Alexander Kearsey

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Alexander Horace Cyril Kearsey
Born (1877-12-17)17 December 1877
Burstow, Surrey
Died 8 October 1967(1967-10-08) (aged 89)
Wandsworth, London
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
 Royal Air Force
Years of service 1896–1918
Rank Lieutenant colonel
Unit York and Lancaster Regiment
Royal Hussars
Dorset Regiment
King's Own Scottish Borderers
Battles/wars Second Boer War
Relief of Ladysmith
Battle of Venters Spruit
Battle of Spion Kop
Battle of Vaal Kranz
Battle of Tucela Heights
Battle of Pieters Hill
Battle of Laing's Nek
First World War
First Battle of Ypres
Battle of Neuve Chapelle
Gallipoli Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
First Battle of Gaza
Second Battle of Gaza
Battle of El Teb
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Order of the Karađorđe's Star
Order of the Nile
Other work Cricketer, military historian
Alexander Kearsey
Cricket information
Role Wicket-keeper
Domestic team information
Years Team
1913 Buckinghamshire
1903/04–1905/06 Europeans (India)
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 2
Runs scored 6
Batting average 2.00
100s/50s –/–
Top score 4
Balls bowled
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 1/1
Source: Cricinfo, 27 June 2011

Alexander Horace Cyril Kearsey, DSO, OBE (17 December 1877 – 8 October 1967) was a highly decorated career British Army officer who served in the Second Boer War and the First World War. He was also an English cricketer, but his military career limited his cricketing appearances. The son of Francis Kearsey, he was born at Burstow Hall, Surrey.[1] He was educated at Rottingdean School and Clifton College, before attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

Military career[edit]

After graduating from Sandhurst, Kearsey was commissioned into the York and Lancaster Regiment on 7 May 1896.[2] He was promoted to second lieutenant on 7 May 1896,[3] and was later promoted to lieutenant in 1900.[2] Kearsey fought in the Second Boer War, being present at the Relief of Ladysmith. During the operations in the Relief, Kearsay was severely wounded at Venters Spruit on 20 January 1900.[2] The following month, having recovered from his injuries sufficiently enough, he took part in action at Spion Kop, Vaal Kranz and toward the end of February, action at Tucela Heights and Pieters Hill.[2] Kearsey later took part in operations in Natal from March to June 1900, including at the Battle of Laing's Nek. He also took part in operations in Transvaal Colony from May to June 1901 and operations in Orange River Colony from December 1901 to 31 May 1902.[2] Mentioned twice in dispatches during the course of the war by Sir Redvers Buller, he was also mentioned in the London Gazette in a list of soldiers and officers who had distinguished themselves in the conflict.[4] Weeks later he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order,[5] with the insignia being presented by Edward VII on 14 March 1902.[2]

Following the Boer War, Kearsey was promoted to captain on 12 March 1904, while the following year he was transferred to the 10th Royal Hussars. He then served in the Territorial Force as an adjutant from March 1908 to April 1911.[2] With the outbreak of the First World War, Kearsey attended the Staff College, Camberley, and was promoted to major on 11 November 1914. At the start of the war, he was posted as part of the Embarkation Staff at Southampton, following which he procceded to Belgium with the 1st Life Guards, 7th Cavalry Brigade. He took part in the First Battle of Ypres and saw action at Neuve-Chapelle.[2] In 1915, he was attached to the staff of the 7th Cavalry Brigade, and August 1915 he was appointed Brigade Major with the 1/2nd South-Western Mounted Brigade, seeing action in Gallipoli. He later commanded the 5th Dorset Regiment for months, till May 1916. Following this, he was appointed GS01 with the 54th Division, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, seeing action at the first and Second Battle of Gaza,[2] both of which ended in Ottoman victories. He later commanded 1/5th King's Own Scottish Borderers, seeing action at the Battle of El Teb, during the course of which he was wounded. At the time he was a temporary lieutenant colonel. For his services in the conflict, Kearsey was decorated by the Kingdom of Serbia with the Order of the Karađorđe's Star, 4th Class with Swords[6] and the Order of the Nile.[7] Transferring to the fledgling Royal Air Force, he commanded the Cadet Wing and was appointed staff officer, 1st grade on 28 December 1918.[2] During his life, Kearsey published a number of his records including, The War Records of the York and Lancaster Regiment, South Africa, 1900–1902,1903, which detailed his time with the York and Lancaster Regiment in the Boer War.[2] He also published records of the campaign in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War.[8] He later wrote a number of books analysing military strategy.[9]


Distinguished Service Order Officer of the Order of the British Empire King's South Africa Medal 1914 Star
Victory Medal British War Medal Order of the Nile (3rd class) Order of the Karađorđe's Star


As a cricketer, Kearsey's batting style is unknown, but is known he fielded as a wicket-keeper.[10] While serving in the British Raj, he made his first-class debut for the Europeans against the Parsees in 1903. He ended the Europeans first-innings unbeaten on 0. In their second-innings, he was dismissed for 2 runs by Maneksha Bulsara.[11] His second first-class appearance came for the Europeans in 1905, in a repeat of his debut match.[12] In this match, he was dismissed for a duck by Jehangir Warden in the Europeans first-innings, while in their second-innings he was dismissed for 4 runs by the same bowler. Taking up position behind the stumps, he took a single catch and made a single stumping.[13] He later made two Minor Counties Championship appearances in 1913 for Buckinghamshire, against Berkshire and Wiltshire.[14] He did not appear for Buckinghamshire after this season.

Personal life[edit]

Kearsey married Frances Mitford, the daughter of Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale and Lady Clementina Gertrude Helen Ogilvy, on 30 April 1907.[1] The couple had one son.[2] Kearsey died in Wandsworth, London on 8 October 1967. He had survived his wife Frances, who had died in 1951, by 16 years.


  1. ^ a b "Alexander Kearsey". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Alexander Horace Cyri Kearsey". Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "No. 26964". The London Gazette. 6 May 1898. p. 2822. 
  4. ^ "No. 27353". The London Gazette. 10 September 1901. p. 5948. 
  5. ^ "No. 27359". The London Gazette. 27 September 1901. p. 6318. 
  6. ^ "No. 29945". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 February 1917. p. 1608. 
  7. ^ "No. 31002". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 November 1918. p. 13274. 
  8. ^ Kearsey, Alexander. The Operations in Egypt and Palestine, 1914 to June, 1917 : Illustrating the Field Service Regulations. Aldershot: Gale & Polden. 
  9. ^ "Alexander Horace Cyril Kearsey – Google Books search". Google Books. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Player profile: Alexander Kearsey". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 June 2011. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Europeans v Parsees, 1903/04 Bombay Presidency Match". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 June 2011. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "First-Class Matches played by Alexander Kearsey". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 June 2011. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "Europeans v Parsees, 1905/06 Bombay Presidency Match". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 June 2011. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Minor Counties Championship Matches played by Alexander Kearsey". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 June 2011. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]