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Remembered Today:

Australian Div. 6-16 (52) def. Training Btns. 4-12 (36)


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And we all thought they were over there fighting battles! ;)

The Times, Monday, 30 Oct 1916

Australian Football

Over 3,000 people watched a football match at

Queen's Club on Saturday between a team from

an Australian Division and another representing

Training Details. The game was played under Aus-

tralian rules, and was a novelty to most of those


The ground is oval, running to 120 yards in width

and 180 yards in length. The goal posts have no

cross-bar, and as long as a ball is kicked through

them the height does not matter. A penalty goal

can be dropped, punted, or placed, and in passing

the short kick is much used, the off-side rule being

non-existent. All the rules are designed with the

object of making the game a fast one, and it has

certainly the look of being that. There are four

quarters of 20 minutes each, and after the first and

third there is merely a quick change round and no


The spectators were also treated to their first

exhibition of Australian "barracking." This barrack-

ing is a cheerful running comment, absolutely without

prejudice, on the players,the spectators, the referee,

the line umpires, and lastly the game itself. On

Saturday it was mostly concerned with references

to the military history of the teams engaged. When

a catch was missed, for instance, a shrill and pene-

trating voice inquired of the abashed player, "D'you

think it's a bomb? It's not, it's a ball." On one

side there was a colonel playing among the backs

and the captain of the other side was a chaplain,

and a popular one, to judge by the cheery advice

that he got from the privates on the line and in the


The men playing on Saturday were not used to

each other, but though the teams thus lacked com-

bination the game was fast, and there were some

excellent displays of high marking and kicking for

goal. The Division eventually won by six goals and

16 behinds (52 points) to four goals and 12 behinds

(36 points). All the gate-money and profits from

programmes went to the funds of the British and

French Red Cross Societies.



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I expect that the Division mentioned is that of Monash's 3rd Division which was training at Larkhill during the period of late July 1916 through to late November 1916. The 10th Brigade of the Division, made up of the 37th, 38th, 39th and 40th Battalions, were from the Aussie Rules states of Victoria and Tasmania and so it wouldn't surprise me if the Divisional team came from their ranks.

The opposition I imagine were taken up from the Training Battalions representing the four other Australian Divisions that were at the front in France.


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Thanks. I expect you are right. Good point about the Aussie Rules states. It mentions a Colonel playing, so not Monash himself obviously (he was a Major-General at that stage, wasn't he?). Good to see that the lads had some fun!



p.s. In days gone by, worked at SECV's head office at 15 William St, Melbourne, and there was a large painting of Sir John in the foyer of that building.

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