Topic: Anthony Frederick Wilding

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Anthony Frederick Wilding was a First World War soldier with links to the Waltham area.

Captain Anthony Frederick Wilding was born in Opawa, Christchurch on October 31st, 1883. He was the son of wealthy English immigrants Frederick Wilding K.C., of law firm 'Wilding & Acland', and Julia Wilding, a daughter of Alderman Charles Anthony, Mayor of Hereford. He was educated at W.W. Wilson's private school and Canterbury College before leaving New Zealand for Trinity College in Cambridge, England in 1902.

He qualified as a Barristor and Solicitor of the New Zealand Supreme Court 1909. An exceptional tennis player, Anthony Wilding won the New Zealand Handicap Singles tournament when he was 16, and went on to represent Cambridge University, New Zealand and Australasia. He won six Grand Slam titles and many international singles and doubles titles including Wimbledon and the Davis Cup.

At the time of enlistment, he was living in England and working as a director of the Victor Tyre Company. He was commissioned into the Royal Marines and became a Lieutenant before being promoted to Captain in the Armoured Car Division. He was killed on May 9th, 1915 when a German shell exploded on the roof of the dug-out he was sheltering in during the battle of Aubers Ridge at Neuve-Chapelle, France. He is reported to have died instantly. He was 31 years old. News of Anthony Wilding's death was widely reported. He had been dating and was about to marry Broadway star Maxine Elliott. His body is buried at Rue des Berceaux Military Cemetary, Richebourg-I' Avou, Pas de Calais, France.

His legacy is far reaching, including being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978, and the Wilding Foundation, set up in his honour to grant scholarships. The Wilding Foundation was active in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, raising money for local causes.      

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Anthony Frederick Wilding

First Names:Anthony Frederick
Last Name:Wilding
Place of Birth:Opawa, Christchurch