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Cricketers who died in World War 1 — Part 4 of 5

Leonard Moon scored more than 4000 runs, including seven hundreds, in his sixteen-year First Class career. Picture Courtesy: ecb.co.uk
Leonard Moon scored more than 4000 runs, including seven hundreds, in his sixteen-year First Class career. Picture Courtesy: ecb.co.uk

Its been a hundred years since the World War I, the first of the two conflicts that had its impact on a global scale, was fought. Of the millions that died, some happened to be from a cricketing background. Michael Jones lists the cricketers who died during the war. This is Part 4 of the article.

65. David Jennings: He was on the fringes of the Kent team for several years, unable to secure a regular place at a time when the county had a surfeit of batsmen. In 35 matches he scored three first-class centuries, with a highest of 106 against Essex in 1914. He was invalided home from the Western Front and died of his injuries on 6th August 1918, aged 29.

66. Robert Jesson: He bowled leg-spin for Hampshire, taking five for 42 on his first-class debut against Warwickshire in 1907, which remained his best figures in a 15 match career. He was killed in Mesopotamia on 22nd February 1917, aged 30.

67. Henry Keigwin: Keigwin took five for 83 for the Gentlemen of England against Cambridge University on his first-class debut, although the Gentlemen still followed on and lost by a large margin. He played a further ten first-class matches for the Gentlemen, Essex and Scotland, but made little impact, although he scored heavily in club matches in Cambridge. He was killed near Thiepval on 20th September 1916, aged 35.

68. Arthur Lang: He was a wicketkeeper-batsman for Cambridge University and Sussex. The county’s strength in the spin department in the pre-war years — with George Cox, Albert Relf and Vallance Jupp operating together — enabled Lang to maintain the unusual record of an almost equal number of catches and stumpings, with 17 and 16 respectively from his 22 first-class matches. He also made two centuries, with a highest score of 141 to help his county chase down a fourth innings target against Sussex in 1913. He went missing in action at Cuinchy on 25th January 1915, and it was later confirmed that he had been killed that day, aged 24.

69. Lawrence Le Fleming: He played 12 first-class matches for Kent and one for the Army, but with little success, achieving a highest score of only 40. He was killed at Maissemy on 21st March 1918, aged 38.

70. Richard Lewis: He was the regular glovesman for Oxford University from 1894 to 1896, and toured West Indies with Arthur Priestley’s team in 1986-97. In 36 first-class matches he took 55 catches and 21 stumpings; in the days when keepers were not expected to contribute with the bat, he was also the regular number 11. He was killed at Ypres on 7th September 1917, aged 43.

71. Frank Lugton: He appeared in five matches for Victoria in 1913-14. He scored 94 not out against Tasmania batting at number 8, before running out of partners – the number 11, Bert Ironmonger, was not known for his ability to hang around; Victoria went on to win by the small matter of 550 runs. He took nine first-class wickets, with a best innings haul of three for 45, also against Tasmania (not in the same match). He was killed near Villiers-Bretonneux on 29th July 1916, aged 22.

72. Claude Mackay: He made 13 and 15 on his only first-class appearance, for Gloucestershire against Kent in 1914. He had some success as an all-rounder for Clifton College, and was also the national public schools’ heavyweight boxing champion. He died of wounds at Boulogne on 7th June 1915, aged 20.

73. Arthur Marsden: He played a single first-class match for Derbyshire against Kent in 1910, scoring a duck and six. He was invalided home and died of wounds on 31st July 1916, aged 35.

74. Alan Marshal: He was born in Australia to English emigrant parents, and initially played first-class cricket for Queensland before returning to the mother country and qualifying for Surrey. He showed his potential for London County, with a triple century and three doubles among a succession of big scores made at club level while waiting to qualify for the county side. His aggregate in his first full county season – 1065 runs, with one century – proved to be no more than a warm-up for his second. In 1908 he compiled 1931 runs in all first-class matches, at an average of just over 40; the highest of his five centuries was 176 against Worcestershire. After four seasons with Surrey he returned to Australia; in his final first-class appearance, for Queensland against the 1913-14 New Zealand touring team, he top scored with 42 in his team’s first innings total of 124 – then carried his bat in the second for an unbeaten 66 out of 114. No-one else on either team scored more than 30 in the match, but Marshal’s efforts went in vain as Queensland lost by 12 runs. He served at Gallipoli, and died of typhoid while on duty in Malta on 23rd July 1915, aged 32.

