Started a new thread to answer some questions about Lily Addison from another thread where it might have gotten very off-topic.
That is interesting. What kind of standard did she play to? Did she ever achieve a lot in the Australian Championships? I take it she served in the Western Front??
A right hander, usually more comfortable on the baseline, though a very good doubles player, she won eleven Australian singles state championships between 1906 and 1920 despite significant absences from the game. She was reputed to play a cool and steady game, with her groundstrokes much admired, and she was said to be a very gritty player.
Her brother JJ was also a fine player who was runner-up in the Australian doubles championships in 1911 and was killed on active service during the Great War.
I remember wondering if the death of her brother was the reason she chose to volunteer as a nurse. They had won many mixed titles together. Her family were heavily involved in tennis; Lily's younger sister Mary was also a decent player and her family were part of the important Royal South Yarra tennis club in Melbourne (which also boasted Wimbledon champion Norman Brookes as a player) during Addison's career.
One source I saw said she had nursed in Salonika. She probably wasn't in her best form after her war service, but she did make the semi-finals of the mixed. On her return to Australia she was reported as not up to her previous standards, but then made a comeback of sorts and won the Victorian singles title in 1921 and though virtually retired was good enough to be ranked 5th in Victoria in 1925.
Could Lily Addison have had British parentage? She isn't listed as Australian in the sources I've checked, including "100 Years of Wimbledon" by Lance Tingay.
Lily Isabel Maud ADDISON was born in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1885. I've checked the births, deaths and marriages records.
I think many players from the British Empire of the time changed nationality if they resettled for work or family reasons. As well as Irene Peacock going between India, England and South Africa, as Rollo mentioned, there may have been quite a few more. I've sometimes wondered about a few other Aussie possibles in other early Wimbledon draws, but no way to prove it yet.
Perhaps as Addison was resident in England at the time or had perhaps joined a local club, it was taken for granted she was English.
In 1908, when she won the Victorian title, defeating Lorna Gyton 119 64, the final was described as a "dreary exhibition of back-court rallies of often 14 or 15 strokes by each player." It was felt that former Australian star Rose Payten would have easily beaten Addison if she was playing.
Addison must have kept working on her game as she remained just about unbeatable in Australia for the next four years, before she took a spell away from the game.
Only weeks after the death of Wilding was reported in 1915, news was received downunder of the death of JJ Addison, killed by a German shell. The Addisons had won the Victorian and NSW Mixed Doubles titles together.
VICTORIAN TENNIS PLAYER.
KlLLED BY GERMAN SHELL.
Widespread regret will be felt at the
news, received privately by his friends in
Melbourne, of the death of Mr J. J Addi-
son, the well known Victorian lawn tennis
player, in action in the north of France
last month. He was killed instantaneously
by the explosion of a German shell.
The late Mr Addison was in the foremost
ranks of Australian players, and won many
championships in Victoria and other States,
some of them in association in doubles willi
Mr N E Brookes. He was a particularly
brilliant server and driver, and as he always
hit hard, and went for the most daring
winners, his court was always one of the
chief centres of interest in any tournament
in Australia. In the opinion of many good
judges, only ill health prevented him from
attaining to Davis Cup rank.
There was certainly no more generally
popular player in Australia. His personal
qualities and good sportmanship endeared
him to all he met, both on the court and off.
He was familiar to the tennis public in
almost every State in Australia, though he
did most of his playing in Victoria, South
Australia, New South Wales, and Western
Australia, in each of which States he won
When the war broke out he was in Lon-
don, and he enlisted there. He was a
member of a well known tennis family. His
brother, Lieutenant Glen Addison, is a
member of the Austialian forces which
have left for the front.
Misses Lily and
Mary Addison are his sisters. He was the
son of tibe late Mr John G. Addison, chair-
man of the associated banks. His mother
resides in Cole street, Elsternwick.
On her return to Australia, Lily captained the Victorian women's team, but lost to such players as Annie Baker-Ford and Mall Molesworth who were probably the Australian 1 & 2 of the time. She did, however, record wins against Esna Boyd, Sylvia Lance-Harper and Daphne Akhurst, who would all do well internationally a few years later.
Will add more later.