Donald Hume – A Great Champion in the 1930s

Written by Geoff Hinder

Donald Hume – A Great Champion in the 1930s

Donald Charles Hume started to play badminton at the age of 16, when he joined the Alexandra Palace Badminton Club in London in the season 1923-24.

Donald’s first experience of the All-England Championships, at the age of 18 was in 1927.

Being inexperienced he was unable to acclimatise himself to the conditions, and lost his match comparatively easily.

Alexander Palace Hall.



By 1929 he had reached the men’s singles final only to find that he had to play one of the great champions of the time Frank Devlin, he lost 15-4, 15-1. The next year he again found himself in the final of the men’s singles this time against Alan Titherley, he would win his first All-England Championship title.



Donald Hume’s favourite game was mixed doubles, he was renowned for his speed around the court. Donald would win a total of 9 All-England titles between 1930 and 1936.

Donald Hume

Donald Hume and Betty Uber


The All-England men’s doubles trophy, which Donald Hume with Raymond (Bill) White would win outright in 1934 after winning it three consecutive years. Prior to 1979 if an All-England Champion won the title for three consecutive years or four Championships in total, they were awarded the trophies outright. The pair won the men’s doubles title again the next year.


The All-England mixed doubles trophy, Donald Hume with Betty Uber won this trophy outright after three consecutive wins in 1935, they would also win the mixed doubles title again the next year.

1932 All-England Championships -Donald Hume (closest) playing against Raymond ‘Bill’ White in the 3rd round of the men’s singles. Bill was Donald’s men’s doubles partner in the All-England, Bill’s claim to fame apart from winning 7 All-England titles was that he was the first player to play in the All-England wearing shorts. Donald would lose and Bill would reach the final only to be beaten by Ralph Nichols.

1932 All-England Championships men’s doubles final. Donald Hume and Bill White (right) winning against Lesley and Ralph Nichols 14-15, 18-16, 15-4. The All-England Championships were played at the Royal Horticultural Hall, London.



Donald Hume first played for England in a match against Scotland in Glasgow in 1929, he won both his games and England won 9-0, he would go on to win another 23 international caps in his career.

Donald Hume playing with Betty Uber (right) in an international match against Ireland in 1931 on the Friday afternoon of the All-England at the Royal Horticultural Hall, London. Donald and Betty beat A. Hamilton and Miss N. Hamilton 15-7, 15-7. England won the match 7-2. 

Betty Uber and Donald Hume (left) playing for England in an international match against Scotland in 1932, they beat James Barr and Miss C. T. Duncan 15-7, 15-12. England would go on to win 9-0. The match was played at the Royal Horticultural Hall in London during the All-England Championships.


Donald Hume would win a total of 14 titles at the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Championships during his career also playing for the Middlesex County team, he was a member of the international team that toured Canada in 1930.


Middlesex County Team which won the first Inter-County Championship in 1931.
                                         The Middlesex County Team.

Back row L to R: –  R.F.W.Hickson, Ralph Nichols, K.G.Livingstone, Donald Hume, G.R.Sherwell, D.L.M.Mercer Middlesex Secretary.

Front row L to R: –  Miss R.J.Stewart, Miss Violet Elton, Miss Daphne Colpoys, Mrs. W.T.Sainsbury.


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