Lancaster nostalgia: Remembering cricketers killed in World War One

Sergeant Ernest Shorrocks first world war soldier and professional cricketer

Sergeant Ernest Shorrocks first world war soldier and professional cricketer

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While cricket remains hugely popular with all age groups today, at the beginning of the 20th century it was the national game.

A new book Final Wicket looks at the lives, sporting careers and deaths of 275 top class cricketers who made the ultimate sacrifice between August 1914 and the end of 1918.

Captain Egerton Lowndes Wright, first world war soldier and professional cricketer

Captain Egerton Lowndes Wright, first world war soldier and professional cricketer

Among these are sportsmen who made their name on the pitches of Lancashire. Here author Nigel McCrery showcases those cricketers from the county who were killed during the First World war

Sergeant Ernest Shorrocks was born on March 12 1875 in Middleton, Morecambe and was educated at William Hulme’s Grammar School, Manchester, on a foundation scholarship.

He made only one first class appearance which was for Somerset and against Lancashire on June 19 1905 at the County Ground, Taunton. When his parents objected to his joining the war Shorrocks simply stated ‘Chaps like me ought to go’.

He was killed on July 20 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

Final Wicket

Final Wicket

Captain Templar later wrote to his parents, ‘Sergeant Shorrocks died fighting splendidly. He did wonderful work re-organising the men.’

His body was never found but he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Captain Egerton Lowndes Wright was born on November 15 1885 at Adlington, Chorley, the second son of Henry Lowndes Wright of Burnt House, Adlington. He had three brothers who also served in the war. Some years after the war their father published a memoir entitled Four Brothers and the World War: the Private Record of Their Father for his Grandchildren. Wright played 37 first-class matches between May 1905 and May 1910. The majority were University matches but he also played for Lancashire in the County Championship on four occasions. At the outbreak of war he was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and went to France in March 1915. He was mentioned twice in Despatches and received the Military Cross. He was killed in action near Barly on May 11 1918 and is commemorated in Barly French Military Cemetery.

The Final Wicket is published by Pen & Sword Books, priced at £30 and is available from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk.

Tyne Cot Cemetery resting place of some of the soldiers

Tyne Cot Cemetery resting place of some of the soldiers