Foxes Flashback - William Odell
WW Odell (born 5th November, 1881, died (Killed in Action) at Passchendaele, Belgium, 4th October 1917)
We are entering the time when we remember those who have died in the service of their country; 2nd Lieutenant, William Ward Odell, MC.
A hard-working fast bowler, on several occasions played for the Gentlemen against the Players, the most important fixture of his time outside test matches.
He served in the Sherwood Foresters and was awarded the Military Cross. The citation states that the information his patrol gained on where the enemy where about to attack from, allowed the British guns to focus their fire.
Though this action was in June 1917, the official announcement did not appear in the London Gazette until September. By this time, the Foresters were embroiled in the 3rd Battle of Ypres, and Odell was sadly killed on October 4. His battalion lost 15 officers and 234 other ranks at the encounter. His name is inscribed at Tyne Cot, just one of 35,000 commemorated there.
He was the son of Rev Joseph Odell, a prominent Primitive Methodist Minister, and from a cricketing viewpoint it is fortunate that two of his children were born whilst he was serving as a minister in Leicester. William’s younger brother played one match for Leicestershire in 1912.
Leicestershire: 172 Matches, 3,079 runs and 649 wickets. Best Bowling, 8 for 20 v MCC at Lord’s.