Pre-first World War Glasgow tennis tournament document found

A few weeks before the start of the First World War the best tennis players in the West of Scotland were playing their annual tournament oblivious to the carnage to come.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 7:39 am
Club Secretary Scott Thornton with the flyer.

Spectators were charged two shillings and sixpence (13 pence) for a season ticket and during the event tea was served in the clubhouse ‘at city prices’.

Details of the tournament, held from May 25 - June 6 1914, have come to light in a flyer acquired by Titwood Tennis Club in Pollokshields, where the event was staged and where the historical document will be displayed.

The First World War was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in Sarajevo on June 28.

It caused some 20 million deaths and a similar number of casualties.

The flyer was offered to the Titwood club, which has been a feature in the conservation area in the Southside since 1890, by a dealer who was about to sell it on an online auction site.

“It was a thoughtful and generous offer which we readily accepted,” said Club Secretary Scott Thornton.

“It’s a fascinating part of the heritage not only of Titwood but of Scottish and indeed British tennis in the days and weeks before such a castrophic period for the whole world. The poster will be a treasured item in our clubhouse.”

The tournament included men’s and ladies’ singles and doubles, with entry fees from two shillings (10 pence) plus a Lawn Tennis Association levy of one shilling (5 pence). The men’s singles winner received the West of Scotland Challenge Cup ‘valued at 30 Guineas.’

Handicap event winners received a tennis racket.