Born in East Stoke on 6 September 1873, Charles Edward Dench was given trials in 1896, playing for the Colts XXII v Notts, Notts Colts v Yorkshire Colts and Professionals v Amateurs. As a result he became one of the original members of the Trent Bridge Ground Staff in 1897 on a 20-week contract receiving £2.10s a week. He made a most impressive First-Class debut for Notts v MCC at Lord’s in May 1897 - his first innings bowling figures were 7-28 and he took 9-50 in the match. This secured him a place in the County XI for the 1897 season and he offered promise for the future, scoring 687 runs @28.62 and taking 28 wickets @26.53. A right-arm medium-pace bowler, right-hand bat and a fine outfield, Dench remained on the Notts staff until 1902, playing in the majority of the County matches, but he never improved on his first season and he broke his finger in his final First-Class fixture for the county v Lancashire at Trent Bridge in July 1902. He hit 15 half-centuries in First-Class cricket; his highest score was 88 v Yorkshire at Bradford in 1899. His debut bowling performance remained his best, but he took five wickets in an innings on three other occasions: 5-62 v Lancashire (Trent Bridge) 1897; 5-80 v MCC (Lord’s) 1899 and 5-52 v Middlesex (Trent Bridge) 1900. Against Gloucestershire at Bristol in 1899 he performed a hat-trick, bowling Stanley Brown, having James Cranston caught behind and bowling Harry Wrathall. In 91 first-class matches for Notts he scored 2,660 runs @22.35 and took 78 wickets @28.08.
Prior to his engagement at Trent Bridge, Dench was with Skegness CC in 1896 and after leaving Trent Bridge he was engaged with Dublin University until 1905. From 1906 to 1910 he stood in 99 first-class matches as an umpire including the Second Test between England and Australia at Lord’s in 1909 where he stood with John Moss, who played one game for Notts in 1892.
After cricket he was employed in the LMS Goods Depot in Nottingham and became a nurseryman. He resided in West Bridgford before moving to Sherwood where he died on 28 June 1958 aged 84 years.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 248