These are notes from Vol 1 page 270 of Harry Hetherington's astounding compilation of facts on NSW soccer. This is an introduction to the 1919 Season. I find it very hard to believe that 500 Newcastle players 'fell' in battle -- the figure was closer to 100, but Hetherington's presentation makes that coinclusion a reasonable one.The return of thousands from the war gave all sports a great boost. Many of those returning had seen football overseas and their interest in the game was apparent on the Australian football scene, especially in Newcastle.
A large influx of miners from England, Scotland and Wales brought many players and spectators to the north, thereby causing a big upsurge in patronage.
Early in the l919 season, the Northern District British Football Association (NDBFA) issued a comprenhensive list of players who had fallen in battle overseas. Over 500 names were printed in the Annual report .
Some of the high ranking players lost included Adam Ramage, Dave Clarke, Bill Atkin, Frank Jones, Jim Winters, W. Stevenson, T. Parkes, G. Pollard, J. Searles, W.C. Sneddon, R. Convery, D. Gibb, W. Callender, R. Croker. Captain E. Manefield won the Military Cross while the Military Medal and Bar went to LCP Coppick [Coppock]. W.Wymer, W. Eagles, Archie Forbes, L. Parkes were also awarded the Military Medal and Bar.
West Wallsender J. Bilbie, was a recipient of a Certificate of merit from King George V for bravey in saving a person from the river Thames. Another leading West Wallsend Player Ned Brennan, lost a leg after being injured in battle.