Leslie Jenkins

Image Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Leslie Jenkins was the son of a coal exporter in South Wales who played Minor County cricket for Monmouthshire and rugby for Penarth, with Leslie inheriting his father’s sporting skills and making ten appearances for Glamorgan during their inaugural summer as a first-class county.

Leslie was born in Newport and after attending prep school in Hampshire he went to Malvern College. He made the Malvern XI during 1916 with the College’s magazine that July describing him as a “a very fair batsman, good fielder and an efficient stumper.”

On leaving school, Leslie joined the Royal Field Artillery, rising to the rank of Second Lieutenant by September 1917. His father’s business had initially been based in Newport but ,by the time he was in residence at Gonville and Caius, the Jenkins family were based in Penarth with Leslie showing promise as a top-order batsman and occasional wicket-keeper for the town’s cricket club as well as for Cardiff CC.

In 1921 he was called into the Glamorgan side following an injury to Henry Symonds and made his first-class debut as a specialist batsman in the match against Gloucestershire at Swansea during the first week of June. Three weeks later, he also took over the gloves against Lancashire at the Arms Park before briefly returning to the role of specialist batsmen when school-master George Cording, one of his Cardiff team-mates became available at the end of term.

Leslie was back behind the stumps on Glamorgan’s away matches in August against Sussex and Hampshire, and after a successful South Coast tour, he kept his place for the return match against Hampshire at the Arms Park. But the game ended in a two-day defeat for the Welsh county, who were led by Dyson Bransby Williams, the Swansea amateur, in his one and only appearance in Championship cricket. Glamorgan were dismissed before lunch on the opening day for 37 before the following day, their batsmen failed again as they went down to an innings defeat.

This game at Cardiff proved to be Leslie’s final Championship appearance as the Welsh county, in a bid to bolster the batting and have a regular wicket-keeper, signed Hampshire’s Jimmy Stone for 1922. Nevertheless, Leslie continued to turn out for county’s Club and Ground side, and was regarded as one of the best young amateurs behind the stumps in club cricket.

Leslie duly succeeded his father in the family’s coal exporting business in Penarth, and following his marriage to Joan Knight in May 1930, there were domestic as well as business commitments which left Leslie confined to largely playing club cricket at weekends. During the Second World  War, Leslie served as a Special Constable, over-seeing the protection of the town and docks which – like Cardiff – provided coal for the War Effort.

JENKINS, Wyndham Leslie Trevor

Born – Newport, 26 August, 1898

Died – Penarth, 14 June, 1971

Career-best for Glamorgan: 39 v Worcestershire at Kidderminster, 1921

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Above – WLT Jenkins’ Batting and Fielding Record for Glamorgan.