S.M. John Hodges
(d.1951)

Died aged unknown

John Robart Hodges, an Australian cricketer, was born in Knightsbridge, London on 11 August 1855 and is believed to have died on 17 January 1933 in Melbourne, Victoria in his adopted country. The exact details of his death remain unconfirmed but this date is generally accepted by the sport's historians. He is one of the least known Australian players, so meteoric and short was his career. He had the unusual distinction of playing in a Test match (and not just any Test match, the first ever given such status) before playing for his colony. Therefore, the historic international, played at Melbourne in 1877 between Australia and England, was Hodges' first-class debut. A left-handed batsman and fast-medium, round-arm bowler, Hodges started playing cricket for the famous Capulets club in the Collingwood district of Victoria. Following some good performances in club cricket, he soon appeared for the Richmond Cricket Club (1876/77), and later played for Victoria. His bowling had both pace and movement and occasionally he could swing the ball sharply. But it also lacked consistency and all the good work he showed previously rarely came to the fore in his two representative matches. He bowled too short and was hit about the ground by some of the English batsmen. Hodges got his chance to play in the inaugural Test when the more widely recognised bowler, Frank Allan, refused to travel to Melbourne from Warrnambool for the match. Allan could not spare the time and thus Hodges bowled the very first ball for Australia in Test history and was unlucky not to take a wicket with it. Newspaper reports suggested that an umpiring error saved the English batsman, Henry Jupp, after he dislodged the bails whilst attempting to play the ball. Umpire Ben Terry, standing at square leg, did not see the incident and therefore Jupp survived. Hodges took three wickets in his first Test, including John Selby twice, and did enough to earn selection for the second Test two weeks later. He claimed another three wickets in the second Test and this time it was Andrew Greenwood that fell to him in both innings. In both matches he scored just ten runs (with two ducks and a highest score of 8) and his play in the field was considered casual bordering on slipshod. Nine months after his representative matches, in December 1877, Hodges made his debut for Victoria and played a second and last time for the state in February the following year. From then on his form deserted him and he was soon out of first-class cricket and back playing for the Capulet team. A bootmaker by trade, Hodges appeared before a Richmond court in February 1884, charged with indecent exposure. The charges were dismissed and from thereon he faded into relative obscurity. One of the last references to Hodges came in January 1911 when Tom Horan, a former teammate in that inaugural Test side, reported that he believed Hodges had moved to South Africa. But further details about his life are sparse. Despite his early cricketing ability Hodges spent most of his life living in poverty.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Photo of Affray, Osborn Allen, Trevor Andrews, James Barlow, and 72 other
Martin Allen on Wikimedia Commons

HM Submarine "Affray". Sunk 16th April 1951. In respectful remembrance of the 75 souls whose names are given here and who have no grave but the sea. Osborn Allen, Lieutenant (Engineer) James Alston, Lieutenant (Engineer) Trevor Andrews, Sergeant, Royal Marines George Ashley, Acting/Leading Stoker Mechanic James Barlow, Leading Steward Denis Bartup, Engineering Mechanic 1st class David Beddoes, Steward David Bennington, Engine Room Artificer 2nd class William Bilton, Senior Commissioned Engineer John Blackburn, DSC, Lieutenant (Commanding Officer) Oliver Bridges, Stoker Mechanic Alfred Burberry, Acting/Chief Petty Officer Robert Cardno, Stoker Mechanic Michael Cole-Adams, Lieutenant (Engineer) George Cook, Acting/Leading Seaman John Cooper, Petty Officer Roy Curry, Stoker Mechanic Frederick Denny, Acting Electrician Frederick Drury, Stoker Mechanic Derrick Foster, Lieutenant Anthony Frew, Sub Lieutenant Alan Garwood, Sub Lieutenant Harold Gittins, Telegraphist Bernard Gostling, Stoker Mechanic Walter Green, Temp./Leading Stoker Mechanic Jeffrey Greenwood, Lieutenant William Harkness, Petty Officer Leonard Harris, Stoker Mechanic Roy Hiles, Stoker Mechanic John Hodges, Stoker Mechanic Alfred Hooper, Marine, Royal Marines Eric Horwell, Engineering Mechanic 1st class Richard Howard-Johnston, Sub Lieutenant Alan Irven, Telegraphist Dennis Jarvis, Marine, Royal Marines William Kirkwood, Lieutenant Gordon Larter, Stoker Mechanic Russell Lansberry, Lieutenant, RNVR George Leakey, Able Seaman Norman Lees, Engine Room Artificer 3rd class William Lewis, Stoker Mechanic William Linton, Sub Lieutenant William Longstaff, Sub Lieutenant Colin Mackenzie, Sub Lieutenant Roderick Mackenzie-Edwards, Sub Lieutenant John Mckenzie, Chief Engine Room Artificer James Miller, Acting/Leading Stoker Mechanic Hugh Nickalls, Sub Lieutenant Richard North, Sub Lieutenant Peter Pane, Able Seaman George Parker, Engine Room Artificer 2nd class Dennis Pearson, Acting/Petty Officer Robin Preston, Sub Lieutenant Alan Ramplin, Stoker Mechanic Anthony Rewcastle, Sub Lieutenant Jack Rutter, Acting/Radio Electrician Frederick Shaw, Lieutenant (Engineer) Edward Shergold, Corporal, Royal Marines Francis Smith, Cook John Smith, Stoker Mechanic Ronald Smith, Leading Seaman Anthony Stewart, Able Seaman John Strachan, Sub Lieutenant Maurice Taylor, Engine Room Artificer 3rd class Norman Temple, Stoker Mechanic John Thirkettle, Acting Petty Officer John Treleaven, Lieutenant (Engineer) Victor Trimby, Acting/Leading Stoker Mechanic Robin Tugman, Sub Lieutenant Roy Vincent, Steward Albert Welch, Lieutenant (Engineer) Reginald Whitbread, Chief Petty Officer (Stoker Mechanic) Herbert Wood, Leading Electricians Mate Frederick Woods,, Petty Officer Telegraphist Benjamin Worsfold, Acting/Leading Telegraphist

?, Alderney, United Kingdom where he died near (1951)