‘Cheer Cheer on our Camberwell
Wake up the echoes – come on the Wells
Send a hearty cheer on high
Shake down the thunder from the sky
What if the odds be great or small
Our Camberwell will win overall
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory’ 1


Camberwell Football Club 1946 medallion - courtesy Ian Jenkin
Camberwell Football Club 1946 medallion - courtesy Ian Jenkin


AUTHOR'S NOTE - ALL IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED - JUST (LEFT) CLICK ON IMAGE

Where Cobras lurk - a recent view of the main grandstand (built for 1936 football season)
Where Cobras lurk - a recent view of the main grandstand (built for 1936 football season)

Where Cobras lurk – a recent view of the main grandstand (built for 1936 football season)
Where Cobras lurk – a recent view of the main grandstand (built for 1936 football season)




A History of the Camberwell Football Club – 1886-1994 - An Introduction


Reading the story of the Camberwell Football Club is like zooming up and down on the Big Dipper at Luna Park, with seasons of desperation and gloom relieved by seasons of wild success. On several occasions throughout the club’s 65-year association with the VFA Camberwell came close to extinction, only to rise again. In its first 18 years in the VFA, Camberwell also came close to winning two premierships, being narrowly beaten in both 1935 and 1946. After two decades of decline Camberwell won two Second Division premierships (1979, 1981) and competed again at the top level, only to collapse. 2 When one considers some of the demographic and sociological factors that played havoc with the club throughout its history – its base in a ‘dry’ suburb with a genteel, somewhat disinterested population - Camberwell’s tenacity and will to survive through to 1994 is remarkable. Camberwell’s history is rich and fascinating. Some of the greatest players ever to pull on a boot played for the Wells – Roy Cazaly, Laurie Nash, Albert Collier, and Jim Bohan, to name a few. 3 I was born in 1945 and grew up in suburban Camberwell. Our house on the corner of Bellett Street and Nelson Road was so close to the Camberwell Oval we could hear the crowd roaring on Saturday afternoons and just make out the grandstand peeping over the top of the houses our side of Camberwell Road. I kicked a football from an early age and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to attend the local team’s matches on my own. Perhaps more typical of the general Camberwell populace was young Barry Humphries of Christowel Street, repelled by ‘the frighteningly mindless roar of the football rabble’. 4

Now, 65 years after I first watched Camberwell supporters making their way down Bellett Street singing the praises of Jimmy Bohan, I have written a history of their club. To explain my motivation I can’t do better than quote from Clinton Walker’s superb football autobiography:

‘For a century, the VFA was the VFL’s virtual bete noire. If the VFA was in many ways its own worst enemy, its contribution to football’s development was still enormous, and if due credit hasn’t been accorded, that’s because, as the cliché goes, history is written by its winners. The AFL congratulated itself roundly on its centenary in 1996. But history exists in every nook and cranny, not just on the mount but in the trenches….’ 5

It would be an exaggeration to say that Camberwell’s history is hidden. We have newspaper accounts and Annual Reports for the better part of its existence but there is much that has been lost, and lost forever. No-one ever thought to record the memories of the players before they passed on. No-one, apparently, can lay their hands on the priceless memorabilia – mainly framed photographs - that once adorned the four walls of the ballroom in the Camberwell pavilion. One uses what one has.

Without doubt my main source of background information, without which I could not have even begun, was the work of former Age journalist Marc Fiddian. Fiddian’s 1980 monograph – East Side Story, a chronicle of the Camberwell Football Club’s history – was written immediately after Camberwell’s first VFA premiership (1979) and was the very first of what eventually became a veritable avalanche of Fiddian (VFA club) histories. Fiddian’s histories have been criticised – usually by academic football historians – for their lack of source information and footnotes – but without his extraordinary dedication we would today know next to nothing about the history of Victorian football’s foundation competition. In writing my own history of Camberwell Football Club I have been blessed with tools and material unavailable to Fiddian in 1980 – the computer, the internet, the digital recorder, even colour images. Nothing, however, will ever supercede his pioneering effort.

The finals of the Eastern Suburban Protestant Churches Football Association in 1965 were fought out on the Camberwell Oval. Playing on the wing for Burwood United I was knocked out cold and woke up in the old outer grandstand with a tooth missing. I have contributed biologically to the Camberwell mud and now I take pleasure in contributing to its history.

I wish to dedicate my work to three friends, all of whom have made significant contributions to the life and history of the Camberwell Football Club: Ron Peck, who taught me how to kick a footy in 1951 and who later led Camberwell to its only VFA premierships; Lloyd Holyoak whose on-field exploits I fondly remember; and Thelma Baker, dedicated to Camberwell for its entire post-war history. A special thank you goes to both John Ficarra and David Barker for countless hours compiling Camberwell’s records.

Another special 'thank you' goes to all those who have honoured me with their memories. I have conducted (so far - the project is ongoing) twelve recorded interviews with former Camberwell players, supporters and opponents:
The late Ken Munro (memories of Laurie Nash and Jim Bohan).
Thelma Baker (supporter - 1940’s, 1950’s).
Paul Jennings (supporter - 1940's).
Valerie O’Connor (supporter - 1980’s).
David Barker (supporter - 1980’s).
Keith Lumley (supporter - the entire post-war period).
Mal Macpherson (1949 Williamstown premiership rover - 1940’s).
Lloyd Holyoak (Camberwell Team of the Century - 1950’s).
Gordon Duff (Camberwell Team of the Century - 1950’s).
Jack Hedley (player - 1950’s).
Graeme Tempany (player - 1950’s).
Barry McKernan (player - 1960’s).
Transcripts of the above interviews will eventually be linked to this article on the Boylesfootballphotos website. The digitised recordings will be preserved for posterity.

I have mentioned many Camberwell footballers in this work but it would be remiss of me not to salute the club’s lifeblood - the hundreds of officials and volunteer workers – too many to name individually - who kept the Camberwell Football Club alive and kicking over the course of the Twentieth Century.

Part One - Camberwell Football Club 1886-1941

From the Junction to Nashville

Origins

It seems a Camberwell Football Club was playing at Camberwell Junction (the corner of Burke and Riversdale Roads) as early as 1886 and this date is usually given as the club’s year of foundation. Camberwell played in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association from 1889-1892. Information provided on www.footypedia.com appears to suggest the club experienced a crisis of some sort in the period 1893-1895 and disbanded (1895). After re-forming the club joined the Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) and won the 1900 ESFA premiership. The club participated in the ESFA until 1906. Camberwell then joined the (Box Hill) Reporter District Football Association (RDFA) and won premierships in at least three years (1907, 1908, 1911 – and possibly 1909).

The space that became the home of the Camberwell Football Club for eighty years (eventually known as ‘Camberwell Sports Ground’) was originally a vegetable garden (‘Brooks Paddock’) and part of Camberwell Racecourse. The preparation of a new sports ground (originally dubbed ‘Bowen Park’) on this site was finished in 1909 and Camberwell Football Club first played at the new ground the following year (1910). A grandstand for visitors’ rooms (the ‘Tramways Grandstand’) was built in 1920. A much larger spectators’ grandstand and pavilion was built in 1935 – and ready for the 1936 football season. 6

The Pioneers - Marc Fiddian (1977)
The Pioneers - Marc Fiddian (1977)

East Side Story - Marc Fiddian (1980)
East Side Story - Marc Fiddian (1980)


The Twenties: Camberwell 1921-1925 (pre-VFA)


In the years immediately following World War One Camberwell competed in a strong junior competition, the Melbourne Districts Football Association. Camberwell was the competition’s dominant team and won three successive premierships – 1921-1922-1923.

In 1921 Camberwell defeated Hawthorn District by ten points in the semi final and overcame Brunswick Juniors by ten points in the Final (played at Oakleigh). In 1922 Camberwell drew (5.13 each) the second semi final played against Footscray Juniors at Brunswick. Footscray Juniors won the replay but lost the final to Moreland. Camberwell as minor premiers had the right to challenge Moreland. The match, played at Dandenong, was won by Camberwell 8.9 to 7.9.

In 1923 Camberwell won sixteen games from eighteen to head the ladder after the ‘home and home’ matches by four points. They then defeated Moreland in the semi-final – 13.14 to 10.14. The club’s loss to Fairfield in the (first) Final – 6.12 to 7.8 – was not fatal however because, as minor premiers, Camberwell had gained the right to challenge in a Grand Final if necessary.7 The return game (or second Final) against Fairfield was conducted at the MCG on Saturday September 29 as a curtain-raiser to the VFL (second) semi-final Essendon v South Melbourne. Camberwell triumphed by ten points - 9.12 to 8.8. The 1923 Annual Report conveys the excitement that followed the win: ‘An outstanding factor that unquestioningly brought about the happy result was the splendid camaraderie existing among the players’. The Report mentions ‘Captain Mr W.Tuck’ responding to a toast at the smoke night and remarking ‘The team I lead needs no captain’. At the invitation of the ‘Ladies Social Club’ a dance and musical evening was held at Camberwell Town Hall on October 16 to celebrate the third successive premiership – ‘A feature of the very fine supper was the Premiership Cake, beautifully decorated and figured with miniature footballers. Each player was given one of the miniatures as a souvenir’.

Camberwell’s 1923 MDFA premiership team that triumphed on the MCG:
Backs HarleyKillenAmery
Half backs Whitecross Syd Reeves Alway
Centres Birchall Hardie Price
Half forwards Gil HendrieAisbett Carswell
Forwards Smith Reg Whitehead Bill Yole
Followers Wal Tuck Dimond Les Woodford


There are some interesting names here. Les Woodford, Gil Hendrie and Reg Whitehead played in Hawthorn’s very first VFL match after Hawthorn was admitted to the League in 1925. Whitehead, who had previously played two games for Richmond in 1921, was given only one game at Hawthorn. Dave Elliman, who also played in Hawthorn’s first VFL match in 1925, later switched to Camberwell and played in its first VFA season (1926). Les Woodford became a prolific goal-kicker for Camberwell in the VFA, and Gil Hendrie, the grandfather of Hawthorn half-forward John Hendrie (1972-82), became President of the Camberwell Football Club in the forties. Ruckman Wal Tuck, Camberwell’s captain in 1923, also later served as Camberwell President – for twelve years. Tuck was Camberwell’s captain-coach in 1924 but was injured mid-season and Les Woodford took over as captain. The 1929 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report has Tuck as Honorary Secretary. Camberwell’s playing coach in 1923 (and curiously only vice-captain) was S.Reeves - almost certainly Syd Reeves who played 110 games for Richmond 1910-1919 and then played for Hawthorn in the VFA. 8

Hawthorn Team Round One 1925 - Includes Camberwell players Les Woodford (middle row - extreme right), Gil Hendrie (top row - second from right), Reg Whitehead (top row - fourth from right) and Dave Elliman (middle row - extreme left)
Hawthorn Team Round One 1925 - Includes Camberwell players Les Woodford (middle row - extreme right), Gil Hendrie (top row - second from right), Reg Whitehead (top row - fourth from right) and Dave Elliman (middle row - extreme left)


Apart from excitement, the 1923 Annual Report also conveyed a sense of entitlement. After three successive premierships Camberwell believed it was strong enough to compete in the VFL. In December 1923 it applied for admission:

‘When the opportunity to apply for admission to the Victorian Football League came, your Committee lost no time in submitting a comprehensive proposal, and secured the Camberwell City Council’s support if successful. The League, however, decided that for the present no new club should be admitted. Then a communication was received from the Victorian Football Association, asking that the club should be heard at its meeting with a view to being admitted to the Association ranks. The Committee acted promptly, and advanced Camberwell’s claim for consideration’.

1923 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report - cover
1923 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report - cover


After the failed bid to join the VFL, the club shifted its focus to the VFA, as the 1924 Annual Report makes clear:

‘Though unsuccessful in our application for admittance to the Victorian Football Association, we feel confident that Camberwell will be seen in senior football ranks in season 1926’.

