There’s been lots of respectful remembrance activity across Gloucestershire over the last week, and it’s not quite finished yet. If you’re attending Cheltenham races on Sunday (18th), please make time to pop into the Centaur for a day long programme of activities and displays called Gloucestershire and Racing Remembers. Gloucestershire Archives will have a presence, in partnership with Cheltenham Local History Society.
An image appearing in the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucester Graphic for Saturday 16 March 1918. When the racecourse should have been celebrating the annual National Hunt festival, it was instead being used as a VAD Hospital.
Britain’s decision to declare war against Germany in August 1914 would have an impact on every aspect of life in Gloucestershire, including its iconic sports.
In 1914 W G Grace was 64 years old and in July he played his last game of cricket, scoring 69 not out for Eltham. A month later he sent a letter to the Sportsman suggesting that the county cricket season should be closed: “it is not fitting at a time like this that able-bodied men should be playing day after day, and pleasure-seekers look on…I should like to see all first-class cricketers of suitable age set a good example, and come to the aid of their country in its hour of need.” The letter was published on 27 August, and had its desired effect.