Paul Dyson looks at the careers of those whose last game for Yorkshire came during the first season following the First World War.

Six Yorkshire cricketers were each involved in their last games for the county in 1919. Thomas Wright’s last game for Yorkshire, against Cambridge University at Fenner’s, was also his first! Born in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, he captained the first eleven at St Peter’s School, York in 1918 – the last of his four seasons in the first team. In that year he came top of both the batting and bowling averages, having taken 74 wickets in 1917. He played in a non-first-class match for Yorkshire in 1918 and went up to Cambridge in 1919 but did not appear in the university side. His one innings for Yorkshire produced 12 runs, him playing as an amateur. He died in 1962 in Aberystwyth, Wales.

A week later Hugh Claughton played his final match for Yorkshire. Of his four games one was in 1914 and the other three five years later. His career, therefore, was badly interrupted by the Fisrt World War. Born in Guiseley, Leeds, he attended Ilkley Grammar School and represented the Airedale & Wharfedale League at the age of 21. He played for a host of different clubs in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Scotland throughout his long league career which lasted into his 50s. These included Baildon Green, Stockton-on-Tees and Ramsbottom. His Yorkshire career produced 39 runs and three wickets. He died near Ilkley in 1980.

Another player to have appeared in only one game for Yorkshire was George Render. His turn came in late June 1919 and consisted of a score of five against Derbyshire at Bradford. Born in Dewsbuy in 1887, most of his club cricket was with Batley although he also appeared for Dewsbury and Heckmondwike. A genuine all-rounder at this level, he scored 826 runs in 1911 and had figures of nine for 32, with his medium-fast bowling, one year later. He died near Dewsbury in 1922 aged only 35.

Raleigh Chichester-Constable was to captain Yorkshire’s second eleven for a total of 13 seasons but played for the first team on only one occasion – in early July 1919. One of several earlier Yorkshire players born outside the county, he first saw the light of day in Buckinghamshire in 1890. He was in the first eleven at school at Stonyhurst for three years and then went to Oxford University but did not appear for the main team there. In his only game for Yorkshire, when he played as an amateur, he made a duck and took no wickets, this being against Essex at Hull.

A fast but erratic bowler, Chichester-Constable played in 23 more first-class matyches after his one for the county. A total of 19 of these were for MCC on the first official tour of India, in 1926/27, which also took in Burma and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). There were two other MCC tours during the same winter – one to South America and one to Jamaica but on none of them was any Test cricket played. He had become the county second eleven skipper in the previous summer, played in his final first-class matches in 1935 and led Hull Town to its first Yorkshire League title in 1936. Given honorary life-membership of Yorkshire CCC he spent some time on the Club’s committee. Awarded the CBE, he also gained the DSO in both of the World Wars. He died in Burton Constable, then in the East Riding, in 1963.

One week after Chichester-Constable’s only game for Yorkshire came the same experience for Theo Hoyle. A wicket-keeper, born in Halifax in 1884, his opportunity came, at the advanced age of 35, due to Arthur Dolphin representing the Players. Hoyle took no catches but effected a stumping and scored seven runs in his two innings, the game being against Northamptonshire at Sheffield. His clubs included Halifax, Morley and Elland. He died in 1953.

Mid-August saw the end of the interesting career of ‘Billy’ Williams, his forenames being Ambrose Causer. Born near Barnsley in 1887, he played for clubs in that area, including Barnsley, and made his Yorkshire debut in 1911. but two games in that season and one in 1914 were his only pre-war matches at that level. By 1919, however, the loss of Major Booth and Alonzo Drake persuaded the county to give him a run of nine more games. A fast bowler, he took nine for 29 against Hampshire at Dewsbury and looked to have gained a regular place. Never again, though, did he look likely to take many wickets and took only 15 in his other eight games in 1919. He returned to club cricket and played for several teams including Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Todmorden and Barrow. He died in Morecambe in 1966.

Main source:

  • Woodhouse, Tony: A Who’s Who of Yorkshire County Cricket Club

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