1924 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report - cover
1924 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report - cover



Camberwell narrowly missed winning a fourth successive premiership in 1924. Again heading the ‘home and home’ ladder, Camberwell defeated Ivanhoe by six goals in the second semi final but lost to Oakleigh 10.10 to 9.17 in a gripping Grand Final encounter played at Oakleigh. In 1925 Melbourne Districts Football Association was re-named ‘VFL Sub-Districts League’. Yet again Camberwell headed the ladder - for the fifth year in a row. They defeated Fairfield in the second semi final but then lost twice to Public Service – in the Final by by 15 points and in the Grand Final (once again at Oakleigh) by six goals.9

The Twenties – Camberwell 1926-1929 (VFA)


In 1926 Camberwell’s dream of playing in senior ranks finally came true. At the start of the 1925 football season three VFA clubs –– North Melbourne, Footscray and Hawthorn - defected to the Victorian Football League. There had only been ten VFA clubs in the first place and although Coburg was added in 1925, the sadly depleted VFA was on the lookout for replacements. Well-performed Camberwell, as an eastern suburbs club, was the ideal replacement for Hawthorn. 10 Camberwell finished only ninth in its first VFA season but the 1926 Annual Report nevertheless praised ‘some splendid exhibitions of the pastime during the season’. The club rose to fifth in 1928 – missing out on a finals spot by percentage only – but crashed to eleventh in 1929, an outcome which the club Committee put down to ‘the defection of a number of players and the numerous injuries which made fielding a team difficult at times’. Camberwell’s Committee in 1926 expressed frustration at lack of community support - ‘unfortunately the citizens have yet to realise, apparently, that they have a ‘senior club’ of their own to support’. Over the decades that were to follow this complaint became a recurring theme of nearly all Camberwell Football Club Annual Reports.

Camberwell 1926-1963
Camberwell 1926-1963


Camberwell 1926-1929 – Memorable Facts


Camberwell’s victory over Preston at Camberwell in Round Five (May 29) of the 1926 season was the club’s first ever win in the VFA and the result could not have been closer. Camberwell won 11.11 to 10.16.

Camberwell ‘enjoyed’ an unusual victory in Round 17 of the 1926 season when Brunswick forfeited its home match against Camberwell as a protest against the disqualification of two of their players.

Round One (April 21) of the 1928 season provided an extraordinary finish to the Yarraville-Camberwell game played at Yarraville. The timekeepers’ bell sounded ten minutes before the game was due to finish, apparently because of an ‘honest mistake’ by the Camberwell timekeeper. The VFA declared ‘no game’ and ordered a replay –– which eventually took place on June 4, 1928. In the original game, Yarraville ‘won’ 10.11 to 8.17. In the replay Yarraville won 11.12 to 8.15.

Camberwell’s forwards were off-target in their July 21, 1928 match against Williamstown at Camberwell. The home side kicked 7.34 (!) to Williamstown’s 7.6.

In 1928 Camberwell missed the final four on percentage only. Preston and Camberwell both finished with eleven wins but Preston’s percentage of 124.6 was considerably better than Camberwell’s - 106.8.

After losing (6.10-11.17) against Coburg in the Round Eleven match of the 1929 season Camberwell officials protested that Coburg had an extra man on the ground during the Second Quarter. The VFA upheld the protest and ordered a replay. Camberwell decided not to replay and therefore forfeited the match (The Age August 16, 1929; VFA Recorder August 17, 1929; The Herald August 21, 1929). 11


YEAR LADDER TEAMSWINSLOSSES PERCENTAGE
1926 9th 10 4 14 74.1
1927 8th 10 5 13 81.2
1928 5th 10 11 7106.8
1929 11th 12 2 2061.2


Camberwell’s first VFA team, May 1, 1926 – Brighton 16.14 d Camberwell 5.11


Backs -Tom ConnopHorrie KillenH. Seidel
Half backs - George Rawle (Capt)Harry HarrisonFrank Horne
Centres -R.McLennonH. GreenwoodRoy Trezise
Half forwards -Alec WhitecrossC. WardDave Elliman (VC)
Forwards -Les WoodfordJ. Greenbury Bill Yole
Followers -W.HadleyFred JackG. Owens


Camberwell 1926 – Games played

18 – L.Woodford, H.Killen, R.Trezise.
17 – J. Greenbury, J.Karthaus
16 – G.Rawle, D.Elliman.
15 – T.Elliott, H.Harrison
14 – A.Whitecross, H.Seidel.
12 – G.Owens, K.Parris.
10 – C.Ward, P.Le Strange, L.Yole, T.Connop, M.Wright.
9 – J.Price, R.McKernan.
Less than 9 games : F.Horne, N.McCamish, E.Poole, H.Clark, F.Jack, F.Dimond, K.Jackson, R.McLennon, R.Wright, W.Hadley, Mansfield, H.Smith, E.Wilson, P.Smith, H.Greenwood, H.Thomas, E.Lambert, H.Allerding, S.Creek.

Camberwell 1928

Camberwell team Saturday June 23, 1928 versus Yarraville (The Argus, June 22, 1928).
Le Strange, Gunnyon, Harrison
Williams, Greenwood, Horne
Price, Calwell, Boothman
Woodford, Lakin, Karthaus
Stevens, Gough, Bride
Lawn, McCormack, Page
19th - Egan
Emergency - Brown.

Camberwell 1929

Camberwell 1929 Playing List
Jim Shanahan (centre half back), Jim Lawn (centre half forward), Hubert Calwell (centre), Reg Page (rover), Les Woodford (half forward flank), Tom Bride, George Bennett, Richard Williams, Lou Gough, Jack Boothman (wing), Roy Trezise, Joe Harrison (centre half back), Harry Lakin (centre half back), Albert (Bert) Mills, Bill Coffin (full forward), Don Quartermain (wing), Jack Huggard (centre half forward), Stan Petrie (tall forward), Charlie Clamp (centre/wing), John Price, Tom Stephens, Willie (Vic?) Woolf (full back), Clarrie Calwell (utility), Frank Higgins, Matthew Wilkins, Bill Amery, Fred Meyer (ruckman forward), J.Greenbury (rover), P.Le Strange (back pocket), C.J.McLeay, C.Ward (first ruck), W.K.Jackson, A.Reckie, F.Wells, W.Pryor, H.Birchall, E.Watts, J.King, S.Olsson, D.Morrison, H.Richards, B.Leckie (rover forward), Joe Fergusson, McColl (first ruck), Egan, Knight, Tarrant, Noble, Anderson, Hayes (half back flank), Dorey. (Camberwell was unsuccessful in 1929, and very unsettled. Very few of its players were regularly selected in the same field position. The field position entries directly above are precise in some instances and require qualification in others).

Camberwell goalkickers 1926-29


1926
L. Woodford 49, G. Owens 11, J. Greenbury 10, A. Whitecross 10, T.Connop 10, D. Elliman 6, C. Ward 5, F. Horne 5, T.Elliott 5, F.Dimond 4, M.Wright 4, N.McCamish 3, G.Rawle 3, K.Jackson 3, L.Yole 2, J.Price 2, H.Seidel 2, R.Wright 2, H.Harrison 2, A.Wilson 1, P.Le Strange 1, R.McKernan 1, H.Clark 1, R.Trezise 1, H.Allerding 1.

1927
L.Woodford 40, J.Lawn 30, T.Connop 27, D.Elliman 18, R.Page 10, J.Greenbury 7, C.Ward 7, T.Elliott 6, L.Bazin 6, A.Whitehead 5, H.Allberry 5, F.Dimond 4, J.Karthaus 3, O.Rae 2, J.Price 2, G.Hendrie 2, G.Owens 1.

1928
L.Woodford 36, J.Lawn 24, L.Gough 20, H.Lakin 16, W.Gunnyon 11, R.Williams 11, T.Bride 11, T.Stevens 10, R.Page 8, T.Connop 6, H.Brown 6, J.Harrison 4, J.Karthaus 3, L.Bazin 2, J.Price 1, C.Calwell 1.

1929
J.Lawn 44, L.Woodford 30, R.Page 19, W.Coffin 19, F.Meyer 16, S.Petrie 14, C.Ward 10, L.Gough 9, J.Greenbury 6, McColl 4, J.Huggard 4, G.Bennett 3, B.Leckie 3, D.Morrison 3, (H or C) Calwell 2, D.Quartermain 2, J.Harrison 2, Anderson 2, J.Boothman 2, Hayes 1.

Stars of the Twenties – Camberwell 1926-1929


Les Woodford

Played in 1923 Camberwell (MDFA) premiership team. Ex-Williamstown (according to Holmesby and Main, Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers). Played for Hawthorn (VFL) in 1925 - 13 games 20 goals. Camberwell’s most prolific goalkicker in twenties – 49 (1926), 40 (1927), 30 (1928), 30 (1929). Won Camberwell best and fairest award 1926.

Reg 'Tiger' Page

Grew up in Brighton but came to Camberwell from Yallourn in 1927 and won 1927 Camberwell best and fairest award. Fourth behind winner Ted Bourke (Sandringham) in 1929 VFA Recorder Cup (Bourke 9 votes, Reg Page and Jim Lawn each 6 votes). Returned to Yallourn in 1931 after 71 games for Camberwell.

Jim Lawn

Played for Camberwell before it joined VFA. Played for Collingwood (VFL) 1923-25 – 35 games 37 goals. Played for Yallourn 1926. Rejoined Camberwell 1927. Vice-captain Camberwell 1928. Described (1928 Camberwell Annual Report) as ‘the outstanding player of the VFA’. Second in 1928 VFA Recorder Cup (6 votes) to Frank Smith Prahran (7 votes). At start of 1929 season replaced Wal Gunnyon as Camberwell captain-coach. In 1929 season kicked 44 goals and won Camberwell best and fairest award. Fourth in 1929 VFA Recorder Cup. 1930 – 45 goals. Played for Yarraville 1931. Returned to Camberwell 1932. 1932 – 65 goals. Played 108 games and kicked 258 goals in seven seasons for Camberwell (1927-33). Overlooked for Camberwell 'Team of the Century'.

The Herald 1 August 1930, p.14 - Jim Lawn
The Herald 1 August 1930, p.14 - Jim Lawn


Rev. E.Lyall Williams

Apparently a practising cleric and described as the ‘Sporting Parson’.
Came to Camberwell from Ballarat 1928. Won 1928 Camberwell best and fairest award. Described in 1928 Camberwell Annual Report as ‘new and popular player’. Also ex-Richmond Seconds (according to Holmesby and Main). Played 24 games for Hawthorn (VFL) 1929-30. Returned to Camberwell 1932. Brother of Roy Williams who also made his Camberwell debut in 1928 and played 133 games for Camberwell (see below). Camberwell’s 1952 History Souvenir book has him as ‘Rev Lloyd Williams’.

Bill Yole

Kicked the winning goal – late in the game - in 1922 MDFA Grand Final against Moreland. Seventh in 1926 VFA Recorder Cup (5 votes).

Camberwell Best and Fairest Award 1926-29

1926 – Les Woodford
1927 – Reg Page
1928 – Rev. E.Lyall Williams
1929 – Jim Lawn

Some other notable Camberwell players (1926-29).

(See Part Three for complete list of Camberwell players from twenties who played senior VFL football).

George Rawle

Ruckman. Camberwell captain-coach (aged 36) in club’s first VFA season (1926). First played for North Melbourne in VFA in 1911. North Melbourne (VFA) captain-coach 1922. Played for Essendon 1923-25 (19 games).

Wally Gunnyon

Camberwell captain-coach 1928. Ex-Fremantle. Played for St.Kilda (VFL) 1922-27 (63 games).

James (Jim) Shanahan

Collingwood 1924-26 (42 games), Carlton 1927 (2 games), Fitzroy 1928-29 (27 games). Apparently appointed Camberwell captain-coach for 1929 season (according to 1952 Camberwell FC Souvenir history book). Played only the first five games of the 1929 season for Camberwell. (Jim Lawn captain-coached Camberwell for the main part of the 1929 season and may in fact have coached for the entire season if the 1952 book is wrong). According to 'VFA Recorder' (1929), Hubert (Bert) Calwell took over as Camberwell's playing-coach on July 27 (1929).

Tom Elliott

Camberwell captain-coach 1927 VFA season. Presumably the same ‘Tom Elliott’
who played 11 games for Melbourne (VFL) 1923-24 (see Holmesby and Main).

Tom Bride

Won Camberwell ‘best first year player’ award in 1928. Played as first rover in Northcote’s 1929 VFA premiership team.

Lou Gough

Described by Fiddian (‘East Side Story’) as ex-Hawthorn and ex-Richmond. Presumably the same ‘Lew Gough’ described by Holmesby and Main as having played 12 games for Hawthorn (1925 and 1932) and 5 games for Melbourne (1930-31).

Albert (Bert) Mills

Cleared from Prahran to Camberwell April 1928. Played four games for Camberwell 1928 (kicking two goals in his first match - against Prahran at Prahran in Round 7). Played Round 2, 1929 versus Prahran at Camberwell before transferring to Hawthorn. Hawthorn 196 games (1930-42).
Hawthorn captain (1932, 1934, 1938). Hawthorn captain-coach 1940-41. Hawthorn best and fairest 1933, 1935, 1939. Hawthorn Team of the Century (back pocket).
………………………………..

