Written by Peter Hartland

 

 

Introduction

The digitisation of publications such as Cricket: A Weekly Record of the Game (1882-1913), The World of Cricket (1914) and The Cricketer (1921-84), together with that of local newspapers, have shone new light on the history of cricket clubs such as Sussex Martlets. These publications covered club cricket in great detail, offering a wealth of full scorecards, potted scores, match reports, notable achievements and season averages. For example, Cricket published the full playing records, batting and bowling, of all 91 cricketers to turn out for the Martlets in 1911. There were over 400 members by this time, including CB Fry and Ranjitsinhji who both supported the club, though Ranji played only once and Fry not at all. Public school cricket also enjoyed full coverage, which can be cross-referenced with the wandering clubs the schools all faced.

Another boost was the discovery in Chichester of a full set of Sussex Martlets scorebooks running from 1926 to 1953. Considerable care was taken to record matches in those days. With the fine anniversary histories produced by Geoffrey Bolton (1955) and David Gibbs (2005), and Sandy Ross’s comprehensive appendices incorporated in the latter; the various Sussex cricket annuals; Cricket Archive‘s scorecard database; and a miscellany of internal Martlet material, both online and at the Sussex CCC Museum archive at Hove, there is now a reasonably complete statistical record of the club.

Early History

The club was founded in 1905 as the Hove Long Vacation Club. It sounds an odd name but accurately describes the original purpose, which was to provide good cricket during the summer holidays for schoolmasters, undergraduates and officers in the armed services who were on the fringe of the county side. Hove was the best batting pitch in the country, and Fry and Ranji among the leading batsmen, but there was no comparable bowling. Neighbours Kent and Surrey had their own long-standing wandering clubs, respectively Band of Brothers (established 1858) and Wanderers (1878), and Surrey had been much more successful in the county championship. To the west Hampshire Hogs dated back to 1887. A Sussex-based equivalent was overdue. The club was renamed Sussex Martlets in 1907.

The most famous founding member was Arthur Conan Doyle. The first outstanding performer was Australian-born fast bowler Harry Simms, who took 80 wickets in 1907 and 92 the following year. Only one bowler has captured more wickets in a season for the Martlets. In 1911 Harry’s younger brother Roy scored 860 runs, a seasonal aggregate record that stood for nearly half a century. 29 fixtures were completed that year, of which seven survive today: Cuckfield, Eastbourne, Horsham and the public schools at Brighton, Eastbourne, Lancing and Christ’s Hospital. Lancing Old Boys (now Rovers) came on board the following year. When war was declared in early August 1914, all Martlets cricket was immediately cancelled and did not restart until July 1919.

Records Overview

The first thing to bear in mind when looking at the records is the change in the size of the fixture list. During the initial ten seasons from the formation of the club to the First World War, the average number of completed matches per year was in the early twenties. The same level was maintained during the 1920s before a slight increase to 26 matches per annum in the 1930s. The immediate post-war years 1945-49 saw a fallback to the original programme as the club found its feet again. There was then an explosive rise to 52 matches a year in the 1950s, before an average all-time high of 87 during the 1960s, when two or occasionally three games might be staged on the same day. The high water mark was 1966 when 99 matches were played out of 113 arranged. Since then, lifestyle changes and the introduction of league cricket in the south have progressively trimmed back the fixture list. Completed matches per annum now lie in the thirties.

Broadly speaking victories outnumbered defeats during the first half of the club’s history, apart from the 1920s. Cricketers with first-class experience were often in the ranks, which was a factor. The Cricketer‘s opinion in 1935 was that there was no stronger club in Sussex. During the past fifty years or so results have been the other way round, though the gap is narrowing. A sharp fall in the proportion of drawn matches since the turn of the millennium no doubt owes something to the philosophy engendered by T20.

Leading Bowlers

When David Gibbs said that three Sussex Martlets bowlers stood above all others he was not exaggerating. Gerry Campbell took over a thousand wickets for the club, and Eddie Harrison and Sandy Ross more than 800. All three delivered on the brisk side of medium pace. Such career aggregates are rare among wandering clubs, which tend to have a lot of members playing relatively few games. Campbell’s tally was concentrated into a tighter timeframe: 23 seasons excluding 1915-18. He is the only man to claim over a hundred wickets in a season, a feat he achieved twice. Harrison’s career spanned more than fifty years and Ross’s over forty, the former also being interrupted by war. Lying fourth and fifth in the wickets table are the South African leg-spinner Basil Woods (450+) and off-spinning all-rounder Brian O’Gorman. 36 bowlers have taken a hundred or more wickets for the club. It is a reflection of today’s reduced fixture list that only one of them, Michael Murray, is still playing.

