Obituaries in 1956

ANDREWS, MR. OSCAR, who died in Belfast in October, aged 80, played cricket for Gentlemen of Ireland from 1902 to 1914, and represented Ireland at hockey in 1899.

ATKINSON, MR. JAMES ARCHIBALD, who died at Beaconsfield, Tasmania, on June 11, aged 60, was probably Tasmania's greatest cricket captain and was also the first batsman in that State to score 1,000 runs in three successive seasons--1927 to 1930. Born in Victoria, he found his appearances in Sheffield Shield games limited by the necessity for concentrating upon Australian Rules football, but after migrating to Tasmania he met with considerable success. The captaincy of Snowy Atkinson, as he was always known, assisted in the development of many young cricketers, including the Test players, C. L. Badcock and L. Nash. Standing six feet, Atkinson was an orthodox batsman of special value on difficult pitches, a fine fieldsman close to the wicket and a useful change bowler. He retired from senior cricket in 1935, becoming a licensee at Launceston.

BAVIN, BRIGADIER ARTHUR JULIAN WALTER, who died in hospital on August 6 as the result of a motor-car accident, aged 60, was well known in club cricket and was for some years honorary secretary of the Incogniti. Educated at Berkhamsted, he served in the Army in both World Wars.

BELL, MR. PERCY HARRISON, who died at Durban on February 4, aged 63, played in a few matches for Gloucestershire in 1911 and 1912. His highest score was 64 against Surrey at Bristol in 1911. Most of his later life was spent in South Africa, where he played in the Currie Cup competition for Orange Free State in 1912-13.

BETHAM, MR. JOHN DOVER, who died at his home, Rose Cottage, Sedbergh, on January 1, aged 81, was for forty years a valued contributor to the Obituaries in Wisden. He had been ill for some months. He was the author of Oxford and Cambridge Cricket Scores and Biographies, published in 1905.

BETTISON, HARRY, who collapsed and died on July 7, aged 72, while scoring in a Notts Amateur League match, was for over forty years a member of the Gedling Colliery C.C. and at one time one of the best amateur bowlers in Nottinghamshire. He had been professional for Forfarshire and from 1922 to 1928 assisted Sir Julian Cahn's XI.

BURN, MR. KENNETH EDWARD, who died in Hobart, Tasmania, on July 20, aged 92, was the oldest living Test cricketer. He took part in two Test matches for Australia during the 1890 tour of England, scoring 41 runs in four innings. Wisden of the time termed his selection as wicket-keeper the one serious mistake in making up the side, and described how only when he had accepted the terms offered him and joined the ship at Adelaide was the discovery made that he had never kept wicket in his life. As a sound, painstaking batsman, Burn, popularly known as The Scotsman, achieved many fine performances for Richmond C.C., Wellington C.C. and for Tasmania. He hit 41 centuries, two of them over 350, and headed the Tasmania C.A. averages on eleven occasions. In 1895-6 he reached three-figures in six successive innings, and set up two other Australian club cricket records by scoring 1,200 runs, average 133, in 1889-1900, and by hitting 123 not out and 213 not out for Wellington against Break O' Day in 1895-6.

CATH, MR. HUBERT, who died in Paignton Hospital on January 28, aged 66, was for a considerable time honorary secretary of Devon County C.C. As a hard-hitting batsman, he obtained twenty-seven centuries for Ibis, once scoring 200 not out. He also played for M.C.C., Incogniti and the Wanderers.

CHAPMAN, MR. JOHN, who died at his home at Dunford Bridge, near Sheffield, on August 12, aged 79, captained Derbyshire for three seasons from 1910 to 1912. Educated at Uppingham, he appeared for Sheffield Collegiate and Barnsley and captained the Yorkshire second team before joining Derbyshire, for whom he played from 1909 to 1920. An attractive batsman and excellent cover-point, Chapman (165) shared with A. R. Warren (123) in a ninth-wicket partnership of 283--a world's record--against Warwickshire at Blackwell in 1910 after Derbyshire followed-on 242 behind. They easily saved the game. Chapman's other first-class century was also against Warwickshire--198 at Coventry in 1909.

