General News | 9th November 2007

Remembering the fallen

On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, www.nottsccc.co.uk looks back at Nottinghamshire players who lost their lives in World War I, and other events that took place during wartime at Trent Bridge.

During the First World War, five cricketers who had represented Notts died while on military service. Rev. Harvey Staunton, a chaplain with the Indian Expeditionary Force, died in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) in January 1918 and is buried in Baghdad.

Rev. Staunton played 16 times for Notts as a batsman and also captained the Second XI in 1909 and 1910.

Sherwood Foresters Second Lieutenant Ralph Hemingway played in 30 Notts matches between 1903 and 1905. Another batsman, he was killed in action in France on October 15,1915.

Gunner William Riley, a medium-pacer who was a regular for Notts from 1909-14, died on October 9, 1917 in Coxyde in Belgium.

Riley has his name in the record books as one-half of the record 10th wicket partnership for the club of 152 with E.B.Alletson against Sussex at Hove in 1911. Alletson contributed 142 to that partnership in only 40 minutes, believed to be the fastest piece of sustained hitting in first-class cricket.

Alex Crawford, Captain in the West Yorkshire Regiment, died in La Ventie in France on May 10, 1916. An amateur, he joined Notts in 1912 after a spell with Warwickshire and played 11 times.

Sherwood Foresters sergeant Charles Pepper was an all-rounder who played in seven games for Notts in 1900 and 1901. He was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium in September 1917.

While five Notts players died on active duty, more than 3,500 soldiers were treated and cared for at Trent Bridge during the war, as the Pavilion and Ladies Pavilion were converted into a hospital.

A number of Notts cricketers served during World War II, although none were killed in action. Notable names include Reg Simpson, Joe Hardstaff Junior and Harold Butler, who all fought in India.

Notts were the only county to play cricket every year during the course of the war, with the pavilion at Trent Bridge used as an army post office. 

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