Blantyre Tennis, 1910’s

We’ve been enjoying Penny Robertson’s photos this week. Penny who lives overseas shared this 1910’s photo and told me, “My grandfather Daniel Sprott, a Blantyre man is in the front row on the left.  It must have been taken during the war years because of the man in military uniform.  I gather my grandfather was quite sporty.  He didn’t put his age down to enlist in WWI and I always had the feeling that he may have been a pacifist.”

“When my father W. Sprott was 16/17, the UK sent out a call for young men from the Commonwealth to come and join the RAF because they were expanding the forces.  My father was dead keen to go, but told me his father tore up the papers and refused to sign.  The moment Australia committed to the war, my father was off, down to the War Office to enlist.  By that time he didn’t need his parents’ permission and he said his father was furious.  He left for the Empire Training Scheme in Canada in November 1940, aged 22, and was lucky to survive those many years of flying, both as a Captain and an Instructor. He graduated at the top of his course, was mentioned in despatches and became the Squadron Leader of RAF 240.  It was very unusual for an Australian to be put in charge of an RAF Squadron.  He didn’t return till 1946.  He was an amazing man and we loved him dearly.”

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