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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
William Basil Goulding (later Sir Basil Goulding Third Baronet of Millicent and Roebuck)
  • Born 4 November 1909, Dublin
  • Died 16 January 1982, Dargle, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
  • Educated Winchester College, Oxford University
  • Occupation Chairman Goulding Fertilisers
  • Debut 28 July 1934 v MCC at Sion Mills
  • Cap Number 382
  • Style Right-hand bat, wicket keeper
  • Teams Leinster

Basil Goulding had a varied and interesting life of which cricket was only a small part. A competent wicket keeper, but a no more than useful tail end batsman, he was not in the XI at Winchester, but kept wicket for his College, Christ Church, while at Oxford. His real games were squash and football. He represented Ireland at squash and gained his Blue at Oxford for football, being captain in his second and final season, 1930-31. Both University Matches ended as 1-1 draws in the years he played. On leaving Oxford and returning to Ireland he kept wicket for Leinster and gained two Irish caps v MCC, in 1934. This has been seen as a rather curious selection, as there were several clearly better keepers in Ireland at the time, notably George Crothers of Lisburn. The suggestion has been made, and it is perhaps not totally without foundation, that Basil's selection was not entirely divorced from the fact that his father, Sir Lingard Goulding, was President of the ICU that year.

Basil did not let Ireland down in the two drawn matches. At Sion Mills he was one of six debutants, including Sam Edgar who made 103, and Andy McFarlane making the first of his all too few Irish appearances. Basil got on the score sheet by providing Andy with his one wicket for Ireland catching the Bedfordshire batsman Lancelot Robinson, who, less than a year later, was to die with his wife in the Quetta earthquake in India. Having not batted in the first innings of 305/4 declared, Shearer and James Macdonald adding 50s to Edgar's hundred, Basil was bowled for 7 in the second innings by Oxford and Middlesex paceman Reggie Butterworth, who was destined to die during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. The second MCC match was at College Park. Basil made little impression, being bowled for a duck by DPK Morkel, the South African fast bowler and making no catches or stumpings. He did not play for Ireland again. Crothers returned in 1935 and Basil's Leinster place went, when University holidays allowed, to Crothers' rival Charlie Cuffe.

Succeeding to the baronetcy in 1935, Basil met in 1939 the English socialite Valerie Monckton, a larger than life character but a remarkable woman. She was the daughter of Sir Walter (later Viscount) Monckton who was to be a member of Conservative cabinets in the 1950s. A wicket keeper himself, he had played for Harrow v Eton in the famous "Fowler's Match" of 1910 and made one first class appearance the following season. He was later to be President of both Surrey and MCC. As Attorney-General in 1936, he played a pivotal role in the Edward V111 abdication crisis of that year, and had used Valerie as a courier between The King and another future MCC President Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Valerie and Basil were married just before the outbreak of War in 1939. Both served in the British forces. Basil joined the RAF and, becoming, a fighter pilot was a Wing Commander by 1942.

After the War Basil developed his business interests, in a somewhat unorthodox style, but his main interest was as an art collector. He was, according to the catalogue notes when his collection was sold some years after his death, "An extraordinary life force in Modernist Irish Art." The Art World, even beyond Ireland, owes much to him. Valerie became very prominent in the fight against polio when Ireland suffered a bad outbreak in 1952, She established the 2000 bed Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin and spent much of her time fund raising for it. She became, rather surprisingly for the daughter of a close friend of Winston Churchill, a Fianna Fail senator in 1977, and tried, unsuccessfully, to enter the Dail for that partyin 1982.

They had three sons, the eldest of whom, Lingard Goulding, was also a Winchester educated wicket keeper. He was in the 1958 Winchester XI along with two future first class cricketers: Indian Captain, the Nawab of Pataudi, and the Surrey fast bowler RI Jefferson, father of Will Jefferson the Essex and Nottignhamshire batsman. Lingard, became Headmaster of Headfort Preparatory School, Kells Co Meath. The School ground was the base for the Co Meath side for which he played; he also played for the wandering Leprechauns. On his father's death in 1982, did not attempt to "prove his title." The baronetcy is therefore dormant.

Sir William Basil Goulding was the subject of broadsheet obituaries on both sides of the Irish Sea, as was Valerie, Lady Goulding, on her death in 2003. A brief cricket obituary of Basil appeared in Wisden 1984.