COLLINS, MR. GEORGE CHURTON, who died at Durban on August 18, aged 79, played as a batsman for Natal from 1898 to 1911, being captain for several seasons.

COMMAILLE, MR. JOHN MCILWAIN MOORE, who died in Cape Town on July 27, aged 73, represented South Africa at both cricket and, as outside or inside-right, at Association football. He played cricket against England in South Africa in five Test matches in 1909 and two in 1927, and took part in five in England in 1924 when vice-captain to H. W. Taylor. It was in the opening Test of this tour that A. E. R. Gilligan and M. W. Tate, bowling unchanged, dismissed South Africa at Edgbaston for 30. Mick Commaille also visited Australia under P. W. Sherwell in 1911, but did not appear in a Test. In 22 innings against England, he hit 355 runs, average 16.90, his highest score being 47.

Generally an opening batsman, he played for Cape Town for many years, his best season being that of 1912 when he exceeded 1,000 runs. From his early twenties till he was 47, he assisted Western Province in the Currie Cup competition and then joined Orange Free State, for whom he (186) and S. K. Coen (165) shared in a record second wicket partnership of 305. Commaille later played for Griqualand West, whom he captained. He had been Secretary of the South African Football Association and an administrator for the Western Province F.A.

DODSON, MARTIN, who died in February, aged 75, played for Berkshire in the Minor Counties' Championship and as a professional in South Wales before taking up residence in Coventry where for many years he was prominent in local cricket.

DUFFIELD, JOHN, who died suddenly at Worthing on September 7, aged 39, played as a fast-medium bowler for Sussex in a few matches between 1938 and 1947. He also represented his county at Association football and later became a professional with Portsmouth F.C.

EVANS, CHARLES, who died in a Chesterfield hospital in January, aged 89, played as a fast bowler and useful batsman in a few matches for Derbyshire between 1889 and 1895. He spent his entire working life of over fifty years with a Chesterfield engineering firm, who gave him leave of absence to appear for the county. His best first-class performance was at Derby in 1894 when, in scoring 27 not out and taking five wickets for 67 runs, he helped in a surprise win by ten wickets over Warwickshire.

FLOOD, MR. WILLIAM, who died on June 7, aged 39, was a highly successful spin bowler for Hayes ( Middlesex) C.C. He took nearly 3,000 wickets for the club--189 of them in 1955 and 219 in 1954--and twice dismissed all ten batsmen in an innings.

FRY, CAPTAIN CHARLES BURGESS, died September 7. (A full obituary will be found early in this Almanack.)

GREENING, MR. TOM, who died at Leamington on March 25, aged 74, played cricket for over fifty years. A member of the Coventry and North Warwickshire C.C. for many years, he took 100 wickets season after season with left-arm swing or spin bowling. On one occasion he obtained all ten wickets against a Leicestershire XI. He appeared a few times for Warwickshire in the early 1920's, but declined a professional engagement with the county.

GORDON, SIR HOME SETON CHARLES MONTAGU, twelfth Baronet Gordon of Embo, Sutherlandshire, who died suddenly at his home at Rottingdean on September 9, aged 84, was celebrated as a cricket historian. Always immaculately dressed and wearing a red carnation, he was known on grounds all over the country. He began a journalistic career immediately he left Eton in 1887 and at one time was the sole proprietor of the publishing house of Williams & Norgate Ltd. He used to say that the ideal publisher was the man who builds upon three rocks--the Public, the Press and the Bookseller.

Among his books on cricket were Cricket Form at a Glance, A Biography of W. G. Grace, Background for Cricket, and A History of Sussex Cricket; he did much work in connection with annuals for county clubs and contributed to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. As a young man he played for M.C.C. amateur sides, but never took part in first-class cricket, though, for his services to Sussex, he was awarded a county cap--an old one belonging to A. E. R. Gilligan.

