Tag Archives: Cricket

First Class Cricketers killed in World War 2 & Some distinguished OCs from 1926-1928

Dear All,

I am taking the liberty of forwarding an interesting piece of correspondence concerning an Old Cottonian, Vivian Chiodetti who passed out in 1912. Please read the exchange of mails that follows this note.

I happened to glance through the list of names from 1864-2004  http://www.oldcottonians.org/ocs1863-2004_listing.htm A quick read is interesting and lists some very distinguished people.

For the year 1926 it lists the name of Dewan Ranjit Rai (for more go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewan_Ranjit_Rai)  father of Arunjit Raiwhose mother lived just after First Bridge ahead of East Bourne. She was the half sister of our dear friends Sukhinder and Mukhinder Singh. Dewan Ranjit Rai was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously and is listed as one of the officers who saved the Kashmir Valley for India in 1947.

I quote from Wikipedia ”  He was the first officer of the Indian Army after independence to fight a battle on October 27, 1947. He was the first officer to be awarded the Mahavir Chakra. He died on October 27, 1947 in a paddy field near Pattan. Five generations of his family have served in the Indian Army, including his grandson Maj (retd) Shivjit Singh Shergill and great grandson Faridjit Singh Shergill”

The list for 1927 includes the name of Rustom Feroze Boga. I wonder if this gentleman was in any way related to the legendary sports person, Jal Boga, in the 1950’s. Jal Boga is an unusual Parsi because they have produced some of the best academics, lawyers and doctors but rarely an athlete!

That year also lists a few other interesting and charismatic people who made a name for themselves later in life. The Batra brothers both with the same initials R N with one being Rabinder and the other  Rajinder. One of them became a General in the army and it was his son who was in Curzon house having finished in 1966 or 1967. The Batras carry the long life gene!!

This was a distinguished class because it also consisted of Mr E A Cuzen who was the Lefroy Housemaster in 1954 when I joined School. I just discovered that his first name was Edward. He left BCS in 1957 and I am informed his son, Neil, joined the Royal Air Force. They also had a daughter Glenda. Never really heard much about this family after they left BCS. Mr Cuzen taught history and was quite a distinguished batsman and a decent hockey player.

Leslie Sawhny who distinguished himself in the corporate world, leaving the army prematurely, was the brother in law of J R D Tata. Leslie Sawhny, based on the history of the Tatas was intuitive in bringing about the selection of Darbari Seth of Tata Chemicals. Leslie Sawhny was also the man who turned around the fortunes of Taj hotel in Bombay which was at one time considered a white elephant by bringing in a band of good people that included Ajit Kerkar. Leslie Sawhny’s untimely death on the golf course was a body blow for JRD who depended on him almost completely in developing and shaping the Tatas at that time. There are several institutions today named after Leslie Sawhny and it is said that his departure was deeply felt by JRD and the Tatas for a long time.

The following year, 1928, lists the name of Narottam Sahgal better known as the former husband of Nayantara Sahgal, the writer and daughter of Mrs Vijay Lakshmi Pandit. Narottam Sahgal was well known in Bombay as the Managing Director of Ciba-Geigy and he accomplished a major job in handling their  pharmaceutical business and persuading the Swiss multinational to establish a research centre in Bombay when R & D was still not a fashionable word!!

So, we have quite a heritage of distinguished people and there are several others waiting to be written about. It would be a good idea to catalogue the lives of some of these legends. We always feel nicer by association when you have little to crow about !!

Warmly,

Vijay

—– Original Message —–

From: OCA Webmaster

To: Aditya Sondhi

Cc: Ajay Thiara ; Praveen Dharma ; Sukhinder Singh ; roy.robinson7@gmail.com ; vk@devats.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:28 AM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two

Dear Aditya

Mr Praveen Dharma who is an Old Cottonian himself and is a Staff Member at BCS Simla was able to look up the records of admission (called the Dooms Day Book!) and found that Mr Chiodetti was at BCS for just one year in 1912. Records appended to this email.

Yes, we are aware of your family Lambas who were at BCS.

Best regards Anil

On Mon, 10 Apr 2017 at 6:26 PM Aditya Sondhi  wrote:

Dear Anil (if I may),

Thank you for writing back. I’m sure this will take Nigel’s efforts further.

