From The Archives

From the archives: W.G. Grace’s legacy on the Western Front

A generation trained to bowl and ‘throw in’ hard and accurately are the best bombers the world can produce

29 October 2015

9:00 AM

29 October 2015

9:00 AM

From ‘W.G.’, The Spectator, 30 October 1915: The late Dr. W.G. Grace had become in his lifetime a legend, and he is likely to remain a legend as long as Englishmen play games. Never was such a cricketer; and it is almost safe to say that there will never be such a cricketer again, for the perfection of pitches and the high organisation of the game have left less scope than there used to be for a man to achieve so great a mastery over his fellows. In this respect cricket is like war; in first-class cricket, as in war among first-class Powers, there is the same human material for personal ascendancy, but there is less opportunity for ascendancy to be practised… It is not stretching the fancy too far to trace the effects of ‘W. G.’s’ example in the battlefields of Flanders. A generation reared on his exploits and trained to bowl and ‘throw in’ hard and accurately are the best bombers the world can produce, and beat the Germans easily in length and precision.

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