With it being the 100th anniversary of The First World War armistice, it’s only appropriate to remember the players and members of Worcestershire County Cricket Club who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
In all, 10 players were killed, the impact being so immense that in 1919 when first class cricket commenced, the County did not enter the County Championship but instead played a handful of matches against neighbouring counties which were deemed ‘first-class.’
In 1922 the Club commissioned a memorial to ‘remember the fallen’ costing £23, 16 shillings and six pence.
It resided above the bar in the old pavilion at New Road until the building was demolished in the winter of 2008 where it remained in storage until 2014 which coincided with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.
After further research – with the help of local historian * Sandra Taylor – it was discovered that not all of the players’ names appeared on the original memorial, so a plan was put in place to rectify this and to restore the memorial to its former glory.
Pupils from Stourport High School undertook the restoration as part of their wood-working and history studies and for the price of just the materials (£30), they did a truly magnificent job.
In addition, it transpired that three players had also been killed in World War II so a new ‘combined’ memorial was produced to represent this.
In 2014, a re-dedication service was held at the ground, and on a glorious summer’s day, a two-minute silence was observed around New Road.
As members and supporters stood and the players stopped their pre-match preparation, a gentle drizzle fell on the ground and as we sat down again after two minutes the sun re-appeared.
For those who witnessed this it was as if the cricketing gods were with us on that day to pay their own tribute. It was the most poignant reminder that we must never forget the fallen.
*Details of the war records of the players can be found on Sandra Taylor’s website – Remember the Fallen – http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk