Cavill family

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The Cavill family of Australia is known for its significant contributions to the development of the sport of swimming.[1][2]

Prominent family members in the sport include Frederick Cavill (1839-1927),[3] sons Ernest Cavill (1868-1935), Charles Claude Cavill (December 19, 1870 - May 22, 1897),[4] Percy Frederick Cavill (1875-1940), Arthur Rowland Channel (Tums) Cavill (August 24, 1877 - March 1, 1914),[4][5][6] who is credited by sports journalist W.F. Corbett with originating the Australian crawl stroke, which now predominates in "freestyle" swimming races; and Sydney St. Leonards Cavill ("Sid") (1881 - May 5, 1945),[7] was the originator of the butterfly stroke. Youngest son Richmond (Dick) Theophilus Cavill (1884-1938)[3] was the first to use the crawl in a competition, winning 100 yards State championship in 1899 and in England, in 1902, he was the first to swim 100 yards in under a minute.[8]

Six members of the family were jointly inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970.[9]

The three daughters, Madeline Cavill, Fredda Cavill and Alice Cavill (1874–1945)[10] were all accomplished swimmers and swimming instructors.


  1. ^ The Royal Family of Swimming, Reader's Digest (Australian edition), Retrieved September 21, 2012
  2. ^ Allen, Geoff (26 March 1961). The saga of the swimming Cavills, The Sydney Morning Herald
  3. ^ a b Williams, J.G. "Cavill, Frederick (1839–1927)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Osmond, Gary (2009). "Forgetting Charlie and Tums Cavill: social memory and Australian swimming history". Journal of Australian Studies. 33 (1): 93–107. doi:10.1080/14443050802672569. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  5. ^ (13 March 1914). "Tums" Cavill (obituary), Northern Advocate
  6. ^ (2 March 1914). Cavill Freezes While Swimming: Champion Swimmer Was Unable to Stand Shock of Puget Sound Water, Spokane Daily Chronicle
  7. ^ (5 May 1945). Sid Cavill Dies, Reading Eagle
  8. ^ "Cavill, Richmond Theophilus (Dick) (1884 - 1938) Biographical Entry - Australian Dictionary of Biography Online". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  9. ^ The Cavill Family (AUS) - 1970 Honor Contributors Archived 2007-11-04 at the Wayback Machine., International Swimming Hall of Fame website, Retrieved September 21, 2012
  10. ^ Osmond, Gary (2012). "Swimming Her Own Course: Agency in the Professional Swimming Career of Alice Cavill". The International Journal of the History of Sport. 29 (3): 385–402. doi:10.1080/09523367.2012.659727.