Final Wicket (Hardback)
Test and First Class Cricketers Killed in the Great War
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While cricket remains a national game today, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, it was THE national game. Cricketers were the sporting icons of their age, as footballers are today.
When the call to arms was made in 1914 and the years of war that followed, it was answered in droves by young men including Test and First Class cricketers. The machine guns and gas of the Western Front and other theatres did not discriminate and many hundreds of these star performers perished alongside their lesser known comrades.
The author has researched the lives and deaths of over 200 top class cricketers who made the ultimate sacrifice. He includes not just British players but those from the Empire. The enormity of the horror and wholesale loss of life during The Great War is well demonstrated by these moving biographies.
Whether you are a cricket fan or not, the obituaries, the service details of those who made such contributions to their sport ensure this is the most evocative of books.The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society No.267
This book is clearly a labour of love for Nigel McCrery who has researched the lives, cricketing careers and untimely deaths in the Great War of the 275 first class cricketers from Britain and the rest of the Empire.Western Front Association No. 106
High production values make this a book to be treasured.
A real labour of love and a book that should be treasured.Stand To! Western Front Assc No.106
Whether you are a cricket fan or not, the obituaries, the service details of those who made such contributions to their sport ensure this is the most evocative of books.The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society No.263
'It is a tribute to the men who should never be forgotten and the author does them proud.'Derby Telegraph
As featured inCotswold Style Magazine
As featured inThe Gazette (Blackpool
As featured inThe Visitor (Morecambe)
As featured inNottingham Post
As featured in the Chorley Guardian this enthralling book looks extensively at the lives, sporting careers and deaths of 275 first class cricketers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War, including the fascinating story of four brothers, one of which received the Military Cross before he was killed in action.Chorley Guardian
As featured in the Wigan Observer this incredibly moving book fittingly celebrates the brave and talented sportsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice during the great War, author Nigel McCrery showcases their outstanding contribution to victory.Wigan Observer
As featured in the Worcester News this incredibly moving account of the first class cricketers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the terrible conflict of the Great War. Brigadier General Walter Long even wrote of their "phenomenal courage" before they were bowled out by fate.Worcester News
As featured inLancashire Evening Post
As featured inLancashire Life Magazine
An immense amount of research has gone into the book, to garner details of the cricketers’ lives, their families, how they died and where they are buried. The fact that there are only nine without a photograph is testimony to the painstaking work that has gone into making the book as comprehensive as possible.Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians
As featured inEastbourne Herald
As mentioned inSomerset County Gazette
As featured inEssence Magazine
As featured inLeamington Spa Courier
Nigel McCrery is no stranger to this type of subject having also written Into Touch – Rugby Internationals killed in the Great War. Both must have involved a vast amount of research as, in Final Wicket, each of the deceased is given a very thorough write-up with, in all but a few cases, an accompanying photograph...That said, he has done very well to obtain as many photographs as he has. Perhaps one of the book’s greatest assets is, where available, the plot reference of the grave is given. Sadly, many bodies were never recovered or identified but Nigel’s excellent research has ensured that mentions on memorials are also noted in the appreciations.Andrew Roberts Cricket Statstics
Further commendable details mentioned are the players’ ranks, battalion/regiment, date of death, age and counties/clubs represented. Their First-Class details are also mentioned at the end of each profile but the book expertly combines both the fighting and cricketing careers of these valiant men. Final Wicket is a most interesting and welcome addition to the subject of cricket and the Great War and Pen & Sword have produced a beautifully-crafted work.
As featured in.The Sunday Telegraph
'... a fascinating thick tome chronicling the stories of 275 Test and First-Class cricketers...'Leicester Mercury
As seen on...Cricket World
As featured online inCambridge Alumni Magazine
As the civilised world fought for its very survival, Sir Home Gordon, writing in The Cricketer in September 1939, stated that ‘England has now started the grim Test Match with Germany’, the objective of which was to ‘win the Ashes of civilisation’. Despite the interruption of first-class and Test cricket in England, the game continued to be played and watched by hundreds of thousands of people engaged in military and civilian service. In workplaces, cricket clubs, and military establishments, as well as on the famous grounds of the country, players of all abilities kept the sporting flag…By John Broom
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