Middlesex v Australian Imperial Forces
Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John’s Wood
26th, 27th, 28th May 1919 (Three-day match)
Oxford University v Australian Imperial Forces
The University Parks, Oxford
29th, 30th May 1919 (Two-day match)
One of the highlights of the Lord’s trip was running into that old stalwartMid On, Cricket, The West Australian ( WA), Sat 11 Dec 1915, p. 9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26965642 Plum Warner, responsible in no small measure for the tour Cricket, The Land (NSW), Fri 6 Dec 1918, p.21. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116286541 , and the Middlesex captainCricket, The Capricornian (QLD), Sat 7 Jun 1919, p.30. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69713153 . Unfortunately, in his innings Warner had to give way to physical disability. Having scored 82, he was seized with a severe attack of cramp in the calf of the legAustralians in Arrears, Sheffield Daily Telegraph (Yorkshire), Wed 28 May 1919, p. 6. . In a display of true Empire solidarityGreater Britain in Defence, London Evening Standard (London), Thu 17 June 1909, p. 10. , rather than running the captain out, the Australians crowded round him, and after rendering what aid they could they carried him to the pavilion Stand by Warner and Hendren, The Sporting Life (London), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.5. . After tea Warner completed his century, but collapsed again and had to retireMiddlesex v. Australians, Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette (Durham), Wed 28 May 1919, p. 6.. But to our good luck this meant he could join us in the pavilion for a chin-wagCricketers and Cacklers, Sydney Sportsman (NSW), Wed 31 Mar 1915, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167285076. “Plum” opined the Australians will prove far stronger than people imagine Cricket, Morning Bulletin (QLD), Fri 6 Jun 1919, p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article53867822 .
Speaking of luck, Mordaunt Doll suffered one of the worst fates a batsman can face. He was struck badly under the heart from a rising ball from Gregory. Doll was knocked out, but the ball had rolled on the stumps off his body hard enough to remove the bails, and upon coming round the batsman had the mortification of hearing that he had been give out on appealThe Australians’ Tour, The Sportsman (London), Thu 29 May, 1919, p.2. . Allie Lampard’s six wickets received some criticism; some saying he owed most of his success to good catchingMiddlesex v. Australians, The Scotsman (Midlothian), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.10. . But I think it shows that this is a team sport and the Australians’ superior fielding is what can win matches. The quality of the bowling is irrelevant when the batsman finds the umpire’s finger against himShout of Delight, Lancashire Evening Post (Lancashire), Sat 13 Aug 1910, p. 3. .
Speaking of superior fielding, the English have a new weapon in their arsenalThe “Brightside Unionist Record”, Sheffield Daily Telegraph (Yorkshire), Fri 1 Nov 1912, p. 2. . A so-called “cat’s-cradle,” consisting of a shallow trough, is being used in practice at Lord’s Cricket-ground. It turns a cricket ball at fine angles, thus enabling fieldsmen to practice slip-catching.Cricket Cables, The Australasian (Melbourne), Sat 31 May, 1919, p.26. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140224255
Amongst the entertainments at Lord’s was the band of the Bernardo Boys William H. Hammer & Co, Dr Barnardo’s Homes Australasian deputation, ca. 1892. , 1892, postcard, https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/165363839 . This constituted a tribute to the Australians, for, out of four old boys from the charitable home who fought with the Anzacs in Gallipoli, three were mentioned in despatchesThe Australians’ Tour, The Sportsman (London), Thu 29 May, 1919, p.2. .