The Thirties – Camberwell 1930-1941

12

‘She’s got a forward at smart St.Kilda
She’s got a centreman at Perth as well
She corresponds with a back at Sydney
And a ruck at Camberwell
She wears the ring of a scrum at Brisbane
A Melbourne rover has her in a whirl
She’s got a sweetheart in every club’s team
She’s just an All Australian Girl’ 13


Our Football Girl
Our Football Girl


The ‘All-Australian Girl’ celebrated in a ‘Snappy Fox Trot Song’ unleashed on the public in July 1933 was a remarkable woman. Whether the amazingly energetic and seductive young flapper ever actually ‘corresponded’ with a Camberwell ruckman is a matter of some doubt for the inclusion of ‘Camberwell’ in the lyrics is more likely a convenient ballad cliché. Nevertheless, the honour thus bestowed on Camberwell in so being singled out was warranted after its impressive phoenix-like rise from the ashes in 1932. The song’s risqué implications may have raised eyebrows in 1933 but one can imagine this shock was a mere shudder when compared with the Camberwell earthquake that rocked the VFA in 1938. Camberwell, the club that started the thirties with a whimper, ended with a resounding bang.

1930 O. T. Beverage Men's Hats - Camberwell
1930 O. T. Beverage Men's Hats - Camberwell
1930 O. T. Beverage Men's Hats - Reverse
1930 O. T. Beverage Men's Hats - Reverse


YEAR LADDER TEAMSWINS LOSSESPERCENTAGE
193011 12 5 13 83.2
193112 12 2 16 65.5
19323 1214 6 128.1
19337 1212 10 109.6
19347 12 810 98.6
19353 12 12 6 134.5
19363 12 12 6 121.2
19378 12 7 9 94.1
19385 12 9 7 104.6
19395 12 13 7 115.4
19408 12 7 13 97.0
19417 12 12 8107.7


Camberwell found its very existence in the VFA threatened after the bleak season of 1930 and the wooden-spoon performance of 1931. The world-wide economic Depression had hit all VFA clubs but Camberwell resented the ‘meagre support accorded to the club both by the residents and Council’. Even more concerning was the letter from the VFA urging Camberwell to shape up or ship out:

‘Unless the Club raises the standard as a Club to the level of the leading Clubs of the Association during the ensuing season, it is practically certain that a motion for the reduction of the number of Clubs will be carried. It is hoped that your Committee will use its best endeavors, in every direction, to improve the standard of your Club both financially and its strength as a playing unit in the direction indicated’.14

Camberwell - circa 1930
Camberwell - circa 1930


1931


'Consternation was caused at Camberwell when the footballs for the game against Oakleigh failed to materialise on Saturday morning. A hurried search was made at the railway station, and inquiries from railway officials elicited the fact that they were last seen by a guard of the train on which they had been consigned, but that no trace of them could be found after that. Camberwell officials immediately got in touch with Mr Ross Faulkner, who supplies the footballs for all Association matches, and he made a hurried trip to Camberwell by car with two more footballs'.

The Age 3-August-1931


Camberwell senior team 1931 photographed in front of Tramways Stand
Camberwell senior team 1931 photographed in front of Tramways Stand

Back Row: Dr Frank Hartnett (President), unknown, possibly Ern Dyball, Bill Luff, Harry Jones, possibly Reg Henderson, possibly P. Ponchard, Stan Petrie, unknown, unknown official - possibly 1931 CFC Secretary F.C.Marks.
Centre Row: Wally Lathlain, Roy Williams, unknown, Percy Wilson, unknown, unknown, Les Harvey, unknown trainer
Front Row: unknown, unknown, Charlie Clamp
I believe the photo was taken at either Round 12 or Round 13 (1931).
Round 12 (1931) Camberwell team positions:
Don Quartermain, C.Ward, Reg Henderson
Harry Jones, Ern Dyball, Ern Elliott
Charlie Clamp, Wally Lathlain, Len Wallace
Stan Petrie, Hope Collins, B.Strachan
Percy Wilson, Bill Luff, Roy Williams
P.Ponchard, F.McGrath, Les Harvey
19th - R.Murphy
Round 13 (1931) Camberwell team positions:
Don Quartermain, Harry Jones, Ern Elliott
Reg Henderson, Ern Dyball, K.Jackson
Charlie Clamp, Roy Williams, Les Harvey
Stan Petrie, Percy Wilson, B.Strachan
Les Trotter, Bill Luff, T.Richards
P.Ponchard, F.McGrath, Wally Lathlain

1932


The club’s on-field response to this arrogant VFA ultimatum was emphatic. Camberwell appointed a new playing coach for season 1932 – Angus ‘Horrie’ Mason – and it seems the former St.Kilda star made a substantial difference. Camberwell started the 1932 season like a rocket. By June it had won all seven matches and sat on top of the VFA ladder. It then won three of the next four (having lost to Sandringham) before travelling to Coburg in Round Twelve.

Camberwell team Round 12, 1932 v Coburg at Coburg – lost 13.9 to 14.19.
Backs -Bob O’Neill Harry Jones Wally Lathlain
Half backs - Ern Dyball Reg Henderson Ern Elliott
Centres -Charlie Clamp Roy Williams Frank Pierce
Half forwards -Arthur RoweJim Lawn Hope Collins
Forwards -Stan PetrieBill Luff Tom Lasky
Followers -Horrie Mason Bill Coffin Lyall Williams


The Tricolours made the finals and went down by only four points (after leading by twelve points at three-quarter time) to the eventual premiers Northcote in the Second Semi Final. The club’s 1932 Annual Report lamented ‘the victory snatched away’ but pointedly remarked ‘we have now given our answer to that (VFA) ultimatum’.

1932 VFA TOP FOUR AFTER 20 ROUNDS
Northcote 15, 5, 0, 2047, 1524, 134.32, 60
Coburg 15, 5, 0, 1866, 1416, 131.78, 60
Camberwell 14, 6, 0, 1976, 1542, 128.15, 56
Preston 14, 6, 0, 1677, 1548, 108.33, 56

1932 SECOND SEMI FINAL – SEPTEMBER 17 – AT PORT MELBOURNE
Northcote 1.0, 3.3, 9.5, 14.7 (91)
Camberwell 4.5, 7.9, 10.11, 12.15 (87)
Best - Clamp, Henderson, Mason, Wartman, O’Neill, Lasky
O’Neill 3, Williams 3, Petrie 2, Lasky, Trezise, Mason, Collins

Camberwell’s 1932 Second Semi Final team was chosen from the following squad:
Reg Henderson, Horrie Mason, Ern Dyball, Bob O’Neill, Harry Jones, Bill Luff, Charlie Clamp, Roy Williams, Stan Petrie, Tom Lasky, Jim Lawn, Bill Coffin, Wally Lathlain, Roy Trezise, Lloyd Williams, Ern Elliott, Hope Collins, Frank Pierce, F.Macgrath, Jack Boothman, Ray Wartman, Alex Fyfe.

The Herald 12 May 1933, p.15 - J.Andrew Camberwell - by Renn
The Herald 12 May 1933, p.15 - J.Andrew Camberwell - by Renn
The Herald 15 July 1932, p.15 - Seymour (Northcote) and Jones (Camberwell)
The Herald 15 July 1932, p.15 - Seymour (Northcote) and Jones (Camberwell)
The Herald 16 September 1932, p.14 - Camberwell v Northcote
The Herald 16 September 1932, p.14 - Camberwell v Northcote
The Herald 17 June 1932, p.4 - Tom Lasky Camberwell
The Herald 17 June 1932, p.4 - Tom Lasky Camberwell
The Herald 19 August 1932, p.4 - Stan Petrie Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 19 August 1932, p.4 - Stan Petrie Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 19 May 1933, p.17 - L.Wallace Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 19 May 1933, p.17 - L.Wallace Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 2 May 1934, p.22 - A.Fyfe Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 2 May 1934, p.22 - A.Fyfe Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 24 June 1932, p.14 - R.O'Neill Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 24 June 1932, p.14 - R.O'Neill Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 29 
July 1932, p.14 - W.Coffin Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 29 July 1932, p.14 - W.Coffin Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 3 April 1939, p.24 - Dick Abikhair In Camberwell uniform by Gurney
The Herald 3 April 1939, p.24 - Dick Abikhair In Camberwell uniform by Gurney
The Herald 5 August 1932, p.14 - R.Henderson Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 5 August 1932, p.14 - R.Henderson Camberwell by Renn


The Herald 10 June 1932, p.4 - Camberwell v Sandringham
The Herald 10 June 1932, p.4 - Camberwell v Sandringham

The Herald 8 July 1932, p.14 - Top 4
The Herald 8 July 1932, p.14 - Top 4


Camberwell Players circa 1932
Camberwell Players circa 1932


Camberwell senior team 1933 at Prahran
Camberwell senior team 1933 at Prahran

Back Row: unknown, Harry Jones, Roy Williams, Jim Lawn, unknown, Bill Luff, unknown, Bob O'Neill
Middle Row: Len Wallace, unknown (possibly Frank Pierce), Horrie Mason, Les Harvey, unknown (possibly Ray Wartman), Charlie Clamp
Front Row: all unknown (possibly Reg Henderson third from left).
Camberwell team positions at Prahran 1933:
Lloyd Williams, Harry Jones, Roy Finlayson
Ern Dyball, Len Wallace, Ray Wartman
Charlie Clamp, Roy Williams, Frank Pierce
Les Harvey, Jim Lawn, Reg Henderson
Horrie Mason, Bill Luff, Jim Andrew
Alex Fyfe, Bob O'Neill, Jack Boothman
19th - Bill Coffin

1934 Licorice Larks - Camberwell
1934 Licorice Larks - Camberwell


1935


Camberwell again made the VFA finals in 1935 and 1936 and only narrowly missed out in 1938 and 1939 (see details below). 1935 was Camberwell’s finest year in the club’s first two VFA decades and it missed out on the premiership by only nine points. After finishing third, Camberwell thrashed Coburg in the First Semi Final (20.13 to 11.10 - the first time a VFA club had kicked 20 goals in a final) and then narrowly accounted for Northcote in the Preliminary Final.

Camberwell entered the Grand Final against Yarraville full of confidence having defeated them by 33 points in the last 'home and home' round. Playing in front of a crowd of 15,000 at Toorak Park (Prahran) the Tricolours kicked five goals in the third quarter (albeit with the use of the wind) and led by 12 points at the last change. Unfortunately they were overrun by the opposition in the last quarter. Not enough use had been made of the wind advantage in the first term. 15

Camberwell’s 1935 season in detail (Result, best players, goals)


Round 1 at Oakleigh
Oakleigh 1.3, 4.6, 7.9, 11.10
Camberwell 1.3, 3.5, 4.8, 7.12
Jones, Heintz, Priest, Tatham, Mason, Carey
Priest 4, Jones, Griffiths, Tatham

Round 2 at Camberwell
Camberwell 2.4, 7.7, 9.12, 13.17
Port Melbourne 2.5, 2.12, 6.18, 7.20
Billett, Jones, Mason, R.Williams, Scott, Beagley
Jones 4, Griffiths 2, Scott 2, Tatham 2, Briggs, Mason, Williams

Round 3 at Camberwell
Camberwell 2.3, 13.8, 16.12, 22.20
Williamstown 2.2, 3.3, 8.5, 10.6
Billett, Finlayson, Tatham, Briggs, Griffiths, Dyball
Griffiths 7, Tatham 5, Priest 4, Fields 2, Billett 2, Mason, Jones

Round 4 at Brunswick
Brunswick 6.1, 7.4, 9.7, 12.7
Camberwell 1.3, 5.12, 8.16, 8.17
Griffiths, Mason, Luff, Jones, Selleck, Carey
Mason 2, Luff 2, Selleck 2, Griffiths, Priest

Round 5 at Camberwell
Camberwell 9.8, 10.9, 14.17, 15.17
Brighton 0.0, 4.7, 5.7, 8.21
Walker, Dyball, Luff, Jones, Williams, Scott
Luff 6, Jones 3, Scott 2, Mason 2, Tatham, Field

Round 6 at Preston
Preston 5.0, 7.7, 14.12, 17.15
Camberwell 4.8, 7.10, 9.13, 14.20
Williams, Clamp, Dyball, Mason, Griffiths, Tatham
Griffiths 4, Priest 3, Luff 3, Tatham, Mason, Trethowan, Finlayson

Round 7 at Camberwell
Camberwell 1.6, 7.10, 11.13, 13.15
Prahran 3.6, 3.9, 8.10, 12.13
Tatham, Luff, Williams, Jones, Field, Finlayson
Luff 6, Tatham 4, Griffith, Mason, Williams

Round 8 at Northcote
Northcote 2.5, 6.8, 9.17, 13.23
Camberwell 6.2, 10.4, 11.10, 12.11
Williams, Luff, Vanthoff, Billett, Walker, Field
Luff 3, Griffiths 2, Field 2, Vanthoff 2, Tatham, Jones, Holt

