st.david's press

December 2017
ISBN: 978-1-902719-42-9
Series: Cricket in Wales


Back to:
St.David's Press


cricket in wales

Welsh Cricket and the Great War

Andrew Hignell


‘Sport prepares you for many of the challenges you will face in life, but certainly not for War. The friendship and camaraderie of the changing room helps to bond and unite a team and, with this in mind, I can fully understand why so many sports teams joined up en masse and answered Lord Kitchener’s rallying cry of “Your Country needs you.” But, just as these men played together on the cricket fields of Wales, many died together on the battlefields of Europe’
Hugh Morris, from his Foreword

‘recommended reading...nicely produced and well illustrated’

‘this is a book that I have enjoyed more than any other on the subject of cricket and the Great War’
Association of Cricket Scorers

‘perceptive...absorbing...poignant...there is pride, excitement  and amusement here - then grief again with more tales of fine, innocent, young cricketers whose luck ran out.’ (4*)
David Frith, The Cricketer


Front Foot to Front Line commemorates Welsh cricket’s contribution to the Great War by chronicling the lives of 55 professional and amateur cricketers who left the friendly rivalry of the crease for the brutality and horror of the trenches, and lost their lives as servicemen on the bloody battlefields of Europe.


The distinguished author and the leading authority on Welsh cricket, Andrew Hignell, traces the major themes and battles of the First World War to provide a poignant snapshot of how Wales lost a generation of young men who were united by their love of cricket and their courage to serve their country.


Front Foot to Front Line not only pays tribute to the cricketers, drawn from over 35 local clubs across Wales, who lost their lives but also to those who returned home permanently affected by their experiences of warfare. The book also highlights the involvement of many characters involved at the grassroots of Welsh club cricket who served with distinction and will be of great interest to the large Welsh cricketing fraternity as well as to those with an interest in military history.

The cricket clubs featured in Front Foot to Front Line include:
Blaina, Barry, Brecon, Bridgend Town, Briton Ferry, Cardiff, Cowbridge,  Crickhowell, Denbighshire, Ferndale, Garth, Glamorgan, Llancarfan, Llandovery College, Llandudno, Llanelli, Monmouthshire, Neath, Newport, Pontypridd,
Radyr, Swansea, Usk Valley, and Ystrad Mynach.


Dr. Andrew Hignell is the Heritage and Education Co-ordinator to Glamorgan County Cricket Club, and Curator of the CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, . A prolific writer and broadcaster, Andrew is the editor of the Cricket in Wales series published by St. David’s Press.



Foreword by Hugh Morris

1. Business as Usual

2. The Summer of 1914

3. The Outbreak of War

4. 1914 - Mons

5. 1915 - Gallipoli

6. 1915 - Flanders

7. 1915 – Loos

8. 1916 – The Somme

9. The Pals Battalions

10. Shell-shock

11. 1916 - Aden

12. 1917 - Arras

13. 1917 - Passchendaele

14. 1917 - Palestine

15. 1917 - Cambrai

16. The Royal Flying Corps

17. 1918 – The Spring Offensive

18. 1918 - The Italian Front

19. 1918 - Hundred Days Offensive

20. Dealing with Grief

21. The Armistice and the Aftermath

22. Play Resumes

Roll of Honour


Also of interest

The History of
Blaina Cricket Club


'Lucky' Jim Pleass

Always Amongst Friends

Bernard Hedges
The Player from 'Ponty'