General Alfred Norman (Norman)
Wellington, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Norman Peach (1889–1974) was an Australian tennis player. He was born in New Zealand and his family moved to Australia when he was a boy. Peach's best stroke was a flat forehand drive and he always fought hard to win when close to defeat. Peach captained Australia in Davis Cup in 1921 and won the New South Wales State Championships in 1925. [2] Peach first entered the Australasian Championships in 1919 aged 30 and lost in the third round to Alfred Beamish.[3] In 1921, Peach lost in the opening round of the U. S. Championships to William Ingraham.[4] At the 1922 Australasian Championships, Peach beat Edward Jordan, Rupert Wertheim and Jack Clemenger before losing in the semi finals to James Anderson. At the 1925 Australasian Championships, Peach lost in the quarter finals to Richard Schlesinger. In the 1926 Australasian Championships, Peach beat Harry Hopman before losing in the quarters to Schlesinger. In the 1928 Australian championships, Peach lost in round three to Gerald Patterson.[5] In 1930 he lost in round two to Schlesinger. In 1931 he lost in round two to Clifford Sproule.

From The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 1936

Players of the past

Norman Peach – The Lionhearted

By Dr George H. McElhone

Norman Peach may be aptly named “lionhearted” because he was never more dangerous than when he was in danger of losing. His fighting qualities were known and recognised throughout Australia. Born in New Zealand in 1889, Peach came to Sydney with his parents at an early age. His education was completed at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School, where he played full-back for the First Fifteen. He was also a fine runner, winning the 100 yards championship of the school under 16 years and the under 17 the following year.

Peach first turned his attention to tennis in 1907 but, owing to a mishap, he had to rest for some time. After he recovered, the lure of the game proved too strong for him, and he became an outstanding player, and remained one for a long time. In addition to his rare fighting spirit, Peach established the reputation of being one of the finest sportsmen the game has known. He never disputed an umpire’s decision. He accepted even a bad error of judgment without showing the slightest sign that he noticed it.

He met with his first success in tournament play when he won the singles handicap at Strathfield in 1909, and thereafter he won many handicap events; but his first important success was in the special singles in the New South Wales Championship tournament in 1912. He defeated the redoubtable James O. Anderson in the final. He repeated the performance in the same event in 1913. With his brother, Frank, he was beaten in the final of the New South Wales doubles championship by Alfred B. Jones and the late Gordon Wright. In the semi-final the brothers were opposed to the late Dr Eric Barbour and Dr Norman Gregg. The Peach brothers were in arrears two sets to love, 5-2 and 40-15 in the third set; but they pulled the match out of the fire.

Davis Cup team captain

The year 1914 proved memorable for Norman Peach, as he was selected to represent New South Wales against Victoria, and was paired with “that prince of stylists,” Alfred B. Jones. They won all three doubles rubbers, defeating Ashley Campbell and Gerald Patterson, the holders of the doubles championship of New South Wales, Pat O’Hara Wood and the late Dr Arthur O’Hara Wood, and J.A. Raws and the late Rupert Wertheim.

Norman Peach won his first open championship, City of Sydney singles, in 1919, a feat he repeated in 1920; but he let the cup slip through his fingers in 1921, when he met Clarence Todd in the final, and led two sets to one and 5-2 in the fourth set.

His supreme moment arrived in 1921 when he was selected not only to represent Australasia in the Davis Cup competition, but was also asked to captain the team. This was a high honour and one which, at times, weighed heavily on his shoulders.

An amusing story is associated with his career. He was advised by a well-known critic to give up the game because of a few failures. Norman disregarded the advice, and wisely so, because a few years later, in 1925, he won his first State singles championship.

Peach’s outstanding stroke was his flat forehand drive, which skimmed the net and made terrific pace off the ground. He volleyed well and was good overhead. His backhand, though not outstanding, was sound. His second service was the weak link. A performance of which he was justly proud was a victory against Gerald Patterson in the interstate match at Sydney in April, 1921, a feat he repeated in Melbourne in 1922.

Major successes

Norman Peach’s major victories were the New South Wales singles championship in 1925, the doubles with James O. Anderson in 1923, and with Dr Allan North in 1927, and the mixed doubles with Miss Floris Saint-George (now Mrs Roland Conway) in 1920, and with Mrs. R.R. Harper (formerly Miss Sarah Lance) in 1928. He won the City of Sydney singles in 1919 and 1920, the doubles with James O. Anderson from 1922 to 1924 inclusive, and the mixed doubles with Miss Saint-George in 1919, with Miss Lance in 1920, and Miss Saint-George in 1922.

Norman Peach won the County of Cumberland singles in 1927; the doubles with James O. Anderson in 1924 and 1925, with Paul Haege in 1927, and with Aubrey Willard in 1929; and the mixed doubles with Miss Saint-George in 1919, and with the late Mrs R.R. Cozens [née Daphne Akhurst] in 1927 and 1928. He won the Metropolitan singles in 1919 and 1924, and the Northern Suburbs singles in 1919.

Norman Peach represented the State against Victoria in 1914, 1919, 1920 (twice), 1921, 1922 (twice), 1923 (twice), 1924 (twice), 1925, 1926 (twice), the second occasion being the first of the four-aside special matches, 1928 (twice), 1929, and 1930. In addition, he represented the State frequently against Queensland and South Australia.


Archive statistics 1912 - 1933

Tournament wins 1928 - County of Cumberland (Amateur)
1925 - New South Wales Championships (Amateur)
1919 - Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships (Amateur)
1919 - City of Sydney Championships (Amateur)

Tournaments County of Cumberland - 1933 New South Wales Championships - 1932 City of Sydney Championships - 1932 Australian Open - 1931 New South Wales Championships - 1931 Australian Open - 1930 New South Wales Championships - 1930 City of Sydney Championships - 1930 County of Cumberland - 1930 New South Wales Championships - 1929 City of Sydney Championships - 1929 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1929 Australian Open - 1928 Victorian Championships - 1928 New South Wales Championships - 1928 City of Sydney Championships - 1928 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1928 County of Cumberland - 1928 Victorian Championships - 1927 New South Wales Championships - 1927 City of Sydney Championships - 1927 Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships - 1927 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1927 Australian Open - 1926 New South Wales Championships - 1926 New Zealand Championships - 1926 City of Sydney Championships - 1926 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1926 County of Cumberland - 1926 Australian Open - 1925 New South Wales Championships - 1925 County of Cumberland - 1925 Victorian Championships - 1924 New South Wales Championships - 1924 City of Sydney Championships - 1924 New South Wales Hard Court Championships - 1924 County of Cumberland - 1924 Victorian Championships - 1923 New South Wales Championships - 1923 City of Sydney Championships - 1923 Australian Open - 1922 New South Wales Championships - 1922 US Open - 1921 New South Wales Championships - 1921 City of Sydney Championships - 1921 Victorian Championships - 1920 New South Wales Championships - 1920 New Zealand Championships - 1920 Australian Open - 1919 Victorian Championships - 1919 New South Wales Championships - 1919 Queensland Championships - 1919 City of Sydney Championships - 1919 Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships - 1919 New South Wales Championships - 1915 County of Cumberland - 1915 Queensland Championships - 1914 City of Sydney Championships - 1914 Sydney Metropolitan Grasscourt Championships - 1914 County of Cumberland - 1914 Queensland Championships - 1913 City of Sydney Championships - 1913 Queensland Championships - 1912

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