Frank Naumann

Major Frank Charles Gordon Naumann MC was a professional cricketer who played for Malvern College, Oxford and Surrey.

He captained Malvern in a team that included his brother John before going up to Oxford and Trinity, getting a Blue in an academic and cricketing career punctuated by the Great War. He played in the Varsity Matches in both 1914 and 1919.

According to his Wisden Obituary in 1947 “he helped Oxford to victory by 194 runs [in the 1914 Varsity Match], finishing the game by taking four wickets for 10 runs, the last three men falling to him in four balls.”

In the 1919 Varsity Match he played for Oxford against his brother John in the Cambridge team, and even bowled him out. In a statistical anomaly the Gilligan brothers played on opposing sides as well, with A E R Gilligan stumping F W Gilligan (but neither having any connection to the Old Malvernian Lodge). Just to complete the amusement A E R Gilligan bowled Frank Naumann out in the second innings. Frank’s match figures of 11 wickets for 157 runs are credited with gaining victory for Oxford. (the scorecard can be found here). The game was also famous for being so foggy the spectators could not see the players.* John would go on to play for Sussex and Surrey, occasionally appearing at the Oval with his brother.

He was a genuine allrounder – a right handed middle order batsman and medium fast bowler who could swing the ball. He scored 1454 runs and 85 wickets over 84 first class innings, including a career best 118* and 6/81 in a career that spanned 1912 to 1926.

After he retired from professional cricket he became a coffee broker, the family trade.

Naumann was a member of the HAC and in 1915 he enlisted and was given a commission in the Royal Artillery, rising to the rank of Major and winning the MC in 1917.

The Naumann family was from Koethen, Prussia, Frank’s father, Frank Gustavus, having been born there. Emigrating to England Frank Gustavus was naturalised in 1890. He had three sons, all of whom played cricket at Oxbridge, Frank Jr in dark blue whilst his brothers John and Cecil both played in light blue. John and Cecil also volunteered in the Great War and became Captains in the the Rifle Brigade, and Cecil also winning the MC. In case there is any lingering doubt as to the family’s loyalties, Frank Gustavus was aboard the Lusitania when it was torpedoed, but survived and was rescued.

Naumann was initiated into Cranleigh Lodge No 3445 whose Founding Worshipful Master was his father, Frank Gustavus.

*Bats, Balls & Bails: The Essential Cricket Book By Les Scott. Random House