Batting Feats

Runs have been more evenly spread around, with 33 batsmen registering over 2,000. Only the Irishman Robin Waters has scored a thousand in a season, back in the hot summer of 1959. He was also one of the best wicket-keepers on the circuit. Martlets matches have generally been played on good pitches and a lot of centuries have been scored. 189 different batsmen have reached three figures for the club and all are listed here. Three innings in excess of 200 have been registered, the most recent by Sam Cooper against Old Hurstjohnians in 2015. The highest score is 330 not out by Ken Fry (CB’s cousin) in a two-day match against Cuckfield in 1907. It is likely to remain so. A near miss on a double century was recorded by perhaps the most distinguished Martlet centurion, when KS Duleepsinhji carried his bat for 195 not out against Old Malvernians at Hove in 1924. Duleep was leading Martlet runscorer that year, as was another future England batsman David Sheppard in 1947. Each year’s leading runscorer and wicket-taker are shown on the next page.

Finally, spare a thought for RAM Stradling in another two-day two-innings affair against United Services at Portsmouth in 1930. In Sussex Martlets’ first innings he carried his bat for 103 out of a total of 173 all out. Opening again in the second, he made 142 as the visitors were dismissed for 251. Somehow Stradling managed to end up on the losing side as Martlets were defeated by seven wickets!

 

RESULTS

 

1905-14: Played 234, Won 114, Lost 82, Drawn 38, Tied 0, Matches/Year 23

1919-29: Played 246, Won 71, Lost 111, Drawn 64, Tied 0, Matches/Year 22

1930-39: Played 261, Won 98, Lost 65, Drawn 98, Tied 0, Matches/Year 26

1945-49: Played 108, Won 49, Lost 32, Drawn 27, Tied 0, Matches/Year 22

1950-59: Played 516, Won 185, Lost 171, Drawn 159, Tied 1, Matches/Year 52

1960-69: Played 871, Won 243, Lost 346, Drawn 280, Tied 2, Matches/Year 87

1970-79: Played 694, Won 202, Lost 254, Drawn 234, Tied 4, Matches/Year 69

1980-89: Played 486, Won 139, Lost 147, Drawn 200, Tied 0, Matches/Year 49

1990-99: Played 376, Won 117, Lost 120, Drawn 138, Tied 1, Matches/Year 38

2000-09: Played 285, Won 95, Lost 112, Drawn 77, Tied 1, Matches/Year 29

2010-17: Played 242, Won 103, Lost 103, Drawn 32, Tied 4, Matches/Year 30

Total: Played 4319, Won 1416, Lost 1543, Drawn 1347, Tied 13, Matches/Year 42

 

BATTING

 

MOST RUNS IN CAREER

8,000+ Brian O’Gorman (1954-2004),  7,500+ Derek Semmence (1978-2013),  7,000+ Eddie Harrison (1929-81),  6,000+ Adrian Ford (1974-2013),  5,500+ Derek Corbett (1946-61), Keith Jenkin (1948-91),  4,500+ David Gibbs (1966-94),  4,000+ Gerry Campbell (1913-39),  3,823+ Andy Meads (1969-96),  3,500+ Michael Murray (2002-  ),  3,025  Alfred Pewtress (1929-37),  3,000+ Richard Gutteridge (1989-2000), David Mordaunt (1954-67), Colin Oliver-Redgate (1960-2013), Edward Snell (1925-53), Arthur PFC Somerset (1907-54), Johnny Wills (1984-  ),  2,800+ Sam Carter (2003-  ),  2,600+ John Farmer (1955-60), Ed McGregor (2001-09),  2,500+ Bertie Chaplin (1907-36),  2,400+ Jonathan Watt (1958-74),  2,304 HMO Holman (1927-33),  2,250+ D Peacock (1990-95),  2,200+ Mark Semmence (1990-2009), Robin Waters (1959-63), Basil Woods (1952-72),  2,100+ LG Morey (1935-54),  2,000+ Chris Bidwell (1963-69), Adam Davies (2011-16), Charlie Hartridge (1981-2000), DE Ironside (1959-67), Nick Seager (2006-13)

MOST CENTURIES 

Fourteen: Andy Meads; Ten: Adam Davies; Nine: D Peacock; Eight: MR Hutchinson, Brian O’Gorman, Alfred Pewtress, Derek Semmence; Seven: Sam Carter, Mark Semmence; Six: Ed McGregor; Five: Bob Gale, Andrew Hartridge, Keith Jenkin, David Mordaunt, Nick Seager, Richard Seager, Greg West

