America and West Indies Station
1930 – 1932
Football Games & Results
Played 16 Won 10 Lost 4 Drawn 2
Played 13 Won 6 Lost 4 Drawn 3
Squadron Football Championship 1st Division
Runners Up Dauntless
Runners Up Dragon
3rd Place Dauntless
The following have represented the ship:
A.B.’s Cartland, Nash, Robson, Castleman and Kelleway
Sto’s Blake, Lynch, Hale and Peters
Tel. Pay, S. A. Nicholls
Mnes. Power and Worrall
We cannot claim to have an exceptionally brilliant eleven, but what we lack in skill is compensated for by the keenness and cheerfulness of every member of the team. The fact that an inter-part competition was held at Bermuda proves that interest in cricket spreads to all officers and ship’s company.
Games played during our commission will be treated in four different sections - North America, the West Indies, Bermuda, and South America.
It must be mentioned here that our first eleven have won nearly twice as many matches as they have lost, an extremely creditable performance.
During our first cruise the team was still in process of formation and our batting was lamentably weak, due chiefly to lack of net practice; nevertheless we gave a good account of ourselves in matches played. The pitches varied from ‘bumpy’ at San Salvador to the ‘billard table’ at Stanley Park, Vancouver. Our opponents were, without exception, very cheery. We have pleasant memories of Victoria, Cowichan and Santa Barbara. Memories of excellent cricket and excellent picnic lunches. It has been suggested that our cricket deteriorates after lunch but there is no authority for that statement.
West Indian cricket is characteristic. The pitches are generally ‘bumpy’ and the opposing sides invariably have one or two alarmingly fast bowlers.
The keenness of our opponents always made the games very enjoyable. Spectators and players greeted full pitches with wide grins, followed by cheers when the ball was banged to the boundary. Although eager to see their own side win, the West Indian supporters were impartial with their praise.
Howls of derision would greet anyone who missed a catch.
Tortola will always be associated with Mass Dawson’s cricket. The local umpires would never give him out until he had reached double figures and if, while waiting for the next batsman to come out, without being noticed, why that was his business.
Costa Rica we will remember for the many and seemingly endless speeches and Belize because it was there that ‘The General’ nearly lost his tot.
At Trinidad we probably put up our best performance in beating the Queen’s Park Club.
Here the team was at its best. Only one ship beat us - H.M.S. Dragon, but we took ample revenge in beating them twice subsequently. Apart from inter-ship games we had some pleasant encounters with Dockyard teams and the Somerset Cricket Club.
Eight Teams featured in our inter-part competition. By winning all their matches outright the Stokers proved themselves beyond dispute the best team. Leading Stoker Worrall and Stoker Crossley proved a deadly bowling combination. The results of some matches were baffling to students of ‘form.’ It was generally agreed however that the Royal Marines had the best umpires.
Mrs Vivian kindly gave a Cup for the winners of the inter-part cricket competition and this cup was duly presented by Captain Vivian to the Stokers after the competition had been decided.
Our South American cruise has not included as many cricket matches as we expected. The games at Nictheroy (Niterói) and Hurlington, Buenos Aires, were most enjoyable, particularly as the grounds were amongst the best we had experienced.
Too often our ‘tail’ has collapsed after a reasonable start, but there were exceptions, notably Sergeant Gerrey’s innings against Victoria, Hodgkinson’s spirit as displayed against Belize, Crossley’s batting against Somerset and Marshall’s, and his fifty at Buenos Aires. Generally the batting depended on Commanders Onslow and Robson, Mids. Manton and Prowse and Pay. Lieut. Langdon and Tel. Pay. The brunt of the bowling was borne by Onslow, Prowse and Robson and later Crossley strengthened the attack. Booth took several wickets on his day but was also frequently our weak point. As emphasised by our captain, if there was an epidemic on the field it wasn’t ‘catching.’
Commander Onslow built up, captained, nursed and was the backbone of the team. When he left the ship it was a sore loss. We were lucky enough to have Lieutenant Comdr. Skinner to take over his duties.
