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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Started a new thread to answer some questions about Lily Addison from another thread where it might have gotten very off-topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iainmac View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmark401 View Post
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.

NOTES

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
important events.

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.

LINKS

http://www.pioneerwomen.com.au/index...d=25&Itemid=11

Will add more later.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #2
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTee View Post
Started a new thread to answer some questions about Lily Addison from another thread where it might have gotten very off-topic.



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.



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.

NOTES

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
important events.

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.

LINKS

http://www.pioneerwomen.com.au/index...d=25&Itemid=11

Will add more later.
I had just replied on the Lenglen thread to say I would love to hear more- just did so literally 2 mins ago!!!So thanks for this thread. She sounds like she was an excellent player who could have achieved more in an era not disrupted by War. Her story and the death of her brother is a timely reminder of the carnage for Anzac troops during the Great War. I think it is historic that they played at the same club as the granddaddy of Aussie tennis Norman Brookes. He must have been devastated when JJ was killed in action. I am sure that the death of her brother would have been a contributory factor to her decision to become a volunteer auxillary nurse during the War. She certainly is an honourable ancestor to the great Australian womens tennis history.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Thank you for this very informative thread GeeTee!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

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Thank you for this very informative thread GeeTee!
RolloIt was great to read about someone whom I did not have a lot of knowledge about!!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Interesting. I have sometimes wondered why it took an Australian woman so long to win the Wimbledon singles title. It is not as if Australia ever lacked world-class female players. I suppose the distance to travel played a part earlier on.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmark401 View Post
Interesting. I have sometimes wondered why it took an Australian woman so long to win the Wimbledon singles title. It is not as if Australia ever lacked world-class female players. I suppose the distance to travel played a part earlier on.
It is very sad that (considering Australia had sent a male Davis Cup squad overseas pretty much every year since 1905)there were only two official women's teams sent overseas before the 1950s (and only two official overseas teams competed in Australia).

The lack of a Fed Cup was a real shame. Australians had made efforts since around 1920 to create a Davis Cup (The Bundy Cup was one of the earliest suggestions) for women but the US and GBR had resisted, preferring to concentrate efforts on the Wightman Cup where both countries were the dominant forces in women's tennis. That is until air travel in the 1950s allowed women outside of Europe and the US to compete more regularly on the circuit.
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTee View Post
It is very sad that (considering Australia had sent a male Davis Cup squad overseas pretty much every year since 1905)there were only two official women's teams sent overseas before the 1950s (and only two official overseas teams competed in Australia).

The lack of a Fed Cup was a real shame. Australians had made efforts since around 1920 to create a Davis Cup (The Bundy Cup was one of the earliest suggestions) for women but the US and GBR had resisted, preferring to concentrate efforts on the Wightman Cup where both countries were the dominant forces in women's tennis. That is until air travel in the 1950s allowed women outside of Europe and the US to compete more regularly on the circuit.
Interesting post and I guess we forget how much players in the amateur era were subject to the political decisions made by officialdom. It is ironic that the Wightman Cup was such a hindrance to the formation of a truly international womens cup competition. With Australia as well there has historically been I think a sexism towards the womens game- that would be another reason why there was no rush to send the women abroad. It seems so short sighted now when one considers what great ambassadors people like Court, Turner, Goolagong, Turnbull, Reid, Fromholtz etc were and indeed are.
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Old Dec 20th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

I found a picture to illustrate this tennis-dame in the digital photo-archives of State Library of South Australia (http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm). Title and description of the photo: "Miss L. Addison South Australian Ladies Tennis Champion. Miss L. Addison who was the South Australian Ladies Tennis Champion, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1911." Date of item is 1914.

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Old Dec 20th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

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Originally Posted by Hungarian Boy View Post
I found a picture to illustrate this tennis-dame in the digital photo-archives of State Library of South Australia (http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm). Title and description of the photo: "Miss L. Addison South Australian Ladies Tennis Champion. Miss L. Addison who was the South Australian Ladies Tennis Champion, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1911." Date of item is 1914.

Thanks for posting that.What a great image of an historical era and a fine player.
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Old Dec 20th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Imagine being dressed like that and playing in the searing heat of an Australian summer...
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Old Dec 20th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #11
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

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Imagine being dressed like that and playing in the searing heat of an Australian summer...
You are right- it is hard to imagine how uncomfortable it must have been. And how much it would have detracted from strength and stamina.
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Old Oct 13th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #12
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

In 1911, Norman Brookes and John Addison were runners-up in the men's doubles events at the Australasian Championships. This John Addison was "J.J.", brother of Lily. According to the Australian Women's Register, her full name was Marion Lilian Addison and she was born in Adelaide on December 21, 1885. She died on November 27, 1982, aged 96.

Some biographical details here: http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE4545b.htm
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Old Oct 13th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #13
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

I will double check the Adelaide birth date when I have some time. I'm not so sure about it, even though the AWR page includes some of my research.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Andrew Tas seconds the Adelaide place of birth and adds...


Quote:
Name is wrong. It is Marion Lillian (Lily) Addison. Born 23/12/1885 in Adelaide SA and died 27/11/1982

Last edited by Rollo : Mar 20th, 2013 at 04:22 PM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #15
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Re: Lily Addison - first Aussie at Wimbledon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Andrew Tas seconds the Adelaide place of birth and adds...
My original source was the Australian Women's Register but then I double checked with the war archives and found Marion Lilian Addison enlisted as a nurse. DOB 21/12/1885 on the enlistment form and she had worked at Melbourne Hospital for 4 years. Here is a link to the records.

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameS...arcode=3022481

The fact that the tennis player Lily Addison was a nurse and went to the war is confirmed in this article from the Sydney Morning Herald (Addison is mentioned near the results). Another article states that Lily had a six month holiday in England and played in tournaments after the war ended.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15888911

Last edited by AndrewTas : Mar 24th, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
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