Henry George Blacklidge was born in July 1884, in Surrey. His parents resided at Rosamond Villas in Mortlake/East Sheen. A first class player for Surrey County Cricket Club, Blacklidge went on to serve with the Hampshire Regiment in the First World War.
The 1901 census places Henry working as a “gardener domestic” at Winterfold Gardens in Cranleigh. He played for the Surrey Country Cricket Club from 1906, and his first appearance in the ‘First XI’ was at The Oval in July 1908. His debut for Surrey C.C.C. in the county championship was later that summer, against Essex. In total he played seven first class matches – and was noted as a left hand batsman and left-arm fast-medium.
It is not known when, or why he enlisted in the army during the First World War. He served with the Hampshire Regiment, and at the time of his death had been serving as a Lance Corporal. He died of dysentery in Mesopotamia, Egypt on 23rd May 1917 at the age of 33. Blacklidge is commemorated at Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.
During summer 2015, the Barnes and Mortlake History Society put together an exhibition exploring the stories of the men with links to Mortlake and East Sheen who served during the First World War. Their war experiences were showcased in a touring exhibition held in local churches and libraries.
With great thanks to Helen Deaton and Lesley Howells for informing this blog