Major Harry Gem
(1819-1881)

Died aged c. 62

Major Thomas Henry Gem (21 May 1819 – 4 November 1881), known as Harry Gem, was an English lawyer, soldier, writer and sportsman. Alongside his friend Augurio Perera, he is credited as the earliest inventor of the game of lawn tennis.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr

In 1865 the game of Lawn Tennis was originated and played here by Major T. H. Gem solicitor and sportsman and J. B. A. Perera merchant

8 Ampton Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom where they originated and played the game of Lawn Tennis

The Creation of Lawn Tennis Lawn Tennis was invented in Leamington in 1872 by Major Harry Gem, a Birmingham solicitor and sportsman, who created a game similar to racquets which did not require an expensive indoor court and could be played outside. He played it first with his friend, Auguirio Perera, on the lawns of the Manor House Hotel where they formed the Leamington Lawn Tennis Club on the site now occupied by the apartment block you can see to the left of the hotel. Leamington Lawn Tennis and Squash Club is now located on Guys Cliffe Avenue.

The Manor House - Avenue Road, Leamington Spa, United Kingdom where they invented (1872)

Major T. H. Gem lived here 1872-1881. Lawn tennis pioneer with J. B. A. Perera

Bericote House, Hamilton Terrace, Leamington Spa, United Kingdom where they lived (1872-1881)