His memory of the game went back to 1878 when, not seven years old, he was taken to the Gentlemen of Englandv. Australians match at Prince's. He first went to Lord's on Whit-Monday, 1880, being presented to W. G. Grace. In that season he watched the first Englandv. Australia Test match at The Oval and saw Alfred Lyttelton keep wicket for Middlesex against Gloucestershire at Clifton in a hard straw hat. During his long life he attended no fewer than seventy Oxfordv. Cambridge games.

He was on terms of intimate friendship with such great figures of the past as K. S. Ranjitsinhji, with whom he drove in a silver coach to the Delhi Durbar, Lord Hawke and Lord Harris. He was President of the London Club Cricketers' Conference in 1917-18; chairman of the Sports Conference in 1919, and had held practically every honorary position for Sussex, becoming President in 1948. He was also captain of the Rye Golf Club.

He succeeded his father in the Baronetcy in 1906, but, as there were no children of either of his two marriages, the title, created by King Charles I in 1631, becomes extinct.

HAIGH, MR. HERBERT LIVINGSTONE, who died at Bamford, Derbyshire, in August, aged 82, was well known in Yorkshire club cricket before the First World War and was for a time secretary of the Hallamshire Cricket League. His father, Mr. David Haigh, was a founder of the Football League and of Sheffield United F.C.

HALE, WALTER H., who died in August at Bristol, aged 86, enjoyed a long and varied sporting career, for he played cricket and, as a forward, Rugby football for both Gloucestershire and Somerset. From the age of 17 he turned out for Knowle C.C., in thirty-four years' association with them scored over 25,000 runs. After appearing in nine matches for Somerset and for Burnley in the Lancashire League, he accepted the invitation of Dr. W. G. Grace to turn out for Gloucestershire, the county of his birth. Between 1897 and 1909 he played in fifty-seven County Championship games for Gloucestershire, twice hitting centuries. In 1901 he scored 109 not out against Essex at Leyton when C. J. Kortright was bowling at his fastest. He was the fastest ever, said Hale of Kortright, He hit me black and blue! That season Hale headed his county's averages above G. L. Jessop. In 1902 he obtained 135 from the Nottinghamshire bowling at Bristol. As a footballer he assisted Bristol R.F.C. for many years.

HOGUE, MR. THOMAS, who died on May 6, aged 78, played as an all-rounder for Western Australia early in the century. In first-class matches he scored 822 runs, average 28.34, and took 39 wickets for 18.92 runs each.

HOLMES, DR. J. BOWLING, who died in Manchester on January 21, aged 70, was President of Lancashire for the last year or so of his life. He served on the County Committee for twenty-five years, becoming chairman in 1949, and at one time was a director of Manchester United F.C. A keen club cricketer in his younger days, he once opened an innings by hitting for six each of the first five balls he received.

HOSKIN, MR. WORTHINGTON WYNN, who died at East London, South Africa, on March 4, aged 71, appeared in five matches for Gloucestershire in 1912. While at Oxford University he received only one trial in the cricket eleven, but played as a forward against Cambridge in the Rugby football matches of 1904-5-6-7.

IREMONGER, JAMES, who died at Nottingham on March 25, aged 80, was one of the finest batsmen ever to play for Nottinghamshire. While it could not be said that he was a player of particularly graceful style, his skill as a run-getter was beyond doubt. Standing over six feet, he watched the ball closely and could hit hard in front of the wicket, being specially good in on-driving.

Though of Yorkshire birth, he came of a Nottingham family and played from 1897 till 1914 for the county, for whom he scored 16,328 runs, average 35.33, including 32 centuries. His best season was that of 1904 when, with the aid of six centuries, he scored in 34 innings 1,983 runs, average 60.09. In that summer he hit the highest of his four scores of 200 or more, 272 against Kent at Trent Bridge, in the course of which he shared three partnerships exceeding 100. He and A. O. Jones began Nottinghamshire innings with as many as 24 stands of three figures--twice in a match (134 and 144) against Surrey at The Oval in 1901 and (102 and 303) against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge in 1904.

