Josiah Ritchie

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMajor Josiah George•Ritchie
Used nameJosiah•Ritchie
Born18 October 1870 in Westminster, England (GBR)
Died28 February 1955 in Ashford, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 3


Major Ritchie learned his tennis on the family court at home in Putney but when he went to Brighton College he chose not to specialize in the game remaining active in many sports most notably as a particularly fine gymnast. It was not until early in 1892 that Ritchie, by then aged 21, began to take lawn tennis seriously. Seven years later, he won the French covered courts singles championship and from then on he compiled an impressive record of success both at home and on the Continent. At the 1908 Olympics, with Ritchie meeting the German, Otto Froitzheim, in the final the 22-year-old German surprisingly elected to take on Ritchie, 15 years his senior, from the baseline. Ritchie had few peers at this type of game and as Froitzheim was not one of them he lost to the English veteran in straight sets. Ritchie also won an Olympic silver medal in the doubles with James Parke as his partner and earlier in the same year had won a bronze in the covered court doubles. Major Ritchie won the Wimbledon doubles in 1908 and 1910, partnering the New Zealander, Tony Wilding, with his best performance in the Wimbledon singles coming in 1909 when he won through to the Challenge round only to lose to Wentworth Gore in five sets. His son, Richard, was also an accomplished player but became better known for having served as Secretary of the Queen’s Club for some 30 years.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Tennis GBR Josiah Ritchie
Singles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
Doubles, Men (Olympic) James Parke 2 Silver
Singles, Covered Courts, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
Doubles, Covered Courts, Men (Olympic) Lionel Escombe 4