75. George Molineux: He played four matches for Oxford University and the Gentlemen of England. His highest score of 78 not out came while batting at number 11 for the Gentlemen against Oxford in 1908; he and ‘Shrimp’ Leveson-Gower added 128 for the tenth wicket, enabling the Gentlemen to avoid the follow-on and ultimately save the match. He followed that with four for 62 in Oxford’s second innings, his best analysis; it turned out to be his last first-class match. He was killed near Frenzenberg on 5th May 1915, aged 28.

76. Leonard Moon: He toured South Africa in 1905-06, playing in four of the five Tests. He made starts – reaching 28 or more in five of his eight innings – but failed to carry on, with a highest score of only 36, and was not selected again. In a sixteen year career at first-class level, he scored more than 4000 runs, including seven hundreds. For Middlesex against Gloucestershire at Lord’s in 1903, Moon made 122 and ‘Plum’ Warner 149, as they put on an opening partnership of 248; against Sussex five years later they repeated the feat, with Moon scoring 116 this time to Warner’s 94 in a partnership of 212. He was an occasional wicket-keeper, taking the gloves in one of his four Tests. He died of wounds at Salonica on 23rd November 1916, aged 38.

77. Edwin Myers: He enjoyed some success as an all-rounder for Surrey 2nd XI, but achieved nothing of note in the few opportunities he received in the first team, failing to reach 50 and taking only three wickets in 11 matches. He was killed near Adanac on 15th September 1916, aged 28.

78. Guy Napier: He bowled medium pace or Cambridge University and Middlesex, with occasional appearances for MCC including the 1905 North America tour, and two matches for the Europeans in Bombay in 1909-10 while he held a government appointment in India. Wisden wrote that “Bowling with a fairly high and very easy action, he had great command of length and made the ball go with his arm. Quick off the ground, he always looked hard to play.” In four consecutive Varsity matches (1904 to 1907) he took 31 wickets, including five for 68 and five for 91 in 1906, and five for 55 and four for 49 the following year, helping Cambridge to victory on both occasions. He took a total of 365 wickets in first-class matches at an average of 21, including no fewer than 23 five wicket innings hauls. His best figures on paper came during his brief time in India, when he tore through the Parsees with nine for 17, (and caught the remaining batsman off someone else’s bowling just for good measure), before adding five for 28 in the second innings as the opposition were bundled out for 37 and 84 to lose by an innings. That, though, was achieved against a relatively weak team; taking the strength of the opposition into account, his best performance was perhaps the figures of six for 39 for the Gentlemen against the Players in 1907, when his victims included such illustrious names as Tom Hayward, Johnny Tyldesley, Len Braund and George Hirst. He was killed at Loos on 25th September 1915, aged 31.

79. John Nason: He made his first-class debut in curious circumstances: he had not been named in Sussex’s starting XI against Warwickshire in 1906, but EB Dwyer was injured early in the first innings and the opposition magnanimously agreed to let Nason play as a full replacement rather than solely a substitute fielder. It didn’t help Sussex much: although Nason made 53 not out in the second innings to engineer a recovery from 59 for eight to 178, that was only enough to set Warwickshire a target of one in the fourth innings – which they duly achieved without laying bat on ball, when Harry Butt sent down a wide at his first attempt. Nason played his remaining 56 first-class matches as part of the team named at the toss; after playing his last match for Sussex in 1910, he qualified for Gloucestershire and made his first appearances for his new county in 1913. An innings of 139 against Nottinghamshire that year remained his only first-class century; no-one else scored more than 53 in the match, and it led his team to an easy victory. He was killed near Vlamertinghe on 26th December 1916, aged 27.