Iremonger was chosen for Playersv. Gentlemen on eight occasions, three times at Lord's and five times at The Oval, and he toured Australia with Pelham Warner's M.C.C. Team of 1911-12 without taking part in a Test match.

Besides his ability in batting, he developed into a capital medium-pace bowler, bringing the ball down from a good height and making it break back from the off. He took 616 wickets for Nottinghamshire, average 22.25. Among his performances was the dismissal of eight Gloucestershire batsmen for 21 runs in the first innings at Trent Bridge in 1912.

Against M.C.C. and Ground at Lord's in 1902, he was the central figure of an unusual incident. For the first time in a big match, white enamelled stumps were being used--and the enamel was not quite dry. Iremonger received a ball which moved a stump to which the bail adhered! He went on to score 100.

At the end of the 1921 season he was appointed coach to Nottinghamshire, holding that post till he retired in 1938. To him belonged much credit for the early development of that celebrated pair of England fast bowlers, H. Larwood and W. Voce.

Besides his cricketing ability, Iremonger was an Association footballer of class. During fifteen years with Nottingham Forest as left full-back, he gained England International honours three times; against Scotland and Germany in 1901 and Ireland the following season. He later served as player-coach to Notts County.

JAMES, MR. RICHARD ARTHUR, who died in London on April 10, aged 20, was in the Eton XI of 1953, taking with fast-medium in-swingers five wickets for 13 runs and three for 22 in the match with Harrow at Lord's and so playing a big part in a victory by ten wickets. He headed the Eton averages that season with 27 wickets at a cost of 15.11 runs each. He also represented Southern Schools v. The Rest and Public Schools v. The Army. After leaving school, he joined the Grenadier Guards.

JORDAN, COLONEL JOHN PAUL, who died in a London hospital on November 2, aged 73, reported cricket and Rugby football for many years. Popularly known as J.P., he was born at Hong Kong and was educated at Dulwich and St. John's, Oxford, where he played at scrum-half with considerable success, as he did later for Old Alleynians, whose A XV he captained. He joined the Inns of Court Rifles upon the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, was transferred to the Royal Artillery and served in France till 1918, being awarded the M.C., the French Legion of Honour and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He rose to the rank of acting Brigadier-General. He continued in the Territorial Army till 1936 and returned to it in 1940, serving during the Second World War and receiving the O.B.E. An untiring worker for Rugby football, he was closely connected with the Barbarians and was a leading writer on the game for The Sportsman, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the News of the World, and the Sunday Dispatch.

KINGSTON, MR. WILLIAM H., who died on March 28, aged 81, was one of six players named Kingston who appeared for Northamptonshire. He enjoyed the distinction of playing the first ball after Northamptonshire attained first-class status in 1905 and in 77 appearances between that year and 1909 he made 2,596 runs, average 18.81. He was also a Rugby footballer of note, and for three years captained Northampton, for whom he scored 206 tries.

LAVIS, GEORGE, who died at Pontypool on July 29, aged 47, after an illness lasting two years, joined the Glamorgan staff when 17 and had been with them ever since apart from two years in Scottish cricket. He played in a number of matches for the county between 1928 and 1949, his best season as a batsman skilled in driving and pulling being that of 1936 when he scored 810 runs, average 24.84. Of his three centuries, the highest was 154 against Worcestershire at Cardiff in 1934 when, although he was suffering from a severe chill, he and C. Smart (128) set up a fourth-wicket record for their county by adding 263. Lavis had been coach to Glamorgan since the war.

LEWIS, A. E. ( TALBOT), who died in March, aged 79, did splendid work as an all-rounder for Somerset between 1899 and 1914, scoring 7,745 runs, average 21.39, taking with medium-pace bowling 515 wickets, average 22.96, and bringing off 87 catches. The highest of his eight centuries was 201, scored in four and a half hours with only one chance, against Kent at Taunton in 1909. As a goalkeeper, he saw service with several Football League clubs, including Sunderland, and he was a highly-skilled billiards player.

