Information on David Foley-Comer

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Eugene McConlough
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Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by Eugene McConlough » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:54 am

I'm a volunteer within the National Trust and am engaged in a research project during which David Foley-Comer’s name came up (as he visited, in 1951, one of the properties we now curate, although it was a private family home at the time) and I'd really like to find out a little more about him.
The team of [all retiree] volunteers I'm working with are trying to build up an annotated list of everyone who visited the property, a sort of 'mini biography' for each visitor, and David’s is one that we've not been able to collect anything for.
Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:09 am

I split this topic but if anyone can help Eugene then please feel free to reply either to this thread or to him via private message.
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

David Sedgwick
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:19 am

Back in the day, David Foley-Comer was a renowned captain of the Middlesex county team.

I have alerted Anthony Fulton, the Middlesex archivist.

John Upham
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by John Upham » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:01 pm

British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChessNew
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

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John Clarke
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by John Clarke » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:53 pm

Here's some personal recollections of DF-C. I tried doing them as a PM but for some reason couldn't get it to send properly - just sat in the Out-Box.

I'm not 100% clear on his birth and death dates, but these were approx 1935-1998 - a regrettably early demise. The family was Jewish; I don't know anything more about them than that (there used to be a link to their on-line family tree somewhere, but I can't now turn it up). David himself married relatively late in life; he was nearly 40 at the time. For a period in the 1970s, he dropped the "Foley" and was known simply as David Comer. No idea why.

David and I were personally acquainted for some years as fellow-members of the (now-defunct) Alcazar Chess Club in Edmonton, North London (it was previously known as the Palmers Green club, changing its name in 1967, after an enforced change of venue and suburb.) As a player he was goodish club standard - about 150 on the ECF grading scale of the time.

In person he was smallish - about 5ft 7, and slight of build - with light brown receding hair. (One of John Upham's links, above, has a picture of him). His manner was friendly, talkative and, above all, intense and focused. There was always that sense of barely-repressed energy about David. Whatever he was saying or doing, he was invariably right there with you.

His most substantial contributions to the chess world were as an organiser, and in particular as a match captain, both for his club and the county team of Middlesex. "When I'm captain, I go for it!" I once heard him remark at an Alcazar AGM. His track record bore this out. The year before I joined the club he'd been mildly censured by the membership for using too many "ring-ins", in his single-minded eagerness to strengthen the team in its Middlesex League campaign. His tenure somewhat later as county captain for Middlesex was apparently one of unprecedented success.

To encourage loyalty to the club teams, he provided "Comer Trophies" to be awarded to individuals racking up milestone numbers of appearances - fifty matches brought you a "Half-Comer", one hundred a full "Comer", while 200 earned a "Double Comer". I never saw one of these, so no idea what they looked like, or anything. But it gives you some idea of the man and his dedication.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:19 pm

As I was one of the people who was sent a private email to and have just managed to get back to the forum I thought I would reply on here.

I hardly knew David at all, but I think that we were on the committee of the Middlesex Chess Association at the same time. In 1981/82 he captained a strong Wood Green 2 team in the London League containing the likes of Nick Louth, Mike Hooper and Messrs Tovey, Wheatley and Mitchell. At the time I was vice captain of London Central YMCA 6 who were in the same division, but when IM assumed the captaincy the following season Wood Green 2 had been promoted.

It was Simon Spivack who first mentioned on here that David died, but I do think that the photograph John Upham provides is definitely him.

Eugene McConlough
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by Eugene McConlough » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:14 pm

This information is wonderful - thank you all so much!

Okay, does anyone know, by any chance at all (I've now got everything crossed) if David would have known any or all of the following:

John Wagner, Renee Wagner, Valerie Wagner or Anthony Moir.

I'm asking because these are the people that visited the property at exactly the same time as David.

You, the respondents, have all been brilliant. This is clearly beyond what I could have confidently expected - thank you again, each one of you.

Eugene

David Sedgwick
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Re: Information on David Foley-Comer

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:09 pm

Eugene, I sent you a private message about an additional source of information on 18th February.

It remains in my outbox, unread.

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