One of the ways we know the war is over is that the barrackers have returned to Lord’sBarracking at Lords, Dundee Evening Telegraph (Angus), Tue 27 May 1919, p.10. –much to the chagrinPoint, Inter-State Cricket, The Age (Vic.), Wed 31 Dec 1919, p. 9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203693985 of many. The practice, well known and appreciated amongst the Australian spectator, causes some degree of disgust On The Road, Cairns Post (Qld.), Mon 19 May 1919, p.2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40339003 here. Warner himself called it ‘a disgrace to the game’ that ‘cannot, and will not, be tolerated’ calling on players to ‘refuse to go on with the match if the manners of the crowd do not improve’ Cricket, The Bystander (London), Wed 10 September 1919, p. 54. . With a capital muster of spectatorsLittle Sting in the Colonial Bowling, Nottingham Evening Post (Nottinghamshire), Tue 27 May 1919, p. 2. in the stands on day 1, it was inevitable that the slovenly fieldingMiddlesex v. Australians, The Scotsman (Midlothian), Tue 27 May 1919, p. 9. of the Middlesex side would give rise to Pivot, Football, The Age (Vic.), Fri 19 Sep 1919, p. 9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202438764 voices of the cards I’ve chosen to use ‘card’ as an alternative to ‘wit’ or ‘wag’ as they are used elsewhere. I could not find a direct reference in a newspaper from the time – mainly due to there being many more frequently used synonyms for ‘card’. Contemporary use in this sense is supported by The Cassell Dictionary of Slang p. 199: ‘card n. 1 [mid-19C+] a character, a noticeable person, a likeable eccentric.” Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, (London: Wellington House), 1998, p. 199. in their slouch hatsThe Anzacs, Rutherglen Sun and Chiltern Valley Advertiser , (Vic.), Fri 12 May 1916, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121012137 . When Shearman Haslip dropped Herbie CollinsRIP, Portrait of cricketer H.L. Collins, 1926, cigarette card, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-136824312 at short leg on 54, in the midst of the riot of noiseBarracking at Lords, Dundee Evening Telegraph (Angus), Tue 27 May 1919, p.10. one larrikin suggested he ‘you had better get a bag!’Barracking at Lords, Dundee Evening Telegraph (Angus), Tue 27 May 1919, p.10. , much to the mirth of his fellows There is little use of this phrase in Australia, and none in England. I am using it because it is likely that our author had read this letter, published in the main sporting newspaper of the time, and picked up on this Americanism. It has been altered to be ‘fellows’, which is in common use at the time. Douglas Erskine, “The Referee” American Letter, The Referee (NSW), Wed 24 Nov 1915, p. 16. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129346324 . Whilst attendees of the HillUnknown, Sydney Cricket Ground Scoreboard in 1950 , photograph, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Scg_scoreboard_1950.jpg at the SCG will be well used to hearing the likes of YabbaBruce Howard, Stephen Harold Gascoigne, better known as Yabba, king of the unofficial commentators on the Hill at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, ca. 1935, c. 1935, photograph, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141711884 giving the opposing side this kind of sound advice, of the English players only “Plum” has had the privilege of playing before a large Australian crowd. The Englishmen doth protest too much, methinks,Obviously this line from Hamlet would be well known at the time. The NGram above supports its use here, as 1919 was one of the times it was most popular as a saying as I heard one man complete his outrage with a note of consolationEntertainments, The West Australian (WA), Wed 19 Dec 1917, p.9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27463885 that ’it seems almost like old times to hear it’Barracking at Lords, Dundee Evening Telegraph (Angus), Tue 27 May 1919, p.10. . That the old rivalryA.I.F. Cricketers, The Daily Mail (QLD), Wed 26 Nov 1919, p.3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213133409 can fire upNew South Wales Wins, The Sun (NSW), Wed 1 Mar 1911, p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221575837 , again so immediately shows us that the war is truly over.
There has been much discussion of Kelleway declining to take the extra half hour at Lord’sA Question of Sportsmanship, The Field (London), Sat 7 June 1919, p. 747. . It had been arranged that, by mutual agreement, the game might be prolonged until seven o’clock. Some are saying Kelleway was wise in declining the offer of the Middlesex captain to proceed, for the side would have no satisfaction in winning with Australian Imperial Forces v. Middlesex, The Field (London), Sat 31 May 1919, p. 646. Young Jack HearneUnknown, Young Jack Hearne Middlesex Cricket Club Englan Ashes Test Cricketer 1922, photograph, 1922, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/JW_Hearne_1922_card.jpg and Warner absent. Unfortunately it denied the spectators a potential exciting finish.
