Hampshire Cricket History

A REAL Tragedy
May 30, 2016, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Northwood might be bloody awful but it really is only a game. Many of you will have noticed that we have reached the centenary of the naval Battle of Jutland which took place on 31 May & 1 June 1916

In that battle HMS Defence was blown out of the water and among the casualties that day was the Naval Officer, Cecil Halliday Abercrombie – as it happens, the most significant cricketer to die in that horrific encounter.


1913 v Gloucs Bmth copy

Abercromble was a regular naval officer seen above in uniform and (5th from left) as a member of the Hampshire side that played Gloucestershire at Bournemouth at the end of the 1913 season – it would be his final match for the county and he scored 65 in a victory. During his naval career he was stationed at Portsmouth and played also for the Royal Navy, United Services Portsmouth and for Lymington. He was also a Scottish rugby international, winning six caps.

If you have a Playfair Annual – any year – you can find him there still as the holder, with George Brown, of Hampshire’s record 7th wicket partnership, 325 v Essex at Leyton. They saved Hampshire from an innings defeat and during the course of that stand Abercrombie scored one of his three centuries for the county – there was also one against Worcestershire and on debut one against Oxford University. It would be particularly appropriate if over the next two days, two Hampshire players mounted perhaps 324 to save the current game. But if they don’t, at least the players in our current side can look forward to another season of cricket and hopefully a long and happy life. With the situation in Europe worsening, Abercrombie was called back to regular service in 1914 and never played for Hampshire again.

Abercrombie’s name is on our Honours Board in the Atrium and on a plaque outside the Memorial Gates of Scotland’s Murrayfield Stadium. Author and historian Peter Jones has written about him in the current Hampshire Handbook.


2 Comments so far
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Thank you for this. I knew the name, but not much of his story.

Comment by Dave Pople

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