100 Not Out (of mind)
Cricketers count in hundreds; a century or double century, a hundred hundreds, a hundred catches, a hundred wickets. At the turn of the 20th century, sport dominated a young man’s social life - this becoming known as the “Golden Age of Cricket”. So to that generation, centuries certainly mattered.
These men, who held the game in such regard, were soon to be called upon to make sacrifices that still haunt our national conscience, with our forefathers be they survivors, widows or offspring swearing they would never forget.
On August 4th 2014 it will be a hundred years since Britain and her Empire (as it was then) entered into a European based war that had been developing throughout the summer of 1914. After this, young men and women from all over the globe volunteered in their thousands to defend their nation’s honour and in Britain they were convinced they would be home for Christmas. Sadly this was to prove true only when The Armistice was signed just before the Christmas of 1918.
After 4 years the casualty numbers were astounding; 10 million combatant and 7 million civilian deaths directly attributable to the conflict, with 20 million wounded, many maimed and large numbers of these dying in the following decades due to the effects of the war. Each one of these a son, husband, father, brother, wife, mother, sister or daughter.
In the face of this unfathomable horror, the love for cricket endured and in the following years the sport grew in the hearts of the Commonwealth (as the Empire became) to now remind us that competition is healthy if added with humility, respect and a sense of fair play.
Those who promised they would not forget hoped they had seen the war that would end all wars, but sadly our forces have been called upon to fight in several conflicts since, with Afghanistan taking a heavy toll on today’s youth.
So after a Century, it’s time that Cricket remembered its lost sons.
Penn Street Cricket Club has existed since 1884, with us playing under the shadow of the village memorial which lists Frederick Wingrove along with 17 others from the village and surrounding area who died during the Great War.
Frederick died on the 15th September 1917, making him 22 years old at his death in the 3rd Ypres Campaign. Club records show an F Wingrove who played in 1912. Though we cannot be certain, we believe that this was the Frederick Wingrove listed on the war memorial. We also believe that his father Thomas played in the first ever recorded Penn Street match in 1884 and his brother Frank was a key all-rounder for the team following Great War, rising to the role of Club Captain. We also know that a blood relative of Frederick is active in our current side, scoring three fifties in the past two seasons.
On 4th August 2014, a group of Penn Street team members arrive din Ypres/ Ieper after cycling almost 200 miles with the team flag, to prove to the world that even after a century of this terrible war starting, the achievements of this lost generation of cricketers has not been forgotten. Our efforts will raised valuable funds to help those in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth affected by wars, old and new.
For more information, please check out our website at http://www.100-not-out.co.uk