December 7th 2016

Local cricket tragedy remembered

111 years have now passed since 19 year old local youngster, Harold Lunn was killed in a cricket accident.

Harold was born in Lymington in 1886, the second son of Ernest Lunn, a local timber merchant. By 1901 Harold and his family had moved to Brockenhurst and after schooling the lad was apprenticed as a carpenter to a Mr Preston, a Lymington builder. Lunn was a keen sports fan - keen on cricket and other outdoor sports.

On a sunny day in June 1905, 19-year old Lunn and his colleagues were working at a property at Battramsley, just a short hop to Sway as the crow flies. At lunchtime, the lads took themselves off to a nearby field for an impromptu game of cricket.

Lunn had brought a composite ball to work with him but by all accounts, the conditions were not ideal - the ground was rough with grass as long as two feet in places and the bat had been fashioned by themselves from available wood. Lunn himself made the stumps out of sticks cut from a nearby hedge. The wicket itself was only 18 yards but the boys were happy with this and the game commenced. Lunn bowled four of his work colleagues out before going in to bat himself.

The bowler, his work colleague and close friend, Walter Scorey, bowled a few medium pace deliveries off a couple of steps, when the next delivery was a head height full toss. Lunn went to smash the ball but missed it, the ball striking his jaw instead.

Whilst not appearing to have been hit particularly hard, Lunn muttered "Oh" before falling forwards onto his head. The players along with Frederick Rickman, the site foreman, carried the unconscious Lunn to the shade of a tree. The lad however never regained consciousness and after 2 minutes his heart stopped. By the time Lunn's father and the local doctor had been summoned, the deceased had been dead for 30 minutes with the cause of death not being the ball striking the jaw, but a brocken neck from the fall.

At the subsequent inquest in Brockenhurst, the bowler Walter Scorey was cleared by the jury of all blame for the tragic accident and by all accounts he was devastated by the death of his close friend. Scorey himself met an untimely end - being killed by a surprise German air raid on Cunliffe-Owen aircraft factory at Woolston where he was working in September 1940.

Lunn was buried in St Nicholas' churchyard in Brockenhurst and lies next to his parents.

Inscription reads: "In loving memory of our dear boy. Harold William Lunn, suddenly called home the result of an accident June 14th 1905 aged 19 years.