Round 9 at Camberwell
Camberwell 8.5, 9.8, 20.16, 20.17
Sandringham 2.1, 5.5, 5.5, 9.12
Luff, Jones, Williams, Brett, Tatham, Briggs
Luff 8, Jones 6, Tatham 2, Field, Trethowan, Vanthoff, Henderson

Round 10 at Coburg
Coburg 0.1, 3.3, 8.5, 9.7
Camberwell 2.3, 5.7, 6.11, 7.15
Williams, Finlayson, Dyball, Walker, Jones, Tatham
Vanthoff 2, Tatham, Jones, Mason, Luff, Meehl

Round 11 at Camberwell
Camberwell 3.5, 7.8, 8.8, 12.13
Yarraville 4.4, 5.4, 9.8, 11.11
Williams, Jones, Meehl, Luff, Mason, Holt
Luff 6, Jones 2, Mason 2, Meehl, Clamp

Round 12 at Camberwell
Camberwell 3.4, 10.10, 15.11, 19.13
Oakleigh 2.5, 2.6, 6.9, 10.10
Luff, Walker, Williams, Clamp, Henderson, Meehl
Luff 10, Mason 2, Henderson 2, H.Jones, Williams, Dyball, J.Jones, Davidson

Round 13 at Port Melbourne
Camberwell 4.1, 8.6, 12.11, 14.13
Port Melbourne 4.3, 7.7, 8.9, 13.9
Dyball, Walker, Clamp, H.Jones, Brett, Mason
Mason 3, Luff 3, Dyball 2, J.Jones 2, Henderson, Meehl, Clamp, Davidson

Round 14 at Williamstown
Camberwell 2.3, 6.8, 9.11, 14.18
Williamstown 2.5, 2.9, 3.13, 3.14
Dyball, Ware, H.Jones, Clamp, Henderson, Meehl
Luff 6, Jones 2, Davidson 2, Mason, Henderson, Meehl, J.Jones

Round 15 at Camberwell
Camberwell 2.2, 6.13, 10.18, 14.22
Brunswick 4.2, 4.4, 6.8, 8.9
Williams, Davidson, H.Jones, Walker, Mason, Henderson
Mason 4, Jones 3, Williams 2, Meehl 2, Luff, Henderson, Davidson

Round 16 at Sandringham
Camberwell 4.5, 7.9, 12.14, 15.18
Sandringham 2.3, 6.4, 7.5, 7.7
Ware, Tatham, Walker, Luff, H.Jones, Brett
Luff 5, Tatham 2, Mason 2, Henderson 2, Davidson 2, Meehl, Clamp

Round 17 at Camberwell
Coburg 1.6, 4.9, 8.10, 9.14
Camberwell 2.4, 4.11, 6.17, 7.19
Williams, Clamp, Tatham, Davidson, Finlayson, Brett
Tatham, Jones, Williams, Luff, Henderson, Meehl, Davidson

Round 18 at Yarraville
Camberwell 4.4, 7.6, 11.9, 12.10
Yarraville 0.1, 3.6, 6.9, 6.13
Dyball, Jones, Tatham, Brett, Vanthoff, Mason
Tatham 3, Luff 2, Davidson 2, Mason, Vanthoff, Henderson, Meehl, Meehan

TOP FOUR AFTER FOUR ROUNDS
Coburg 4, 0, 0, 364, 308, 118.18, 16
Oakleigh 3, 1, 0, 357, 326, 109.51, 12
Yarraville 2, 2, 0, 402, 280, 143.57, 8
Camberwell 2, 2, 0, 366, 283, 129.33, 8

TOP EIGHT AFTER EIGHT ROUNDS
Northcote 6, 2, 0, 768, 639, 120.19, 24
Coburg 5, 2, 1, 720, 697, 103.30, 22
Yarraville 5, 3, 0, 831, 594, 139.90, 20
Brunswick 5, 3, 0, 650, 581, 111.88, 20
Port Melbourne 4, 3, 1, 602, 598, 100.67, 18
Preston 4, 3, 1, 651, 698, 93.27, 18
Prahran 4, 4, 0, 756, 584, 129.45, 16
Camberwell 4, 4, 0, 753, 655, 114.96, 16

HALF WAY MARK OF SEASON (9 ROUNDS)
CAMBERWELL SIXTH – 5, 4, 0, 890, 721, 123.44, 20

TOP FOUR AFTER THIRTEEN ROUNDS
Northcote 11, 2, 0, 1282, 960, 133.54, 44
Yarraville 9, 4, 0, 1332, 952, 139.92, 36
Coburg 8, 4, 1, 1173, 1082, 108.41, 34
Camberwell 8, 5, 0, 1256, 1016, 123.62, 32

LADDER AFTER EIGHTEEN ROUNDS
Northcote 16, 2, 0, 1854, 1274, 145.53, 64
Yarraville 12, 6, 0, 1817, 1303, 139.45, 48
Camberwell 12, 6, 0, 1715, 1271, 134.93, 48
Coburg 11, 6, 1, 1634, 1457, 112.15, 46
Prahran 11, 7, 0, 1636, 1180, 138.64, 44
Preston 10, 7, 1, 1457, 1471, 99.05, 42
Oakleigh 9, 8, 1, 1595, 1710, 93.27, 38
Brunswick 9, 9, 0, 1418, 1362, 104.11, 36
Port Melbourne 7, 10, 1, 1383, 1559, 88.71, 30
Brighton 3, 15, 0, 1454, 1859, 78.21, 12
Sandringham 3, 15, 0, 1268, 1947, 65.13, 12
Williamstown 3, 15, 0, 1184, 2022, 58.56, 12

FIRST SEMI FINAL AT TOORAK PARK (PRAHRAN)
Camberwell 5.2, 8.4, 13.11, 20.13
Coburg 2.3, 7.5, 9.6, 11.10
Williams, Davidson, Meehl, Tatham, Mason, Meehan
Luff 5, Meehan 4, Tatham 2, Mason 2, Meehl 2, Davidson 2, Vanthoff, Henderson, Clamp

SECOND SEMI FINAL AT COBURG
Yarraville 8.7, 9.9, 12.12, 15.14
Northcote 3.1, 6.7, 7.9, 13.9

PRELIMINARY FINAL AT BRUNSWICK
Camberwell 2.1, 6.7, 6.9, 9.18
Northcote 2.8, 3.10, 9.10, 10.10
Walker, Brett, Jones, Luff, Mason, Henderson
Luff 5, Tatham, Mason, Williams, Davidson

1935 VFA GRAND FINAL AT TOORAK PARK (PRAHRAN)
Umpire Gregory – fine/cool/south wind – Camberwell kicked with southerly breeze in first quarter
Yarraville 0.0, 4.4, 6.6, 10.10 (70)
Camberwell 2.5, 2.8, 7.12, 8.13 (61)
Finlayson, Williams, Henderson, Brett, Walker, Carey
Williams 2, Luff 2, Mason 2, Tatham, Meehan

CAMBERWELL’S 1935 PRELIMINARY FINAL TEAM
B. Roy FinlaysonTom Carey Harry Jones
HB.Stan Brett Ern Dyball John Walker
C. Charlie Clamp Roy Williams Frank Pierce
HF.Bill VanthoffWally Meehl Wal Ware
For. Joe Meehan Bill Luff George Tatham
Foll.Horrie MasonReg HendersonHec Davidson
Res.Joe Beagley


CAMBERWELL’S 1935 GRAND FINAL TEAM
B. Roy FinlaysonTom Carey Harry Jones
HB.Stan Brett Ern DyballJohn Walker
C. Charlie Clamp Roy Williams Frank Pierce
HF. Roy SelleckWally Meehl Wal Ware
For. Joe Meehan Bill LuffGeorge Tatham
Foll. Horrie Mason Reg Henderson Bill Vanthoff
Res.Joe Beagley


Sporting Globe 31 August 1935
Sporting Globe 31 August 1935

Sporting Globe 7 September 1935
Sporting Globe 7 September 1935


1936


Camberwell again challenged in 1936. The Tricolours sat fourth on the ladder after Round 7, third on the ladder after Round 9 (7-2, 113.66%), second after Round 11, and finished third on 48 points, behind Brunswick (64) and Prahran (58).

1936 VFA LADDER AFTER 18 ROUNDS
BRUNSWICK 16 2 0 2063 1395 147.89 64
PRAHRAN 14 3 1 1896 1369 138.50 58
CAMBERWELL 12 6 0 1872 1554 120.46 48
NORTHCOTE 11 6 1 1639 1339 122.40 46
BRIGHTON 11 7 0 1545 1501 102.93 44
PRESTON 10 8 0 1740 1597 108.95 40
COBURG 9 9 0 1920 1562 122.92 36
WILL’TOWN 7 11 0 1185 1632 72.61 28
YARRAVILLE 6 12 0 1638 1756 93.28 24
OAKLEIGH 5 13 0 1573 1891 83.18 20
SAND’HAM 4 14 0 1399 2138 65.43 16
PORT MELB 2 16 0 1264 2003 63.11 8


Home and Away Results 1936

Round 1 home - Camberwell 10.22 d Oakleigh 7.17.
Round 2 away – Camberwell 14.16 d Port Melbourne 9.12
Round 3 away - Camberwell 15.18 d Preston 12.12
(Camberwell’s first ever win at Preston since joining VFA).
Round 4 home - Camberwell 15.17 d Yarraville 13.10
Round 5 away – Camberwell lost 18.9 to Brighton 19.17
Round 6 home – Camberwell lost 10.19 to Brunswick 19.20
Round 7 away - Camberwell 13.9 d Prahran 11.16
Round 8 home - Camberwell 17.17 d Coburg 16.8
Round 9 away - Camberwell 21.15 d Sandringham 12.17.
Round 10 home - Camberwell 23.18 d Williamstown 11.14
Round 11 away - Camberwell 11.6 d Northcote 10.11
Round 12 away – Camberwell lost 13.6 to Oakleigh 15.9
Round 13 home – Camberwell 23.21 d Port Melbourne 8.6
Round 14 home - Camberwell 15.9 d Preston 11.19.
Round 15 away – Camberwell 18.13 d Yarraville 11.15.
Round 16 home - Camberwell lost 11.13 to Brighton 12.11
Round 17 away – Camberwell lost 11.10 to Brunswick 10.19
Round 18 home - Camberwell lost 12.14 to Prahran 14.11

Harry Jones was Camberwell’s leading goalkicker in season 1936. Commenting on his Round 2 performance at centre-half forward against Port Melbourne the ‘VFA Recorder’ noted his ‘great exhibition of high marking, sure handling of the greasy ball, his placement of the ball to advantage, and his useful brainy play’. Jones’ eventual season tally of 58 included 8 goals in Round 8, 8 goals in Round 5 and four goals in Round 11. Tom O’Halloran, noted for his ‘brilliant high-marking’, kicked 44 goals for the season playing mainly in the ruck. Arthur Davidson kicked 38 goals. Davidson and his brother Hec had become a damaging pair ‘passing the ball from one to the other with machine-like precision’. George Tatham again shone out on the forward line with 30 goals for the season, including 8 goals from a forward pocket in Round 10 and 4 goals in Round 11. Others to show good form as forwards during the season were classy Roy Williams, high-flying Wally Meehl, and Geoff Trotter. Reg Henderson earned himself Camberwell’s best and fairest award for his strong play at full back and centre half back. Stan Brett also stood out in defence and earned VFL representation for his ‘short sharp dashes’ from the half-back flank and his ‘long driving kicks’ to the forward line. Captain-coach Horrie Mason missed eight matches through injury and had a tough season, his last with Camberwell. Mason was injured in Round Seven (and temporarily replaced as skipper by O’Halloran) but fought his way back into form, kicking 5 goals in Round 13 against Port Melbourne. Unfortunately only two weeks later Mason was rushed to the Eye and Ear Hospital and X-Rayed with a suspected fractured small bone under the eye. The brave skipper returned to the team and took his place in the First Semi Final.

The loss of the last three matches, particularly the Round 17 loss to Brunswick when Camberwell managed only one goal in the last quarter and the Magpies kicked the winning goal after the bell, could have been read as a bad omen for what lay ahead. It was just Camberwell’s bad luck to run up against the eventual 1936 premiers in the first final.