It would be a pleasure for me to send your OCA a copy of my book on the alumni of BCBS (http://penguin.co.in/book/non-fiction/the-order-of-the-crest-2/) as also a copy to BCS Shimla. Would the School address be apt for both?

Incidentally, my dad grew up in Shimla but schooled at your rival St. Edward’s. Several uncles (Lambas) went to BCS though.

Warm regards,

Aditya

———-

Aditya Sondhi, PhD
Senior Advocate
Additional Advocate General
State of Karnataka

On Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 10:47 AM, OCA Webmaster <webmaster@oldcottonians.org> wrote:

Dear Aditya

This is fascinating.

Yes, Mr. Vivian Chiodetti is listed as being of the 1912 BCS Batch.

You can view the listing

http://www.oldcottonians.org/ocs1863-2004_listing.htm

We do not have any photos on file though, and therefore am copying Bishop Cotton School Headmaster Mr Roy Robinson to seek his assistance. It could be possible that Vivian Chiodetti is listed on one of the School Honor Boards.  I’m hoping that Mr. Robinson can depute one of the school boys to go look up the Boards and then send us a photo of the same. Maybe a photo of Mr. Chiodetti will also be found in the School records of class photos from for these do date back to 1912…

Best regards

Anil Advani

Webmaster for oldcottonians.org

On Mon, 10 Apr 2017 at 10:14 AM Aditya Sondhi wrote:

Dear Shimla OCA,

Please see the mails below. Would you be able to help?

Warm regards,

Aditya

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

From: Nigel McCrery Sent: Monday 10 April 2017 00:28

To: Aditya Sondhi

Subject: Re: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two

Dear Aditya, Many thanks for the reply. Yes if you know anyone that could help that would be wonderful. It would be a shame to go to print with just that photograph missing. He played several sports for the school including cricket, so I am sure there must be a pic somewhere. Nigel MCcrery

From: Aditya Sondhi <>
Sent: 08 April 2017 08:33:45
To: Nigel McCrery
Subject: Re: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two

Dear Mr McCrery,

A pleasure to hear from you and to hear about your upcoming book. My research suggests that Vivian Chiodetti is from Bishop Cotton, Shimla while my old school is Bishop Cotton, Bangalore. They are not sister institutions, though they are founded and inspired by the Bishop, respectively.

Would you like to try contacting the alumni association of BCS Shimla ? I have an email id for them from some years ago and hope it still works – ‎webmaster@oldcottonians.org

I would love to get hold of your book once it’s out. In my book – The Order of the Crest – sent to the MCC, I do refer to ‎Old Cottonian cricketers martyred in WW1. Should I come across names from WW2, I’d be happy to share them with you.

Do take a look at the book if you find the time.

With warm regards,

Aditya

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

From: Nigel McCrery

Sent: Friday 7 April 2017 21:29

To: aditya

Subject: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two

Dear Sir, Your name has been given to me by the MCC. They think you might be able to help. I am just finishing a book on Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two to be called, “The Coming Storm” To be published by Pen and Sword this July (Cover attached). I am trying to get information on an old boy of the Bishop Cotten School, a school I understand you are an expert on. His details are,

Major Vivian Alexander Chiodetti. he served with the 2nd Manchester Regt attached to the 3rd Burma Rifles when he was killed on 17 January 1942. He was also a First Class Cricketer playing for Hyderabad. I am looking for any information on this man and especially photograph. I have been in touch with the school but they have not been very helpful and are I feel a tad confused about what I want. With your links with the school I was hoping you might be able to help, fingers crossed. He was born in Rawalpindi on 31 May 1905 and joined the army in 1925. He played cricket for his school I understand. Any help very gratefully received.  Many thank. Nigel McCrery

 

What a line! Lalit Modi to Preity Zinta

IPL’s chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi [an OC!] talking with Himachali bollywood actress Preity Zinta at the cricket match held at Dharamsala on the 18th April 10.



