David Chalmers Pickeman

Born8 May 1893 Donnybrook, Dublin
DiedJune 1945 Dublin
OccupationChemist (Military Records 1915)
Debut21 June 1923 v Wales at Cardiff Arms Park
Cap Number321
StyleLeg break bowler, wicket keeper.
TeamsPembroke, Leinster
HistoryDavid Pickeman was a sound upper order batsman who scored two centuries in senior cricket for Pembroke. He was also, at that level, a useful leg spinner, a fact which was ignored when he played for Ireland, and a capable reserve wicket keeper.

He was the only son and elder child of William and Janet Pickeman who had come to Dublin from Scotland where the Pickeman family was well established. William was an insurance manager, however his real passion was golf. In the year of his son's birth, William, together with his friend George Ross, was responsible for laying out the famous Portmarnock Golf Course on what had previously been a private link owned by the Jameson family of distilling fame.

In 1915, aged 22, David enlisted in the Royal Engineers, seeing service in France. Military Records show him to have attained at least the rank of corporal, any further information on this would be most welcome. David's career in senior cricket began in 1919, the year in which saw the start of the Leinster Senior League. He was to play until 1931, the bulk of his 138 matches being with Pembroke whom he joined in 1921. For the Sydney Parade club, he hit 2478 runs at 22.94 with two centuries, highest 110. His overall aggregate in senior cricket was 2815 runs at 22.16. He also made 58 dismissals as wicket keeper.

Unfortunately, his two matches for Ireland did not bring him much success. His debut came against Wales at Cardiff in 1923. He was one of four making their first appearance. Ireland won by an innings, the match as a contest being destroyed by the pace of William Pollock in the first few overs. Having dismissed their hosts for 153, Ireland responded with 418 of which David's share was 2. Coming in at the fall of the 6th wicket, he was caught off the fast medium bowling of Trevor Arnott, who was one of the leading amateurs of the day and, besides making several MCC and other tours, was to captain Glamorgan for the next six seasons. Wales did slightly better in their second innings but foundered again against pace, this time that of Wallace Sproule. They were all out for 242, giving David no chance to bat again.

He was not recalled to the side until the Scots match of 1926 - at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow - a game in which Ireland suffered a heavy defeat. Batting first their innings fell away after a good opening stand between Mark Sugden and James Macdonald. Batting at 7 David was caught at the wicket by JM Fleming off the medium pace of Gilbert Hole for 2. Fleming was well known for organising bucolic tours of the English West Country and was also an avid collector of cricket books, one of which, adorned with his personalised and fanciful bookplate, reposes on this writer's shelves. An inevitable hundred by "Wee John" Kerr put the Scots in an unassailable position when they batted, then Ireland crashed to defeat, with David being caught by Kerr off leg spinner Alex Forrester for a duck.

David Chalmers Pickeman did not play for Ireland again, and was only 38 when he gave up cricket. We would welcome any further details of his life, particularly with regard to his education and exact date and place of death. As a further guide to those who think they be able to identify him, he was married in 1923. His sister Eleanor, who was born in 1894, graduated from Trinity College in 1917 and had the married name of Collins.

Edward Liddle, January 2011

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