As part of the advertising plan for the release of The BFG film of the Roald Dahl book, an effort was made to link elements of the plot. As the Army are the good guys in the ending, who better to call on than the Queen’s Life Guard. Anyway, that’s showbiz. The film extra dressed up in a mock Coldstream Guardsman uniform was getting £1500 for the day. Well, it was never about the pay.
Combined Services Past and Present Rackets Championship Queen’s Club, London - 17th-19th February 2016
by Charles Fraser, formerly The Life Guards
he Army Tennis & Rackets Association has held this respected tournament since just after WW2. Rackets as well as the ancient game of Real Tennis are played in a frenetic three days of fierce competition at The Queen’s Club in West London (the Queen’s Lawn Tennis Championships precedes Wimbledon each year, Andy Murray the victor in 2016). There are separate competitions for singles, doubles, serving Army personnel as well as retired members of all three services. As a young Life Guard Troop Leader stationed at Knightsbridge Barracks, Lt Charles Fraser won the Regimental doubles rackets championships back in 1985 with Major David Reed-Felstead (RHG/D). Thirty one years later, Fraser found himself this time against his former doubles partner having reached the semi-final of the ‘retired’ element of the competition (arguably
a tougher tournament due to a larger entry), the Combined Services Past and Present Rackets Championship. ReedFelstead had already found himself a highly experienced partner and multiple champion in Lt Paul Nicholls 4th/7th DG, which left Fraser with the opportunity to form a new, untested Household Division pairing with Lt Col Stephen Seagrave, IG, Divisional Lieutenant Colonel Foot Guards. A close match going to five sets eventually saw Fraser & Seagrave through to the final, where they met an even more formidable pairing of Capt Mark Nicholls (brother of aforementioned Paul, also 4th/7th DG), who had been Public Schools Champion twice and winner of this tournament no fewer than twelve times. He was partnered with Major General Tim Toyne-Sewell, late KOSB, himself also a multiple winner of this tournament, three times paired with Mark Nicholls.
2016 Lt Col S O’N Seagrave and Lt (Retd) C T de M Fraser LG
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Published on May 8, 2017