Cyril Herbert George Bland

There are times when it’s quite obvious when something is going to be interesting to people and there are times when you get personal satisfaction from something but you’re not sure whether anyone else will be at all interested. This is one of the latter times and I apologise if you aren’t interested.

Sussex county cricket team of 1897

For quite a while I have known about Cyril Herbert George Bland and I’ve found out various things about him along the way. Most notably, he could be the only first class cricketer to come out of Boston Grammar School (contact me if you know different). He played for Sussex in the 1890s and early years of the 20th century.

The more I found out about him, the more I wondered what he looked like, beyond David Frith’s description  in his book Silence of the Heart: Cricket Suicides as “Personable, wirily built and with ears that stuck out”. Finally, today I found a photograph of the 1897 Sussex county cricket team which included Cyril.

As you will guess from the title of David Frith’s book, Cyril Bland committed suicide, drowning himself at Cowbridge, Boston in 1950.

The photograph is shown here. I have also included the list of people on it in the OBA Wiki entry for Cyril Herbert George Bland.

5 thoughts on “Cyril Herbert George Bland

  1. Was it his son, Pat Bland, who played in goal for Boston United after the war (1946) and later became licensee of a pub near Ridl;iongton's just off the Market Place? Was it called the Magnet tavern?

  2. Hello Alan, I can't confirm or deny what you said about Pat Bland. Jack Bates once wrote to me "[Cyril Bland] chose a team of Blands (himself with sons Harold, Jack and Frank plus one or two daughters and others, all good cricketers) to play in Central Park around 1937." So Jack didn't mention a son called Pat, but that doesn't mean he didn't have one by that name.

    The Magnet Tavern is the pub roughly opposite where Ridlington's used to be on South Street. It faces along the road and is joined to the old warehouses there. It can be seen in the distance on this photograph from the Old Boston blog (which is, incidentally, a good read).

  3. I can confirm the above comment of Alan Ashton.My father was Patrick Guy Bland who played for Boston Utd and Watford Town FC.My grandfather was Cyril Bland who I am reliably informed was a cousin of WG Grace.

  4. Hello "Anonymous",

    Thank you for that confirmation. You may be able to help with a nagging doubt I have – though I could possibly get it checked more formally. I posted information about Cyril Bland here and on the OBA wiki in the belief that Cyril Bland attended Boston Grammar School.

    Having looked back at the messages sent to me by my original informants I realise that, while it is certainly an interesting story, and some of his family attended the School, at no point did anyone actually claim that Cyril himself attended BGS. Do you happen to know whether or not Cyril was a student at Boston Grammar School?

    Thank you

    Simon

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