Thursday, 30 June 2016

Battle of the Somme remembered

This Saturday we will be holding a short act of remembrance before the 2nd XI match against Instonians.

Please note this event is open to all members.

At 12.45 we will be led to the cricket square by the BB from McQuiston Memorial Church and the Rev. Beggs.

We will hold a short ceremony and call out the names of our past members who made the supreme sacrifice during the 1st World War.  At which time I am delighted to announce that we have a Bugler from the 1st Royal Scottish Regiment to play Rivali and the Last Post following a 2 minute silence.

Cregagh CC remembers them

We will remember them

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Cregagh CC to mark a special anniversary

With the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme soon upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to take the opportunity to mark the occasion and how it affected our own club and the wider community around the Cregagh Road.

Although we were formed in 1906 it wasn't until 1920 that we became members of the Northern Cricket Union.  This is quite an important milestone for the club.  When the First World War commenced in 1914 it was reported that 75% of our membership answered the call for King and Country and Cricket was suspended during the First World War.

In 1920 the members of Cregagh Cricket Club believed the best way to honour the members who had not returned from Europe was to purchase the land that we play cricket on and to establish Cregagh within the NCU.  To this day we still play at that very ground and we still honour those members.

When the ground was purchased and memorial gates erected the Secretary of the day a Mr. Mitchell made the following speech, which is taken from our minute book from this period;

"Ladies and Gentlemen, you are met here today to open and dedicate these gates and ground to those members who by their service and sacrifice have made the war records of this club one of which you may feel instantly proud.

It will not be necessary for me to recount in detail the engagement in which they took part nor the gallant manner in which they acquitted themselves but lest they and their deeds are allowed to pass into partial forgiveness.  I will briefly recall the part in which they played during the strenuous years of the war.

Thirty members of the club joined the fighting forces.  This represented 50% of the total membership.  75% of the available number for service.  In common with organisations whose numbers responded so nobly we lost some of our finest members.  Of the thirty, eight made the supreme sacrifice, their names are as follows;  C. Ervine, W. McKeown, J. Lowry, J. Mayberry, G. Whitley, E. Hamilton, J. C. Grant, R. McDowell.

Men of their type are not given to any club or community in profusion and it is because of this that the grounds where we knew them best and loved them most have been purchased as memorial to their memory.

They along with the others served in the various theatres of war and in addition to the various decorations the following distinctions were awarded, two military cross, five military medals and two military honours.

It speaks volumes for the esteem in which they were held when I say that within nine months from the inception of the scheme to buy the ground the sum of £800 was raised by the voluntary subscriptions, the aid of of a sale of work this made it possible to purchase the existing holding and an adjoining field for a sum of £500 to lay aside £120 for the memorial gates which are now completed.  Since then various improvement schemes have been affected.  It is hoped by the aid of increased membership to still further enhance the value of the memorial.  It is true that even when we have the grounds in keeping with the lush we know we will have discharged but a small portion of the debt under which they have paid us, but in addition to this we can ensure that the activities that carried on in these fields of sport are of such a nature that our conduct in them be a reflection of their more noble deeds on a sterner field of service.

If we succeed in this and I believe we will, not so much because we can but because we must, then indeed will there be a memorial to their memory this ground will be worthy of the name which you have seen fit to give, the Cregagh Memorial Recreation Ground".

The Cregagh CC Roll of Honour;

F Ballantine, G. Barr, W. Barr, W. Carmichael, V. Donaldson, E. Ervine, A. G. Ervine, F. Porter, John Gowdy, Joe Gowdy, A. Gallagher, J. C. Grant, J. Hamilton, E. Hamilton, W. Jeffrey, W. Keown, J. Lowry, G. Mitchell, D. Mitchell, R. McClonnell, J. Mayberry, R. McDowell, J. McDowell, H. Noble, L. Nichol, R. Whitley, G. Whitley, W. McKeown, H. Steenson, C. Ervine.

This Saturday we will hold a minutes silence before the game to mark this anniversary, to remember the members who made the supreme sacrifice,to remember the impact the War had on our club and the community and to remember the reason why Cregagh Cricket Club exists.