Serving their Country – ACT Cricket Players in Wartime

The ACT side has had a large number of players who have served the country in the Military Forces. In fact there have been ACT senior representative players who have served the country in all conflicts from the Boer War to the Vietnam War. Having the Royal Military College located in the ACT and their participation in the ACT Grade Competition from it’s inception up until the late 1950s meant that a large number (over 70 at last count) had represented their country as well playing senior cricket for the ACT.

Three players who have represented the ACT have died while on active service.

William Worthy

William John Worthy made his ACT debut at the age of just 18 in 1934/35. Born in Yass in 1916, he played for Hall and Ainslie up until the suspension of the grade competition in 1939/40.

He was a bus driver in Canberra and enlisted in the Army in August 1940. He fought on the Kokoda Track with his battalion and rose to the rank of Corporal. Serving in the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion in Papua New Guinea, he was killed on active service on 26 November 1942 when the Australian force attacked the Japanese stronghold of Gona in Papua.

He is buried in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery. His twin brother, Leslie Charles Worthy had also died on active service in Papua New Guinea in March of 1942.

Edward Jones

Flight Sargent Edward Lloyd Jones died while flying a RAAF Boomerang operating out of the Strathpine airfield in southern Queensland. He crashed into the sea east of Caloundra on 10 November 1943. He was buried at the Lutwyche Cemetery in Brisbane.

Born in 1917, he played for the ACT in 1940/41 in the final match before representative matches were suspended for the rest of the war. He played for the Ainslie club in the grade competition.

He was formerly a member of the Parliamentary Hansard Staff in the Federal Parliament before moving to Hobart and was formerly a journalist with the Canberra Times and Wagga Advertiser.

Robert Nimmo

Robert Harold Nimmo was a member of the first ACT (then Federal Territory) side that played Cooma on Australia Day in 1923. He played for Duntroon in the initial grade competition.

He entered the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1912 in the second intake. He was awarded the sword of honour as the top student in his intake. He landed on Gallipoli as a troop commander in May 1915 and was evacuated due to illness in August. He served throughout the Palestine campaign in a variety of command appointments. He returned to Duntroon in 1920 was an instructor at the RMC. He also served in various command positions as a Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier in New Guinea. He was promoted to Major General after the War and appointed a CBE in 1950.

Nimmo died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1966 at Rawalpindi, Pakistan while he was acting as the Chief Military Observer to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. He had served in this role from 1950 until his death. He was buried in the ANZAC section of Mount Gravatt cemetery in Brisbane with full military and UN honours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s