There’s not much to write about the match at “the Parks”Hzh, Cricket at University Parks, Oxford, 2006, photograph, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Cricket_at_University_Parks%2C_Oxford.jpg against the “Dark Blues”Cricket, Winner (Vic.), Wed 12 Aug 1914, p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155522545 from Oxford University. Being just a two day game, a draw was almost inevitable, despite the strong showing by the Australians. Most notable was the introduction of a new man into our band of flannelled brothersNot Out, Delightful A.I.F. Cricket, Referee (NSW), Wed 4 Feb, 1920, p.1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121166168 . Bert OldfieldFairfax Corporation, Cricketer W.A. Oldfield in position as wicket keeper, New South Wales, ca. 1930s , c. 1930s, photograph, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162892046 has come in to replace Eddie Long as “Aunt Sally”Cricket, The Mercury (Tas.), Mon 24 Jan 1910, p.7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article238952848 after the latter named copped Salvador, Sparklets from Sportdom, Co-operator (NSW), Thu 3 Nov 1910, p.1 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10051363 a rising ballPoint, Cricket, Geraldton Express (WA), Mon 3 Feb 1913, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211379288 to the face from GregoryOldfield, the ‘Peerless’ Wicketkeeper, The Canberra Times (ACT), Wed 11 Aug 1976, p.1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110821101 . Oldfield found it poetic, given his own wounds from shrapnel to that region when he was fighting in AbbassiaNAA: B2455, OLDFIELD WILLIAM ALBERT STANLEY, p.7. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=8004411&S=1&N=37&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=8004411&T=P&S=7 .
The very hot afternoon Oxford v. Australians, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Fri 30 May 1919, p. 7. was remarked upon by many in Oxford. Bert compared it to his days playing in Egypt: ‘You can visualise the great strain of playing cricket in the desert. The glare of the sun was terrific. Our pitch was made from wet sand rolled out hard, and the outfield, of course, was all sand’G.K. Miller, Behind the Sticks with Bert Oldfield, Weekly Times (Melbourne), Sat 11 Oct 1941, p. 38. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224827054 . Major E.P. BarbourBarbour is second from the left. H.C. Nott, Cairo, Egypt, 1916-07-13. Informal outdoors portrait in their tennis clothes of Australian Army, 1916, photograph, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C308868 , Captain R.L. ParkUnknown – National Library of Australia, Photo of Roy Park Taken Before 1915, c. 1915, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/Roy_Park_%28before_1915%29.jpg , and Major G.C. CampbellLinton Slide, An AIF recruiting lantern slide featuring a portrait of cricketer Gordon Cathcart Campbell, c. 1917, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1038660 –the tour selectors–overlooked Bert in favour of Long and Hammy LoveFairfax Corporation, Cricketer Hampden Love from New South Wales, New South Wales, ca. 1933, photograph, 1933, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-160378803 following the selection trials, but after a big centuryBig Score by Australian H-Q. Team, Sporting Life (London), Wed 21 May 1919, p. 5. against Trinity and New College at Oxford for the A.I.F. H.Q. side last week, team manager Howard Lacey sent him a telegram asking him to keep himself in readinessRambler, When Bert Oldfield was a Mystery, Sporting Globe (Vic), Sat 1 Dec 1928, p.6. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article183969110 . When Collins asked the slight, shy, nervous lad if he would like to play against Oxford, Oldfield responded ‘Me? I wouldn’t be in the class of you chaps. Besides, I haven’t got any togs’. Collins joked they almost had to kidnap him to get him to the ground while they rustled up togs. H.L. Collins, And They Call Me “Lucky”, The Sun (NSW), Sun 9 Mar 1941, p.8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231202369
But the young gloveman’sThird Man, Cricket Sidelights, The Telegraph (QLD), Sat 19 Nov 1932, p.3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179534926 modesty is misplaced. He is fearless standing up to the stumpsCricket Causerie, London Daily News (London), Thu 31 May 1906, p.11. , even to Gregory’s pace, his work behind the wicketsCricket, Barrier Miner (NSW), Tue 4 Nov 1919, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45510698 is as neat and meticulousAlthough the phrase ‘neat and meticulous’ comes from a much later book, it is not itself anachronistic. The book is used to source both Oldfield’s wicketkeeping and sartorial abilities. Ashley Mallett, Bradman’s Band, (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press), 2000, p. 30. