“His century versus Middlesex was the finest innings I have seen this season; it was scored at a Jessopian rate – 106 in 70 minutes. But there was no slogging, not even one bad stroke; simply confident aggressive skilful batting. It was a rare treat.”

Thus did Rev. RS Holmes describe Branston’s only first-class century for Notts in 1906. Branston, despite great promise, retired prematurely from the cricket field to pursue other interests.

Born in Newark on 3 September 1884, George Trevor Branston was the second son of a wealthy maltster. The family attained the status of landed gentry when his father, George Henry Branston, bought the Lincolnshire village of Branston in 1897.

Branston was educated at Charterhouse where he was in the XI from 1900 to 1903 and in his final year was regarded as the best public school batsman. This, and the fact that he was Charterhouse’s leading bowler for three of the four seasons in which he played, forced the Notts Committee to recognise his worth and he made his First-Class debut for the County v Kent at Trent Bridge on 30 and 31 July, 1 August 1903. A right-hand bat and right-arm medium-pace bowler he appeared in all five of Notts’ August fixtures that season.

In the autumn of 1903 Branston went up Hertford College, Oxford.  He was the best bowler in the Freshman’s match and the only Freshman to win his Blue in 1904, when he again played for Notts during the vacation. He also appeared in the University matches of 1905 and 1906 and in the latter season headed the Oxford batting averages as well taking most wickets for the side. His best match was v Surrey at the Oval when he scored 80 not out and 86 and took five wickets. Other than the century described above he scored a further four fifties for Notts. Branston played 13 times for Notts in 1907, 10 in 1908, one in 1909, two in 1911 and lastly two in 1913, when illness laid Arthur Jones low and Branston was brought in as captain His final First-Class match was Notts v Lancashire at Trent Bridge in June 1913. In 44 first-class matches for Notts, Branston scored 1,178 runs @18.69 and took 54 catches, mostly at slip. He took 24 wickets @39.79 with a best of 5-43 versus Lancashire at Trent Bridge in 1908.

In addition to Notts and Oxford, Branston appeared in First-Class matches for the Gentleman and the MCC. In 89 First-Class matches he scored 3,301 runs @25.78 with a career best of 194no as the Gentleman of England successfully chased 400 to win versus Cambridge University at Eastbourne in 1908. He took 153 wickets @28.12, with best figures of 6-66 for Oxford University v Kent at Christ Church, Oxford in 1905.

He toured with the MCC to South Africa and New Zealand in 1906/07, USA and Canada in 1907 and Egypt in 1909. Whilst in Notts he played club cricket for Newark CC and Nottingham Amateurs CC. He originally resided at the Priory, Newark but moved In 1914 to Regent’s Park, London where he died on 12 August 1969, aged 84 years.

May 2020