One hundred years ago, in September 1918, The Great War was drawing towards its bitter end.
Worcestershire CCC had already mourned two former players from before they achieved first class status; ECF Wodehouse (brother-in-law of the Isaacs) in 1915, and TMM Berkeley (of Spetchley Park) in 1916.
In addition nine players who played for the County after 1899 had been killed during the conflict; AS Nesbitt in 1914, FB Burr, JEV Isaac, CH Palmer in 1915, BP Nevile, HG Bache, AW Isaac, WB Burns and CGA Collier in 1916.
In July 1917, young star batsman and off-spin bowler, Frank Chester, 22, lost his right arm below the elbow, serving with the RFA at Salonika, Greece. Other players were injured and gassed in action, and many more suffered mental trauma for years after the war.
Just two years after the death of CGACollier, news came of a tenth Worcestershire CCC player who had played after first class status was achieved who was killed in action.
On 22nd September 1918, Lt Col. JFS Winnington, DSO, died of his battle wounds at Kefer Kassin, Ramla, Palestine.
John Winnington, a career soldier, was killed five days after his 42nd birthday, and only seven weeks before the Armistice. (For more details of his long military career, see page 176 of ‘Pears 150’).
His memorial, C31, is at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel, a few miles south of Ben Gurion Airport.
*’Pears 150’ by Andrew Thomas can still be purchased on match days from the Supporters’ Association club shop (priced £28).