Rockley Wilson: One of a kind

by Mayukh Ghosh

Rockley Wilson.jpg

"It is right and reasonable that women should be able to vote in Parliamentary elections. There is no evidence to suppose that they are intellectually inferior to men.", argued the young student in a discussion in the school's debating society. His motion was defeated by 36 votes to 12.

But Rockley Wilson was indomitable. He won the mile competition three years on the trot, scored runs for the first XI, excelled in rugby and racket games.
While doing all this, he spoke his mind and got reprimanded, all too often.

He was so talented that people used to enter his name in every possible competition. Once Rockley was entered for a Latin competition without his knowledge. In a fit of panic, he obtained a copy of the previous entry and submitted it. 
He was surprised to win the prize but while accepting it, he confessed everything.
Many of the masters respected his honesty but he was asked to leave.
He went to Trinity College, Cambridge and did well in all sports.

In 1903, he was invited to play a full season of county cricket prior to his taking a teaching position at Winchester College.
All of a sudden, the cricket master at Winchester fell ill and Rockley was asked to start immediately. He threw himself into it, teaching cricket and French. In the classroom his lessons, allegedly, were 30 per cent French and 70 per cent cricket.

Rockley had a rather rough and humiliating Great War.
He returned to Winchester in the summer of 1919. 
Among the pupils waiting there for him was one Douglas Jardine. 
Rockley could penetrate the rather harsh exterior of Jardine and when , in 1932, he was informed that his most famous pupil was to lead England in Australia, he said, " We shall win the Ashes- but we may lose a Dominion."

Rockley Wilson had a huge library of cricket books and memorabilia.
One of the genuine well-wishers of the game of cricket.

There were many better cricketers but Rockley Wilson was 'one of a kind' in his own way.
We seldom celebrate these people.

Rockley Wilson was born on March 25, 1879