Hampshire Cricket History

Gallipoli – the Centenary
April 24, 2015, 7:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The start of the Gallipoli campaign on 25 April 1915 will be marked in a number of ways as this weekend sees the centenary. A number of men who had played cricket for Hampshire died in the campaign – the first in July 1915


Lt JF Sutcliffe

James Frederick Sutcliffe of the Royal Marine Light Infantry was killed in action in Gallipoli on 14 July. He was born on 12 December 1876 in Chatham and enlisted as a marine in London in 1895. He rose through the NCO ranks, eventually being commissioned Lieutenant during the Gallipoli campaign in May 1915; prior to this he was stationed in Deal and from 1909 in Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth. In 1907 for the Deal Depot he scored 1154 runs and took 76 wickets and in 1908, scored two centuries in his 792 runs and took 94 wkts at 10.56. He played regularly in services cricket and in his 1927 book Britain’s Sea Soldiers, General Sir HE Blumberg described him as “the great corps cricketer”, although it seems he hardly ever represented the full Royal Navy side which always featured mostly officers. One exception was in August 1911 when he played for the Royal Navy against the Gentlemen of Sussex at Lewes and had a very good match taking seven wickets in the first innings and four in the second as well as scoring 32*. However, he was listed as F H Sutcliffe and perhaps there were other matches with incorrect names. He was the only NCO in that XI. In August 1911, while stationed in Portsmouth, he played one match for Hampshire at Worcester, batting at number seven, scoring 16 and 8. Worcestershire won by eight wickets and oddly, having travelled to Worcester he returned to Portsmouth where Hampshire were to play their next match v Yorkshire but he was not selected for that match, or again for Hampshire. He was one of two colour sergeants who played for Hampshire in 1911, the other being Harold Forster who was killed in action in 1918. Sutcliffe also sang regularly in local choirs in Portsmouth and is remembered on a memorial cross in Portsmouth Cathedral.

(NB much of the material in these tributes is from Andrew Renshaw’s splendid book of Wisden Obituaries although I had the good fortune to meet two of Sutcliffe’s descendants)

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