County Championship 3rd (5W, 8D, 1L)

Captain            A W Carr


The first season back after World War One was a successful one for Notts; based on a strong batting record, the county rose to third in the table.

In the aftermath of the War, the counties agreed – not without some dissent – to reduce Championship matches to two days, albeit with longer playing days.  The perhaps unsurprising outcome was a high number of drawn matches and the experiment lasted just the one season.

Counties were left to arrange their own fixtures – Worcestershire opted not to participate at all – and the number of fixtures played varied greatly.  Yorkshire, the eventual champions, played 26 games yet Northants and Somerset only twelve.

There was no visiting nation in 1919 but a strong squad of Australian servicemen formed the Australian Imperial Force Touring XI and played thirty-three matches in England before returning home via South Africa, where they played ten more.

Five players in that team would make their Test débuts in the months following their return – Herbie Collins, Johnny Taylor, Nip Pellew, Bert Oldfield and Jack Gregory – all of whom played when the XI came to Trent Bridge.

It was the uncapped Carl Willis that starred, making 130 in the tourists’ first innings of 371; that was topped by George Gunn by just one run when Notts replied, his 131 helping the home side to 391 and a slender lead. 

Future Aussie skipper Herbie Collins made 118 and declared the second innings at 242-5. Notts, captained for the last time by George Ogg Gauld, had reached 62-1 when stumps were drawn in the only three-day game played that year.

For many years pre-war, Notts had opened their season at Lord’s against the MCC and in 1919 they again went to that famous ground for their first match but this time versus Middlesex.

Nottinghamshire fielded two debutants, Bill Flint of Underwood and the splendidly named John D’Ewes Evelyn Firth, nick-named, as unlikely as it sounds, ‘Budge’.

Firth had been one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1918 when the almanac selected their quintet from the ranks of public school cricketers as no First-Class cricket was staged.  This honour did not portend great things in the game as he played just four First-Class matches. In his only game for Notts, he scored 1 and took 1-31 as the game ran out of time (as did so many in that campaign).

Flint had a more impressive start, taking 6-53 and 2-34 to herald a career that would last ten years and bring 236 wickets.

George Gunn led the way for Nottinghamshire’s batters, making 1393 runs at 66.33, the highest average across the Championship, ahead even of ‘The Master’ Jack Hobbs, who scored 2594 First-Class runs.

George Gunn made five hundreds and six other scores over fifty in the fourteen matches he played; the other century-makers for Notts were his brother John, Garnet Lee and skipper Arthur Carr.

Among the bowlers, Fred Barratt and Len Richmond were the stand-out contributors with 58 and 63 wickets respectively; Bill Flint added to his successful debut with 39 victims.

The two-day schedule meant that time ran out on the home match with Leicestershire in which Garnet Lee and Cecil Wood each made hundreds.

The first of four innings victories came in the next match, against Sussex at Hove, a match in which Bill Flint’s brother Ben made his debut. He too started well, with 3-28 as Leicester were dismissed for 101.  Arthur Carr’s 104 was enough to steer Notts to 414 and the home county subsided a second time, making just 138 to leave Notts winners by an innings and 175.

Bill and Ben Flint combined with Fred Barratt to dismiss Derbyshire for 180 and 64, to leave Notts’s modest 293 sufficient to secure an innings and 49 run victory.

Despite George Gunn making what was at the time his career best of 169, Notts were unable to prevent the draw against Surrey and it was a similar story versus Middlesex when Gunn made 128 but the game again petered out.

An impressive away win at Bramhall Lane, Sheffield, followed when champion county Yorkshire were dismissed for 112 and 238, Len Richmond taking ten in the match.  Notts replied with 236 and 117-4 to win by six wickets.

In the return at Trent Bridge, yet another draw, two players called Holmes each had ‘firsts’.  William Holmes made the first of his two appearances for Notts (he also played in the next game v Lancashire), making 14 and taking 2-50.  On the Yorkshire side, Percy Holmes – one of the great white rose openers – made his maiden First-Class century, reaching precisely 100.

Two Lancastrians made hundreds – Ernest Tyldesley 132 and Harry Makepeace 102 – in yet another drawn match.  A similar fate befell the away game against Surrey in which Jack Hobbs passed 1,000 runs for the season as he made the highest score of 91.

The only defeat of Nottinghamshire’s season came next when they travelled to Old Trafford and came up against James Tyldesley who took 6-42 as Notts made just 143 in their second innings.  Lancashire and Notts had been closer on first innings, the home side’s 343 giving them a slight advantage over the visitor’s 300 but the red rose county quickly knocked off the required runs to finish on 101-1 and win by 9 wickets.

Notts got back to winning ways at home to Sussex when a first innings of 374 (John Gunn 100, Arthur Carr 112) was more than enough as the visitors made 155 – Barratt and Richmond five wickets apiece – and 212 to leave Notts victors by an innings and 7 runs.

It was a similar story at Loughborough when Leicestershire could only make 227 and 83 – Barratt ten wickets in the match – against Nottinghamshire’s 384, resulting in a win by an innings and 75 runs.

The last Championship match of the summer was at home to Derbyshire when the weather meant an even more curtailed game. Notts posted 158-5 declared when play started on the second (and thus final) day and Derbyshire responded with 63-6.


February 2024

Scorecards and stats can be seen here