29 August 2019
Following up The Final Over, the author’s story of cricketers going to war in 1914, this is essentially the same thing for the players of 1939.
Author: CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD
reviewed by: Duncan Evans
Following up The Final Over, the author’s story of cricketers going to war in 1914, this is essentially the same thing for the players of 1939. Over 200 first class cricketers signed up to fight in the first year of the war, but 52 of them never returned. This then, is the story of those young men who swapped willow for rifles. It’s a mixture of cricketing facts and figures, post-scripted with drama and tragedy. There are also curious other details, rarely discussed, such as with the threat of food shortages and bombing, people in the southeast England began euthanizing their pets. Some 30%, or over 400,000 household animals were killed to avoid having them starve.
It’s the players though, and the story of cricket in 1939 that comes to the fore, because this is about the people playing cricket and the social state of the country at the time, rather than an extensive look at their war time exploits. It’s a different but very human look at the cost of war.
• The History Press
• ISBN 978-0-7509-8813-1
• 340 pages • Hardback • £20
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