Robert Gregory (cricketer)

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William Robert Gregory
Personal information
Born (1881-05-21)21 May 1881
County Galway, Ireland
Died 23 January 1918(1918-01-23) (aged 36)
Monastiero, Padua, Italy
Batting style Right-hand batsman
Bowling style Leg-break and googly
Relations William Henry Gregory (Father)
Augusta, Lady Gregory (Mother)
Career statistics
Competition First-Class
Matches 1
Runs scored -
Batting average -.--
100s/50s -/-
Top score -
Balls bowled 162
Wickets 9
Bowling average 10.22
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match -/-
Best bowling 8/80
Catches/stumpings -/-
Source: CricketAchieve, 24 November 2015

William Robert Gregory MC (20 May 1881 in County Galway, Ireland – 23 January 1918 near Grossa, Padua, Italy[1]) was an Irish cricketer and artist.

The only child of William Henry Gregory and Lady Gregory, an associate of W. B. Yeats, Robert was born in County Galway in Ireland in May 1881. He studied at Harrow, New College, Oxford and the Slade School of Art[2] he excelled at bowls, boxing, horse riding[2] and cricket. He was good enough at cricket to play once for the Ireland cricket team,[3] taking 8/80 with his leg spin bowling in a first-class match against Scotland in 1912. He didn't score a run.[4] His bowling performance in that match remains the tenth best in all matches for Ireland[5] and the fourth best in first-class cricket for Ireland.[6] His bowling average of 10.22 is the second best for Ireland in first-class cricket.[7]

An accomplished artist, he worked in the design studio of Jacques Émile Blanche, and had his own exhibition of paintings in Chelsea in 1914. The following year, he joined the war effort, becoming a member of the 4th Connaught Rangers, transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. He became a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1917, and was awarded a Military Cross for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty."[2]

He was killed in Italy at the age of 36 when an Italian pilot mistakenly shot him down.[2]

Robert's death had a lasting effect on W. B. Yeats, and he became the subject of four poems by him; In Memory of Major Robert Gregory, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, Shepherd and Goatherd, and Reprisals.[2]