Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine idea, well executed, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Wisden on the Great War: The Lives of Cricket's Fallen 1914-1918 (Hardcover)
This book takes a simple, strong idea and executes it well. It reproduces (more or less) the Wisden obituaries of cricketers, famous and obscure, who were killed in the 1914-18 war, and adds other information on first-class cricketers whose deaths were missed by Wisden, cricketers who were decorated for bravery, and some supplementary material on the original obituaries (correcting, for example, the handful of obituaries of men who actually survived). It's hard to classify - perhaps it's best to think of it as an annotated anthology.

It's not the kind of book you sit down and read from beginning to end, but dipping into it every now and then is fascinating.

I would have enjoyed this book even if it hadn't quoted me, but it did, so that earns it another quarter of a star. My one misgiving is that, while much of the research behind the book is excellent, and a good deal of the new material is absorbing, I noticed that the book repeats the error that HF Garrett, the Somerset cricketer who was born in Melbourne, was a son of the Australian Test player TW Garrett. He wasn't. TW Garrett's sons were Tom Vernon, Eric, Campbell and Jack. As it happens, three of them, TV Garrett, Eric and Campbell Garrett, did serve in the war - all three went into the Light Horse, and Tom and Campbell were at Gallipoli, where Campbell was seriously wounded. Family lore insists that he was restored to health in Egypt by his sister, who had volunteered to serve as a nurse. Anyway, the point is, HF Garrett was not a member of this family - which makes me wonder whether any other erros have crept in. In one sense, it would be surprising, in a book that deals with nearly 2000 names, if there were not more.

Quibbles apart, this is well worth reading, and is a timely reminder of the immense toll taken by the war.
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