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I lead workshops at the British Library, on literature, language, art, history, and the culture of the book. Author of Discovering Words, Discovering Words in the Kitchen, Evolving English Explored, Team Talk - sporting words & their origins, Trench Talk - the Language of the First World War (with Peter Doyle); How to Cure the Plague; The Finishing Touch. As an artist I work in performance, public engagement, and intervention using drawing, curating, text, changing things and embroidery.


Monday, 27 October 2014

More Other Ranks

Further to the post on 'Other Ranks', the May 1916 issue of The Twentieth Gazette - which the British Library catalogue describes as 'A journal devoted to the interests of the 20th Battalion C.E.F. (Northern and Central Ontario Regt.)' - contains on page 3 the report of a cricket match:

20th Batt. v 31st Batt.

The 20th Batt.'s innings is listed as follows: 
Lieut. McLean    ..      ..      3
Lieut. Hainington        ..      2
Lieut. Hay          ..      ..       4
Lieut. Macaulay         ..     17
R.S.M. Fraser    ..      ..      7
Pugh        ..       ..       ..      5
Shepherd          ..       ..    14
Sgt. Markham   ..       ..      0
Williams   ..       ..       ..     11
Dingle (run out)          ..      0
Goldworthy (run out)  ..      0
    Extras  ..       ..       ..       4
                      Total            67

The absence of any rank given to nearly half the team, while the others are denoted by rank (including non-commissioned officers) is reminiscent of the system which used to be operated in club cricket in the UK. This lasted till the 1960s, a distinction being shown between professional cricketers, designated by showing the surname followed by initials of the first names, alongside club-members, who would be designated by having their initials before their surnames.

Curiously, a cricket report on the following page of The Twentieth Gazette does not make this discrimination.

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