On Sunday 9th September 2018 some of the 10th Essex were invited by the National Army Museum to take part in a cricket match on the outfield of The Oval during the lunch interval at the English vs India 5th Test Match.
It was to mark the joint service of the British and Indian troops in the First World War. The match was between the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment and the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment. These two Regiments arrived on the Western Front together as part of the 3rd Lahore Division, 104 years ago in September 1914. The 15th Ludhianas are honouring the contribution of nearly 1.5 million men from undivided India.
The National Army Museum archives tell us that alongside football, soldiers also played cricket and many cricketers joined the army with a large number of them losing their lives. A lot of them were bombers and this is because the size and weight of a hand grenade was roughly the same as a cricket ball. This meant that they could throw these bombs quite accurately but it also put them in danger because the grenades at the time were rudimentary and even hand-made at the front line. To know more about the role of bombers in the Great War please come and visit us at one of our events.