1915 - 1919

World War I

With numerous men and women engaged with the war effort, formal sporting activities for most people was stopped during the war. Clubs attempted to keep the remaining members active with lifesaving activities and swimming galas for Juniors and Ladies. 

Soldiers - both male and female - often participated in sporting events on the military bases around the world. 

Swimming and lifesaving continued to be practiced during these years.

The international Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) continued its work unabated, as reported in its monthly magazine. Here are some extracts:

Although the national championships were suspended - and the SAASU held no meetings during that time, swimming galas were held to help the war effort.


from the RLSS Swimming Magazine

June 1915 - Durban and District

From Durban, Mr. Gilbert Reynolds reports that Mr. E. Hollings, of Bloemfontein, has conducted a class in the Town Baths. The Payne Shield was won by Durban High School C Team. Miss K. Biggs, of the Cygnus Swimming Club for Ladies, won the fifty-yard Championship of South Africa in 35 seconds, and T. Wood of Queens Park SC, the South African 100 yard Junior Championship.

Eastern District of the Cape Province

Mr. Charles Walton, the hon. secretary of the Branch, reports that they have just managed to keep polo going by the old players turning out again, and thereby keeping the young swimmers interested in the art. Mr. E. Marks and Mr. William Fiddian-Green, who recently passed his Award of Merit, and with others have been giving exhibitions of lifesaving in the sea at Humewood.

May 1917- Western Cape Head Centre

The second annual contest for the "Willam Henry" Cup took place at a gala of the Union Club. The cup was won by William Henry in an open competition in Finland some years ago. The cup was won by RH Yell of the Union SC, only by little from F. Richings, RLSS and F. Powell of the Union Club was third. Unfortunately, the holder, WG Hargrave of the Royal Engineers did not compete, as he was on service in East Africa. There were several military races at the meeting, one being won by Eric Lyttle, the brother of the South African ladies champion. 

1st March 1919 - Johannesburg Swimming Club gala