VFA FIRST SEMI FINAL 1936

7000 spectators at Toorak Park saw Northcote take an early lead (39 points at the first change) against the Tricolours in the First Semi Final. Obviously dealing much better with the strong cross wind from the west and the heavy ground, Northcote extended its lead throughout the match and finished easy winners by 59 points. The best for Camberwell were Arthur Davidson, John Walker, Roy Finlayson, Frank Pierce and Harry Jones. Davidson, Tom O’Halloran and Joe Meehan each kicked two goals, and Horrie Mason and Roy Williams each contributed one.
16

Northcote7.6 10.6 13.10 18.15
Camberwell 1.3 4.7 6.13 8.16


Games played 1936
19 – W.Ware, T.O’Halloran, H.Davidson, H.Jones
18- A.Davidson, J.Meehan.
17 – R.Williams, S.Brett, R.Selleck.
16 – F.Pierce, W.Vanthoff, R.Henderson
15 – J.Walker
13 – T.Boag
12 – K.Wilson
11 – R.Finlayson, H.Mason, F.Youl, A.Rowe, G.Tatham.
9 – J.Delaney.
8 – J.Kidd.
7 – R.Promnitz.
5 – A.Spurr.
4 – W.Meehl.
3 – E.Dyball, L.Cook, J.O’Halloran.
2 – G.Trotter, R.Luff, J.Sambell.
1 – N.Clamp, L.Peterson, D.White.

The following 1936 team members were still playing at Camberwell in 1937 –
Williams, Finlayson, Brett, Delaney, Henderson (one game only), Rowe, Walker, H.Davidson, A.Davidson, Youl, Meehan, Boag, Wilson, Pierce, Tatham and Selleck. 1937 recruits included Reg Horkings, Keith Onley, Ron Griffiths (from 1935 list), Clete Turner and Jack Seelenmeyer.

Camberwell teams 1936


May 2 v Preston at Preston
Ern Dyball Arthur Rowe Tom Boag
John Walker Reg Henderson Stan Brett
Roy Selleck Roy Williams Bill Vanthoff
Horrie Mason Wally Meehl Arthur Davidson
Tom O’Halloran Harry Jones L.Cook
Wal Ware Joe Meehan Hec Davidson
(19th Spurr)

May 23 v Brunswick at Camberwell
Arthur Rowe Ern Dyball Tom Boag
Stan Brett Reg Henderson John Walker
A. Spurr Roy Williams Fred Youl
Bill Vanthoff Roy Selleck Wal Ware
Horrie Mason Harry Jones Keith Wilson
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

May 30 v Prahran at Prahran
Tom Boag Ern Dyball Ron Promnitz
Stan Brett Joe Kidd John Walker
Frank Pierce Roy Williams Fred Youl
Bill Vanthoff Wal Ware Roy Selleck
Horrie Mason Harry Jones Arthur Davidson
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

June 6 v Coburg at Camberwell
Arthur Rowe Tom Boag Ron Promnitz
Stan Brett Reg Henderson John Walker
Frank Pierce Bill Vanthoff Fred Youl
Arthur Davidson Wal Ware Roy Selleck
J.O’Halloran Harry Jones Keith Wilson
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

June 13 v Sandringham at Sandringham
Arthur Rowe Tom Boag Ron Promnitz
Stan Brett Reg Henderson John Walker
Joe Delaney Roy Selleck Fred Youl
Arthur Davidson Wal Ware George Tatham
J.O’Halloran Harry Jones Keith Wilson
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

June 20 v Williamstown at Camberwell
Roy Selleck Arthur Rowe Roy Finlayson
Stan Brett Joe Kidd John Walker
Joe Delaney Roy Williams Fred Youl
Arthur Davidson Wal Ware Bill Vanthoff
Horrie Mason Harry Jones George Tatham
Tom O’Halloran J.O’Halloran Hec Davidson

July 11 v Port Melbourne at Camberwell
Roy Finlayson Reg Henderson John Walker
Ron Promnitz Joe Kidd Roy Selleck
Keith Wilson Roy Williams Fred Youl
Arthur Davidson Harry Jones Wal Ware
Horrie Mason George Tatham Frank Pierce
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

July 25 v Yarraville at Yarraville
Roy Finlayson Reg Henderson Arthur Rowe
Stan Brett Joe Kidd Roy Selleck
Keith Wilson Roy Williams Joe Delaney
Arthur Davidson Wal Ware Bill Vanthoff
Horrie Mason Harry Jones George Tatham
Tom O’Halloran Joe Meehan Hec Davidson

August 8 v Brunswick at Brunswick
Roy Finlayson Reg Henderson Arthur Rowe
Stan Brett Joe Kidd John Walker
Frank Pierce Roy Williams Joe Delaney
Arthur Davidson Harry Jones Bill Vanthoff
Wal Ware Tom O’Halloran Keith Wilson
Joe Meehan George Tatham Hec Davidson

By way of comparison, a Camberwell 1937 team
(June 5 versus Brunswick at Camberwell) was as follows:
Roy Finlayson Vic Hunter John Walker
Fred Youll Jack Seelenmeyer Stan Brett
Reg Horkings Roy Williams Clete Turner
Toogood Doug White D.Wilkes
Hec Davidson Ron Griffiths George Tatham
Joe Meehan Keith Onley Hec Davidson (19th Tom Spiers)

Essendon Tram Depot v Camberwell Tram Depot 1936 - Appointment as Field Umpire (courtesy Lloyd Holyoak)
Essendon Tram Depot v Camberwell Tram Depot 1936 - Appointment as Field Umpire (courtesy Lloyd Holyoak)


Camberwell’s VFA representatives 1931-1936


In the period from 1931 to 1936, that is for as long as the permit agreement between the VFL and VFL was respected, relative calm and co-operation characterised the relationship between the two senior Victorian football bodies. The VFA and VFL played four representative matches (in 1931, 1932, 1933, 1936) against one another before the relationship soured and then collapsed. Lowly Camberwell was not represented in the 1931 VFA team that lost to the VFL at the MCG but a young Reg Henderson represented the VFA in a match against a NSW representative team. (VFA won 16.11 to NSW 13.17).

VFA v NSW 1931. Reg Henderson second from right, middle row
VFA v NSW 1931. Reg Henderson second from right, middle row



In 1932, the VFA was pitted against the VFL in a mid-season (June 6) charity match at Carlton and five Camberwell players, more than any other VFA club, were selected in the VFA team - Harry Jones, Dick Greenwood, Charlie Clamp, Bill Luff, and Horrie Mason (VFA captain). The VFA acquitted itself well and led just before the final bell but a Bill Luff mark was disallowed and the VFL scraped home by eight points - 15.17 to 14.15. 17 Luff kicked 4 goals and Mason 3. Jones and Luff were named among the best players. The scoreline read -
VFL 3.2 7.5 14.10 15.17
VFA 4.3 7.6 8.13 14.15

The 1932 VFA team:
J.Wunhym (Yarraville), C.McSwain (N’cote), H.Jones (Camb)
A.Sykes (W’town), E.Bourke (Yarraville), R.Greenwood (Camb)
T.Garrett (N’cote), T.Brooker (Port Melbourne), C.Clamp (Camb)
T.Byrne (W’town), C.Hellwig (W’town), L.Smith (N’cote)
F.Fitzgerald (Bruns), W.Luff (Camb), H.Mason (Camb)
C.Stanbridge (Port), L.Hughson (Preston), D.Rayment (S’ham)
Res – G.Hunt (Brighton), D.Warr (Preston)

The VFA and VFL met in a challenge match in season 1933 and Camberwell was represented by Charlie Clamp and Harry Jones. The VFL ran away easy winners by 33 points (143 to 110). Clamp had the unenviable job of playing on Fitzroy speedster Doug Nicholls. In the 1936 match between the two competitions (at Carlton, Kings Birthday, Monday, June 29) the VFA led by five points at half-time but were worn down in the second half and lost by 47 points – 10.10 to 16.21. Harry Jones, Roy Williams (centre) and Stan Brett (half back flank) represented Camberwell. 18

Camberwell's VFA representatives in the 1930's - Harry Jones, Charlie Clamp, Reg Henderson, Dick Greenwood, Bill Luff, Horrie Mason, Stan Brett, Roy Williams.
The five Camberwell players who represented the VFA in 1932 (Courtesy Norm Pilbeam - Clamp Family Scrapbook)
The five Camberwell players who represented the VFA in 1932 (Courtesy Norm Pilbeam - Clamp Family Scrapbook)

Back Row: Charlie Clamp, Dick Greenwood
Front Row: Bill Luff, Horrie Mason, Harry Jones

Six Camberwell Stars of the Thirties


Angus ‘Horrie’ Mason

Half-forward and follower. Recruited by St.Kilda (VFL) from North Hobart 1922. St.Kilda 137 games (1922-31). Represented Victoria (VFL) 6 times. St.Kilda captain part of 1927, all of 1928. Equal best and fairest St.Kilda 1926. Playing coach of Camberwell 1932, 1933, part 1934, 1935-36. Camberwell’s longest-serving coach. Went to Kyneton start of 1934 but returned to Camberwell after seven rounds – as coach, then captain-coach. Captained VFA versus VFL 1932. Non-playing coach Camberwell Team of Century (2003). Retired after 81 games for Camberwell 1932-36. 19

Horrie Mason by Joe Garvey
Horrie Mason by Joe Garvey



1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - Horrie Mason
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - Horrie Mason
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - Horrie Mason
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - Horrie Mason
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Horrie Mason
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Horrie Mason


The Australasian 18-May-1929 St.Kilda Team - Horrie Mason far left in front row
The Australasian 18-May-1929 St.Kilda Team - Horrie Mason far left in front row


Bill Luff

Full-forward. Son of former Richmond (VFA) player William Luff (1908-10).
Recruited by Camberwell from Blackburn 1931. 1931 (52 goals – fourth in VFA); 1932 (81 goals – second in VFA); 1933 (106 goals); 1935 (75 goals). First VFA player to kick 100 goals in a season. First player in either VFA or VFL to kick 100 goals playing for team not finishing top four. Leading VFA goalkicker 1933, 1935. 314 goals in 77 games with Camberwell (Note Camberwell 2003 ‘Team of Century’ book has 64 games). Represented VFA 1932. Played for Essendon (VFL) as half-back flanker 1934-35, 1937-40 (82 games, 37 goals).

Bill Luff by Joe Garvey 1932
Bill Luff by Joe Garvey 1932


Harry Jones

Recruited by Camberwell in 1930 from Berriwillock in the Mallee. Permit to Camberwell from Woomelang May 1930 (The Age May 22, 1930). Won Camberwell best and fairest award twice (the first to do so) – 1931, 1935. Was truly versatile and alternated between full-back and full-forward during his career. Kicked 59 goals in 1932 and 58 goals in 1936. Equal second in VFA Recorder Cup 1932 (with 8 votes, only one vote behind winner Bob Ross of Northcote). Represented VFA versus VFL 1932, 1933, 1936. Won VFA Seconds best and fairest award 1939. Played 143rd game (Camberwell club record) in 1940. (Note Camberwell ‘Team of Century’ book says 1930-39). Played the first 133 games for Camberwell in a row. Centre-half back Camberwell Team of Century. Jones 24, 5.11. 12.8 in 1933.
1933 Wills League Footballers - Harry Jones
1933 Wills League Footballers - Harry Jones


Roy Williams

Centre and half-forward flank. Camberwell debut 1928 (from Gardiner). Appears to have played 9 games for Footscray 1930. Returned to Camberwell 1931. Captain 1934. Camberwell best and fairest 1934. Third VFA Medal 1934 (22 votes). Runner-up best and fairest 1935. Captain 1937. Fifth VFA Medal 1937 (21 votes). Represented VFA 1936. 133 games 1928-37. Coach Camberwell Seconds 1944. Non-playing Coach Camberwell Firsts 1948-49. Camberwell Team of Century – Half Forward Flank (2003).