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=2qp8up_fm7YC&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=oldfield+crouch+wicket+keeper&source=bl&ots=dAZj96uNEU&sig=Vfp_fZokSNgBUQ3AXsNhNs_S9MQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiE-Lz_iaPdAhXXzmEKHcYGAVcQ6AEwCnoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=oldfield%20crouch%20wicket%20keeper&f=false as his fashion senseMissing “Fashion Sense”, Sunday Times (WA), Sun 17 May 1914, p. 30. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57824574. Just a lad when the war broke out, I asked him what was most special about joining this group of heroes in their quest forCricket, Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW), Sat 14 Feb 1914, p. 10. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article137961494 the reconstruction of cricket Magazines, Aberdeen Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire), Tue 18 Mar 1919, p. 2. . Expecting him to say something about the opportunity to play with and against some true legends of the game he responded wryly ‘it’s wonderful to sleep in clean beds and eat good food again’Kay See, Bert Oldfield Describes His Most Thrilling Test Match to “The Mirror”, Mirror (WA), Sat 9 Mar, 1935, p. 21. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75630310 . Surely this puts cricket in perspective in the after the eclipsing shadow of the war cloudSport and Speed, Western Argus (WA), Tue 28 Jan 1919, p. 16. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article34203518 .
I’d like to relay a wonderful story to you all. By now the news of the rescue of Hawker and GrieveBain News Service, Grieve, Mrs. Hawker, Harry Hawker, between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920, photograph, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2014709149/ –those gallant Aussie airmen assumed lost at seaGallant Airman’s Fate, The Independent (NSW), Fri 23 May 1919, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101674224 attempting the first non-stop transatlantic flightUnknown, Going! Sopwith after take-off, Newfoundland, 1919, 1919, photograph, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-140831244 –would have reached Australia. After the second day’s play against Warner’s men at Lord’s, we went for a walk through The Regent’s ParkThis incident is fictional in that I have no evidence the team saw the airmen. However, they were playing at Lord’s, which is just across the park from where this happened, and would have finished play just before it happened.. On coming on to Euston Road, just past the station of that name, we saw a giant commotion. Police were lining the streets for a hundred yardsHawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. , unable to keep a dense throngHawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. of people away. The sounds of “Australia Will Be There”Hawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. echoed through the streets, coming from an A.I.F. bandUnknown, An AIF band leading the procession from King’s Cross Station, in connection with the welcome to Mr H G Hawker and Commander Grieve, 1919, photograph, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C980571 . Then appearing out of the milieu, riding high upon a police horseHawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. , was Hawker himself! Proudly wearing the slouch hat, put there by a Digger in that custom of popular honourHawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. , he dismounted and made his way into the Royal Aero Club. Following not too far behind, riding the shoulders of a mass of Anzacs came Grieve!Hawker’s Return, Western Daily Press (Bristol), Wed 28 May, 1919, p.8. They were safe! We wanted to join the well-wishers, but felt our presence may be too great a disruption for the already stretchedFighting in Flanders, Western Mail (WA), Fri 30 Apr 1915, p. 25. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37425055 constabularyWith the exception of the ten years between the formation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 and the City of London Police in 1839, “constabulary” found its peak use in the years following the first world war.. Much like the side I am travelling with, the return of the Atlantic flyersThe Atlantic Flyers, Leicester Daily Post (Leicestershire), Thu 29 May 1919, p. 1. will no doubt prove a fillip to all Englishmen around the globeThis inclusion of all the Empire as Englishmen is supposed to be a contrast to the previous sections, such as barracking, where different cultures were apparent. This highlights the schizophrenic nature of Australian identity at the time. as an example of putting the horrors of the war behind usBy the Way, Morecambe Guardian (Lancashire), Sat 19 July 1924, p.6. and ‘getting on with it’Charles Garvice, If I Were a Woman, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW), Fri 30 May 1919, p. 41. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101508693