Author Topic: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England  (Read 1966 times)

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Online pomme homme

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Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« on: October 09, 2016, 15:32:27 pm »
Maurice Tate was born in Brighton on 30 May 1895. He died in Wadhurst on 18 May 1956. I was reminded of him by virtue of coming across a poem, in a 1956 issue of the Sussex County Magazine, which contained a eulogaic poem to the cricketer:

The master of length and fiery pace
Who flourished neath the Sussex sun
Will play with Nyren, now, and Grace
And share with them his sense of fun

That glorious run up to the crease
The upflung arms, the tousled hair
His smile - were part of summer's lease;
In Austral climes he spreads despair

And now, though Sussex fields and Lord's
Will know no more his friendly grin
He'll battle on Elysian swards
With Fuller Pilch and Alfred Mynn

which is attributed to Rowland Ryder.

Tate was an all-rounder who played for Sussex between 1912 and 1937 (those were the days when one could remain competitive in county cricket into one's forties). He also played for England between 1924 and 1930. In his test career he played 39 times for England, scoring nearly 1200 runs at an average of 25.48. He scored only one century - 100 against South Africa in 1929. He took 155 wickets at an average of 26.16, his best performance being 6 for 42 (but I haven't yet discovered when and against whom).

Sadly he didn't have a rewarding life post cricket. He became a publican, his last licensed premises being the Greyhound in Wadhurst. However he remained keenly interested in the great game. But he was out of the spotlight. Having fallen on hard times, he took a job coaching cricket at Butlins, Clacton, in 1956. But equally he umpired the Australian touring side's first match in their 1956 tour of England, it being the traditional fixture against the Duke of Norfolk's XI at Arundel in April 1956. Three weeks later he was dead of a heart attack at the age of only sixty. He was buried in the churchyard of St Peter & St Paul, Wadhurst. Back in 2010, an article in The Guardian reported that his grave was neglected, weed covered and subsiding on the slope. I do hope that the article spurred somebody or somebodies to restore the grave in order that it might remind people visting the churchyard of what a fine cricketer was buried there. Maybe one of the gravewatchers on this forum might take a look, next time they are in that part of the world, and take a photograph of his grave and post it here.   

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 14:29:33 pm »
A photograph of Maurice Tate's grave taken from the article in The Guardian.

I have to assume that his age, as given on the stone, is an error. If he was born on 30 May 1895 and died on 18 May 1956, he was only sixty - albeit only twelve days shy of his 61st birthday. It appears that Wisden (!!!) is responsible for this error, it having appeared in Tate's obituary as published therein.

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 14:57:59 pm »
.....his best performance being 6 for 42 (but I haven't yet discovered when and against whom)

Found it! He achieved this in the first innings of England's third test against South Africa at Headingley in July 1924. Tate took 6 for 42 off 17 overs with 4 maidens. His victims were:

- Deane caught & bowled
- Ward bowled
- Catterall bowled (caught Wood)
- Nupen bowled (caught Wood)
- Pegler lbw
- Blanckenberg bowled

In this innings South Africa were all out for 132 off 51.3 overs. England won the match by 9 wickets.

Offline John

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 15:43:14 pm »
Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 30 July 1954

MAURICE TATE LEAVES SUSSEX.
Former England and Sussex cricketer, Mr. Maurice Tate is leaving The Huntsman Inn at Eridge, of which he has been licensee for some time. Before moving to Eridge he was landlord of the King’'s Arms Hotel, Rotherfleld, and he is now leaving the hotel business to live at Tonbridge, where he has been coaching at Tonbridge School.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 16:42:41 pm »
I have to assume that his age, as given on the stone, is an error. If he was born on 30 May 1895 and died on 18 May 1956, he was only sixty - albeit only twelve days shy of his 61st birthday. It appears that Wisden (!!!) is responsible for this error, it having appeared in Tate's obituary as published therein.