80. Arnold Nesbitt: Nesbitt kept wicket in one first-class match, for Worcestershire against Middlesex in 1914; he took one catch, scored 2 and 3 as his team lost by an innings. He was killed at Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium on 7th November 1914, aged 36.

81. Bernard Nevile: Neville was a right arm fast bowler who made his first-class debut for the Free Foresters in 1912, then played five further matches for Worcestershire the following season; his best figures were four for 53 against Surrey in what turned out to be his final match. He also captained Lincolnshire in the Minor Counties Championship. He was killed near Ypres on 11th February 1916, aged 27.

82. Charles Newcombe: He played a single first-class match for Derbyshire against Yorkshire in 1910, taking no wicket for 32 in his only innings. He was killed at Fleuraix on 27th December 1915, aged 24.

83. William Odell: Odell took more than 700 wickets over 14 seasons – mostly for Leicestershire, with a few appearances for London County and invitational teams. He took eight for 20 (six of them bowled) to roll over MCC for 57 at Lord’s in 1906,and eight for 40 against Yorkshire at Hull the following year – although with George Hirst in even more devastating form for the home team, Leicestershire still lost comfortably. Figures of four for 84 and six for 54 made his the outstanding performance in the 1905 Gentlemen versus Players match, but again they were not enough to save his team from defeat. The first of his two hat tricks came for London County against MCC in 1904 in the course of innings figures of seven for 41, with the middle victim none other than Gilbert Jessop; the second in a county match against Northamptonshire four years later, in figures of six for 90. He was reported missing, believed killed, at Passchendaele on 4th October 1917, aged 35.

84. Cecil Palmer: He made occasional appearances for Hampshire over an eight year career, but his best performance came in the one match he played for a different county, scoring 41 and 75 not out for Worcestershire against Oxford University in 1904 – although the university still succeeded in chasing down a fourth innings target of 400 to win by three wickets. He was killed at Gallipoli on 26th July 1915, aged 42.

85. Ernest Parker: Parker played non-competitive inter-state matches for Western Australia in the years before they were admitted to the Sheffield Shield. In a 13 match career he made two centuries – 116 against South Australia in 1905-06 (only his second first-class match), and 117 in only 82 minutes against Victoria in 1909-10, a vain effort as his team still lost by an innings. He was killed at Caestre on 2nd May 1918, aged 34.

86. Eric Penn: Penn came from a cricketing family: his father William, uncles Frank and Dick and cousin Frank junior all played first-class matches. Eric was a slow bowler for Cambridge University in the closing years of the nineteenth and start of the twentieth century; the highlight of his brief career was a haul of five for 47 against MCC in 1899, when he and Rockley Wilson bowled unchanged throughout the innings. He was killed near Loos on 18th October 1915, aged 37.

87. Henry Persse: He was a fast bowler who represented Hampshire from 1905 to 1909. On his first-class debut against Surrey, he made an immediate impact, claiming the illustrious maiden wicket of Jack Hobbs – lbw for only 6 – on his way to figures of three for 56 and four for 59. He followed that with four for 76 against Northamptonshire in his second match, and claimed his maiden five wicket haul – five for 39 – in the return match against the same opposition later that season. In 1907 he took six for 64 against Leicestershire, which remained his best figures; he finished his career with 127 first-class wickets at an average of 30. He died of wounds near St Omer on 28th June 1918, aged 32.

88. Reginald Pridmore: He played occasionally for Warwickshire from 1909 to 1912, with little success; an innings of 49 against Derbyshire in his second match remained the highest score of a 14 match career. He was killed near Venice on 13th March 1918, aged 31.

(Michael Jones’s writing focuses on cricket history and statistics, with occasional forays into the contemporary game)

To be concluded

Read Part 1 of this Article

Read Part 2 of this Article

Read Part 3 of this Article

 

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