Tributes paid to Suffolk tennis stalwart Bill Curtis

Bill Curtis

Bill Curtis - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to Suffolk tennis stalwart Bill Curtis, who survived the Normandy landings to dedicate his life to the sport.

Curtis’ funeral was held last week, where tributes were given by his grandson Christopher Filsell-Chapman.

Bill was born in 1922, and his grandson gave some history of his involvement during the war, where he survived the landings on the Normandy beaches and on into Germany in a mobile radar Unit.

He then returned to the UK to start a teaching career at Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight. In 1953 he moved to the Royal Hospital School, which gave him the opportunity to expand his love for tennis.

David Marsh CBE, an RHS Old Boy and friend of Bill, spoke of his memories of him when they were both at the Royal Hospital School. A further tribute was given by Mike Watling, county chairman of Suffolk LTA.


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Via the school and the county he was a dedicated man who worked tirelessly for the benefit of tennis in Suffolk. He is a legend in the county, his devotion to tennis forming a large part of his life.

His achievements ranged from being a council member of the county where he was chairman from 1983 for 12 years, then as president for a further 20 years.

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He was elected to the LTA Council in 1975 representing boys’ schools, made an LTA Honorary Life Member in 1991 and in 1996 he was awarded a Meritorious Award. He was also a past president of the Suffolk Schools Association, and was made a Life Member of Suffolk LTA for his services to tennis in Suffolk.

He was at his happiest when he was able to present trophies to the winners of competitions both at Framlingham for the men’s and ladies county finals and at the Suffolk School Tennis Association AGM, to the winners of the Suffolk Schools Competitions for which he donated trophies for the Bill Curtis School Teacher of the year Award.

Watling added: “In brief, he has more than filled his cup to overflowing with his achievements over the years.

“Many of us have fond memories of working with Bill and being fortunate enough to have had their lives touched in some way by him. Bill, you will be missed by us all.”

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