Harold Gwyer Garnett was born on 19th November 1879, the son of Alexander Garnett, a merchant who had been born in British Guyana. The family home was 10 Riversdale Road L19, a sizeable house overlooking the grounds of Liverpool Cricket Club. Shortly before Harold’s tenth birthday the home of one of their neighbours became the centre of a murder mystery which is still a hotbed of controversy. James Maybrick, the resident of Battlecrease House, No. 6 Riversdale Road died on 11th May that year and his wife Florence was tried and convicted of his murder.
At the time of the 1901 census Harold was shown as an articled clerk, but by this time he was making a name for himself in a completely different field, as a first-class cricketer. 1901 was in fact probably his best season, breaking into the Lancashire first team and performing so well that Wisden surmised he might become the best left-handed batsman in the country. He scored 110 and 89 against Sussex at Manchester and notched up centuries against Leicestershire and Middlesex, finishing second in the Lancashire averages behind the legendary Johnny Tyldesley. These performances were good enough to earn him a place in the England team to tour Australia. Unfortunately his form deserted him ‘down under’ and he was not selected for any of the tests. Apart from spells when his business interests took him to South America he played regularly for Lancashire until the outbreak of war in 1914. He actually played on three occasions for Argentina against a touring MCC side, the team being comprised entirely of ex-pat Englishmen. In the last season before the war he captained Lancashire having developed into a first-class wicket-keeper and gaining a place in the Gentlemen’s team against the Players.
He played 152 times for Lancashire, scoring 5798 runs at an average of 26.
He volunteered at the outbreak of the war, soon gaining a commission, serving with the South Wales Borderers with the rank of Major. Wounded in December 1914 he was killed in action at Cambrai on 3rd December 1917. His name appears on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral.
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