Margaret Tragett

LarminieMargaret Rivers Larminie was born in Jamaica in 1886, her father being an officer in the British army. She began playing badminton in Heidelberg at the age of 10 or 11 where she won a mixed doubles handicap tournament, and at the age of 13 she won a Club Tournament at the Crystal Palace.

She was a member of the Crystal Palace Club before moving on to the Ealing BC and is also recorded as having been a member of the Logan Club at some time. An early reference in the Badminton Gazette records her playing in a match against Crystal Palace in 1901, partnering Miss E Bradford and beating a couple including the winner of the All England mixed doubles to be played shortly afterwards.

She first played in the All England of 1902, in the Central Transcept at the Crystal Palace with Dr. W.G. Grace among the spectators. She was still participating in the event in 1933, an outstanding achievement.

Her first badminton victory of importance was in the Middlesex Championships of 1908 when she won the mixed doubles with George Thomas, later Sir George.
In 1911 she won the singles and also the mixed doubles with George Thomas at the All England Championships. Following the Championships she married Robert Clayton Tragett, and as Mrs Tragett she again won the All England singles in 1912 and sixteen years later in 1928. Her other successes at the All England included five wins in the ladies’ doubles and a further two titles in the mixed doubles.

She was a member of the well known Strollers team lead by Major McCallum which promoted badminton through Europe and especially Denmark.

She was reserve for the England team in Dublin in 1907, but her international career began in 1907/8 when she represented Ireland against England. However, she then played for England 15 times between 1909/10 and 1928/29. There is no explanation as to how she was able to represent the two countries over such a short span of time, but census records show her father was born in Ireland.

Off the court using her maiden name Margaret Rivers Larminie she wrote several novels, the first being Search and Echo, which was followed by Deep Meadows, while in 1925 The Badminton Gazette is advertising her new novel, Soames Green.. She was the author of a book Badminton for Beginners, and wrote several articles for the Badminton Gazette. For two different seasons she was editor of the Badminton Gazette.  She died on March 31st 1964 aged 78 in London.