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Gregory, Charles Smith (Charlie) (1847–1935)

from Referee (Sydney)

The death, at the age of 88, of Mr. Charles S. Gregory, one of the celebrated cricketing brothers of New South Wales, and father of Jack Gregory, recalls a set of manly men, who had hearts of oak and the rarest in physical fibre, and were highly gifted in cricket.

Charlie Gregory, if not quite so accomplished as Dave, the first Australian Eleven captain, or Ned — known in his time as the Lion-hearted — was a man of splendid stature and an able batsman, who represented New South Wales against Victoria in 1871 and 1872.

The Gregorys have been to Australian cricket what the Graces were to English cricket. For many years they exercised splendid vitalising influence on the game, and not only on the playing fields. The founder of the family came to Sydney from England about one hundred years ago, and became a master at Cape School in College Street, practically the Sydney Grammar School of later years.

There were seven sons, five of whom represented New South Wales, and the other two were also good cricketers, though unable to give time to the game as their brothers did.

Charlie's most notable cricket appearance was in the single-wicket match on the Albert Ground in 1870, when the three brothers (Dave and Ned being the others) defeated the three Victorians (T. W. Wills, Sam Cosstick, and John Conway). Single wicket matches were quite important, and excited considerable interest. When the brothers defeated the redoubtable Victorians by a few runs, they were carried off the field by the spectators and entertained at a public banquet in the evening to commemorate the affair.

That was the match in which Nat Thompson (the Sydney cricketer) no-balled Dave Gregory for throwing. After a while Dave, after running up to the crease, did not let the ball go, but Nat called again, only to he confused by the unexpected retention of the ball in the bowler's hand.

Charles Gregory was proud of his sons, Jack, the champion, Warwick, better known in Rugby Union football, and Alban, who showed good form at Sydney Grammar School.

The original brothers and their sons excelled as batsmen and fieldsmen. It was therefore meet that such a magnificent all-rounder as Jack should be a son of one of them, his repute as fast bowler ranking with that of E. Jones, A. Cotter, and E. A. McDonald, the other Australian dons of the wind-jammers. Jack's slip fielding was unsurpassable in his best seasons, and his all-round abilities ranked with those of M. A. Noble, G. Giffen, and Warwick Armstrong.

The Gregorys— of all the generations — differed in their cricketing abilities and gifts, but they had the one common stamp of character. It runs through all the branches. Big or little in physical make-up, they have been robust, manly men who could not stoop to pettiness in their games.

Mr. Charles Gregory was in the Public Service of the State and later of the Commonwealth, his final position for years being chief accountant in the Electric Telegraph Department. He loved cricketers, and at the big matches looked veritably a Viking among men. He was fond of all sports of the field.

Mr. Albert Gregory, the surviving brother, has preserved the family devotion to cricket by building up a photographic record of the game of very rare character and value.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Charles Smith (Charlie) Gregory

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 April 1935, p 10

Citation details

'Gregory, Charles Smith (Charlie) (1847–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/gregory-charles-smith-charlie-28111/text35824, accessed 21 September 2019.

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