The Cocos Island Tennis Trophy

Contributed by Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

The Cocos Island Tennis Trophy

Cocos is a small island in the Indian Ocean between Western Australia and the Philippines. International telegraph cables linking the Far East, China, Australia, Africa and Porthcurno were operated by the Eastern Telegraph Company and the station was famously attacked in 1914 to sabotage international communications. A boarding party from the German cruiser 'Emden' destroyed equipment but the tenacious staff managed to repair the equipment and the telegraph station was soon operational again. The Australian cruiser 'Sydney' was called by Cocos station and 'Emden' was sunk shortly after. Staff at Cocos, as all other ETC and associated companies around the world, were generally trained at Porthcurno and from Porthcurno the ETC and the British Empire exported a global communications network and the related cultural values and pastimes, including tennis. There is no evidence of Cocos staff playing tennis with the 'Emden' crew.

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