Reg Henderson

Recruited by Camberwell from Carnegie 1931 (Carnegie juniors 1924-27, Carnegie seniors 1928-30). Represented VFA versus New South Wales, August 1931. Camberwell 121 games (1931-33, 1935-36, 1939-41). Camberwell best and fairest 1936. Camberwell captain 1941. Played 16 games for Hopetoun 1934. Played for Richmond (VFL) 1937-38 (28 games, 8 goals in seniors; 7 games in Seconds 1938). Returned to Camberwell 1939. A policeman who eventually became famous in Victoria as ‘Hawkeye’, the detective with a photographic memory. Specialised in arresting wanted criminals after memorising their photographs. Later in charge of security at Tasmanian Casino.20

Charlie Clamp


The Herald 8 July 1932 C.Clamp Camberwell by Renn
The Herald 8 July 1932 C.Clamp Camberwell by Renn

1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - C.Clamp
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - C.Clamp

1933 Wills League Footballers - C.Clamp
1933 Wills League Footballers - C.Clamp



Charlie Clamp by Gee
Charlie Clamp by Gee

Charlie Clamp
Charlie Clamp


Charlie Clamp was not the only great player who pulled on the tricolour jumper in the thirties but there is little doubt he was one of the most dashing and eye-catching. Clamp was born into a football family, and a Camberwell football family at that. Charlie Clamps’ father, Charlie Clamp senior, initially played for Hawthorn 1902-03 but joined the Camberwell club soon afterwards and played for them circa 1904-10, including in a Camberwell premiership (circa 1908). He later served for years as a devoted Camberwell trainer and bootstudder and was awarded Life Membership in 1928. 21

Charlie Clamp junior started at Camberwell soon after the club joined the VFA (1926) and played two seasons with the Seconds before making his senior debut in 1929, aged 19. Football journalists indulged in superlatives in describing Clamp’s playing style on the wing. He was highly skilled, fast, could fly for a mark on the run and then race on in full stride, and he was a long punt kick. He was courageous - not afraid to go through the packs, the ball always his objective. ‘He goes for it fearlessly’ wrote one writer. ‘A world -beater on his day’ wrote another. League club Richmond sought to recruit him at the start of season 1932 but Camberwell refused him his clearance. (One writer later commented – ‘League scouts certainly knew their business when they cast eyes on this youngster’). In 1932 Clamp, 5’9’’ and 11.6, won Camberwell’s best and fairest award and, along with four other Tricolours players, represented the VFA against the League. He was easily best man on the ground in the Second Semi Final against Northcote in 1932 and ‘earned nearly every football adjective’. The following year Clamp again made the VFA team that played against the VFL, this time lining up on the lightning fast Doug Nicholls. Clamp trained seriously for foot-running, including the Stawell Gift. In 1933 he won the Wangaratta Gift. Hence his exhilarating dashes along the wing at Bowen Street. 22

Charlie Clamp retired at the end of 1935, having played 113 senior games. He appears to have been a great club man and held the office of club Secretary in 1935 even while he was still playing. He continued in this role in season 1936. 23 Later, most likely in 1938 or 1939 but possibly 1945, Charlie Clamp was appointed captain-coach of Burwood United Football Club for at least one season. He and his family had moved to Boundary Road Burwood (directly opposite the Burwood Oval) by April 1936. 24

Clamp served in the Middle East in World War Two. The family moved to Ballarat in 1946 and the Clamp house at 379 Warrigal Road (as Boundary Road was now called) was bought by Norm Pilbeam’s parents. Clamp was Secretary of the Ballarat Water Commission from 1946 until his retirement. He died in 1985.

Two other Clamps, Charlie’s brothers, also played for Camberwell in the thirties. George Clamp (born 1920) first played for Camberwell seniors in 1939 and had played 46 senior games by the end of 1941 when the war interrupted his football career permanently. He had become a Tricolour regular. In his first season he kicked five goals the day (July 1) Laurie Nash kicked eleven in two quarters against Oakleigh. In 1941 he kicked five goals against Coburg in Round 9, four against Port Melbourne in Round 14, and a total of 25 for the season. He was awarded three votes in the VFA’s 1941 Recorder Cup. George Clamp enlisted in December 1941 and, like Charlie, served in the Middle East. Norm Clamp (born 1911) played only one solitary game – in 1936 - for Camberwell seniors although he does appear to have been a good Seconds player. In 1936 he was named in the VFA Seconds squad to play VFL Seconds in a curtain-raiser on King’s Birthday at Carlton. 25 Yet another true member of the Clamp clan was to become a very good footballer, although not with Camberwell, and we will take up his story when we come to Part Two and 1945.

The Sporting Globe 23 August 1939, p.11 - George Clamp Camberwell
The Sporting Globe 23 August 1939, p.11 - George Clamp Camberwell


Camberwell 1938 - New Rules and ‘Throw Pass’


Ever since eight Victorian football clubs broke away from the Victorian Football Association to form the Victorian Football League in 1897 the relationship between the two rival bodies had been fractious and distrustful. In 1931 the first of four representative matches between them built a modicum of trust. In 1934 the Association affiliated to the Australian Football Council and established cooperative relations with the League. The VFA stated in 1936, perhaps diplomatically:

‘Previously the two bodies were not altogether friendly…the relationship is now most harmonious…Union is Strength’. 26

By 1936 it was common practice for VFL and VFA clubs to play against one another in early-season practice matches. Before the 1936 season got properly underway Coburg and Brunswick played Carlton, Northcote played St.Kilda, Prahran played Melbourne, Yarraville played Essendon, and Port Melbourne played South Melbourne. 27

The veneer of supposedly solid trust soon proved to be only paper thin. In 1936 the VFA expressed dismay that VFL clubs were approaching VFA players directly and not their clubs in the first instance. This was to ‘make him discontented’. Northcote players were mentioned specifically. 28 Later in the season the VFA chastised its own teams for clearing star players to the VFL. 29 In late 1937 the Association declared war on the League and broke completely from the agreements governing the relationship, in particular its permit agreement with the VFL. There were two major consequences. The death of the permit agreement introduced an era of open and no-holds-barred trafficking for players between the two bodies. Secondly the VFA was again free to adopt new rules. The most radical and controversial of these was the 'throw pass' which was first tried in the 1938 VFA season.

Camberwell Football Club was to the fore in publicising and marketing the new rules in 1938. An exhibition match under the new rules was played between Camberwell and Northcote at Geelong. In August 1938 the Camberwell players travelled to Adelaide to demonstrate the new rules. The original intention was to play a South Australian League club but at the last minute the South Australian League reneged. Camberwell did play - against the SA Amateur Football League at the Adelaide Oval – but the collapse of the original plan left a sour taste. Camberwell claimed to have suffered financially from the failure of the SA League to provide a match but pointed to the ‘many useful purposes’ served:

‘The amateurs proved no match for Camberwell whose players gave a splendid demonstration of the game and had a comfortable win’. 30

A short 1939 article in The Sporting Globe is worth quoting in full because it creates an entirely different impression –

‘There is a general feeling in Adelaide that had the Camberwell Football Club not visited Adelaide last year and played an exhibition game, the 'throw pass' would have been sponsored by the South Australian League. Now there is strong feeling against it. The South Australian League would not receive Camberwell officially when they visited Adelaide and not a little bad blood resulted. In the exhibition match Camberwell played against a combined amateur team, they made such frequent use of the throw that they defeated their own purpose and created the wrong impression of the Association code’.31

The introduction of the ‘throw pass’ had an immediate effect in changing the style of VFA football. Players were allowed to throw the ball forward, underarm and beneath the shoulders. This was mostly used to open up the play and as an attacking weapon. The game was faster and more open and goals were consequently kicked more often. Increased crowds at VFA games were attracted to the spectacle. 32

The host of former VFL champions that were enticed to the Association – Laurie Nash, Bob Pratt, Ron Todd, Des Fothergill, Harry ‘Soapy’ Vallence, Jack Titus and Ted Freyer - relished the quick delivery into the forward line. 33 In the 1939-41 period Camberwell racked up some mammoth scores - 28.28 (including thirteen goals in the last quarter) against Oakleigh, 26.13 against Brunswick, 31.24 against Port Melbourne, and 32.15 against Yarraville.

Any concerns that the new VFA style might reduce the incidence of kicking and marking – still the most important features of Australian Rules football – were soon put to rest. The Sporting Globe’s statistician Dave Stewart recorded the match statistics at the 1938 VFA Grand Final between Brunswick and Brighton and then compared them with statistics recorded at VFL matches. He was able to convincingly demonstrate that the VFA’s adoption of the new ‘throw pass’ had not lowered the incidence of kicking and marking.34

The President - Dr Frank Hartnett


Dr Frank Hartnett by Gee
Dr Frank Hartnett by Gee


One personality whose career as an influential football official was inextricably tied to these reverberations in the football world of Victoria in the late thirties was Camberwell’s own - the redoubtable Dr Francis Timothy Hartnett. Without question Hartnett was one of the most significant figures in the history of the VFA and certainly Camberwell’s all-time most important figure. Born in May 1901 Hartnett was educated at St. Kevins before attending Melbourne University and graduating as a Medical Practitioner. 35 With his home and practice only a stone’s throw from the Camberwell oval in Camberwell Road, Hartnett began to devote his considerable energies to the football club. He became Club Surgeon in 1927 and then successfully nominated as a Vice-President for 1928. In 1930 he became Camberwell President for the first of what turned out to be three separate terms - 1930-33, 1938-40, 1958. In 1931, when Camberwell was headed for a wooden spoon and desperately short of players for the last match of the season, thirty-year-old Hartnett stunned everyone involved by pulling on the boots and taking up his position in the forward pocket.

But this was nothing compared to the shock waves of Hartnett’s second term. It is unlikely Hartnett was one of the main instigators of the VFL’s rejection of the permit agreement with the VFL but he (and his club) became its main beneficiary and Hartnett’s name will be forever associated with it. 36 Before the start of the 1938 season Hartnett stunned the football world by luring Laurie Nash to Camberwell. Nash, a member of South Melbourne’s 1933 VFL premiership team after being recruited from City South (Launceston), was regarded by many contemporaries (and certainly by Nash himself) as the greatest of them all. Famous for having once kicked 18 goals from centre-half-forward against South Australia in an interstate game at the MCG (August 11, 1934), Nash was a gifted and incomparable footballer. 37 Hartnett secured Nash a well-paid job in the Town Clerk’s Office of Camberwell Council and made him captain of the Tricolours under Roy Laing (coach). 38 Other players lured to Camberwell by Hartnett at this time were Terry Brain, a 141-game premiership rover with South Melbourne who was cleared by South and came with Nash; Alan Fitcher, a former Fitzroy ruckman and Brighton’s 1938 captain--coach; Hawthorn veteran Ted Pool; and Viv Randall, also from Hawthorn. 39

The period 1938-41 was a boom period for the VFA. Crowd numbers had risen and the VFA finals were being played at the MCG. Frank Hartnett moved into a position of greater influence when he became a VFA Vice-President in the late thirties. Later, in 1948, he became VFA President. By then however the worm had turned and he found himself presiding over a very difficult period for the Association. Unsurprisingly, Hartnett’s actions and decisions then were no less controversial than his initiatives of 1938. The former will be covered below in the sections on Camberwell in the Forties and the Fifties. 40

Dr Frank Hartnett by Gee
Dr Frank Hartnett by Gee
Dr Hartnett President VFA
Dr Hartnett President VFA


The Sensation - Laurie Nash


Mr Flopps cartoon - Nash and Pratt
Mr Flopps cartoon - Nash and Pratt


3000 Watch Nash Train At Camberwell
3000 Watch Nash Train At Camberwell


Australasian 27 August 1932, p.vii - Nash pictured wearing jumper of his Tasmanian club (City - Launceston)
Australasian 27 August 1932, p.vii - Nash pictured wearing jumper of his Tasmanian club (City - Launceston)
Laurie Nash
Laurie Nash


Nash To Camberwell 1938
Nash To Camberwell 1938

The Age 1 April 1938, p.6 - L Nash To Captain Camberwell
The Age 1 April 1938, p.6 - L Nash To Captain Camberwell


The Sporting Globe 10 May 1939, p.11 - Laurie Nash Camberwell
The Sporting Globe 10 May 1939, p.11 - Laurie Nash Camberwell
Nash in action
Nash in action


Welcome for Nash at Bowen Street
Welcome for Nash at Bowen Street


1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - L Nash
1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - L Nash
1933 Wills League Footballers - L Nash
1933 Wills League Footballers - L Nash
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - L Nash
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - L Nash
1935 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - L Nash
1935 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - L Nash


1933 Allens League Footballers - Terry Brain
1933 Allens League Footballers - Terry Brain
1933 Standard (Mirams Caricatures) - Terry Brain
1933 Standard (Mirams Caricatures) - Terry Brain
1933 Wills League Footballers - Terry Brain
1933 Wills League Footballers - Terry Brain
1934 Allens League Footballers - Terry Brain
1934 Allens League Footballers - Terry Brain
1935 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Terry Brain
1935 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Terry Brain


1921 Magpie Rays - R Laing
1921 Magpie Rays - R Laing


Laurie Nash transferred to Camberwell in 1938 for eight pounds per game which was twice the amount allowed under the VFL’s Coulter Law and compared rather favourably with the three pounds he had been paid at South Melbourne. Nash was therefore obligated to perform to expectations at Camberwell. Over the next four football seasons he more than met this obligation. He electrified the Camberwell community and made the turnstiles at Bowen Street click as they had never clicked before. Nash made his VFA debut on April 16 at Camberwell but the Camberwell supporters had already seen him in action. Only one week after his transfer from the VFL Nash was playing in a Camberwell practice match and 3000 fans turned out to greet him:

‘The crowd was added to by a constant stream of people during the afternoon…. There was an unprecedented demand for membership tickets. It certainly was a heyday for the Camberwell Football Club’. 41

Camberwell performed creditably in 1938, winning nine of the sixteen matches and finishing just outside the four with a percentage of 104.6. Nash led the way with 81 goals and his former Swans team mate Terry Brain kicked 33.42

Cartoon (by Renn) - 15 April 1939
Cartoon (by Renn) - 15 April 1939


Nash, despite not being tall (he stood 5’10’’ and weighed 13.7), had the uncanny ability to out-manouvre his opponents with ease in marking contests. In a 1939 match against a mesmerised Oakleigh he kicked eleven goals in two quarters – playing the other two quarters at centre-half-back in order to play the whole game in front of his worshippers in the main Camberwell grandstand. He kicked 81 goals for Camberwell in 1938, 100 in 1939, 96 in 1940, and a mammoth 141 in 1941 (including 14 against Sandringham in Round 20, his very last game for the Tricolours). Not surprisingly Nash polled well in the VFA’s official awards.43 For all this, the Camberwell team was not able to make the VFA finals with Nash on board. Perhaps not all was well in the state of Denmark.

