; he was a right handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper.
Some time afterwards, Bush travelled to Western Australia, where he worked for eighteen months as a jackaroo on Murgoo Station. After taking a cargo of horses to Mauritius, he spent six months from October 1879 to March 1880 exploring north of the Gascoyne River . Eventually, he took up a number of sheep and cattle stations. He also became interested in gold prospecting, and joined the gold rush to the Yilgarn after the discovery of gold there in 1887. In 1889, Bush became a Justice of the Peace, and in December of the following year, he became a nominated member of Western Australia's first Legislative Council under responsible government, which position he held until his resignation in July 1893. In January 1893, he married a widow named Constance Harper (nee Lochee); she died three years later. In April of that year, he played in the first ever inter-colonial cricket match, between Western Australia and Victoria.
Robert Bush returned to England in the early 1900s, and bought Bishop's Knoll at Stoke Bishop near Bristol. In 1907, he married Margery Scott. In 1911 he became Sheriff of Bristol, and in the same year was president of the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. From 1912 to 1939, he was director of Dalgety and Co. in London.
When World War I broke out, Bush converted Bishop's Knoll into a hospital for wounded soldiers at his own cost, and subsequently served there as an ambulance orderly. Bishop's Knoll War Hospital admitted its first patients late in 1814; it would later treat many Anzac casualties of the Battle of Gallipoli, including Victoria Cross recipient John Patrick Hamilton. After the war, Bush was created a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
In 1919, Bush was the Australian delegate to the International Red Cross meeting at Geneva. In later life, he was involved in the film industry and in broadcasting. He travelled regularly throughout the world, returning to Western Australia 13 times. He died at Bishop's Knoll on 29 December 1939.
- Black, David and Geoffrey Bolton (2001). Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia, Volume One, 1870–1930 (Revised Edition). Parliament of Western Australia, Parliament House, Perth, Western Australia. ISBN 0730738140.
- Cricket Archive
- List of first-class matches played by Robert Bush (Cricket Archive)
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