Born in London, he was part-heir to the Midlands light engineering company Accles & Pollock. The firm had been co-founded in 1901 by his grandfather Thomas Pollock. Peter Pollock volunteered for military service at the start of the Second World War and gained a commission in the Gordon Highlanders. He served as a captain in North Africa and Italy. He was taken prisoner in Italy and spent four years in a German Prisoner of War camp.
After the War he bought a farm in Flaunden, Hertfordshire. He combined a dairy herd with pig farming, and greyhound breeding. On Sundays he had a open house in Flaunden for painters, writers, and actors. One of his frequent visitors was Francis Bacon before he was well known. He did now have his own home and was allowed to come and go as he pleased.
Francis Bacon was also allowed to use of a flat owned by Peter Pollock overlooking Battersea Park in London. Peter Pollock provided Francis Bacon's accommodation free of rent between 1955 and 1961. Francis Bacon showed his gratitude by sometimes leaving behind pictures.
Francis Bacon and Peter Pollock in Tangier
Peter Pollock was an English steel heir. Guy Burgess met him in Cannes in 1938, and they were lovers for about a decade. Burgess recruited Pollock to help MI5 spy on foreigners in England. In 1955 Pollock and his later long-term companion, Paul Danquah, a lawyer and actor, began sharing their Battersea flat with Francis Bacon, who lived with them until 1961 and became an intimate friend. Pollock and Danquah afterwards settled in Tangier, where, for a time, Pollock ran a beach bar, The Pergola.
Guy Burgess by Ramsey & Muspratt, National Portrait Gallery, bromide print, 1930s, 8 1/4 in. x 6 in. (210 mm x 151 mm), Given by Jane Burch, 1988, Primary Collection, NPG P363(5)
Peter Pollock was to have a lifelong companion in Paul Danquah whose studies for the Bar at the Inner Temple he had helped to fund. Peter Pollock was a regular at the Colony Club in Soho run by Muriel Belcher and frequented by artists such as Francis Bacon and John Minton and the writer Daniel Farson. It was here that Peter Pollock learned about the life in Morocco which had become fashionable after some notoriety. He and Paul Danquah moved there in the late 1970s and set up home together in Tangier.
Peter Pollock acquired the Pergola, a bar and restaurant on the Tangier seafront. It became famous for its swordfish and chips. During the summer months many of his friends from London congregated in the Pergola to form what came to be known as 'The Flaunden Set'.
A black and white photograph of Peter Pollock with Francis Bacon in Tangier is reproduced in Daniel Farson's biography of Francis Bacon. Peter Pollock became an invalid in 1999 after a severe stroke.
Around this time a suitcase was found underneath a bed in a spare room in the home of Peter Pollock and Paul Danquah and it contained a hoard of Francis Bacon's early work. Peter Pollock ensured that the paintings were acquired by the Tate Gallery. The Tate Gallery's exhibition "Francis Bacon: works on paper and paintings" in 2001 largely comprised the thirty-five art-works given to Peter Pollock, along with four drawings given to Stephen Spender. He died of a second stroke in Tangier, Morocco.
Paul Danquah (May 25, 1925-August 13, 2015) was a British film actor and lawyer.
His father was J. B. Danquah (Joseph Kwame Kyerewie Boakye Danquah, 1889-1965), one of the founders of the country Ghana. Although black himself, his mother was white. His father, who married twice, moved to London in 1921. As well as being a barrister he was also an expert in the culture and history of west Africa. He suggested the name Ghana after the name of an ancient kingdom in the Sahara. However J. B. Danquah fell out of favour with President Kwame Nkrumah and was imprisoned more than once. He died in February 1965 in Nsawam Prison.
Paul Danquah's life partner was Peter Pollock (November 19, 1919 - July 28, 2001) and they shared a flat at 9 Overstrand Mansions in Prince of Wales Drive, Battersea, south London. From 1955 to 1961 Francis Bacon also stayed in the flat and they all became lifelong friends.
Paul Danquah was studying for the Bar at the Inner Temple but he often showed more interest in the arts, male fashion, make-up, and he also briefly took up ballet classes. He was happy to temporarily abandon his legal career when Tony Richardson cast him as the ship's cook, Jimmy, in the film A Taste of Honey, (1961).
After his father's death in 1965 Paul Danquah was left without funds, but Peter Pollock was able to fund him so that he completed and passed his Bar studies. Paul Danquah had several roles on television, including presenter on the BBC children's television programme Play School. In the late 1970s Peter Pollock and Paul Danquah set up home in Tangier.
Paul Danquah in Tangier
On 21st. May 1985 Paul Danquah was a guest at the second major retrospective of Francis Bacon's work held at the Tate Gallery. A black and white photograph of Paul Danquah with Francis Bacon at the retrospective is reproduced in Daniel Farson's biography of Francis Bacon.
Paul Danquah worked as a consultant for the World Bank in Washington but retired in 1986 and continued to live in Tangier with Peter Pollock.
I received this email on November 12, 2015:
Dear Ms. Rolle:
I hope this finds you well. My name is Meri Nana-Ama Danquah.
I just stumbled across your website in which you write about my uncle, Paul Danquah and his life partner Peter Pollock.
(Interestingly, your post was on May 25th of this year, my uncle’s 90th birthday).
I am writing to inform you that my uncle, Paul Danquah, passed away on August 13, 2015 in Tangier, Morocco.
He is buried in the Bubana Cemetery, besides Peter Pollock, as he had willed, so that the two may remain together for eternity.
I just wanted to inform you so you can update your website and, also, any future editions of your book.
Congrats on the good work you are doing. I have ordered your book from Amazon.
All the best,
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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