LINDSAY, MR. ROBERTSON MONCUR, who died in a Dundee nursing home on January 5, aged 64, was well known in Scottish cricket circles. A stylish, free-scoring left-hand batsman, he played for Forfarshire for some ten years after the First World War, captaining the side who won the championship in 1928. He also played Rugby football for Panmure, of which club he became President.

LOCKHART, MR. JOHN HAROLD BRUCE, who died in London on June 4, aged 67, was Headmaster of Sedbergh from 1937 to 1954 and one of the school's most distinguished old boys. He won a scholarship at Jesus College, Cambridge, and after taking 12 wickets for 187 with slow leg-breaks in the Freshmen's match of 1909, gained his cricket Blue that summer. Against Oxford at Lord's he distinguished himself by dismissing six batsmen for 96 runs in the first innings and three for 82 in the second, and he headed the Cambridge bowling figures with 49 wickets, average 17.97. In the University match of the following year, he was by no means so successful. Thanks to the all-round play of P. R. Le Couteur, who hit 160 and took 11 wickets for 126 runs, Oxford triumphed in an innings with 126 runs to spare. Bruce Lockhart's analysis was two wickets for 72 runs and he was out for a pair. Also a splendid Rugby footballer, he represented Cambridge against Oxford at fly-half in 1910. He played football for Scotland, for whom he also appeared at cricket, against Wales in 1913 and, after service throughout the First Great War with the Intelligence Corps and being mentioned in despatches, against England in 1920. He was a master at Rugby and at Cargilfield, near Edinburgh, before his appointment at Sedbergh.

LONERGAN, MR. ROY, who died at Adelaide after a long illness on October 22, aged 46, rendered excellent service as a batsman to South Australia from 1929 to 1935. Strong in strokes all-round despite his slight physique, he enjoyed his best season in 1931-32, scoring 586 runs in twelve Sheffield Shield innings, average 48.83. In that season he went near to hitting two centuries in a match, being dismissed for 95 and 97 against Queensland at Brisbane, and he achieved the feat with 115 and 100 in 1933-34 against Victoria at Melbourne when, despite his performance, South Australia lost by five wickets. Lonergan played six innings for a total of 105 runs against D. R. Jardine's M.C.C. Team of 1932-33--the body-line tour. In 72 innings for South Australia, he reached an aggregate of 3,002 runs, average 43.50. Of his nine centuries, the highest was 159 against Victoria at Adelaide in 1930-31.

MATSON, MR. HARRY, who died on November 17, aged 60, after collapsing at the annual dinner of the Aberdeenshire Cricket Association, was connected with Aberdeenshire C.C. for some thirty years. He had captained the Mannofield XI and was a former President of the Strathmore Cricket Union.

MEAD-BRIGGS, MR. RICHARD, who died on January 15, aged 54, played in two matches for Warwickshire in 1946. For thirty-six years till ill-health compelled his retirement in 1954, he was a notable all-rounder for Harborne C.C., Birmingham, and for some seasons captained the club.

MOORE, MR. WILLIAM, who died at Sydney in February, aged 90, played occasionally as wicket-keeper for New South Wales in 1893 and 1894. Moving to Western Australia at the end of last century, he became captain of the State team.

NASH, ALBERT JACK, who died in a London Hospital on December 6, aged 83, played for Glamorgan from 1903 to 1922. A medium-pace bowler, he headed the Glamorgan averages in 1921, the season they were accorded first-class status, taking in County Championship matches 90 wickets--more than twice as many as any other player for the county--at an average cost of 17.34. He dismissed fifteen Worcestershire batsmen for 116 runs at Swansea, bearing a major part in a victory by an innings and 53 runs. Altogether he took 136 wickets in first-class cricket for 22.48 runs each.

