Arthur Mann was a talented amateur cricketer who played four times for Glamorgan in Minor County Friendlies during 1896 before enjoying a distinguished career as a journalist, and becoming editor of The Evening Standard and The Yorkshire Post, besides being a Governor of the BBC.
Educated at Warwick School, his prowess with the bat won him a place in the school’s XI as well as several appearances for the Warwickshire Club and Ground team. Rather than becoming a professional cricketer, Arthur moved to South Wales to commence his training as a journalist and joined the staff of the Western Mail newspaper whose offices were in St. Mary Street, Cardiff, just a six hit away from the Arms Park.
Arthur also joined Cardiff CC, and after some decent innings, he was chosen as a reserve for Glamorgan’s away match with Herefordshire in June 1896. When Sidney Sweet-Escott dropped out, Arthur duly made his debut and impressed with a composed innings of 58. His efforts saw him chosen in the starting line-up for the return game at the Arms Park, as well as the visit to Lord’s to play the MCC plus the match with Monmouthshire at Cardiff. However, he only made 58 more runs in six innings and was not called up again.
As one door closed, another opened as the young journalist and his wife returned to the West Midlands where Henry became sub-editor of the Birmingham Daily Mail, In 1905 he was appointed editor of the Birmingham Daily Dispatch, before moving to London in 1912 following his appointment as London editor of the Manchester Daily Dispatch. His star was clearly in the ascent as three years later he became editor of The Evening Standard, before being appointed editor of the Yorkshire Post in 1919.
Arthur remained with Yorkshire Post until 1939, during which time he won acclaim for his independence of thought, besides making the headlines himself in 1936 during Edward VIII’s abdication. In particular, he broke the Press silence over the King’s action in wishing to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, as he published criticism which the Bishop of Bradford had voiced.
A couple of years later, Arthur also opposed Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement with Nazi Germany, before becoming embroiled in a series of arguments with the owners of the Yorkshire Post following their decision to merge with the Leeds Mercury. The run-ins led to Arthur’s resignation, but he remained in the Media, serving as a Governor of the BBC between 1941 and 1946. In later life, Arthur was a decent golfer and apparently twice declined a knighthood during the 1920s, believing that it would interfere with his journalism.
MANN, Arthur Henry.
Born – Warwick, 7 July 1876.
Died – Folkestone, 23 July 1972.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 58 v Herefordshire at Hereford, 1896.