Tuke Can Play

“Tuke, wake up down there and keep your eyes on the game!”

The Squire always had great difficulty when captaining Henry Scott Tuke.

Tuke loved his cricket.  It was probably the only occupation that could draw him away from the beaches of Cornwall, and even so his mind would frequently wander back there to the rock pools, the sailing boats and the young boys, diving and hauling. 

In fact the ruse the Squire had used to induce Tuke to turn out that day was to select Henry Allen for the side.  So, in many ways, admirers of the visual artist’s prolific oeuvre have the Squire to thank for the painting above, Henry Allen in Cricket Whites.

Among Tuke’s maritime paintings is this of a four-masted barque in 1914 which almost certainly will have shortly been sunk like a sitting duck by U-Boat action. So many were.

A painting of the Squire’s yacht Bolivar* is a prized possession in his most private collection and alas cannot be published.

“I think he left some diaries here one day.  Asked me to keep ‘em safe. They’re somewhere in the library, Third Man. We must have a rummage for them. Full of cricket scores I seem to remember.”

Tuke also painted T.E. Lawrence as a cadet tying up his webbing after a dip at Newporth Beach, nearFalmouth, in 1906.

One day, Third Man may be tempted to tell the tale of when young Aircraftman Ross, as he then insisted on calling himself, raced round the orchard on the old Brough Superior after getting a duck in a match in 1922.

* A short explanation as to how the Squire came indirectly to own Lord Byron’s yacht, Bolivar, can be found here.


Filed under Light roller

2 responses to “Tuke Can Play

  1. diogenes

    he was an interesting fellow – rather advanced for the students of his era I imagine. And why was Aircraftman Ross not wearing mufti down in Falmouth? Surely he was not still on duty.

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