Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann (1882-1942)

Eminent Ladies Hockey Player and Administrator

Samovar dedicated to Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann, c.1942<br/>(Courtesy of The Hockey Museum)

Samovar dedicated to Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann, c.1942
(Courtesy of The Hockey Museum)

Baumann, as she was always called, was born in 1882 and lived in the Surrey part of South London all her life. As one of the generation of women who had no-one to marry following WW1 and being of independent means she dedicated her life to women’s hockey.

She was a talented player, firstly for Leigham Court then in 1914 she joined Wimbledon Ladies, one of the very earliest women’s clubs having been founded in 1889 and now the oldest existing ladies club in the world. She was instrumental in keeping women’s hockey going in the Wimbledon area during WW1 and served Wimbledon Ladies as a player for many years. She was Chairman of the committee from WW1 until her death in 1942. In her lifetime the name Baumann became synonymous with Wimbledon LHC.

In 1921 she was first selected to play for England and at the same time became Honorary Secretary of the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA), the national governing body, a post she held until 1938 when she was made an Honorary Life Member of the AEWHA.

Probably no one individual did more to build up the Association than Miss Baumann and no-one was better known to players throughout the country, both as a player and as a most popular Honorary Secretary.
From 1927-30 she was also the first Honorary Secretary of the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (IFWHA), the newly formed world governing body, and took a large part in the planning of all the overseas tours during her years in office.

In addition, she served as Honorary Secretary of the Surrey Ladies Hockey Association in 1919-20, captained the Surrey team as a player in 1921, was Vice President from 1923-25, and President from 1925 until her death. She was a Member of the Southern Counties Women’s Hockey Association Council from 1919 until her death; she was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer 1919-21, as well as 1st team Captain and Vice President from 1930-39 and President from 1939 until her death.

Leigham Court Hockey Club, 1907. Baumann is pictured in the far right of the bottom row (Courtesy of The Hockey Museum)

Leigham Court Hockey Club, 1907. Baumann is pictured in the far right of the bottom row (Courtesy of The Hockey Museum)

She had a reputation as an indefatigable worker; a born organiser, she was considered “marvellous to work with”. It was said that she knew all the answers and intricate problems just disappeared before her organising ability. Her influence was greatest in Surrey, where, during her lifetime, a feeling of pride in appearance on the hockey field influenced everyone from the International player down to the newly elected club player. She loved the game at all levels and continued to play as often and for as long as she could. She only stopped a year before her death in 1942 at the age of 60 and was always a force to be reckoned with.

Wilhelmina is just one of the talented Surrey Women featured in Surrey Museums Month 2017. To find out more about the the event and other celebrated Surrey Women click here.

Extract courtesy of The Hockey Museum.

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