- Born 23 March 1904 Dublin
- Died March 1961 Umtali (now Mutare) Masholand, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
- Educated Rossall School Dublin University
- Debut 10 July 1926 v Scotland at Glenpark, Greenock
- Cap Number 346
- Style Right-hand bat; right arm medium pace.
- Teams Dublin University, Phoenix, Gezira Sporting Club, NW Frontier Province.
Joseph Peacocke was a useful middle order batsman, who possibly owed his selection for Ireland to availability rather than sheer merit. He entered Dublin University in February 1923 and was three years in the XI from 1924. He was probably unsettled by the varying places he held in the batting order, as- in consecutive matches - he was seen at No 3 or No 10, besides occupying several spots in between. Though he also played a few matches for Phoenix, he never scored a half century in competitive cricket, his best season for the University being 1924 when he scored 214 runs at 13.00 with a highest score of 38.
One of his better matches with the bat came the following year, when he made 29*at No 8 against a strong side raised by the Phoenix, Ireland, and former Dublin University medium pacer, Wentworth Allen. Only two other batsmen Jim Pigot (40) and George McVeagh (26) reached double figures. The University batsmen did rather better in their second innings, but Joseph 15), shared with Pigot and McVeagh the distinction of reaching double figures in both innings. The match was lost by 5 wickets. Joseph also made a useful 31 against Leinster the following season, having a productive fourth wicket stand with Samuel Beckett (61). He played for Dublin University in a first class match v Northamptonshire at Northampton in June 1926. This was the last such match to be attempted by the University, their heavy defeat prompting McVeagh to propose at the club's AGM, that first class matches be discontinued. There were no contrary voices. This game was lost by an innings and 107 runs, Joseph, at 4, making 11 in the first innings and 17 in the second. The County's amateur medium pacers, Philip Wright and the Wodehousian sounding Reggie Wooster, accounting for him.
His one match for Ireland came the following month against Scotland at Greenock. It saw Ireland go down by an innings, hardly surprising as they put out a side containing no less than eight changes from the original selection. Joseph, one of the eight, had a good first innings, making 48 at 4. Derek Scott's match report describes it as having been "valuable and patient... unlucky not to get a half century." He was eventually stumped off the medium pace of Gilbert Hole, a medium pacer who took 31 wickets in his Scotland career. The keeper, James Fleming, played only twice for his country, but was a well known figure in Scottish cricket circles. A famed collector of cricket books, he did much to attract first class cricketers to play in Scotland in the war years, besides later founding the Cricket Society of Scotland. He was World Curling Champion in 1949. Joseph made 17 in the second innings, joint top score in a somewhat poor batting display by Ireland. He was out to googly bowler Alex Forrester.
He was not seen in any further important Irish cricket, but his playing days were far from over. His work took him to different parts of the British Empire and he was to be found in some good class cricket. Thus in April 1932, he played for Gezira Sports Club v HM Martineau's XI at Cairo. Martineau took six sides to Egypt in the late 1920s and early 30s, often of near county strength, they were by no means always victorious. In the match in question, Joseph failed. Batting at 3 in the first innings and 2 in the second, he was dismissed for 4 and 2 by England leg spinner Ian Peebles. Two years earlier Peebles had been one of the few bowlers to trouble Bradman during The Don's record breaking first tour of England, bowling him for 14 in the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, so Joseph cannot be faulted for falling to him. Bradman's other scores in that series, incidentally, were 8, 131, 244, 1, 334 and 232!
In December 1933, in a match which began on Boxing Day, Joseph played for Punjab and North West Frontier v Free Foresters at Lahore. This proved to be his most successful match of which a score has been seen. Batting at 5 against a strong attack, he made 73, before being dismissed by Henry Power, also a former Rossall student, but a decade before Joseph's time.
No other record of Joseph Reginald Hyde Peacocke's cricket outside Ireland has been found thus far. It is clear however that he was playing at a good standard and must have been achieving a fair degree of success to have been selected for the sides he appeared for.
Edward Liddle, June 2009