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Tony Wilding at Wimbledon in 1914

Thank You: LTA supports Royal British Legion movement to remember WWI


It has been 100 years since the guns fell silent on the Western Front and the Lawn Tennis Association is proud to be supporting The Royal British Legion’s national movement to say ‘thank you’ to the generation that lived through the First World War.

Everyone in the world of tennis and beyond is touched in some way by the Great War and those who lived through it.

A host of leading tennis players were killed in the war. Most prominent among them was four-time Wimbledon champion Tony Wilding (pictured above), a New Zealander born to British parents.

Wilding won four Wimbledon titles in a row from 1910 to 1913 before joining the Royal Marines early in the war and then the Royal Armoured Car Division. Serving as a lieutenant, he died when a shell hit his dugout at Neuve-Chapelle, France, in May 1915.

Other players to have fought and died between 1914 and 1918 include Australian doubles expert J. J. Addison, Cambridge University tennis captain Private Kenneth Powell, and Robert Powell, the captain of the Canadian Olympic tennis team and a regular at Wimbledon.

These are just a few of the names to whom The Royal British Legion is encouraging us to say thank you. As part of the LTA’s commemoration of the campaign, today we publish the story of another tennis player involved in the fighting.

Featured in the latest edition of #ACE magazine, we tell the story of Jack Hillyard, the promising tennis player whose father played a part in creating the modern Wimbledon, and whose mother won six ladies’ singles titles.

The LTA is proud to lend its voice to the Thank You movement. For more information on the 100th anniversary of the war’s end and to find out how you can get involved in the wider campaign, visit the Royal British Legion website.

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