General John Johnston
Glenelg, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Aubes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France


John J. Addison was the fourth of the eight children born to John Gollan Addison, later Chief Manager of the Bank of Australia, and Marion Addison (née Johnston). John Addison’s siblings were Margaret Gollan (1875-76); Alexander Gollan (1877-1935); Agnes Gawler (1879-1961); Mary Tennant (1883-1981); Marion Lillian, known as Lily (1885-1982); Arthur Stanley (1886-1969); and Leslie Glen (1888-1954).

The Addison children were all keen on sport, with Lily and Leslie also becoming noted lawn tennis players. World War I brought a halt to their sporting careers, in John Addison’s case a permanent one as he was killed in action in France in 1915. After the war, in 1919, Lily Addison became the first Australian woman to take part in the women’s singles event at Wimbledon. Before the war she had won multiple titles in singles, doubles and mixed at some of the state championships in Australia.

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Lawn Tennis

Jack Addison Answers The Call – Another Hero

By William J. Daish

John J. Addison, for several years a notable figure on Australian tennis courts, has fallen in Europe. He enlisted in the old country, and was attached to the Seaforth Highlanders. Jack Addison joined the South Yarra Club as a beginner, and was taken in hand by H. M. Guthrie, to whose encouragement and advice he owed much of the position he attained in the tennis world.

Addison first played pennant tennis in South Yarra’s fourth-class team, and was successfully promoted until he attained premiership rank. In 1906, he was a member of the strong four (the others were Norman Brookes, J.R. Fraser, and Barney Murphy), which won the premiership. It is worthy of note that, unlike other players one could mention, Addison retained his allegiance to the one club throughout until he left Melbourne.

John Addison appeared in four interstate matches against New South Wales for Victoria from May 1908 to November 1911. In 1911, his last year in Victoria, he was runner-up in the Australasian doubles championships, partnered by Norman Brookes. A few weeks previously this pair had won the South Yarra doubles championship.

Best Years

1n 1911 also, Jack Addison (with the New Zealander Francis Fisher) won the Geelong doubles championship. This was undoubtedly his best year. His other championship wins were the Grace Park doubles in 1900 (with Barney Murphy), the New South Wales mixed doubles in 1909 and the South Yarra mixed doubles in 1910 (both with his sister, Miss Lily Addison).

In The West

In 1912, Addison went to West Australia, during which year he represented that state against New South Wales. In the championship which followed he had the satisfaction of beating Alfred Jones, who had beaten him in the interstate match. This was Jack Addison’s last appearance in first-class tennis as he journeyed to England some months later, but did not take part in any “big” tennis. Addison will be remembered chiefly for his brilliant American service, which was one of the best in Australia.


Lance Corporal John Johnston Addison

John Johnston Addison enlisted with the Seaforth Highlanders in England at the outbreak of the war, and for several months was initially fighting in Northern France and Belgium. He passed through the battle of Neuve Chapelle and other severe engagements unscathed. His hair had turned grey since the beginning of 1915.

In May 1915, he met an instantaneous death by the explosion of a German shell. “Jack” Addison was well known throughout the Commonwealth as the winner of many tennis championships, some of them in partnership with Norman Brookes (OW1884). Ill-health alone prevented him attaining to Davis Cup ranks.


Archive statistics 1906 - 1912

Tournaments Western Australia Championships - 1912 Australian Open - 1911 South Australian Championships - 1911 Victorian Championships - 1911 Victorian Championships - 1910 Victorian Championships - 1909 South Australian Championships - 1906 Victorian Championships - 1906

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