Captain of the ADF cricket team, Sergeant Beau Wright, will lead the 7th Brigade Commander’s XI against the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s XI on Anzac Day to commemorate the Shell Green cricket match played in Turkiye in World War I.
CAPTION: Sergeant Beau Wright, 7th Brigade Commander’s XI Cricket Captain, prepares for the annual Anzac Day Shell Green match against the Brisbane Lord Mayors XI. Story and photo by Major Roger Brennan.
It is named after a famous cricket match played by Australian troops on 17 December 1915, at a site in Gallipoli now known as Shell Green.
It was played as a diversionary tactic during preparations for an evacuation while artillery shells flew overhead. The match was abandoned after Turkish shells landed nearby.
“It’s amazing to play the Shell Green cricket match on Anzac Day at the Brookfield Oval, where the residents donated their horses to support the 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment at the beginning of World War 1,” Sergeant Wright said.
The player-of-the-match award is dedicated to Brookfield local Corporal Matthew Hopkins, from the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009.
“Being in Brookfield and representing the Army on behalf of Corporal Hopkins, who gave his life for Australia, is a very special thing,” Sergeant Wright said.
“To me, Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices our service men and women have made throughout history. I also think of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan more recently.
“Every time I wear the Rising Sun, I feel like I represent the legacy they left behind.”
Sergeant Wright also has a close connection to Corporal Cameron Baird, who was killed in action in Afghanistan. While working as a recruit instructor at Kapooka, Sergeant Wright invited the commando’s father to present the most outstanding soldier award.
“Doug Baird came down to present the award, which was fantastic, and I still remain in contact with the family,” Sergeant Wright said.
“The way Corporal Baird worked as a junior non-commissioned officer inspires me. If I can lead soldiers in half the manner he did, it would be a great achievement.”
As Sergeant Wright prepares to don his whites and face the chin music, he is humbled by the significance of the day.
“It’s such a great day for the community and what being Australian is all about,” he said.