Nantwich - A VC and the Ashes

Thomas Egerton Hale VC is linked to the captain of the England Cricket Team who were beaten in a test by Australia that led to the burning of the stumps. How timely that we cleaned both graves in Acton Nantwich on the first day of play of the final test in the 2023 Ashes series. Also named on Honby's grave is Walter Hornby, wounded in France and died on 5th November 1918 just six days before the end of WWI.

The grave of Hale VC is not see easy to spot lying flat and amongst a number of other headstones whose enscription are not easy to see.

The action that led to the VC being awarded to Assitant Surgeon Hale reads:

Assistant Surgeon THOMAS HALE SEBASTOPOL 8 September 1855 He was 22 years old and serving in the 1st Bn, 7th Regiment of Foot, later the Royal Fusiliers, when during the attack on the Redan he stayed with the severely wounded Lieutenant Hope, when all but one had retreated. On the same day Hale cleared the most advanced sap of wounded, and then went out into the open under heavy fire and carried several wounded men into the sap. He died on 25 December 1909.

Brazier, Kevin. The Complete Victoria Cross : A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain's Highest Award for Gallantry . Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.

The grave of the Hornby family is prominant and bears a set of carved stumps bat and ball at its base.

Albert Neilson Hornby, nicknamed Monkey Hornby (10 February 1847 – 17 December 1925) was one of the best-known sportsmen in England during the nineteenth century excelling in both rugby and cricket. He was the first of only two men to captain the country at both rugby and cricket but is also remembered as the England cricket captain whose side lost the Test match which gave rise to the Ashes, at home against the Australians,  in 1882. Additionally, he played football for Blackburn Rovers.


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