Bishop Cotton Challenge Cup – Rugby School vs. Marlborough College 2009

Bishop Cotton Challenge Cup

Rugby School vs. Marlborough College Annual Cricket Match, 1 – 2 July 2009

This fixture has a long and illustrious history and was first played in1855. It was instigated by our founder, Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, who had been Housemaster at Rugby and became Master of Marlborough College in 1852. He established it through engagement with the MCC and it was played at Lord’s Cricket Ground, in London, until 1972. Thereafter it has been played at Marlborough or Rugby alternately each year.

It has been played 101 times at Lord’s, 3 times at the Oval and once at the Middlesex ground in Islington, in London. There were no matches in 1858, 1859 and 1861 because of the perceived ‘weakness of Marlborough’s Cricket’ and none during the Great War, 1915 – 1918, for fear of Zeppelin attacks. No match was played in 1940 either because of the impending invasion and fear of air attack and the match in 1947 was cancelled due to an outbreak of Polio at Rugby School.

Rugby had the better of the earlier encounters but the contest gradually became more even. The tendency of the last three decades has been for more drawn games; both the 100th and 150th anniversary matches ended in a draw. Rugby are slightly ahead in the total of number of wins, with a slender lead of 6.

 crick-1

The Pavilion on the opening morning

crick-2

The Bishop Cotton Challenge Cup

The weather forecast for this years match was very promising and so it turned out with both days being clear, sunny and hot. The match began at about the same time as the Chapel Service, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our founding, so most of us missed the morning session. Rugby won the toss, elected to bat, and were going well at lunch. They reached a score of 121 before losing their 2nd wicket and looked set for a big total. However the dismissal of their captain, J Moxham for 55, brought on a significant batting collapse and they were bowled out for a total score of 161.

 

Marlborough began very cautiously as they could see they had a great opportunity to win but Rugby kept the bowling tight. Marlborough lost only 1 wicket during the rest of the day, to a spectacular mid-air catch at point, but their run rate was rather slow and by stumps they had still not overhauled the Rugby total.

P1010208

 First Innings – Rugby Fielding

Bishop Cotton had set a tradition for dinner on the first evening to be hosted by either the Master of Marlborough or Headmaster of Rugby, in order to engender a feeling of kinship and a spirit of camaraderie between the players. It was held on the lawns of the Master’s house on perfectly balmy summer evening. The teams dined together and visiting parents and staff were invited, but only a handful of OC’s remained as the majority had left after the end of the first day’s play. It was a sublime occasion with excellent food and wonderful company; it was heart-warming to see the boys socialise so well after battling all day on the field. The evening ended, again traditionally, with a speech and vote of thanks from the visiting captain.

Marlborough began the second day’s play in the same manner as they had finished the first – carefully. Their captain, U Qureshi, duly scored a century but a draw looked increasingly likely as the day wore on. They lost only 2 more wickets till tea when they eventually declared at 281 for 3, a lead of 120 runs. This left Rugby to bat out the last session or collapse again and hand Marlborough the Cup. They batted with great confidence, however, and scored quite quickly; by the time 10 overs of play were left they had reached the safety of 119 for 1 with G Mackenzie 55 not out. A positive result was now clearly impossible and the game was called off.

There had been much discussion amongst OC’s, the day before, about what should be done in the event of a draw. There was a view that the Cup should go to Marlborough as they had been the winners when there last was a result. It was strongly felt, however, that the trophy should be won rather than just awarded; if the game was drawn then Marlborough should keep the Cup, but as it’s custodians, until it was properly won by one or other team. It had also been realised the night before that none of the other guests would be able to stay till the end of the match, except for me as a Rugby parent, so it was left to me to make the presentation.

crick-4The Captains: J Moxham, Rugby (right), U Qureshi, Marlborough (left)
The Master, Mr N A Sampson (extreme left).

It was particularly poignant for me personally to be at Marlborough, celebrating our sesquicentennial and with my son playing for Rugby in the match.  I felt extremely honoured, therefore, in the presence of the Master, parents, staff and coaches, to award the trophy to both captains. I exhorted them to compete fiercely for the Cup in future, but to play with honour, in the best traditions set by Bishop Cotton and in the true spirit of the game of cricket.

P1010210 052 054 
053 P1010206 
[Click these small images for a full view]

 Dr J M S Aulakh

(Rivaz 1958-66)