Ernest Edward Sedden Hawthorn, known throughout the badminton world as Edward Hawthorn, was born in 1878 in Sussex and gave much to badminton, both as player and administrator.
He first became involved in badminton in 1901/2 playing in a hall so small that the base line had to be placed a foot and a half up the back wall. In the following season he joined the Crystal Palace Badminton Club and began to take the game seriously becoming a steady and reliable player. In 1908 he made a really marked advance, and in the following season he established himself in the championship classs. It was in 1910 that he won the All England men’s doubles with P.D. Fitton, after a season of successes in men’s doubles. He gained a second All England title in 1912 when he won the mixed doubles with Miss Hogarth. He first played for England against Ireland in 1909.and made 8 international appearances in all until 1925, when he had entered the veterans ranks (over 45). It is claimed that it was because of him that the age limit for veterans at the All England was raised from 45 to 50 in 1926!
He was at various times a member of the Crystal Palace, Alexandra Palace and Logan Badminton Clubs representing these clubs in the London League. He also supported his county Kent, and was one of the enthusiasts who founded Kent County Badminton Association in 1921. He was 6 feet and six inches tall and his game was marked for his remarkable accuracy.
He was chosen for the British team which made the first tour of Canada in 1925. He continued to play until 1928, but continued his interest in the game in an administrative capacity. In 1929 he was elected a Vice President of the Badminton Association, a tribute to all the work he has done promoting badminton – he had served on the Badminton Association committee since 1908, on the All England Championships committee and was one of England’s representatives on the International Board. He carried out much work on the handicapping tables including fractions much appreciated by tournament secretaries. In 1936 he was elected Chairman of the Badminton Association of England and served in that capacity until 1947. On the International Federation he served on every sub-committee and in 1939 was involved in the complete revision of the Laws of Badminton, and the drafting of the regulations for the Thomas Cup contest.
A very generous man he provided many cups for tournaments. At the first post war All England Championships when no All England colours remained, the stock having been blitzed, Mr Hawthorn gave his own blazer to Conny Jepsen and his scarf to Miss Marie Ussing.
He had other sporting interests, he was a keen Lawn Tennis player, played golf and was also a Billiards and Snooker enthusiast.
By profession he was an insurance broker, a partner in the firm of Livesay, Hawthorn and Manby. He was unmarried.
He died on December 4th 1951 at his home in Beckenham, Kent at the age of 73.
References: Badminton Gazette, October 1911, p 14
Badminton Gazette, November 1929, p 7
Badminton Gazette, Dec1951/Jan 1952 p 73