We can truthfully say our umpiring and scoring have been as faultless as possible thanks to the keenness and interest displayed by Master at Arms Milsom and Chief Petty Officer Writer Southall. May their shadows never grow less.
Our matches have always been played in a most cheery manner and we believe our opposition derived as much pleasure out of our games as we have.
The cricket team was selected from the following:
Lieutenant-Commanders Skinner and Bond,
Instructor, Lieutenant-Commander Taylor,
Midshipmen Prowse, Manton and Hodgkinson,
E.R.A.’s Froud and Hills,
Ldg, Tel. Booth,
Tel. Pay. A.B.’s Robson, Marshall and Carter,
Played 20 Won 10 Lost 6 Drawn 4
Played 8 Won 4 Lost 4
Played 18 Won 10 Lost 7 Drawn 1
Inter-ship Matches at Bermuda
Played 17 Won 11 Lost 4 Drawn 2
Friendly Matches Played At Bermuda
Played 6 Won 5 Lost 1
The first trial game of the commission was held at Comox Camp football ground where rose bushes flourished, long grass flopped around our knees and the goal posts were imaginary. From the 20 odd players who took part, a side was selected to play Courtenay in two enjoyable games. The standard of play was not high as many of their players had not seen a game for some years, but they were keen to put up a good show, which they did in both games. Unfortunately two members of the opposing team sustained broken ribs in the second game.
These two games had the effect of stimulating interest in rugger in the ship and a full trial game was played on the Esquimalt Sports Ground, after which we were able to select the best possible side to meet Victoria. A very hard match on a hard ground resulted in a creditable loss 5 points to nil. A month later we met some of the same team at Duncan and won a close match, 8points to 3, in spite of having spent the previous 10 days at Vancouver. The last match of the cruise was held in November at Trinidad. Hot weather and lack of practice provided some excuse for losing to the Imperial College.
On return to Bermuda the ship’s team was more or less fixed and we entered for the Governor’s Cup. We were unlucky to lose to H.M.S. Delhi in the first round, for although they had a considerable reputation we actually had slightly the better of the play, due to excellent work by the forwards who had by now achieved a certain amount of team play under the leadership of Lt. Sands.
During the Spring Cruise we lost to the College at Trinidad owing to their frequent practice and our lack of it. We also played at Belize and Nassau, the match at Belize being the first played there for ten years. At Belize the native spectators went quite mad with enthusiasm, especially when there was a scrum or when it appeared that one or two players had been hurt.
In August 1931, at Trinidad, we were lucky to get four games in quick succession. North Trinidad side was a little too strong for us but the Caribbean’s gave us two hard fought wins.
Whilst at Rio de Janeiro we played two games against a Nictheroy team. In the second match several of our leading players were unable to turn out due to sickness, etc. so that we were defeated rather heavily. The officers vs. ship’s company match at Port Stanley was very keenly contested and a useful trial game for the match against H.M.S. Durban. This was probably the best game of the commission. Both sides played a hard keen game and the play was very even.
The Rugby XV was chosen from the following:
Mid. Manton, A.B. Burke, A.B. Penley, A.B. Stone, Lt. Robertson, Lt.-Cdr. Skinner, Inst-Cdr. Taylor, O.S. Davis, E.R.A. Hills,
Mr. Smyth, Mid. Prowse, Pay Lt. Langdon, Lt. Sands, Lt. Gatey, Mid. Vincent-Jones, Ldg.-Seaman Robertson, A.B. Jenner,
E.R.A. Gross, Sig, Wadey, A.B. Hunt, A.B. Flattery, A.B. Shepherd, Mne. Lauder and Mne. Hansell.
Though a great deal of our time has been spent in hot climates, except for occasions at Bermuda and Trinidad, few opportunities were found for playing water polo. It was noticed that the men showed a marked disinclination to enter water frequented by sharks and barracudas. This no doubt was due to a belief in the legend of a barracuda’s nasty habits.
The ship’s team played five matches against various teams at the Trinidad Marine club, being beaten in three games, winning one and drawing the other. The members of the Marine Club were most hospitable and these fixtures were much enjoyed.
