De Beaujolais’ Little Speech


Vitai Lampada


There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night,

Ten to make and the match to win.

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and the last man in.

And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,

Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,

But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote

“Play up! Play up! And play the game!”


The sand of the desert is sodden red,

Red with the wreck of a square that broke;

The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,

And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.

The river of death has brimmed his banks,

And England’s far, and Honour a name,

But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,

“Play up! Play up! and play the game!”


Sir Henry Newbolt wrote those words for soldiers such as us.  And today we gather in Darkest Africa in the spirit of fair play to stage the First Equatorial Test Match.

Thank everyone for being here.


Thank the ladies for the egg and cress sandwiches.


Thank Luigi for lending us the Italian flannel underwear on which to grow all the cress.


Without further ado I declare the First Equatorial Test Match open but first a toast:




“Play Up, Play Up and Play the Game”