NESER, MR. JUSTICE VIVIAN HERBERT, who died in Pretoria on December 22, aged 62, played both cricket and Rugby football for Oxford University. From South African College, Cape Town, he went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar just after the First World War, during which he served in the Royal Field Artillery. He represented Brasenose College at cricket, Rugby and Association football, lawn tennis and hockey. In the 1921 University cricket match he, with such celebrities as D. R. Jardine, R. H. Bettington, G. T. S. Stevens and R. C. Robertson-Glasgow, was a member of the Oxford XI beaten by an innings and 24 runs. He scored 2 and 10. As a Rugby footballer, he appeared against Cambridge as a forward in 1919 and in the following season, following injury to F. A. Waldock, was pressed into service at the last moment as fly-half against Cambridge. So well did Neser play in this, the last University match to be played at Queen's Club, that he made one try and scored another, and Oxford won by 17 points to 14. Returning to South Africa, he played cricket for Transvaal, turning out for his Province against F. T. Mann's M.C.C. Team of 1922-23. He practised Law in Pretoria for many years, became acting Judge of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the South African Supreme Court, and was raised permanently to the Bench in 1944.

NORWOOD, SIR CYRIL, who died on November 13, aged 80, was a great educationist. Educated at Merchant Taylors' School, where he was in the XI for three years, and St. John's College, Oxford, he worked for a time in the Admiralty before taking up teaching at Leeds Grammar School. From 1906 to 1916 he was Headmaster of Bristol Grammar School; he was Master of Marlborough for nine years and from 1926 to 1934 he was Headmaster of Harrow, being the first layman to hold that position. He was knighted in 1938.

SCOTT, MR. HARRY, who died in July, aged 84, was right up to the time of his death a well-known umpire in club cricket in the Midlands. In his youth he was a useful all-rounder for the Northamptonshire Regiment.

TATE, MAURICE WILLIAM, Chubby to his many friends and admirers, died at his home at Wadhurst, Sussex, on May 18, aged 61. Only three weeks earlier he had umpired the opening match of the Australians' tour against the Duke of Norfolk's XI at Arundel.

Maurice Tate was the son of Fred Tate, the Sussex and England cricketer whose name will ever be associated with the 1902 Test at Old Trafford, which England lost by three runs. Fred Tate missed a vital catch and was last out when England wanted only four runs to win. In his reminiscences, published in 1934, Maurice Tate wrote that his father's greatest ambition was to see his son playing for England and retrieving his own tragic blunder. How well the son atoned for the father's misfortune! Maurice Tate began as a slow off-break bowler and had been playing some years before he developed his fast-medium action which gave him a deceptive swerve and tremendous pace off the pitch. He was probably the first bowler deliberately to use the seam and many of the best batsmen of the day regarded him as the most dangerous bowler they had ever played against.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest-hearted bowlers in the game--and one of cricket's most lovable and colourful personalities. He was an inveterate fun-maker and wherever he went he found new friends. He could go on bowling for hours, keeping an immaculate length and seeming to enjoy every moment of the game. A large and amiable man, with many of the characteristics of the true rustic, his broad grin and large feet were a gift to contemporary cartoonists.

Between 1912 and 1937, when he retired from the game, Tate took 2,784 wickets at an average cost of 18.12 runs. A. E. R. Gilligan, his old county and England captain, told of his conversion when, reviewing the history of Sussex cricket in the 1954 Wisden, he wrote:

" Tate, I must say at once, was the greatest bowler our county has produced. Curiously, when I first played for Sussex, Maurice used the same run-up and style of delivery as his father--a slow bowler! A sheer piece of luck caused Maurice to change his methods. Sussex had batted very badly in 1922, and when we had a day off the whole team practised at the nets. Maurice Tate bowled me several of his slow deliveries, then down came a quick one which spreadeagled my stumps. He did this three times. I went up to him and said: ` Maurice, you must change your style of bowling immediately.' My hunch paid. In the next match against Kent at Tunbridge Wells, Maurice, in his new style as a quick bowler, was unplayable. He took three wickets in four balls and eight in the innings for 67. That was the turning-point in his career.

