It was a glorious day for the match and in order to try to catch an English atmosphere it had been arranged for a marquee to be rigged on the ground and draped with flags; also to have some comfortable armchairs for the ladies and ice-cream, tea and coca-cola by the gallon (this is America's most popular TT drink). The only snag was the pitch. It was impossible to procure any very suitable turf, but there were bits here and there and the remainder of the pitch consisted of mud, sand and anything else that could be found. What Gover or any other fast bowler would have done on it one dreads to think. Commander Stephenson tried to get some umpires coats, but unfortunately the painters out there do not wear our long style coats and the local doctor had packed his operating coats preparatory to leaving the locality. Match cards and telegraph board were generously provided by the firm.
The match was Officers v Ships Company and the former were severely defeated. The doctor shaped very well and kept wicket beautifully - at least a dozen balls flew off the pitch straight over his head but he never 'stood back' at all. The bowling was poor and Petty Officer Gilbert thoroughly enjoyed himself until he very generously retired.
There were about a hundred American ladies present - all beautifully dressed - and some two hundred men. During the Officers innings Stephenson sat at a loudspeaker and tried to explain to the spectators what it was all about - also that it was not baseball and therefore barracking was taboo. They were model spectators and seemed very interested, but ninety percent, thought that it was on the slow side and could never supplant baseball. On the other hand, at the game of soccer which was staged the spectators raved about it and thought it was a wonderfully skilful display. They went into raptures when anyone headed the ball.
I am guessing that this took place in September / October 1942 but I don't know for sure. If you know anything else about this (date / location etc) I would love to hear from you!