Worcestershire CCC have honoured one of their players – record holder William Beaumont Burns who lost his life during the First World War – by presenting his County colours to his former school during a moving ceremony.
Burns, a pupil at King’s Ely School, remains the only Worcestershire player to have scored a century and taken a hat-trick in the same game.
Current Worcestershire Heritage co-ordinator Tim Jones was contacted by Andrew Marshall, the first Deputy Head at King’s Ely School, for information about Burns.
He was one of 27 ex pupils of the school who lost their lives in the conflict and was honoured at the school’s Act Of Remembrance Service in Ely Cathedral on Friday.
Jones was invited to attend the service and, thanks to the efforts of current Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley, was able to present the Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, with Burns’ Worcestershire CCC colours tie – number 046.
Tim Jones said: “Andrew Marshall the first Deputy Head at King’s Ely School contacted me a few months ago for information concerning W. B. Burns and thankfully I was able to help him in this respect.
“I provided details of his cricketing prowess, a player who scored 12 first-class centuries, claimed 187 wickets and is still the only Worcestershire player to score a hundred and take a hat-trick in the same game.
“As a thank you for my help, I was invited to the school’s Act of Remembrance Service in Ely Cathedral last Friday, a moving ceremony which commemorated the lives of 27 ‘Old Eleans’ who lost their lives in the conflict.
“One of the original houses at King’s was named after ‘Burns’, so it was interesting to hear the current Head of House pay tribute to the Worcestershire man.
“Thanks to the efforts of Matt Rawnsley, I presented Sue Freestone the Principal of King’s with Mr Burns’ colours tie – number 046 – as a lasting memory to him and Adam Chadwick, Curator of the M.C.C. Collection who kindly sent an M.C.C. tie in recognition of the tour which Burns went on to New Zealand in 1906/07.
“Both are now on permanent display along with a copy of this photograph from the ‘Worcestershire Collection.’ This serves as a reminder that we must never forget our past or indeed the sacrifice made by former players and members of our great Club.”
Burns achieved the feat of a century and a hat-trick in the same game against Gloucestershire at New Road in 1913. At the end of that season, he settled in Canada but returned to England to enlist in the First World War.
He was killed in action in July 1916 when a Second Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment.
*Tim Jones is pictured handing over the colours tie to Sue Freestone, Principal of King’s Ely.