[This article was written by Brian Croudy and first published in the Autumn 1985 issue of The Cricket Statistician (No.52), the journal of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Histori- ans and we thank the author and Association for permission to reproduce it here.]
BANNERMAN James William Hugh, was born at Ophir Vincent, Otago on May 20th 1887, and lost his life during the First World War, dy- ing at the early age of thirty from wounds received in his first engagement in France on December 23rd 1917. The eldest son of William Bannerman of the NZ Bank, Dunedin, he was educated at Otago B.H.S. and Southland H.S. before taking up a military career. His claim to fame in the cricketing world comes not for what he achieved whilst playing, but from his journalistic quali- ties which produced for posterity a very rare history of both Otago and Southland cricket, written around 1906. These two books were unique in their time giving results and career figures for the two provinces. Today these books are virtually unobtainable, (I myself only having photo-copies of them). He worked for the Southland News and later took up an appointment to the editorial chair and Managing director of the Bluff Press and Stewart Island Gazette. At the outbreak of the German War, he took charge of the Bluff cadets and, eventually, at his own request was posted to the 8th Southland Regiment. He was a first rate officer, but it was always his desire to get to the front which in the end he achieved although tragically. His two cricketing books `History of Early Otago Representative Cricket` and `Early Cricket in Southland` were not his only works of note, he also penned a book called `Milestones, or Wrecks of Southern New Zealand` being a widely sought after volume. Although appearing for Southland in the Hawke Cup, Bannerman`s only sortie in first-class cricket was against Otago in 1914-15 when he made 11 and 10 and took 3 wick- ets for 84. A man of super strength and vitality, his death caused a profound sense of loss throughout Southland and was dee- ply regretted.
Thanks :: Peter Griffiths