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Full name William Robert Gregory
Born May 20, 1881, Coole Park, Gort, Co Galway
Died January 23, 1918, near Grossa, Padua, Italy (aged 36 years 248 days)
Major teams Ireland
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly
Education Harrow School; Oxford University
The son of Sir William and Lady Gregory, Robert Gregory took 8 for 80 for Ireland v Scotland in 1912 in his only first-class appearance. He played his club cricket for Phoenix CC and Gentlemen of Ireland. An accomplished artist, he had exhibitions in London, the last in 1914, as well as being an illustrator for books and stage. He died in 1918 when shot down by mistake by an Italian pilot. Gregory is the subject of Yeats' poem, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death:
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
A good lightweight boxer and point-to-pointer, he enlisted in 1916 and transferred to the RFC in the same year. In 1917 he was awarded the MC.
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