"In the Test Trial at Lord's in 1923, he took five wickets without a run being scored from him after The Rest had made 200 for four wickets. They were out for 205. The following year Maurice and I bowled out South Africa at Birmingham for 30--a day neither of us will ever forget. I was fortunate to take six for seven runs, and Maurice captured the other four for 12. In the second innings we shared nine wickets and England won by an innings. The tide flowed for Sussex bowlers about that time, for we had previously dismissed Surrey for 53 at The Oval, and in the Whitsuntide match at Lord's had disposed of Middlesex in their second innings for 41.

" Maurice was a member of my 1924-25 M.C.C. team to Australia and on this tour he beat Arthur Mailey's record of 36 wickets in a Test series by taking 38. He bowled Mailey out to gain his 37th success! Besides being a great bowler, Maurice was a hard-hitting batsman with a wealth of strokes. He scored 17,518 runs (average 24.19) for the county and took 2,223 wickets (average 16.34). For seven consecutive seasons he did the double and in 1929 he took over 100 wickets for the county alone and scored more than 1,000 runs in first-class cricket. In fact, with the exception of 1933 when a damaged foot kept him out of the last three matches (he had taken 99 wickets), he never failed to take over 100 wickets for Sussex.

In 1953 Alec Bedser beat Tate's Test record by taking 39 wickets in a series, and many times since I have been asked how I compare Bedser with Maurice. My answer is: `They are two very great bowlers.' Having said that, I still think that Maurice Tate just stands out as the superior bowler of the two, bearing in mind the strength of the Australian batting in the 1924-25 series. But it is a very close thing indeed and one must not forget that Bedser had to contend with Bradman between 1946 and 1948.

Tate played in 20 consecutive Test matches against Australia and represented England in a further 19 Tests against South Africa, India and the West Indies. In all he took 155 Test wickets--a feat excelled only by A. V. Bedser and S. F. Barnes.

Tate was so consistently successful as a bowler that the quality of his batting is now often overlooked. Yet he was one of the best all-rounders of his generation. He scored 100 not out against South Africa in the Lord's Test in 1929. Eight times he completed the cricketers' double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season--and in 1923, 1924 and 1925 his bag of wickets topped 200. Fourteen times he took over 100 wickets in a season.

As a batsman, his best season was 1927, when he scored 1,713 runs, including five centuries. In 1922 he was the best all-rounder in the country, taking 118 wickets and scoring only 22 short of his 1,000. In 1921 he shared with Bowley a second wicket partnership of 385 against Northants--a Sussex record.

Tate was the first professional ever to captain Sussex--the honour later fell to James Langridge--and after his retirement he was elected an honorary life member of the County Club. He was also one of the former professionals similarly honoured by M.C.C. in 1949.

When he retired from first-class cricket, Tate took over the licences of several Sussex inns and for a number of years coached the boys of Tonbridge School.

Tributes included the following:

CAPT. C. B. Fry: Tate was a very great cricketer indeed. He could make the ball swing away very late outside the off-stump, and even the best batsmen were often beaten by him. He could make the ball rear off the pitch like a snake striking. He was even more successful in Australia than in this country--in fact, he ranks with S. F. Barnes as the most successful bowler England has ever sent there.

SIR JOHN HOBBS: Maurice was one of the greatest bowlers of all time. It is difficult to find words to praise him sufficiently. I know from experience how difficult it was to lay against him.

A. E. R. Gilligan: His death has come as a great shock to everybody in Sussex, and in fact the whole of the cricket world. Not only was Maurice a great bowler; he was a very great sportsman. He played cricket for the real joy and fun of it. It was his life.

E. ("PATSY") HENDREN: I doubt whether we shall ever see the like of Maurice again. He was a great bowler and a great character. How they loved him in Australia! As a bowler he made the batsman play at five balls out of six. He was the finest fast-medium bowler I ever played with or against.

S. C. Griffith: He was the best bowler of his type I have ever kept wicket to. If the modern field-placing had been in vogue when he was playing, I feel sure he would have taken hundreds more wickets. Often batsmen would get an inside edge which now would almost certainly mean a catch at short-leg. In Maurice's day, the ball used to run harmlessly down the leg-side.

