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May 21: Lady Luisa, Golf Champion

May 20, 2016

155 Samsulova Pavla Archiv JamborLuisa Abrahams (born Kramerova), a champion golfer in Czechoslovakia who came to a tournament in England as World War II broke out in 1939 and spent the rest of her life there, was born in Prague on this date in 1910. During the war, she achieved the rank of major in the Czech armed-forces-in-exile while working for the British Royal Air Force wire service.” England and golf saved my life,” said Lady Abrahams, who gained her title by marrying Sir Charles Myer Abrahams, the son of the owner of the Aquascutum department store. “I went to buy some trousers because I had no clothes with me... I met the son of the owner. And there it is, I married him and we were married for 48 years.” Abrahams came to England to play with Henry Cotton, the British golf champion, whom she had met while competing the previous year. “He thought I was very talented and he invited me to come to England to play golf and I came and stayed with him when Hitler marched into Prague. Hitler killed my entire family but I stayed in England and therefore I survived.” She was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2002, was awarded the Tomas Masaryk Order for her services to Czechoslovakia, and died at 95. A Czech golf tournament for women is named for her.

“[D]uring the Communist time I helped dissidents a little bit but not really in any strong political way. Because I was married, I had children and I didn’t want to be locked up by the Communists. But as soon as the revolution came I really went into quite big and I tried to collect a lot of money” for charitable work. —Luisa Abrahams