Lou: ANZAC Cricket

A few of the old Veterans stopped by the shop yesterday to talk about the World Cup cricket. They didn’t miss the symbolism of the two finalists in this year when we commemorate one hundred years since Gallipoli. Some say that 1915 was really the year that our nation was born but we all agree that this was the birth of the legendary Anzac Spirit that has served this nation and our friends across the ditch, so well for all this time.


My family came here  some years after Gallipoli but my Grandpa used to say he could actually feel it in the air especially among his workmates. There were lots of very sad and broken people, but they were fighting back. What more could they do? In those days this spirit was personified by the deeds of Bradman, McCabe and others in those difficult times. My Grandpa used to say that this mystical spirit is what convinced him that he’d made the right choice to come here and it engendered this strange love of cricket by an Italian which has been passed on down the generations.


We all know about Hassett and Miller playing for the AIF after World War Two but the AIF team formed after World War One was even more remarkable.


Here were all these blokes sitting around in Britain after four years of an horrific war in Europe where Australia lost over 60,000 killed, just waiting for a ship to take them home. To break the boredom sport was organized and a cricket competition was formed. It was then decided that a representative team would be picked to tour the UK and other countries on the way home.


The tour of the UK  did wonders for the morale of the British people after the horrors of war. The amazing thing is that six of that team went on to play cricket for Australia. They were Herbie Collins, Johnny Taylor, Nip Pellew, Bert Oldfield, Jack Gregory who all played from 1920 and Hammy Love who got one test match in 1933.


Congratulations to the Australians and the New Zealanaders, especially to the Australians, who pulled it together at the right moment.


  1. Lou if my memory serves me correctly there were a couple of “cricket matches”played at Nui Dat in 68 when I was there. Though I didn’t play it was a bit of a hoot apparently as the wicket if you could call it one left a lot to be desired .

  2. Oges

    They did. Tony Dell who was selected for Australia after he returned, played. Batting against him wouldn’t have been easy . I’m told he’s heavily involved with PTSD and doing a great job.


Leave a Comment