For information of those who do not play water polo; gin, beer, whisky etc., taste roughly 200% better after gurgling salt water. It is feared that this attractive feature of the game has not been sufficiently advertised during the commission, as the number of recruits to the game has been small.
The ship was unsuccessful in the Fleet Water Polo competition, being beaten by heavier, more powerful and skilled teams from Despatch, Delhi and Danae. Dragon was not present at Bermuda but had been beaten by Dauntless when she visited Trinidad with us.
In order to encourage certain people, who were unlucky enough not to play in the two matches which we won, and who wanted to know what it felt like to win a game of water polo, an inter-part knockout competition was arranged at Bermuda in June 1931. The officers, much to their own and everyone else’s surprise, beat the Royal Marines in the first round but were next beaten by the Quarter Deck, all players on both sides spending a large portion of the game under water. It is believed that the referee was on the point of ordering one of the officers out of the water on this occasion. The Fo’cs’le beat Communications, the F.L.P. and finally the Quarter Deck, to win the competition.
The only game played in South America was at Rosario, when the ship was beaten by three goals to one. This was a very cold day and only spirited efforts on the part of our hosts succeeded in stopping the team’s teeth from chattering. The chattering of seven men’s teeth after 15 minutes water polo in cold weather has to be heard to be believed.
The Water Polo team was picked from:
Payr. Lieut. Langdon, Sto. Blake, Sergt. Gerrey, Mne. O’Donnell, E.R.A. Hills, A.B. Kersley, A.B. Piper, P.O. Dennis,
A.B. Flattery, A.B. Townsend.
Our first game of the commission was played at Vancouver, British Columbia, without any previous practice. Under the circumstances we did remarkably well to draw and the game was invaluable in that it showed where our talent lay, a great help for the selection of the future teams.
Soon after our arrival at Jamaica, the two companies of the West York’s Regiment challenged us. We won the first game but it was so closely contested and so keen that several other games were immediately fixed up. Everybody who was keen on hockey was given a chance to play. On the whole, we were two wins to the good. This period of continuous hockey was exactly what we needed before arriving at Bermuda to take part in the Squadron Tournament and we thank the West York’s for the enjoyable, sporting games played at Jamaica.
During our stays at Trinidad we played the Agricultural College on three occasions, winning twice and drawing the last match. The ground was ideal and we can only hope that the College enjoyed the hockey as much as we did. A local Trinidad XI beat us by three goals to one. On our return to Bermuda from the Pacific Cruise we settled down to one and sometimes two games a week. Several inter-ship friendly games were played against H.M.S. Despatch, Dragon and Heliotrope. Although we beat the last two ships we never could get the better of the flagship.
In the Naval and Military Tournament the ship came into the final by knocking out ‘Staff and Departments’ and the West York’s Regiment. H.M.S. Despatch won the Cup, beating us by three goals to nil after a fast and close game. The semi-final against the West York’s will not be easily forgotten. We were three goals down at half time but won 5-3. How? We adopted the tactics of our opponents.
On the South American Cruise we won our match against Rio de Janeiro but lost at Buenos Aires. At the Falklands Islands we played against the Youth and Beauty of Stanley. It was an amusing game as we played left handed - one hand, and only just won.
At Valparaiso a combined team of H.M.S. Dauntless and Durban beat a local side by 7-2. Later, at Lima the two ships beat a Lima side by 3-1. At this period we had the services of Lieutenant Kirkconnel, who played centre forward for England in 1930.
The Hockey XI was chosen from:
A.B. Lugg, Lt. Comdr. Onslow, A.B. Reed, Lt. Gatey, Mid. Prowse, A.B. Clark, Capt. Bagot R.M. Payr. Lt. Langdon,
A.B. Nash, Lt,. Nowell, Lt. Robertson, Lt-Cdr. Whetstone, O. Sea. Catlin, Boy Wtr. Turner, O. Sea. Robson, Lt. Kirkconnel,
Instr. Lt-Cdr, Taylor (Capt), and Lt.-Cdr Bond.