28 February 2016
The sad news has reached HTBS that Jim Pocock, of Milford, Connecticut, has passed away. Mr Pocock was the son of Dick Pocock, Doggett’s Coat and Badge winner of 1910 and brother of George Pocock. Both Pocock brothers left England in 1911 to settle in Canada. A year later they moved to Seattle, Washington, where they began to build racing shells, especially for the crews of the University of Washington, which at the time was coached by Hiram Conibear and later by Ed Leader.
In 1922, Leader, who had just been hired to coach at Yale, offered Dick Pocock a position as a boatbuilder, so both Dick and Ed left the west coast to settle in New Haven.
In an e-mail from this morning, rowing historian Thomas E. Weil writes about Jim Pocock:
‘Jim Pocock was not in the rowing business, but, until he became too frail to do so, he often showed up for at least one of rowing’s great traditions – the annual Yale-Harvard Boat Race in New London.
‘On the few occasions that I spoke to Jim about his father, Jim mentioned with pleasure running about his father’s workshop in the Bob Cooke boathouse in Derby as a young boy. He may also have spent some time at the George Adee Boathouse on New Haven Harbor prior to its abandonment / sale by Yale (the heavyweights were pretty much completely out of there after Bob Cooke was built, but there was lightweight and class, and then residential college, rowing there well into the 1930s, and possibly later).
‘Jim Pocock enjoyed ice hockey more than crew – shorter sticks on colder water! – but he also proved himself to be a dedicated friend of rowing. RIP, Jim.’
James ‘Jim’ Pocock passed away at an age of 88 years on 25 February 2016. Read an obituary here.