1903

Obituaries in 1902

MR. GEORGE STRACHAN, who thirty years ago was one of the finest all-round players in the world, died from fever in January, whilst in charge of one of the concentration camps in the Transvaal. Scores and Biographies (Vol. XI., p. 95) says of him:-- Is a capital batsmen, being a quick and lively hitter, and on several occasions has made excellent displays. As a field, at long-leg or cover-point, he is not to be excelled, indeed, many have pronounced him to be the best out in those positions.... He is also a pretty good slow round-armed bowler. From 1872, until 1880, he assisted the Gentlemen in their matches against the Players, and at the Oval, in 1875, he performed the extraordinary feat of bowling 39 balls for no runs and five wickets. In his early days he appeared for Gloucestershire, Surrey and Middlesex, and it was the desire to see him properly qualified for Surrey that led to the formulation of a regular system of qualification for county cricket in 1873. He assisted Surrey from 1872 until 1875, and again from 1877 until 1880, generally captaining the side, but afterwards appeared in the ranks of Gloucestershire, for which county he possessed a birth qualification, having been born at Prestbury, near Cheltenham, November 21st, 1850. He was educated at Cheltenham, and captained the cricket and football teams, besides representing the College at racquets.

MR. WALTER GEORGE MILLS, who died in January, was an all-round player of more than average ability. He was especially well known in Lancashire cricket circles, and represented the county on a few occasions in 1871, 1875, 1876, and 1877. His highest score in a great match was 26 for Lancashire v. Sussex, at Brighton, in 1876. He bowled with success in a match against the Australians, at Longsight, in 1880.

SIR THOMAS LEA, Bart., died at Kidderminster on January 9th. He was, in his day, a capital player, identifying himself with the Worcestershire County C. C. At the time of his death he was in his sixty-first year.

MR. EDWARD FAIRFAX TAYLOR, who was long actively identified with the Oatlands Park C. C., died in February. He was born in London, July 10th, 1845, and was therefore in his fifty-seventh year at the time of his death. He was educated at Marlborough, and was for the long period of 37 years a clerk in the House of Lords. He appeared twice for Surrey--against Middlesex, at the Oval in 1865, and against the M. C. C., at the same ground two years later. In the former match he scored 1 and 15, and took six wickets for 87 runs, bowling C. F. Buller for 0 in the first innings.

J. PENTECOST, the old Kent wicket-keeper, died at St. John's Wood on February 23rd, aged 42, after a long illness. For some time he had been a member of the ground staff at Lord's. In 1892 the match between Kent and Surrey, at Tonbridge, was set apart as a benefit to him. Pentecost was obliged to abandon the game sooner than would ordinarily have been the case, owing to failing eyesight. He was born on October 15th, 1859.

MR. BENJAMIN WINTHORP, who appeared for Harrow against Eton, at Lord's, in 1855, passed away on May 15th, at 77, Addison Road, Kensington, in his sixty-fifth year. He was a contemporary of Kenelm Digby, W. S. Church, G. L. Lang, and H. Arkwright.

MR. THOMAS WILLIAM LANG died on May 30th. Mr. Lang (a brother of Mr. Andrew Lang, the well-known writer) had long ago dropped out of first-class cricket, but during his brief career he earned great distinction. Born at Viewfield, Selkirk, in Scotland, on June 22nd, 1854, he was educated at Clifton and Oxford, proving himself in both elevens a capital bowler--right hand, medium pace. He made a most successful first appearance at Lord's, on the 7th and 8th of August, 1871, for Clifton College against the M. C. C., taking in all fourteen wickets, and being largely instrumental in winning the match for his side by an innings and 81 runs. While still at Clifton he played under the residential qualification for Gloucestershire, and in August, 1872, during the absence in Canada of Mr. W. G. Grace, who was touring with the late Mr. R. A. Fitzgerald's team, he helped to win for the County, on the Clifton College Ground, a remarkable match against Sussex. Gloucestershire followed on against a majority of 101, and won the game by 60 runs. Sussex only wanted 153 in the last innings, but poor Fred Grace and Mr. Lang, bowling unchanged, got them out for 92, the former taking seven wickets for 43 runs and Lang the other three for 42. Mr. Langplayed for Oxford against Cambridge, at Lord's, in 1874 and 1875, and had the satisfaction on both occasions of being on the victorious side, Oxford winning by an innings and 92 runs in the first year, and, after a tremendous finish, by six runs in the second. In both matches Mr. Lang did great things, taking ten wickets for 74 runs in 1874, and taking seven wickets for 68 runs and scoring 45 and 2 in 1875. However, he somewhat marred his otherwise brilliant work in the latter year by missing two catches in the last innings. He was eligible to play for Oxford in 1876, but preferred to rest content with what he had already done. Judging him by his doings for Oxford and Gloucestershire he was certainly one of the best medium-pace amateur bowlers of his day.

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