On reflection, I may have been a little too hasty in blaming Wisden for the age which appears on Maurice Tate's gravestone. It's probably reasonable to assume that the stone was erected before the relevant issue of Wisden appeared (for those not in the know, it's an annual volume) - and thus Wisden may have relied on rather than caused what appeared on the gravestone. Assuming that the gravestone was erected by Tate's wife and/or family, it seems unlikely that they would have consulted Wisden before giving textual instructions to the monumental mason!

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 15:47:08 pm »
Back in 2010, an article in The Guardian reported that his grave was neglected, weed covered and subsiding on the slope. I do hope that the article spurred somebody or somebodies to restore the grave in order that it might remind people visting the churchyard of what a fine cricketer was buried there.

There were subsequent articles in The Guardian in 2010. These suggest that the hope I expressed was not in vain. It says that:

'..... the immediate and happy outcome [of publication of the earlier article in the newspaper] was that a London reader, Robert Harrison, and his son travelled to Wadhurst to begin repairs just as, simultaneously, the Sussex supporters' association pledged full-scale renovation of the once strapping hero's grave.'

and that:

'Robert Harrison and his son, having seen the article, had taken the matter into their own hands, gone down to Wadhurst and tidied up the grave on their own initiative: cut the grass, planted cyclamens, and cleaned the gravestone so that its inscription is once more visible.'

I am still hoping that one of this forum's graveyard visitors will take a trip to St Peter & St Paul, Wadhurst, to photograph Maurice Tate's headstone and that this might show that it has been restored and pays due tribute to a fine cricketer.


Offline alkhamhills

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 20:45:59 pm »
Maurice William Tate
Married Kathleen M Freeman ¼ March 1921 Brighton

In 1939 Maurice(29.4.1895) & Kathleen M(10.2.1899). Also Maurice(1924), Michael(1932) & Pauline K Peach(1875) & 2 closed entries.
At Wanaka, James Lane, Burgess Hill UD
Maurice a Sports Journalist. Maurice junior seeking work, & Michael at school.

In WW1 Maurice 16.11.1914 Brighton
He was a professional cricketer.
No 955 6th (Res Cyc) Batt Royal Susex
promoted Cpl 26.11.1914
Discharged 5.12.1914 having been found medically unfit for further service*
Awarded War Badge & Certificate 26.2.1917. 

Probate. Of The Greyhound Hotel, Wadhurst. Admin to Kathleen Miriam Tate, widow. Effects £824.

* a professional cricketer unfit. ?????

Kathleen died 1979 Surrey.

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 21:00:24 pm »
Have any forum members recently made a visit to St Peter & St Paul, Wadhurst?

Offline Man of Kent1

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2020, 23:30:38 pm »
John - did we visit the churchyard a few years ago whilst investigating the jet-plane crash &c.?

Offline John

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2020, 07:06:34 am »
Possibly - I know I'be been there a few times over the years. Not recently though.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline Man of Kent1

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2020, 16:17:15 pm »
Just found this photo, dated 21 August 2013, John. So we were there and I think either the church was locked that day or we didn't have time to enter as I have no corresponding shots of the interior - at least none that I can find!

Online pomme homme

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Re: Maurice Tate, Sussex & England
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2023, 11:50:49 am »
Maurice Tate's father, Fred Tate, also was a cricketer. Born illegitimate, in the Brighton Workhouse in 1867, Fred Tate, an off spinner, played for Sussex between 1887 and 1905. He was selected for the England side but played for his country only once - against Australia at Old Trafford in 1902. Inauspiciously, not only did he drop a crucial catch but also, when he came to the crease, gave his wicket away cheaply, when England needed only eight runs to win the match and level the series. The result was that the Australians won the match by three runs and England lost the series. A broken man, Fred Tate was never again selected to play for his country. When his playing career was over, initially he coached Derbyshire and then followed the much trodden route of becoming a publican. It appears that, ultimately, he returned to Sussex because he is recorded as dying in poverty in Burgess Hill in 1943.

Maurice Tate's brother, Cecil, also was a professional cricketer. But unlike his brother and his father, he never played for England. He played first class cricket for Derbyshire and Warwickshire between 1928 and 1933.