Ralph Eustace Hemingway was born on 15 December 1877 at Foden Bank, Sutton, near Macclesfield.  He was the youngest of ten brothers (two of whom – George and William – also played first class cricket) and attended Rugby School before becoming an architect in Nottingham.

A right-handed batsman, he played 30 matches for Notts between 1903 and 1905.  In August 1904 he opened the batting with George Gunn in a partnership of 165 against the South Africans at Trent Bridge, scoring 85; he featured in another century stand with George Gunn, adding 113 for the 5th wicket against Oxford University in 1905.

Hemingway’s final two matches were, curiously, at geographic odds with each other – he played for the North (in a North vs South match) and for the Gentlemen of the South in a match against the Players of the South, when he took the catch of WG Grace. He played 32 First-Class games in all, amassing 976 runs at 20.53, and that 85 against the South Africans remained his highest score.  Away from the first team, he hit 158 in 1908 for the Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire v the Gentlemen of Yorkshire.

Ill health forced him to give up cricket at the age of 27, and at the outbreak of war he became a Second Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment.  He was sent to France in June 1915 and was at the Battle of the Hooge in July and ‘The Bluff’ in September where he was wounded.  Hemingway was killed on 15 October 1915; his body was never recovered but he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.  He had been in France for just four months and was 37 years old when he died.

 

May 2020