County Championship 10th (5W, 10D, 5L)

Captain            Arthur Owen Jones


The disappointment of slipping to tenth in the Championship table was overshadowed by greater – and more tragic events – at home and abroad.

The first of these was the death of club captain Arthur Owen Jones who died, aged just 42, of tuberculosis at his brother’s house in Dunstable in December, having been too unwell to complete the season’s matches.

Jones contracted pneumonia on the 1907/08 tour of Australia and never quite recovered, though he continued to be effective both as player and skipper through the next few seasons.

The Committee’s tribute said: “Notts Cricket has sustained a most severe loss in the death of this able and zealous Captain, who was a universal favourite. It was impossible to exaggerate his value to the side, and his brilliant batting was for years a pleasure to every Member of the Club, his fielding was of the highest possible standard, and his enthusiasm and keenness did much for the Eleven.”

Jones was only able to play in five games in 1914 and in his stead Philip Pearson-Gregory, Dr George Ogg Gould, and Arthur Carr took on the role of captain.

On the wider field, the outbreak of the War brought a premature end to the season – two matches were left unplayed – and meant that no First-Class cricket was staged at Trent Bridge for the duration of hostilities.

Nottinghamshire CCC joined the war effort and, in the words of the Annual Report, ‘placed the Trent Bridge Pavilion at the disposal of the Military Authorities as a hospital for wounded soldiers.’

One comment in the report will sound familiar to members who supported the club through the Covid pandemic…‘The Committee will exercise every possible economy. Members by paying their subscriptions will greatly assist in helping the Club to tide over a most anxious period.’

Notts introduced two new players in the first match of the season, the traditional opener versus MCC at Lord’s, who had very different cricket careers.

Wallace Bower, a right-hand batter and bowler made his only First-Class appearance, scoring 0 and taking 1-31 in MCC’s second innings.  He played one other game for Notts – a Second XI fixture against Leicestershire when he again scored 0 (though not out on this occasion) and did better with the ball, taking 2-13.

The other debutant at Lord’s was Fred Barratt, a fast bowler who became a regular, and regular success for Notts after the War.  Fred Barrat played more that 350 games for Notts and represented England in five Tests, one against South Africa in 1929 at Old Trafford and the others on the 1930 tour to New Zealand.

Barratt’s first match could hardly have gone better – he took 8-91 in MCC’s first innings, the best figures for any Notts bowler on debut.  Fred Barratt continued in that vein and passed 100 wickets in his first season, finishing with 115 wickets.  His value to the side is underlined by the fact that Jimmy Iremonger, with 74, was the next most successful bowler that year for Notts.

Barratt went on to take more than 1200 First-Class wickets at 22.72 with 69 five-wicket hauls and took ten or more in a match eleven times and played until 1931.

Joe Hardstaff made his career top score of 213no in a high-scoring draw against Sussex at Hove. This was a good year to be a Notts batter – fourteen centuries were scored in First-Class games, shared among seven players.  The bowling – Barratt being the exception – lacked bite and that, plus some poor weather, contributed to a run of drawn matches and the slip to tenth in the table.

Typical of an inconsistent year, the biggest win of the season – by an innings and 69 runs against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham – and the heaviest defeat – by 239 runs against Middlesex at Lord’s – came in consecutive games.

Highlight of the Gloucester game was the bowling of Topsy Wass, showing something of his form from previous years, who took eleven wickets in the match.

A third wicket partnership of 183 between Harry Lee and Patsy Hendren was the major factor in Middlesex’s comprehensive win.

One story to emerge from the latter phase of the Championship, when war was certain concerns Arthur Carr.  The stories about Carr are legion and the more bizarre are usually the ones that are true.  Legend has it that he received his call-up papers whilst playing against Surrey at The Oval and refused to accept the call until he had finished batting!

February 2024

Scorecards and stats can be seen here