MOST RUNS IN SEASON

1021  Robin Waters in 1959,  922  John Farmer in 1957,  910  D Peacock in 1992,  895  Jano Moller in 2017,  860  Roy Simms in 1911,  838  Derek Corbett in 1955,  811  Ian Thwaites in 1962,  810  Adam Davies in 2011

HIGHEST INNINGS

Ken Fry 330* v Cuckfield, 1907
Darsie Watson 216 v Butterflies, 1919
Sam Cooper 203* v Old Hurstjohnians, 2015
KS Duleepsinhji 195* v Old Malvernians, Hove, 1924 (Carried bat)
Edward Snell 183 v Hampstead, Hove, 1932
Derek Lattey 176* v Old Brightonians, 1955
HMO Holman 172 v Sussex Clergy, Hove, 1929
Ben Davies 171 v Old Hurstjohnians, 2016

CENTURY IN EACH INNINGS

JO Wick 141 and 100 v Old Rossallians, Hove, 1928
RAM Stradling 103* and 142 v United Services, Portsmouth, 1930 (Carried bat in first innings)

 

BOWLING

 

MOST WICKETS IN CAREER

1000+ Gerry Campbell (1913-39),  840+ Eddie Harrison (1929-81),  838 Sandy Ross (1964-2009),  450+ Basil Woods (1952-72),  400+ Brian O’Gorman (1954-2004),  350+ David Dickinson (1947-66),  300+ Keith Jenkin (1948-91),  250+ Geoffrey Bolton (1914-53), John Farrar (1947-63),  220+ Bill Stewart (1946-59), Alan Wadey (1971-83),  210+ JR Blanchard (1963-74),  200+ John Bushell (1979-91), JIL Lattey (1948-62), Wilfrid Lord (1921-36), Larry O’Callaghan (1963-82), Colin Oliver-Redgate (1960-2013), Harry Simms (1905-12),  190+ Michael Murray (2002-  ), HT Wickham (1926-37), 163 MD Neligan (1928-53),  150+ David Mordaunt (1954-64),  140+ TD Pickard-Cambridge (1925-39),  130+ Sandy Farrar (1949-62), Johnny Wills (1984-  ),  120+ Mike Bozman (1976-90), Sid Ledlie (1973-89),  110+ DE Ironside (1959-67), Philip Morris (1925-33), JV Pollard (1947-61),  100+ David Beams (1959-76), FRH Beven (1933-38), JA Campbell (1926-27), LWA Raven (1933-51), Nigel Russell (1988-2015), Walter Sundius-Smith (1906-22)

MOST WICKETS IN SEASON

107 Gerry Campbell in 1929,  101 Gerry Campbell in 1927,  92 Harry Simms in 1908,  91 Gerry Campbell in 1930,  85 Gerry Campbell in 1924,  81 Gerry Campbell in 1926,  80 Harry Simms in 1907,  76 Alan Wadey in 1972 (includes tour to Southern Africa),  70 Gerry Campbell in 1931

BEST BOWLING

John Farrar 10-26 v Hampstead, Hove, 1949,  JF Robinson 10-56 v Brasenose College, Hove, 1934 (12 a side),  Sandy Ross 9-21 v Brighton College, 1975,  Eddie Harrison 9-26 v Royal Sussex Regiment, Chichester, 1937,  MD Neligan 9-28 v Junior Martlets, Hove, 1935 (12 a side),  Sandy Farrar 9-31 v Incogniti, Hove, 1950,  Derek Horsham 9-36 v Lancing College, 2011,  Robin Frean 9-43 v Stragglers of Asia, Fletching, 2003,  WL Kenning 9-44 v Lancing College, 1948,  Gerry Campbell 9-47 v Dawlish, 1930 (12 a side),  Wilfrid Lord 9-50 v United Services, Devonport, 1922,  JIL Lattey 9-67 v Middleton, 1950,  Philip Morris 9-74 v Old Rossallians, Hove, 1932

 

ALL-ROUND CRICKET

 

3,000 RUNS & 200 WICKETS IN CAREER

Gerry Campbell (1913-39) 4,000+ runs and 1,000+ wickets,  Eddie Harrison (1929-81) 7,000+ runs and 840+ wickets,  Keith Jenkin (1948-91) 5,500+ runs and 300+ wickets,  Brian O’Gorman (1954-2004) 8,000+ runs and 400+ wickets,  Colin Oliver-Redgate (1960-2013) 3,000+ runs and 200+ wickets

 

