North Melbourne Practice game 1944 (SLV 122_179)

Charles Boyles Collection SLV

Link to Photo at SLV Website
SLV Accession no. H2008.122/179

Team: North Melbourne (VFL)
Location: Princes Park (Carlton)
Date: 1944

Back Row: St John Ambulance man, Unknown Trainer in Blazer, Sel Murray, Unknown,Alf Crump, Unknown, Les 'Bing' Crosbie, Les Foote, Jake Bennett, Ted Long, Arthur 'Sid' Slater, Unknown Trainer
Middle Row: Arch McKellim - Trainer kneeling, Don Kemp, Probably Lance Dobson, Unknown, Bill Findlay, Dally O'Brien (c), Jack Doherty, Herbie Jones, Basil Doolan - Trainer
Front Row: Unknown boy, Dick Abikhair, Jack Allister, Ron Smith

Thanks to Kevin Dynon and Bill Liddy for the majority of identifications

Comments by Kevin Dynon and Bill Liddy

We think 1944 as Sel Murray played for Richmond in 45 and 46

There is something strange about the history/mystery of this photo!!!!

According to Trove/Argus as of Sat 29th July 1944 there had been 13 matches played & there were 5 more games listed till 2nd September. Jack Harrison is listed as 18 games, although he is not in this photo.

However the names that we have given you are correct.

Because of the sparse crowd I am wondering whether it may be a practice match. They all look fairly relaxed as well!!! And Carlton’s ground was also used a lot when other grounds were not available for various reasons during that time.

Other notable players that played that year that are missing from this photo are:
Clay, Condon, Crawford, Dyer, Dynon, Fairweather, Harrison, McKenzie, Moran, Patterson, Roulent, who all played at least 10 games, except for Dynon. (who was in the Air Force and was restricted to 2 games).

I think that it is reasonable to assume that they all would not have been out injured on that one day.

So the nucleus is there to form another quality team to conduct an internal club practice match. And that was the common practice in those days. You would never play a pre-season practice game against another club. Unheard of until about 30 years ago.


This team eludes me. Cannot positively identify at this stage. The jumper design and shading suggests a North Melbourne team but the presence of three Army slouch hats in crowd more strongly suggests a Services team, circa World War Two. Cannot identify the grandstand although it does look familiar. Possibly Bendigo - the ground now known as Queen Elizabeth Oval. The grandstand is one-third full. Cannot identify any players. Nineteen players, therefore likely to be before 1946. Four trainers plus St John’s Ambulance man. Some emulsion damage on left-hand side but no players obscured. If this is a metropolitan team, then possibly a North Melbourne district club.

Further Work Needed

The Grandstand looks like the Gardiner Stand at Princess park. See 122_269 - Carlton Cricket Team - mid to late 1940s and for a wide shot see 122_142 - George Stafford.

North Melbourne did not pla any senior games at Princes Park in 1944.

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