Following the announcement that Ethel Thomson had been inducted into the WBF Hall of Fame in 2009, we were pleased to learn that at the recent Yonex 100th All England this award was honoured.
On the Saturday night of the Championships, the city Town Hall hosted a banquet celebrating the event’s one hundredth meeting and honouring figures in the sport past and present. These included Ethel whose certificate from the World Badminton Federation welcomed her to the Hall of Fame for enhancement of badminton through exceptional circumstances.
In the VIP audience were Ethel’s great nephew Malcolm and his 17 year old daughter Agnes who had flown over for from Virginia for the occasion, and it was Agnes who collected the certificate from Dr. Wang, President of the BWF, on behalf of her great, great aunt who had gained so many honours in both badminton and lawn tennis.
On the Saturday afternoon Malcolm and Agnes were introduced to members of the National Badminton Museum located in Milton Keynes, and they have kindly lent a set of photographs of Ethel in tennis dress, which will be scanned into the museum’s collection of images. We reproduce one of these with her tennis kit.
The press also interested in the story have also made contact with Ethel’s niece, Elizabeth Warneford-Thomson who lives in Taunton. She knew that Ethel was a Wimbledon Champion, but news of her badminton achievements came as a complete surprise. She recollects visiting Ethel and her husband in Budleigh Salterton in 1963, two years before Ethel died, and seeing a vast array of sporting trophies.
Malcolm Warneford-Thomson recalls Ethel as very austere. Ethel’s niece, Elizabeth remembers a very proud aristocratic lady, but very chatty. It is claimed her family can be traced back to King Edward 1.
The National Badminton Museum wish to acknowledge assistance with the above from Dave Thompson of Reuters.