Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Saturday 1 April 2023

Soccer Honour Rolls

The discovery of the photograph of the 1917 Merewether Advance Honour Board in Newcastle (right) jogs my memory that other First World War soccer honour boards were created around Australia. Several members of soccer twitter searched for and reminded me about them also. It seems that we have a list of six known boards at the moment.

I suspect that there would have been many other honour rolls produced by soccer clubs around Australia and New Zealand, but here are the six we know about (plus a Second World War bonus at the bottom of the article).
  1. Merewether (76 names in 1918)
  2. Adelaide Locomotive (30 names in 1916)
  3. Granville Association (over 60 names in 1916)
  4. Pyrmont (70 names in 1918, with more to be added)
  5. Toowoomba (140 names in 1919)
  6. WA (over 400 names in 1922)
Unfortunately, the Places of Pride web site listing such boards has no record of them. And lest we start to generate a conspiracy about the deliberate marginalisation of soccer, only four Australian rules boards are mentioned while the rugby codes have but one each. Given that hundreds of football clubs across codes contributed thousands of players to the war effort this is a major problem. Is it an oversight in the way we memorialise footballing soldiers or does the responsibility lie with the sporting clubs themselves? Soccer is notorious in the way it shelves and discards its own history. Maybe the other codes have similar tendencies.

In the near future I will investigate the whereabouts of each of the boards and the existence of others.  So far, attempts to uncover the Merewether Board have been fruitless. I won't hold my breath but you never know.

NB. Here's a very specific one from WW2 "bearing the names of members of the South Australian Postal Institute Junior Soccer Club who have enlisted".

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Adelaide Soccer Enlistments 1916

Some useful stats from the Adelaide Advertiser, Wednesday 7 June 1916, page 8

  • 43 members of the South Adelaide Club enlisted.
  • Estimated that of 340 soccer players in Adelaide, 230 enlisted
  • consciousness of what other codes doing and saying




Mr. Harold Pearce, hon. secretary South Adelaide British Football Club, writes: '"Will you kindly publish the enclosed list of players of the club who have enlisted. It has been said in various parts of the city that British Association footballers have not done their share in the cause of the Empire in this time of war, hence this letter to contradict such false statements. Our association here in Adelaide had a membership of 340 members in the season of 1914; of that number 230 have enlisted.

In 1915 matches were played, and this year no games have been arranged whatever." 

The enclosed list is as follows: N.W. Taylor, J.C. McMasters, S.C. McMasters, W.G. Marsh, B. Witton, E. G. Wright, J. McDonald, J.F. McDonald, A.A. Wallace, G. Burberry, G. Edwards, T. Shirlock, H. Cole, C. Cole, G. Davis, W. Slaughter, A Godleman, F. McEwin, W. Birken, G. Bates, H. McKay, H. Tucker, A. Linsden, T. Cotton, J. Graham, J. Perry, C. Casseboum, C. Warrington, P. Finlay, P Yules, L. Limb, W. Morton, A.E. Phillips, J. Phillips, M. Richardson, H. Long, E. Long, F. Causer, F. Gregory, C. Brown, J. Murdock, F. Draper, H. Pearce.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Fremantle Caledonians

This is a fb post from the Bassendean Caledonians FC facebook page


Our Callies ANZACS
The club was founded on 11 February 1913 as the Caledonian Soccer Club by members of the Fremantle Caledonian Society.
World War I
The tragedy of the First World War interrupted the formative years of the club. Most of the Caledonian soccer team's players and officials enlisted in the Australian Forces in the 1914–18 War. They were J. Anderson, J. Cowan, A. Marr, F. Beisley, R. Dewar, J. McFarlane, C. Braidwood, J. Durward, D. McKinnon, A. Brown, W. Earnshaw, R. McKinnon, G. Brown, J. Gourley, A. McPherson, D. Cameron, C. Grieve, C. Monteath, J. Chalmers, D. Henry, D. Reid, W. Chalmers, R. Leonard, J. Simpson, A. Cowan, F. Lyon, J. Thompson.
In addition, the West Australian of 14 May 1915 mentions a Callies player, Wilkie, as ‘being in Khaki’, and later references were made by Alec Marr to ‘wee McGregor’ serving at the front. Another Caledonian official, J. H. Campbell may be John Hollis Campbell who embarked with the 11th Battalion on 15 June 1917, while Archibald Cameron of High Street, Fremantle who served with the 27th Battalion may be the A. Cameron who was one of Callies’ original players.
Amongst all these players and officials a group of 14 were guests of the Fremantle Caledonian Society at a farewell function in the Caledonian Hall at the end of the 1915 season. When the Society organised a welcome home function for the Caledonian recruits four years later only five of the 14 attended, the rest having been killed, wounded or otherwise traumatised by the conflict.
The extent of the Caledonian sacrifice to the Australian War effort can be seen in that all but five of the regular first team players in this squad made the supreme sacrifice while serving in the First World War.
The Caledonian players killed in action were ‘Barney’ Cowan, ‘Barney’ Henry, ‘Dickie’ Leonard, Dave McKinnon, Jamie Simpson, Frank Lyon, William Chalmers MM and Charlie Monteath.