Harry Mountford Hills - Cricketer

Harry Mountford Hills was born on 28 September 1986 at Mayland, Essex. He played cricket for Essex.

His mother Emily Constance Hills came from Wealdstone and his father , Harry Hills,from Mid Essex.

After their marriage in 1885 they set up home in the Wealdstone area although the Mills seem to have had several relatives who lived at Mayland.

Harry's father was a decorator when Harry was born but by 1901 he was a publican at Pinner and was wealthy enough to have a live in servant. Harry, by this time 15 years old, was working as a clerk.

As a boy Harry Mountford Hills had sporting prowess and took part in Cricket which was turning from a sport of the gentry into a sport enjoyed by working class young men.

He became a very useful allrounder who was able to bowl left arm spin and provide a useful bat.

By 1912 he had broken into the Essex County Cricket Team making regular appearances for Essex at the base at Leyton.

On the outbreak of WW1 like many young men of his generation he enlisted.

In 1911 he married Emily Josephine and moved into a house at Goldhanger,near Maldon, Essex.

On 21 September 1914 he joined the Grenadier Guards.

Details from his enrollment papers

Occupation - Professional Cricketer

Home Address - Burnham on Crouch ( No house or street name given)

Height 5' 10"

Weight  17.5 stone

Eyes Grey

Hair Brown

Scars Left shin and above left eyebrow

From these details it is clear that he was solidly built.

Harry was trained and then assigned to the reserve barracks before being sent to the French front line on 21 August 1915.

He was wounded in action when he was shot in his left hand and invalided home.

As a professional left handed cricketer he must have wondered if his career was over.

He recovered to the extent that he was returned to the front line in November 1916 where he served until the end of the war.

He was demobbed in February 1919. The demob medical examination certified that he had no injuries sufficient to entitle him to a pension so we can presume that his left hand was healed.

Almost immediately after the demob he remarried to Marion.

He returned to Cricket but only played once when his name no longer appears on the team lists.

Perhaps his hand troubled him or perhaps he and his new wife moved to start a new venture.

Research into Harry Hills followed reading a small entry in the book of Essex Cricketers by David Lemmon, published in 1994.

For anyone interested in the many Cricketers who have played for Essex this book is recommended.

It also provided the lifetime statistics for Harry in respect of Wickets taken and runs scored..


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