Hampshire Cricket History

A-Z (B14)
October 30, 2017, 2:51 pm
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Blake, David Eustace (319 – Amateur) born Havant 27.4. 1925, died Portchester 21.5.2015.  When Desmond Eagar arrived as Hampshire’s new secretary/captain immediately after the Second World War, he set about assembling a new side and in the first four seasons, gave debuts to 24 players. One of his tasks was to find a replacement for wicketkeeper Neil McCorkell who would retire after the 1951 season, and in the period before Leo Harrison converted to ‘keeping’, Hampshire selected a number of alternatives, including David Blake, who was also an entertaining left-hand batsman.

Blake was the younger brother of JP (below) who had played in the late 1930s. Both boys went to Aldenham School and David represented the Rest v Lord’s Schools in 1943 at Lord’s, completing three stumpings. He played as an amateur for Hampshire in 50 matches between 1949-1958 – his status being a consequence of his career as a dentist in Southsea.

In his Hampshire career he scored 1,811 runs including one century against Somerset at Bournemouth in 1954, sharing a second wicket century partnership with Neville Rogers. His 30* in the second innings took Hampshire to a ten-wicket victory. In addition he passed fifty on a further 12 occasions, including 56 & 97 v Nottinghamshire at Bournemouth in 1950, which was the principal reason Hampshire drew the match. In the field, he held 62 catches, adding eight stumpings. He did not play in 1955 when Hampshire finished in third place but returned in 1956 and appeared in Hampshire’s first-ever match at Cowes, when they returned to the Isle of Wight for the first time since the war. He received his county cap in 1953.

David Blake also played first-class cricket for a number of other non-county sides including MCC, Free Foresters and made two tours of the West Indies in the mid 1950s with EW Swanton and the Duke of Norfolk. His last recorded match was for MCC v Sherborne School in 1964, scoring 36 at number three, after the two MCC openers had both gone without scoring.

Blake, John Philip (283 – Amateur) born Portsmouth 17.11.1917, died in action 3.6.1944 in Croatia, Yugoslavia. Unlike his brother DE, he was a right-handed batsman, who showed promise at Aldenham School and Cambridge University, although his first-class debut at Worthing in June 1937 (age 19) pre-dated his University debut. His main year with the student side was 1939 when he won his ‘Blue’; scoring 23 in his team’s valiant effort to score 430 to win – they lost by 45 runs.

He played in 29 first-class matches, 15 for Cambridge University, averaging nearly 32 (HS 88 v MCC), but in his 14 matches for Hampshire, his average was less than half that, with a best of 48 v Somerset in a victory at Yeovil in 1938. His final Championship match was at Canterbury in August 1939, and while he enjoyed little success at that level, he was still only 21, and clearly promising. A few months later, he enlisted in the Royal Marines and in 1943, joined No. 43 Royal Marines Commando, serving in Sicily, Anzio and then Yugoslavia. His last recorded match, presumably on leave, was for Southampton Touring Club v British Empire XI at Northlands Road in June 1943, playing alongside fellow Hampshire cricketers Arthur Holt, Charlie Knott, Lloyd Budd and Jack Andrews. One year later he was awarded the Military Cross for leading dangerous action while serving in Yugoslavia, but in another raid, shortly after, he was killed, and is buried in Belgrade War Cemetery.

Blundell, Frederick John (Pre ’95 – Amateur) born 19.11.1850, South Stoneham died 26.4.1929, Botley. He was a slow right-arm bowler and lower order batsman who played one match for Hampshire v MCC at the Antelope Ground in 1880. He took 2-22 in 17 four-ball overs, and scored two runs as Hampshire took a lead of 81, which was sufficient to win by an innings – he was not required to bowl again as MCC were dismissed for 43. He is recorded as playing other matches at that time in the Southampton area for teams such as St Luke’s, Gentlemen of Hampshire and Southampton.

Bodington, Cecil Herbert (88 – Amateur) born 20.1.1880, Norfolk, died in action Pas-de-Clais, France, 11.4.1917. He was a right-handed batsman and bowler who played at King’s School Canterbury and at Cambridge University, although he did not play for the latter in any first-class matches. He played in ten matches for Hampshire in the weak sides of 1901 (age 21) and 1902, averaging 11, with a best of 36 v Sussex, and taking nine wickets, including 3-19 in the same match at Hove in 1902. Hampshire drew that game, closing on 287-9, well short of the target of 410 to win, and Bodington’s innings at number eight made a significant contribution after arriving at 160-6. His final first-class match v the Australians at Southampton in August 1902 was less successful, and ended in a two-day innings defeat. Captain CH Bodington was killed in action in 1917 (age 37). His father was vicar of Upton Grey near Basingstoke and Captain Bodington is commemorated on the village war memorial.

Bolton, Robert Henry Dundas (‘Bertie’) (180 – Amateur) born India 13.1.1893, died 30.10.1964 London. He was a right-handed batsman who first played for Dorset while still at Rossall School, and subsequently for them in the Minor Counties Championship, before making his first-class debut for Hampshire v Cambridge University in 1913 (age 20). He played in Hampshire’s next match, a defeat at Edgbaston and then not again until 1921 (two matches) with three more in 1922. In 12 innings he scored just 121 runs for Hampshire, with a best of 24 (and 22) v Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1921. He became Chief Constable of Northamptonshire and served on their county cricket club’s Committee. He played minor matches for the MCC and regularly for the Forty Club into the 1950s, opening the batting and top-scoring (31) in his last recorded match for them v Ratcliffe College, at the age of 60.


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