World Racquets title holder to be buried today

Chicago Tribune

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Charles Williams Serves Club Here 11 Years

Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock today for Charles Williams, world's undefeated professional racquets champion, who died Sunday after a week's illness from bronchial pneumonia. The services will be held at 5524 Lakewood avenue. Interment will be in Rosehill cemetery.

Williams had held the word's championship since 1929 when he defeated Jack Soutar of Philadelphia, 7 games to 3. Since 1924 he had been professional at the Chicago Racquets club.  In addition to the world's championship he held the championship of Great Britain in court tennis as well as racquets.

Wins World Title in 1911.

He won his first championship at the age of 19.  In 1911 he won the world's title for the first time, defeating Jamsetji.  He came from England on the Titanic in 1912 to meet Soutar in his first challenge match.  On the night of April 12 [sic] he lingered in the ship's café to chat with an English bartender. They felt a slight shudder, but were not alarmed and did not know for nearly an hour that the liner had rammed an iceberg and was sinking.

Williams was in the water eight hours before he was picked up by a German ship and brought to New York. He was taken to the home of Harry Payne Whitney, where he developed pneumonia as an aftermath of exposure and shock. He was advised against meeting Soutar until he had had more time to recover from his experience and illness, but refused to return to England until he had given the Philadelphian a chance at the title.  Soutar won six games to four.

Returns to the U.S. in 1922.

He went back to his native England immediately after this match. The journey home he frequently described as the most terrifying experience of his life. He refused to go down in the hold of the ship and spent the entire trip on the top deck, curled up in a blanket.

Williams next appeared in the United States in 1922 to play a series of matches, including one with Harry Boakes Jr., at the University club. Boakes is the racquets professional at the University club.  On this trip he made the acquaintance of members of the newly organized Chicago Racquets club and after returning to England accepted an offer to become professional for the club. HJe returned to the United States to take up his duties in 1924 and has resided in the city ever since.

Williams was 47 years old. He is survived by the widow, Mrs. Lois Williams, also a native of England, and six children, Eugene, John, Ninian, Dorothy, HJean ad Hilda.

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Charles Eugene Williams

Relates to Place:

Chicago, Illinois, United States


Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) World Racquets title holder to be buried today (Chicago Tribune, Wednesday 30th October 1935, ref: #21818, published 10 November 2018, generated 29th July 2021 06:41:01 PM); URL :