Lot­tie Dod

A SPORT­ING POLY­MATH

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L ot­tie Dod re­mains re­mem­bered as the youngest women to be­come Wim­ble­don ladies sin­gles cham­pion – a feat she man­aged five times, the first when she was just 15. An ex­tremely pas­sion­ate and ac­com­plished sportswoman, she also won a sil­ver medal in the 1908 Olympics in archery. Sport­ing prow­ess must have run in the fam­ily as her brother Willy won the gold in archery that year too. Dod’s sport­ing achieve­ments didn’t end there – she also won the Bri­tish Am­a­teur Golf cham­pi­onships, played for the na­tional hockey team and reached the men’s in­ter­na­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tion stan­dard for fig­ure skat­ing. If she was alive to­day, she would have been one of the most fa­mous and ver­sa­tile sportswomen in the world.

At the out­break of WWI, Dod was de­ter­mined to be of help, but sci­at­ica meant that she couldn’t work at the front in France as she wanted. She be­gan vol­un­teer­ing for the Bri­tish Red Cross in Eng­land, help­ing as a cleaner and in the kitchens and was awarded a ser­vice medal for de­vot­ing more than 1,000 hours of care dur­ing the war. She demon­strates that noth­ing can stop you help­ing oth­ers if you re­ally put your heart and your soul into it.

“She demon­strates that noth­ing can stop you help­ing oth­ers if you re­ally put your heart and your soul into it.”

“Lot­tie Dod was without a doubt one of the most ac­com­plished and in­spi­ra­tional sportswomen in his­tory. It would be un­heard of to­day for an ath­lete to achieve so much across such a range of sports – from archery to ten­nis via fig­ure skat­ing, golf and hockey. Had she been born in the present day it is highly likely she would be one of the most fa­mous sportswomen in the world. With this in mind, it is fairly ironic that it was a bad back that put a stop to Lot­tie Dod’s de­sire to travel to France as a nurse dur­ing her time as a Bri­tish Red Cross vol­un­teer, in­stead tak­ing up kitchen and pantry du­ties in an English aux­il­iary hos­pi­tal.” Rose Brown, Ar­chiv­ist for the Bri­tish Red Cross Mu­seum & Ar­chives Team

Lot­tie Dod's vol­un­teer card

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