Before the 1939 season Nash was appointed captain-coach and it would appear his coaching style did not sit well with some of the players. After winning the first five matches of the season, Camberwell lost four of the next five games (44 points to Prahran, 28 points to Preston, 36 points to Brunswick and 48 points to Yarraville) and the club held an investigation into its poor form. As described by Laurie Nash’s biographer Ned Wallish, there were ‘rumblings’ against Nash – some eleven players were not ‘happy with him’ and formed an ‘Indignation Committee’. Not long afterwards the eleven ‘rebels’ were sacked or given clearences and their number included some of the club’s big names - Stan Brett, Norm Hillard, and Claude Newton. 44

A 1950 account of the squabble in ‘Sporting Life magazine’ is pricelsss, albeit one clearly biased towards Hartnett’s version of events -

‘Doctor Hartnett decided to settle the trouble once and for all. He called a special meeting of players and supporters….he named Nash’s accusers among the audience and invited them onto the platform to say what they held against Nash. Such direct action stunned the anti-Nash, anti-Hartnett group. There were no starters; nobody seemed willing to take on the fiery doctor. But this bloodless victory was not to his liking. He called to the platform some of the players. They reluctantly came forward and the doctor questioned them about their dislike of Nash. The reasons, slow to be aired, proved feebly unconvincing. One player disliked Nash calling him by his surname at training; another resented Nash’s brusque manner. The doctor suspended several players and peace was restored’. 45

As one would expect Camberwell Football Club’s Souvenir History publication of 1952 passes over the year 1939 without mentioning the squabble over Nash but at the time it caused a real stink with Nash himself taking legal action against 'The Argus' concerning a report in its June 14 issue. Announcing its settlement with Nash 'The Argus' apologised:

‘We are now informed that our statement that eleven players of the Camberwell football team had refused to train and that a meeting of players had previously agreed to a recommendation that the captain and coach (L.J.Nash) be asked to resign should the position not improve, was incorrect. We regret the error and that our report in any way reflected on Nash, as no reflection was intended’. 46

While a decision on his legal action was pending Nash cut loose one Saturday afternoon (July 1) in front of the Camberwell grandstand and kicked eleven goals in two quarters against Oakleigh, his team winning by 129 points (28.28 to 10.7). The team that fed Nash was:
Arthur Rowe Reg Henderson Doug White
Ray Bond Jack Seelenmeyer George Milne
Reg Horkings Viv Randall N.Cannington
Monty Brown, Laurie Nash Frank Finn
Frank Anderson Pat Farrelly Jack Bennett
Alan Fitcher Bill Ford George Clamp
Reserve - Norm Durand

Camberwell senior team with Laurie Nash at helm circa 1938
Camberwell senior team with Laurie Nash at helm circa 1938


Camberwell senior team with Laurie Nash at helm 1939
Camberwell senior team with Laurie Nash at helm 1939

Back row - Possibly Frank Finn, possibly Bill Ford, Harry Whitehead, Doug White, Jack Seelenmeyer, Reg Henderson, Ray Bond, unknown, unknown.
Front row - Unknown, George Clamp, unknown, possibly Bill Ford, Laurie Nash, unknown, Reg Horkings, unknown, unknown, Viv Randall.

Laurie Nash joined the AIF in 1942 and served in New Guinea. After the war he returned to South Melbourne for the 1945 season. Once asked to name the best player he ever saw Nash replied that he saw him every morning in the mirror when he shaved. Laurie Nash died at 76 on July 24, 1986 and we have not seen the like of him since.47

The Coach – Roy Cazaly


1922 Magpie Cigarettes - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Magpie Cigarettes - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Magpie Cigarettes - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Magpie Cigarettes - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Thorps Captains - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Thorps Captains - R Cazaly South Melbourne


1922 Thorps Captains - R Cazaly South Melbourne
1922 Thorps Captains - R Cazaly South Melbourne


'With Nash marking and kicking with his customary brilliance' (The Age 22 April 1940, p. 4) Camberwell shot out of the blocks in the opening match of the 1940 season and had seven goals on the board before the Oakleigh defenders had time to blink. Camberwell's loyal supporters might well have imagined this at last was their year. Yet 1940 also turned out to be disappointing. The Tricolours finished in the lower half of the field - eighth with only seven wins from twenty matches. Perhaps it was time to replace the old Messiah with someone new.

In season 1941 Camberwell was blessed. It enticed the legendary Roy Cazaly to the club as non-playing coach and therefore had two of football's biggest-ever names at the helm – Nash and Cazaly. Cazaly (born 1893) was a football journeyman. He played for St.Kilda (1909-1920); South Melbourne (1921-1926); and City-Launceston (1928-30). His coaching career included stints at Preston (1931), Minyip, North Hobart, Newtown (Tasmania), South Melbourne (1937) and Hawthorn (1942).

Reg Henderson was appointed 1941 club captain leaving Nash to focus on his own football – and he did so with a vengeance. Still Camberwell missed the finals, finishing seventh. In Round 19 against Northcote Cazaly played at centre half forward (with Nash at full forward) and in Round 20 against Sandringham he kicked a goal. He was 48, the oldest-ever player in Australian senior football. Strangely, Camberwell actually lost its first four matches under Cazaly. 48

Camberwell’s 1941 season in detail


1941 Camberwell results
Round 1 away Camberwell 14.21 - Oakleigh 21.20
Round 2 home Camberwell 18.19 - Prahran 29.30
Round 3 away Camberwell 12.15 - Port Melbourne 15.19
Round 4 home Camberwell 17.19 - Williamstown 17.20
Round 5 home Camberwell 18.18 - Brighton 15.24
Round 6 away Camberwell 15.13 - Preston 20.18
Round 7 home Camberwell 19.9 - Brunswick 13.24
Round 8 away Camberwell 18.11 - Yarraville 16.14
Round 9 home Camberwell 23.11 - Coburg 20.18
Round 10 away Camberwell 17.16 - Northcote 12.16
Round 11 home Camberwell 16.23 - Sandringham 2.6
Round 12 home Camberwell 16.18 - Oakleigh 13.13
Round 13 away Camberwell 15.16 - Prahran 14.17
Round 14 home Camberwell 17.15 - Port Melbourne 19.13
Round 15 away Camberwell 17.17 - Williamstown 16.21
(This result maintained Camberwell’s excellent record at Williamstown.
Camberwell’s 1940 loss at Williamstown was the club’s first on that ground in ten years).
Round 16 home Camberwell 15.7 - Brighton 14.15
Round 17 home Camberwell 20.15 - Preston 15.11
Round 18 away Camberwell 7.11 - Coburg 21.18
Round 19 home Camberwell 17.8 - Northcote 10.17
Round 20 away Camberwell 20.16 - Sandringham 14.10

LAURIE NASH – GOALS 1941 (ROUND BY ROUND)
4-9-6-8-8-8-9-4-8-2-4-5-7-4-4-10-9-5-13-14
Nash kicked 417 goals in 74 games for Camberwell (1938-41).

VFA Recorder  August 2, 1941
VFA Recorder August 2, 1941

VFA Recorder August 2, 1941
VFA Recorder August 2, 1941

VFA Recorder August 2, 1941
VFA Recorder August 2, 1941


1941 Camberwell – Games Played

(From 1941 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report)
(Total games in brackets).
20 – L.Nash (74)
19 – R.Horkings (80)
18 – R.Bond (53), F.Finn (47)
17 – G.Clamp (46), R.Henderson (118), O.McPherson (27), H.Whitehead (35)
16 – F.Anderson (55), A.Austen (19), J.Sharples (16)
13 – G.Bennett (22), I.McKay (24)
12 – J.Hopkins (28), R.Jorgensen (12), A.Rowe (73), K.Kennett (12)
11 – W.Olliver (16), L.Taylor (11), J.Ewins (19)
10 – J.Seelenmeyer (66)
8 – J.Toohey (32)
7 – S.Spinks (7)
6 – P.Farrelly (34)
5 – L.Peters (5), N.Ross (5)
4 – T.Benbow (4), S.Bradley (4), W.Ireland (7)
3 – C.Turner (23), V.Woolf (19), J.Rogers (43), J.Peggie (3)
2 – R.Cazaly (2), J.Spear (12), F.Youl (34), W.Quill (11)
1 – D.Barker (1), R.Horner (10), W.Scales (10), E.Pitman (1), D.White (52), J.Delaney (18), R.Cooper (1), G.Hally (1), T.Leigh (1).

1941 Camberwell - Goals

Nash 141, Clamp 25, Jorgensen 21, Austen 20, Bond 19, Hopkins 17, Whitehead 13, McKay 9, McPherson 7, Allen 6, Finn 6, Olliver 6, Henderson 5, Spinks 5, Farrelly 5, Anderson 3, Peters 3, Taylor 3, Woolf 2, Ireland 2, Peggie 2, Horkings 1, Quill 1, Rowe 1, Scales 1, Ross 1, Toohey 1, Sharples 1, Seelenmeyer 1, Bradley 1, Cazaly 1.

Camberwell 1941 – Selected teams

Round 4, May 3, 1941 v Williamstown at Camberwell
B Ray Bond George Bennett Jim Toohey
HB Frank Anderson Jack Seelenmeyer Barney Jorgensen
C J.Hopkins Frank Finn Reg Horkings
HF Bob Austen Laurie Nash Vic Woolf
For Harry Whitehead Bill Olliver Ian McKay
Foll Reg Henderson Pat Farrelly George Clamp

Round 6, May 17, 1941 v Preston at Preston
Ray Bond Ian McKay Joe Rogers
Frank Anderson Jack Seelenmeyer George Bennett
Jack Sharples Frank Finn Reg Horkings
Bob Austen Laurie Nash N.Ross
Harry Whitehead S.Bradley J.Hopkins
Jim Toohey Allen George Clamp

Round 12, June 28, 1941 v Oakleigh at Camberwell
Jack Ewins Ian McKay Allen
Ray Bond Ken Kennett Frank Anderson
Jack Sharples Laurie Taylor Reg Horkings
Frank Finn Laurie Nash Bob Austen
Barney Jorgensen Owen McPherson George Clamp
Reg Henderson Harry Whitehead J. Hopkins

Round 14, v Prahran at Prahran
Jack Ewins Ian McKay Jack Sharples
Ken Kennett Allen Owen McPherson
Laurie Taylor Stan Spinks Reg Horkings
Frank Finn Laurie Nash Bob Austen
Barney Jorgensen Owen McPherson Clamp (mistake in ‘VFA Recorder’)
Reg Henderson Harry Whitehead George Clamp

Round 16, v Williamstown at Williamstown
Jack Ewins Ian McKay George Bennett
Jack Sharples Owen McPherson Frank Anderson
Laurie Taylor Stan Spinks Reg Horkings
Frank Finn Laurie Nash George Clamp
Barney Jorgensen Reg Henderson Harry Whitehead
Allen Ray Bond J.Hopkins

Round 17, v Brighton at Brighton
Jack Ewins Ian McKay George Bennett
Laurie Taylor Owen McPherson Frank Anderson
Jack Sharples Stan Spinks Reg Horkings
Frank Finn Laurie Nash Bill Olliver
Barney Jorgensen Reg Henderson Harry Whitehead
Allen Ray Bond George Clamp

Camberwell Football Club off the field

When one reads the fine detail of Camberwell’s Annual Reports – starting from 1923 – it is obvious the club had always made the organisation of social events a high priority. A further boon to this side of football life at Bowen Street became possible with the building of a new brick grandstand. Erected in 1935 and ready for use in the 1936 season, the new structure sat atop a cavernous pavilion. The grandstand provided better views and comfort for die-hard supporters and the pavilion spacious surrounds for hosting the club’s social life. 49 Throughout the winter of 1936 the Social Committee took full advantage. Saturday night dances at the Camberwell Town Hall (always hosted by a particular player) continued (as did the occasional picture night at the Broadway Theatre, ‘basket picnic’ at Park Orchard, or Town Hall ‘boxing and wrestling tournament’) but it was the pavilion that really rocked, with admission usually one shilling and sixpence and a ‘nice supper’ guaranteed. A very busy schedule ensued: ‘house parties’ with vaudeville programs and dancing, Thursday night euchre tournaments/parties, fortnightly dances (including ‘old-time’), an occasional dinner for players, an occasional ‘footballer ballet’, an occasional card night. Those were the days when most people were often ‘out and about’, not staying at home watching TV or even ‘listening in’ every night. 50

No doubt one of the main reasons for Camberwell's emphasis on social events was the drive for more members. Even after the very successful season of 1935 (and another promising effort in the earlier part of the 1936 season) Camberwell's membership in 1936 stood at only 600. (The club's aim was a membership of 2500). It is certain that part of the explanation for this low membership figure is the fact that match attendance figures - for most VFA clubs - were also low in the thirties. Michael Riley has provided us with a very neat and detailed chart of average attendances at Camberwell home games (1926-55).

