Pre-First World War Titwood 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.
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 25 May to 6 June 1914, have come to light in a flyer acquired by the club, where the event was staged and where the historical document will be displayed.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 28 June. It caused some 20 million deaths and a similar number of other casualties.
The flyer was offered to us by a dealer who was about to sell it on an online auction site.
The thoughtful and generous offer was readily accepted. It’s a fascinating part of the heritage not only of Titwood but of Scottish and indeed British tennis.
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.