Duelling as an Olympic sport

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Duelling at the 1908 Games

The 1908 Olympic Games were held in London, beginning on the 27th of April. While medals were awarded for many sports, some were labelled “associate sports” and were for display only.

Duelling was one of these. Historically, duels were fought between two people (usually men) to defend their honour, and frequently resulted in grave injury or death.

At the Olympics the bullets were made of wax, and the contestants wore protective outfits.

The Games were supposed to have been held in Rome, but were moved after a devastating Mount Vesuvius eruption.

Unlike today, the event ran for months, from April to their conclusion on the 31st of October.

On this day: the birth of a British Olympian

walter-tysall-british-gymnast-in-the-1908-summer-olympics-born-in-birmingham-and-died-in-ashton-on-ribble-1908-he-won-the-silver-medal-in-the-individual-all-around

Walter Tysall X

British Olympic gymnast Walter Tysall was born in Birmingham on the 3rd of April, 1880.

At the age of twenty-eight Tysall competed in the individual all around competition at the 1908 London Olympic Games. He won the silver medal, with Italian Alberto Braglia winning gold and French gymnast Louis Ségura taking bronze.

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Italian gold medallist Alberto Braglia

Though the British women’s gymnasts would go on to reach the Olympic podium a few years later, Tysall’s silver was the only medal won by a British male gymnast until 2008.

Tysall died in Ashton-on-Ribble in 1955.

On this day: a funeral procession for an English entrepreneur

William Whiteley, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur and founder of Whiteleys department store in London, was murdered on the 24th of January, 1907.

His killer was a young man who claimed to be his illegitimate son. The man shot Whiteley dead in his shop.

Whiteley’s will left £1 000 000, which is the equivalent of about £90 000 000 today.

The funeral procession is seen here on the 30th of January, making its way through Ladbroke Grove.

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On this day: a land sale in Brisbane

Given Terrace in Paddington West, Brisbane, Australia was sold by auction on the 22nd of November, 1884.

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The first land sale in the area took place in 1859, while a horse bus was introduced into this hilly part of the city in 1879. Today the suburb it is considered a desirable place to live in the capital city of the state of Queensland.

Below is the area less than twenty years after the land sale advertised above, circa 1902:

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