Sporting War and Sporting Peace 1914-1919 - an introduction

To mark the 110th anniversary of the start of the First World War, starting next week and continuing at intervals throughout the summer, we will be publishing a series of five articles written by Peter Bloor under the title ‘Sporting War and Sporting Peace 1914-1919’.

Peter’s series will focus on three sports before, during and just after the war – cricket, horse racing, specifically the Derby, and motor racing in France.

Starting off with Cricket, Peter will reflect upon the careers of the brilliant but erratic Frank Foster of Warwickshire and of the ‘extraordinarily dull but remarkably effective’ Johnny Douglas of Essex. These features will include appearances at Lord’s and in court by a Derbyshire fast bowler who killed ‘a quarrelsome man, dangerous when drunk’ in self-defence,

In May, Peter’s reflections turn to The Derby pieces and an individual whose life could not have been further away from those led by two of the cricketers, the King, George V"

July’s motor-racing feature about the Boillot brothers, Georges and André, takes us to August 3rd 1914, the day upon which Germany declared war on France - and Georges’ 30th birthday. Neither brother shrank from dangers of flying with the French Air Service during the conflict, nor of racing on public roads and both died as a consequence, which you can read more about later this year.

Series dates

Our Remembrance articles in October and November will continue the 1914-1919 theme. Please see below the expected publish dates of Peter's series for 2024.

Part One: Mr. Foster and Mr. Douglas – Two Gentlemen cricketers pre-war - Thursday 4 April

Part Two: Mr. Foster, Mr. Douglas and Billy Bestwick – Two Gentlemen cricketers and a Player post-war - Thursday 11 April

Part Three: Disorder at the Derby of 1914 Date - Tuesday 28 May

Part Four: Steve Donoghue, the King and the dismal Derby Day of 1919 - Tuesday 4 June

Part Five: The Boillot Brothers: Driven by danger “Pour la France” - Wednesday 31 July

Remembrance pieces will be published through October 2024 up until Remembrance Week 2024

Image Credits

Cricket – Wills, 1929
Horse racing – Gallaher, 1938
Motor racing – Wills, 1938


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