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  • Writer's pictureGordon Elliot

Gilbert Jessop Remembered

Cricket buffs will be familiar with the name of Gilbert Jessop, one of the hardest-hitting batsmen of his or indeed any other era, long before T20 or Bazball had been dreamt of. They may not, however, know of his connection with Burford.

Jessop, who still holds the record for the fastest century (76 balls) by an Englishman in a Test match, was honoured at Burford School last week, to commemorate his link with the school and the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Jessop’s famous innings was played during the Test match between England and Australia in 1902.  England, needing 263 to win, had fallen to 48 for 5 when Jessop went in to bat.  After his whirlwind innings England scraped home by one wicket.  Jonny Bairstow came closest to breaking the recored in 2022 with a hundred in 77 balls.

The Old Burfordians Association was happy to fund the project as a mark of respect for Jessop who taught at Burford Grammar School (as it then was) in 1893-94 before going on to represent Cambridge University, Gloucestershire and England.

The unveiling was performed by Jessop’s granddaughter Lucy and his daughter-in-law Pat and in attendance were several Old Burfordians, the headteacher and the two captains of Jessop House, Kat Kola-Abiola and Alexander Anderson.

This year also marks the 130th anniversary of the first recorded Boys v Girls match, which took place at Burford in June 1894 and it is widely believed that Jessop played a prominent role in getting this match played between the youngest boys of the school and the daughters of the masters and local businessmen. The girls won.

More information about Gilbert Jessop and his links to Burford School can be found online.


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