HERBERT STRUDWICK: He was the best length bowler I ever kept wicket to and the best bowler of his pace I ever knew. There was not a quicker bowler off the wicket. I class him with Sidney Barnes and F. R. Foster as the three best bowlers I ever kept to.

TOMPKIN, MAURICE, who died in a Leicester hospital on September 27, aged 37, was one of the best and most popular cricketers ever to play for Leicestershire, for whom he was senior professional. He underwent an internal operation a week before his death. A tall, polished batsman specially strong in driving, Tompkin was also a first-rate deep fieldsman. George Geary discovered him in junior cricket and he first played for the county in 1938, since when he hit in all first-class matches 19,927 runs, average 31.83.

In every season except the last after the War, during which he served in the Royal Air Force, he completed 1,000 runs and in 1955 enjoyed the best summer of his career, scoring 2,190 runs, average 37.11, including an innings of 115 for the Players at Lord's. In the same match C. H. Palmer, his county captain, hit 154 for the Gentlemen. That form earned Tompkin a place in the M.C.C. A Team which toured Pakistan the following winter, but on his return he complained of pains in the back and abdomen and, thus handicapped, he made only 635 runs last season.

Of his 31 centuries, 29 were obtained for Leicestershire, the highest being 186 against Pakistan at Leicester in 1954. To him also belonged the distinction, against Middlesex at Leicester in 1952, of reaching a century in each innings of a match, a feat achieved by only four other Leicestershire players. He received as his benefit the game with Lancashire at Leicester in 1954. Not a ball was bowled, but fortunately Tompkin had insured the match. An Association footballer of class, he appeared as inside or outside-right for Leicester City, Bury and Huddersfield Town.

VAN ZYL, MAJOR GIDEON BRAND, who died on November 1, aged 83, was the first triple Blue of the South African College, Cape Town--at cricket, football and lawn tennis. He was Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1945 to 1951 and during a long political career had been Deputy-Chairman of Committees and Deputy-Speaker of the House of Assembly.

WRIGHT, LESLIE, who died in London on January 6, aged 52, played for Worcestershire from 1925 to 1933. Of Durham birth, he served as professional to Stourbridge before joining Worcestershire, for whom he scored 5,735 runs, average 19.44, and took 76 wickets. Twice he exceeded 1,000 runs in a season, scoring 1,395 in 1928 and 1,134 in 1930. He scored five centuries, the highest being 134 against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 1930. When he hit his maiden hundred, 111 against Hampshire at Portsmouth in 1926, he and M. F. S. Jewell (103) shared in an opening partnership of 181. At one time he played Association football in the Worcester League, scoring 40 goals in a season from the centre-forward position. In recent years, Wright had been in charge of a remand home at Mitcham, Surrey.

YATES, MAJOR HUMPHREY WILLIAM MAGHULL, who died at Johannesburg on August 21, aged 73, figured for some years in Army cricket in England as a dashing batsman and brilliant out-fielder. He played a few times for Hampshire from 1910 to 1913, but his highest first-class innings was 97 for the Army against the Royal Navy at Lord's in 1920. He continued to play when going to South Africa and took part in good class club cricket when past 60. He became scorer to the Transvaal Cricket Union and acted in this capacity for all Test and other important matches in Johannesburg from 1945 to 1956.

YOUNG, MR. ALFRED JOHN, who died in September, aged 70, played both cricket and football for the former Croydon Amateurs Club and received a trial as wicket-keeper for Surrey.


Owing to an unfortunate error, the 1956 Wisden reported the death of Mr. F. L. Fane, the former Essex and England cricketer.

The error occurred because of a similarity of initials. The Mr. F. L. Fane who died in December 1954, was Mr. Francis L. Fane, a cousin of the cricketer, Mr. Frederick L. Fane. By a coincidence, Mr. Fane informs us, his father also once read his own obituary!

© John Wisden & Co