The year 1920 witnessed the deaths of three players who all wore the White Rose and Paul Dyson looks back at their careers.
May Day, 1920 was the date of the death of one of Surrey’s most successful bowlers in the late 19th century. Prior to this, however, John Beaumont had a brief career with Yorkshire. Born in 1854 in Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, he scored 60 runs and took two wickets in five matches for his native county in the 1877 and 1878 seasons, also playing for the village of his birth as well as Holbeck.
Beaumont first played for Surrey in 1885 and made an immediate impact taking 129 wickets in only 23 matches in his first year. He spent six seasons with the southern county, taking over 400 wickets, and went on the non-Test tour of Australia in 1887/88. He left Surrey at the end of 1890 and returned to Accrington, where he had played in 1884, as professional for the 1893 season. His home was now in London, however, and he died in Lambeth when aged 65.
The next of 1920’s deaths was a member of the Thewlis clan of Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield. Herbert was born there in 1865 and died there on November 30th, 1920 aged 55. He appears not to have been related to the better-known and more successful uncle and nephew (both called John) of the same name who also both played for Yorkshire. H Thewlis impressed for Yorkshire Colts against a Yorkshire XI in 1888 but played only twice for the county – in the same season – scoring a mere four runs in two matches. However he was especially successful with the Lascelles Hall club, topping the batting averages in 1908 (75.44) and 1909 (67.07) – these figures not being beaten for ‘a great many years’ (Thomas) – and also played for Holbeck, Eagley (Bolton League) and Todmorden. Playing for Meltham against Thongsbridge in the Lumb Cup in 1895 he made 204 not out in a total of 367 for three.
The final Yorkshire cricketing death of 1920 occurred on December 30th when Henry Clegg passed away just 22 days after his 70th birthday. A Dewsbury man through and through, he was born at High Town in December 1850 and became associated with Dewsbury and Saville CC especially in the 1890s. A late arrival onto the county scene, all of his six matches for Yorkshire came in 1881. He scored only 63 runs and averaged a mere 9.00 batting in the lower-middle order. He played in two other first-class games and both of these were for T Emmett’s XI.
Clegg had more success in club cricket but a season with Little Lever (Lancashire), where he was also emlpoyed as groundsman, brought him only 295 runs at the moderate average of 17.40. Other clubs included Batley, Bury, Bradford and Saltaire.