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  • Title
    Sir Walter Allen - letters from George 'Gubby' Allen, 1932-33, 1936-37
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 5571/Box 1X
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1932-33, 1936-37
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Microfilm : CY 2546, frames 1-247 (MLMSS 5571)
  • Physical Description
    0.16 metres of textual material (1 outsize box)
    Textual Records - (manuscript)

    During the Australian Summer of 1932-33 the captain of the touring English cricket team, Douglas Jardine, introduced a new form of bowling attack which came to be known as 'bodyline'. In a calculated attempt to restrict the Australian batsmen, particularly Don Bradman, he directed his fast bowlers, Harold Larwood and Bill Voce, to aim at the batsmen rather than the stumps. With up to seven or eight fieldsmen concentrated on the leg side the Australians had little option but to duck or risk being hit or caught if they played a shot. England won the series four tests to one, however bodyline soured relations between the two countries for some years and was eventually outlawed from the game.
    Although he was a member of the English team, Gubby Allen was born in Sydney in 1902. His full name was George Oswald Browning Allen and his nickname was derived from his initials (he was also known as 'Obbie'). At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. At Eton and Cambridge he developed into an outstanding fast bowler and capable batsman. He played his first test in 1930 and was one of four fast bowlers on the 1932-33 tour of Australia. Throughout the tour he consistently refused to bowl bodyline. In 1936 he returned to Australia as captain of the English team and did much to repair the damage caused by the bodyline controversy. In all he played 25 test matches, taking 81 wickets and scoring one century.
  • Scope and Content
    A series of weekly letters to his parents, Sir Walter and Lady Allen, in which Gubby Allen gives an inside account of the bodyline tour, revealing the deep divisions created in the English team by his stand and by the whole controversy. Also included is a letter from Douglas Jardine to Sir Walter Allen incorporating his official report on Gubby. A second series of letters covers the succeeding English tour of Australia, 1936-37.
  • Copying Conditions
    Reproduction Restricted
  • Finding Aids
  • General note

    A selection of letters from this collection has been digitised as part of the Nelson Meers Foundation Benefaction, 2002.
    Copied onto preservation microfilm, June 1992.
    Digital order no: Album ID : 823887
  • Creator/Author/Artist
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Exhibited in

    Nelson Meers Foundation Heritage Collection - State Library of New South Wales (January - June 2003). Applies to: letters dated 12, 18 January 1933
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