500 RUNS & 50 WICKETS IN SEASON

Gerry Campbell 504 runs & 101 wickets in 1927,  Gerry Campbell 554 runs & 64 wickets in 1928,  Gerry Campbell 542 runs & 107 wickets in 1929,  MKS Shatrushalyasinhji 643 runs & 65 wickets in 1959,  Basil Woods 614 runs & 65 wickets in 1962

 

CENTURY & FIVE WICKETS IN INNINGS

Stanley Harris 104 and 6-44 v Lewes Priory, 1913,  RCEM Greene 103 and 6-55 v Eastbourne, 1937,  David Mordaunt 138* and 8-60 v Worcester College, Oxford, 1962,  Jano Moller 101 and 6-14 v Eastbourne, 2017

 

WICKET-KEEPING

 

MOST DISMISSALS IN INNINGS

Six

H Asa Thomas (5 ct, 1 st) v Signal Training Centre, Maresfield, 1925,  Richard Seager (3 ct, 3 st) v Old Hurstjohnians, 2000

 

 

CENTURY SCORERS 1905-2017
(dates in brackets indicate years of first and last century)

14 – Andy Meads (1969-96)

10 – Adam Davies (2011-15)

9 –  D Peacock (1990-95)

8 – MR Hutchinson (1961-66), Brian O’Gorman (1960-72), Alfred Pewtress (1929-35), Derek Semmence (1978-93)

7 – Sam Carter (2003-12), Mark Semmence (1990-2009)

6 – Ed McGregor (2001-07)

5 – Bob Gale (1969-77), Andrew Hartridge (2010-13), Keith Jenkin (1955-89), David Mordaunt (1958-67), Nick Seager (2006-12), Richard Seager (1990-2002), Greg West (1989-2011)

4 – Chris Bidwell (1963-69), David Gibbs (1968-78), Frank Gresson (1907-11), David Gutteridge (1984-97), Charlie Hartridge (1987-96), Robin Waters (1959-62)

3 – Mike Barford (1968-75), Marcus Campopiano (2013-17), Andrew Clarke (1971-75), Alan Duff (1968-75), John Farmer (1957), Mike Griffith (1972-83), Richard Gutteridge (1995-99), Stanley Harris (1907-13), Matthew Hastwell (1990-96), DE Ironside (1959-65), CAR Lawrence (1929-32), Sid Ledlie (1974-77), Ian Lock (1965-74), Jack Malden (1911-35), LG Morey (1936-39), John Neal (1954-59), David Nicholson (1971-90), Darryl Rebbetts (2014-17), FE Rowe (1911-14), Jon Roycroft (1999-2002), TH Russell (1930-33), Edward Snell (1931-47), Philip Somerville (1964-84), Bob Stainton (1936-52), Ashton Turner (2013), Jonathan Watt (1962-73), JDH Whittome (1955-64)

2 – MP Atkinson (1921-28), Andy Barnes (1969-73), Bertie Chaplin (1923-31), J Collinson (1938-39), Sam Cooper (2015-17), AL Corbett (1913-14), THW Curtis (1911), RG Davies (1987-91), PM Davy (1992), MA Fisher (1992), Ken Fry (1907-08), HM Gorringe (1927), Peter Hall (1977), David Hole (1961-62), HMO Holman (1929), R Houldsworth (1989-90), Richard Iago (2006-10), Derek Lattey (1949-55), Les Lenham (1971-73), John Lock (1954-55), Hector Loughton (2015-16), KPA Mathews (1950-54), MM Mathews (1945-49), Jano Moller (2017), EG Oldham (1937), Toby Peirce (2005-07), R Pine (1976-77), Toby Pullan (2015-17), Steven Rae (2014-15), PC Rushton (1953-63), J Sadler (1992-98), RC Shaw (1924-28), David Sheppard (1947-54), Harry Simms (1907-12), Krishna Singh (2006-09), Richard Smyth (1968-69), Arthur PFC Somerset (1931-37), Ben Speake (2014), RAM Stradling (1930), Ian Thwaites (1962-68), Stanley Trick (1924), David Walsh (1969-72), John Whittaker (1968-75), JO Wick (1928), Johnny Wills (1990), HL Wilson (1923-24), Nick Wisdom (1981-92)

