Kent CEO visits the grave of Colin Blythe

Friday 17th December 2010

Kent Chief Executive Officer Jamie Clifford travelled to Belgium over the weekend for a special reason – to replace a miniature Kent County Cricket Club bat, which recently disappeared from the grave of former Kent and England spin bowler Colin Blythe.

They were met at the Oxford Road Cemetery at St Jan, near Ypres, by representatives of Cricket Belgium, who arranged a short service of dedication at the graveside, led by the Reverend Bryan Llewellyn of St George“s Church.

Those present included Ian Hussein, Northern Europe Director of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Lieutenant-Commander Freddy Declerck, Chairman of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, and Jacky Platteeuw, Secretary of the Last Post Association, along with Marc Vandereviere, Vice-Chairman of Cricket Belgium. Richard Eames, Treasurer of Cricket Belgium, Andrew Scott, Secretary of BLACU, the umpires“ organisation, and Martin O“Connor, General Manager of Cricket Belgium.

The service began with The Last Post played by two buglers from the Last Post Association (Menin Gate) which was followed by a short prayer and the Exhortation, with a minute“s silence. The Rev. Llewellyn then dedicated the replacement miniature bat which was placed on the grave by Jamie Clifford. The buglers played Reveille to close the service.

The group then moved to St George“s Church in Ypres where the Rev. Llewellyn showed them the prayer desk, dedicated to Colin Blythe and an ECB plaque dedicated to all cricketers from around the world who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Kent“s CEO presented Mr Llewellyn with a Kent bat and cap, which is to be placed in the Church Hall displays.

The new miniature bat joins an old ball which has been at the grave for some years, and two newer balls, including one from the Club. The disappearance of the bat was discovered by Memorial Museum Passchendaele guides and notified to Cricket Belgium, who in turn notified the Club.

To watch arecording of theservice, please click here.