Edward William Dawson
February 13, 1904, Paddington, London
June 04, 1979, Idmiston, Wiltshire, (aged 75y 112d)
Right hand bat
Eddie Dawson was a cricketer who by sheer application and strict adherence to the basic princples of batting reached a higher place than many players of greater natural ability. In his last year at Eton, where he was in the XI in 1922 and 1923, he made 159 against Harrow. He had already made 113 v Winchester, the first boy to make a century in both matches in the same year, and he finished with an average of over 50. In both those seasons he had a few trials for Leicestershire. At Cambridge he won his Blue as a freshman and retained his place as an opening batsman throughout his four years, being captain in 1927. His performances for Leicestershire showed him to be by now fully up to county standard, and coming down he took over the captaincy and held it in 1928, 1929, 1931 and 1933. He himself always paid a most generous tribute to the help and kindness he received from George Geary. He proved himself, as he had at Cambridge, an outstanding captain, besides being one of the county's most reliable bats. He played for the Gentlemen at Lord's in 1925 and 1927 and was a member of the MCC sides to South Africa in 1927-28 and to New Zealand in 1929-30. He also toured the West Indies with Sir Julien Cahn in 1929. In his first-class career he scored 12,597 runs with an average of 27.09, and made fourteen hundreds. His last innings for Leicestershire in 1934 was a faultless 91 against the Australians. He was a splendid field, especially on the off side.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
One of the most brilliant schoolboy cricketers of the 'twenties, Eddie Dawson who died on June 4 at the age of 75, wen on to captain Leicestershire and to play five times for England. He developed very strong defence under the guidance of F. E. Lacey at the Lord's coaching classes and added to it an attractive range of strokes. In 1923 he scored 159 for Eton against Harrow, and 113 against Winchester. Four years in the Cambridge XI, he led them to victory in the 1927 Varsity match, and took over the Leicester* shire captaincy the following year. A popular leader, he led the county again in 1929, 1931 and 1933, and by his retirement he had made 12,597 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 27.09, with a top score of 146 against Gloucestershire. HE represented the Gentlemen four times.
He did not truly fulfil himself in Tesy cricket, making only 14 and 9 on debut at Durban and failing in the majority of his seven innings in New Zealand in 1929-30. He did, however, make 44 in the Wellington Test and 55 in the last, at Auckland, opening both times with Ted Bowley.
One of his duties while serving in the Coldstream Guards in the Second World War was to guard Rudolf Hess when the Deputy Feuhrer was in captivity in Sussex. Eddie Dawson, though prevented by ill-health from pursuing his first-class cricket, gave much to the game in later years, addressing schools and boys' clubs. He was also creative director of the Outward Bound movement. Only last year, he wrote - in a poignant letter - the lament so often associated with the athlete: 'How I hate getting old!'
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