1 – P Addinsell (1937), JW Alderman (1927), Patrick Allen (1988), EL Armitage (1924), MT Baines (1928), Matt Banes (2010), J Barnes (1989), AH Beadles (1969), J Beale (1995), Sir William Becher (1937), C Bell (1934), FRH Beven (1930), Z Bhettay (2009), DJ Boon (1989), KHE Bowen (1948), G Bowman (1966), GJ Boxall (1969), A Brand (2001), David Buck (1984), EAC Buckmaster (1930), G Bull (1933), Bob Burdon (1962), Jeremy Bushell (2015), Ben Caldera (2017), DJ Callaghan (1992), FSG Calthorpe (1911), Leo Cammish (2017), Gerry Campbell (1924), GG Campbell (1921), CIA Carr (1932), Ben Cartwright (2017), J Chaffer (1957), J Chaplin (1996), Michael Chapman (2010), S Chettleburgh (1992), RD Cochrane (1911), Geoff Cole (2006), GAK Collins (1931), Derek Corbett (1953), Bruce Cumming (1935), P d’Abo (1962), James Dahl (2006), Ben Davies (2016), John Davies (1975), T Deacon (2009), Simon Doggart (1988), KS Duleepsinhji (1924), M Ellis (1992), M Emerson (1973), Sandy Farrar (1951), Adrian Ford (1995), David Foster (1962), P Fowler-Tutt (1955), G Galloway (1988), RR Garton (1962), C Gates (2007), H Gauntlett (1962), J Gibson (1994), P Gogin (1989), KO Goldie (1907), John Goodacre (1997), Charles Grave (2003), RCEM Greene (1937), JRC Hale (1950), A Halliday (2001), G Halliday (1959), A Ham (2006), FM Hamerton (1928), Chris Hammond (2006), Tom Harris (2010), Eddie Harrison (1952), Mike Harrison (2010), E Hart (1995), Johnny Heaven (2017), Simon Hoadley (2004), BH Holloway (1913), T Holt (1989), N Hordern (1959), Julian Hunt (2017), RG Hunt (1947), Padmanan Jadeja (2014), Jimmy James (1986), R Kingsford (1960), Chris Kirkham (2007), David Kirtley (2011), WL Knowles (1913), Percy Latham (1908), Peter Ledden (1970), Archie Leon (2010), JO Lintott (1948), PH Lloyd (1961), David Lock (1965), Michael Loveday (2015), J Ludlow (2015), JA Lush (1967), A Lutwyche (1995), GP McConnell (1933), S Maddock (2003), Goodwill Mamhiyo (2013), David Mann (2016), NBJ Mann (1938), RJ Martin (1935), JK Mathews (1930), CA Merriman (1939), David Miller (1970), Jacob Montgomery (2016), Anju Mudkavi (1985), Steve Murdock (2007), Tim Mynott (1976), RWC Nethercoat (1937), James Newman (2014), PJ Newton (1993), PJ Norris (1964), Mike O’Brien (1961), WFT O’Byrne (1934),Tim O’Gorman (2000), R Oliphant-Callum (1993), CJ Parham (1970), John Peacey (1922), PR Perfect (1969), FA Phillips (1907), Paul Phillipson (1975), RGC Pinfield (1925), A Polack (1962), Marno Pretorius (2015), Jens Richardson (2017), Stuart Ritchie (2004), ARG Robertson (1914), D Robertson (1914), P Robins (1998), C Robinson (1996), KM Robinson (1926), O Rogers (2006), Philip Roper (2010), M Rowland (1991), R Rydon (2011), GD Saddington (1984), JG Saunders (1983), TA Scaramanga (1933), O Scott (1914), RSG Scott (1929), N Searls (1972), Geoff Seaton (1963), R Senneck (1989), C Sharman (1958), MKS Shatrushalyasinhji (1959), H Shiffner (1929), B Shoebridge (1994), Roy Simms (1911), AB Skinner (1913), Ernest Smith (1912), MHW Smithers (1928), Martin Speight (1987), Howard Spencer (1965), G Springer (1980), JH Stallibrass (1971), Alistair Stanley (2014), FMR Stephenson (1927), D Stewart (1989), GV Sturgeon (1924), DG Sundius-Smith (1911), Brad Taylor (2017), RCA Terdre (1961), Rupert Thacker (1990), AL Tharkara (1970), R Thelwell (1995), Jamie Thompson (2010), M Thompson (1996), JR Tozer (1958), Mark Trubshaw (2015), RJA Wade (1936), Rob Wakeford (2006), AC Watson (1921), Darsie Watson (1919), FH Watson (1913), CJB Webb (1913), MJ Webb-Bowen (1948), Daniel Wells (2012), D West (1983), AAH White (1972), TR White (1928), GGB Wilkes (1958), G Wilkinson (1959), Peter Williams (1924), TH Williams (1907), Geoff Wills (1976), J Withers (1993), CJ Woodhouse (1958), EB Woollan (1927), R Wyatt (1979), Charlie Wycherley (1982)