OZCRICKETATWAR is a website dedicated to understanding the interaction between the game of cricket in Australia and the Second World War. As arguably Australia’s national game – given the fractured nature of the football codes across our country – it played an outsize role. Cricket provided vital connections to Britain and the Empire, especially in the Indian sub-continent. Its continuation in Australia in wartime was often a political question, in light of its effect on the war effort and the morale of the civilian population. Nonetheless, it generally thrived despite the many practical constraints, and provided exciting entertainment. For servicemen and women, it provided recreation and a distraction from war, and a connection to home.
Nicholas Cowell is an Australian cricket nut, currently living in Sydney, and formerly in Melbourne and tropical Singapore.
His enthusiasm for the game is exceeded only by his ineptitude as a player – sunburn and hay fever saw him undertake a very short career in the mid-seventies with the Preston Druids under-fifteens.
An archaeologist by training, and a banker by trade, Nicholas was drawn into the world of cricket history by his unexpected purchase at auction of a scorebook of the 1940 match between Victoria and the Second A.I.F.
The past fifteen years have seen him delve deep into books, newspapers and scorecards in multiple States and countries, with overwhelmingly generous help from many other cricket enthusiasts around the country.
This site is dedicated to two Navy men of the War – they are Nicholas’ uncle Joe Cowell, who sailed in N-class destroyers, and his next-door neighbour Jimmy Millerick of HMAS Perth and the Burma Railroad.
Those of us who were too young to get it, are finally coming to understand. We salute you.