Book records the lives of crick­eters lost dur­ing war

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

A FOR­MER chief reporter on the Alder­shot News has been lauded by both sport and mil­i­tary his­to­ri­ans af­ter pub­lish­ing a record of crick­eters who died in the First World War.

An­drew Ren­shaw, 67, has edited Wis­den On The Great War, the most com­plete vol­ume of obituaries of cricket’s fallen dur­ing the 1914-1918 con­flict ever col­lected.

The for­mer lo­cal jour­nal­ist, who is cur­rently pres­i­dent of Ever­s­ley Cricket Club and a vice pres­i­dent of Hamp­shire County Cricket Club, spent four years re­search­ing the his­to­ries of thou­sands of crick­eters’ pre-war play­ing ca­reers and wartime ser­vice, from no­table test and county play­ers to those far less distin­guished, but who all shared a com­mon fate.

Wis­den, de­scribed as ‘ the Bi­ble of Cricket’, has pro­vided de­tailed cov­er­age of cricket matches from across the coun­try and the wider world since 1846, though dur­ing the war years the pub­li­ca­tion be­came in­creas­ingly de­voted to pro­vid­ing a roll of hon­our to fallen play­ers.

By the end of the war Wis­den had car­ried more than 1,800 obituaries, but mis­takes in­evitably crept in.

Names were en­tered wrongly and there were cases of mis­taken iden­tity.

Mr Ren­shaw’s col­lected edi­tion has put right the in­ac­cu­ra­cies and added many obituaries.

On Tues­day he joined mod­ern cricket gi­ants David Gower and Mike Ather­ton on the BBC’s Test Match Spe­cial at the Eng­land v In­dia test match in Southamp­ton to dis­cuss the work.

● For more on the fates of lo­cal crick­eters in the war, see the spe­cial cen­te­nary sup­ple­ment in this week’s edi­tion of the pa­per.

An­drew Ren­shaw at Ever­s­ley Cricket Club with Wis­den On The Great War, which he edited.

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