Attendances at Camberwell Oval 1926-1956
YearGamesTotal AttendanceAverage Attendance
1926919,5002,167
1927916,8001,867
1928925,2002,800
19291119,7501,795
19301023,3002,330
1931916,1001,789
19321046,5004,650
19331042,0004,200
1934918,5002,056
1935918,0002,000
1936925,5002,833
1937811,2501,406
1938834,0004,250
19391046,6524,665
19401025,0002,500
19411025,5002,550
19451049,0004,900
19461055,5005,550
19471147,0004,273
19481035,5003,550
19491033,0003,300
19501031,5003,150
19511022,5002,250
19521034,7003,470
19531022,2502,225
19541013,5001,350
1955914,4001,600
19561015,5001500


Highest Attendances at Camberwell Oval 1926 to 1956

RankDateAttendanceGame
118-Jun-4514,000Camberwell v Port Melbourne
205-Jun-3312,000Camberwell v Port Melbourne
328-May-3210,000Camberwell v Preston
408-Sep-4510,000Camberwell v Prahran
531-Aug-4610,000Camberwell v Williamstown
620-Apr-4610,000Camberwell v Prahran
712-Apr-4710,000Camberwell v Oakleigh
8-1022-Apr-398,000Camberwell v Williamstown
8-1020-May-398,000Camberwell v Prahran
8-1010-Jun-468,000Camberwell v Sandringham



In the days before television and the internet it was radio – the ‘wireless’ – that captivated football followers. The effect of early radio on football in Victoria has never been properly documented. Certainly radio coverage of football in the thirties was rudimentary. In 1936 station 3XY provided ‘football comments’ every Friday night at 7.30 pm, and quarter-time scores of all League and Association games (as soon as received) on Saturday afternoons. By 1941 however 3XY had significantly expanded its coverage. This included ‘on air’ descriptions by Arthur Mathers of the VFA ‘Match of the Day’ on Saturdays. Voting for ‘Stokoe Motors Weekly Cup’ was an intriguing feature involving a tie-up between the VFA, the radio station, and a commercial sponsor. Each week, the ‘VFA Recorder’ urged Saturday patrons to listen in to 3XY’s Friday night program ‘Sing, Song, and Sport’ for the announcement as to which match would be broadcast. Each edition of the ‘VFA Recorder’ included a voting coupon (Number-Name-Club) for use by patrons attending the broadcast match. The coupon with the vote for the afternoon’s best and fairest player was to be placed in a box on exit from the ground. The winner of the week’s cup was announced on 3XY at 6 o’clock on the day of the match and the cup presented on 3XY each Friday night at 8 pm. At least two of Camberwell’s 1941 games were broadcast by 3XY as ‘match of the day’ and these were both home matches – the Round 5 (May 10) Camberwell-Brighton match and the Round 17 Camberwell-Preston match. Camberwell’s Reg Horkings won a Stokoe Motors Cup, adjudged by public vote as ‘best player on the ground’ in the May 10 encounter.

VFA in recess 1942-44


The rise of fascism globally in the twenties and thirties made a mess of the world and it also made a mess of the Victorian Football Association. Whereas the VFL decided to maintain its competition throughout the duration of World War Two the VFA voted to temporarily abandon theirs – although the VFA continued to operate a ‘Seconds’ competition. The VFA undoubtedly lost ground to the VFL because of this decision. Many VFA players crossed to League clubs. Camberwell players Bob Austen, George Bennett, Reg Horkings, Barney Jorgensen, Alan Jensen, Tom Campbell, Laurie Peters and Laurie Taylor all went to Hawthorn. The trajectory of Wally Bristowe - who played at Hawthorn (1940-42) and transferred to Camberwell in 1946 - was the reverse of this pattern. 51

1944 Hawthorn team (including five Camberwell players - Tom Campbell, Laurie Peters, Jim Bohan, Laurie Taylor and Alan Jensen)
1944 Hawthorn team (including five Camberwell players - Tom Campbell, Laurie Peters, Jim Bohan, Laurie Taylor and Alan Jensen)



Camberwell FC team pictured in front of 1936 Grandstand circa 1943-44.
Camberwell FC team pictured in front of 1936 Grandstand circa 1943-44.

This photo is difficult to date. Most likely a Camberwell Seconds team. The captain is Roy Williams (middle row, 4th from left). Bob Austen is seated beside him (middle row, 3rd from left).

Camberwell Best and Fairest Award 1930-41

(as recorded in Marc Fiddian, East Side Story, 1980; Camberwell Team of Century 1884-1994, 2003).
1930 Bob O’Neill (doubtful accuracy)
1931 Harry Jones
1932 Charlie Clamp
1933 Ern Dyball (doubtful accuracy)
1934 Roy Williams
1935 Harry Jones
1936 Reg Henderson
1937 Joe Meehan
1938 Arthur Davidson
1939 Laurie Nash
1940 Reg Horkings
1941 Harry Whitehead


Fifty Notable Players (Camberwell 1930-1941)

52

Bob O’Neill

Played 19 games for Richmond 1925, 1927-28. Member of Richmond’s Grand Final team of 1927. Did not play 1929 (injury). The book ‘The Tigers of Old’ records O’Neill went to Oakleigh in 1930 and played in their VFA premiership team of that year, and that he captain-coached Richmond Seconds in 1931. The book records he played 44 games for Camberwell 1932-34 and won the Camberwell best and fairest in 1933. Both Fiddian (‘East Side Story’) and the authors of the Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book have O’Neill winning the Camberwell best and fairest award of 1930. This seems to be incorrect, judging from ‘The Tigers of Old’ (and the work of more recent authorities John Ficarra and Michael Riley), thus raising the question of exactly who did win in 1930 (and what of Dyball in 1933?). It would appear some writers have accepted at face value the authority of Camberwell’s Annual Reports which is possibly where the mistake was originally made. Bob O’Neill played in the back pocket at Camberwell.

1933 Wills League Footballers - R O'Neill
1933 Wills League Footballers - R O'Neill
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - R O'Neill
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - R O'Neill


Dick ‘Dixie’ Greenwood

Started at Camberwell in 1927. Named as Camberwell’s ‘most improved’ player 1928. ‘Many League clubs are throwing out baits in an endeavor to catch him’ said the 1928 Camberwell Annual Report. Played for Footscray (VFL) 1929-30 (11 games). Returned to Camberwell for seasons 1930-32. Represented VFA versus VFL 1932 Charity Match at Carlton (half back flank).

George Bayliss

Played one solitary game for Camberwell - Round 6, 1930 (Ficarra). A legendary figure with Richmond - 89 games and 217 goals (1914-23). Footscray 9 games 1925. Top VFL goal kicker 1920 (63 goals). Richmond premiership full-forward 1921.

George Bennett

The one who got away but eventually returned as prodigal son for a season. Started at Camberwell 1929. Hawthorn 92 games (1930-33, 1942-44). Footscray 108 games (1934-40). Footscray (VFL) best and fairest 1935. Camberwell 1941. Total games Camberwell – 26. (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 13). Captain-coach Sandringham (VFA) 1945. A defender famed for skyscraping marks and skill in the air. Career ended when he refused to play in the Seconds at Hawthorn after returning from injury.

1933 Allens League Footballers - G Bennett
1933 Allens League Footballers - G Bennett
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - G Bennett
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - G Bennett
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - G Bennett
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - G Bennett


Ern Dyball

Defender. Camberwell 1930 -1936. According to Fiddian, played 104 games and won Camberwell best and fairest award 1933.

Percy Wilson

Camberwell coach 1930-31. Collingwood 183 games (1909-20) and Melbourne 51 games (1921-24). Represented Victoria (VFL) twice.
1925 Magpie card - Percy Wilson
1925 Magpie card - Percy Wilson


Ronald Black

Hawthorn 17 games (1927-29). Camberwell 16 games 1930 (aged 22).

Wally Lathlain

Hawthorn 17 games 1928-30 (Main and Holmesby). Camberwell 42 games (1930-33) (Ficarra). Holmesby and Main say ex-Camberwell (?).
Hawthorn 1929 - Wally Lathlain
Hawthorn 1929 - Wally Lathlain


Hope Collins

Ex-Nathalia (1927-29). One game (then injured ankle) Richmond 1930. Camberwell 34 games 1931-32 (Ficarra; ‘Tigers of Old’). ‘Tigers of Old’ claims he represented VFA 1931. Brother of Jack Collins, Geelong VFL champion of the thirties.

Ern ‘Puffer’ Elliott

Fitzroy star – 95 games (1921-27) and member 1922 Fitzroy premiership team. Represented Victoria eight times. Camberwell 42 games (1931-33) (Ficarra).

Stan Petrie

Hawthorn 3 games, three goals (1928). Camberwell 68 games, 79 goals (1929-32, 1934). Camberwell captain 1931 (aged 24).

Leonard Bazin

Camberwell 7 games (1927-28). Footscray 13 games (1930-31).

Les Harvey

Camberwell 36 games (1930-31, 1933); Collingwood 4 games (1932).

Les Harvey 1932
Les Harvey 1932


Maurie Hunter

Ex-Albury. Once kicked 19 goals in a game for St.Patricks Albury against Wangaratta (Ovens and Murray League). Richmond 81 games, 159 goals (1929-33). Member Richmond 1932 (VFL) premiership team. Captained Richmond’s losing Grand Final team of 1931. Represented Victoria (VFL) 1930. Richmond best and fairest 1933 (Holmesby/Main, compared to Hogan who has 1931). Appointed Camberwell captain-coach 1934 but resigned after seven Rounds. Camberwell 5 games (1934) (Ficarra). The Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book, which has ‘M.Hunter 16 games (1937-38)’, has confused Maurie Hunter with Vic Hunter.

Joe Beagley

Ex-Collingwood Seconds. Camberwell 27 games (1934-35) (Ficarra). The reserve player in Camberwell’s 1935 VFA Grand Final team.

Alec Fyfe

Camberwell 23 games (1932-33 - including 16 goals 1933); Collingwood 11 games (1934-35).

Alec Fyfe 1935
Alec Fyfe 1935


Len Wallace

Camberwell 25 games (1930-31, 1933). Fifth in ‘VFA Medal’ 1933 (25 votes).
Essendon (VFL) 61 games (1934-38). Lightweight utility with Essendon.

Len Wallace at Essendon
Len Wallace at Essendon



Joe Meehan

Hawthorn 5 games (1932); South Melbourne 2 games (1938). Ex-Dandenong (Holmesby and Main). Camberwell 63 games (1934-38) (Ficarra). Camberwell best and fairest award 1937. (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 39 games 1936-38).

Arthur Davidson

From Sale. Joined his brother Hec Davidson at Camberwell 1936. Camberwell 47 games (1936-38). Camberwell best and fairest 1938. 38 goals 1936, 26 goals 1937, 32 goals 1938 (Ficarra). Hawthorn 7 games 19 goals (1939). Weighed only 57 kilograms at Hawthorn.

Hec Davidson

From Sale. Melbourne 20 games (1930-32). Camberwell 37 games (1935-37) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 27 games).

Stan Brett

Originally from West Richmond. Richmond Seconds 72 games (1932-34, 1938, 1940-41). Kicked ten goals against Essendon Seconds in 1938 match. Richmond Seniors 9 games, 5 goals (1938). Camberwell 68 games (1934-39) (Ficarra) (‘TheTigers of Old’ has Camberwell 1935-38, 1941, 68 games). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 46 games). Left Camberwell after ten Rounds of 1939 season – after rebelling against the coaching style of Laurie Nash and thereby incurring the wrath of President Frank Hartnett.

M.C. Whelan

Rover ex-North Melbourne Seconds. Camberwell 1934 – 4 games, 7 goals.

Ray Wartman

Camberwell 31 games (1932-34) (Ficarra). Melbourne 125 games, 61 goals (1935-42). Fast and dashing wingman. Played in three Melbourne premiership teams 1939-41.

Ray Wartman
Ray Wartman


Charlie Stanbridge

Much-travelled ruckman footballer who played for Prahran, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Williamstown and Camberwell (in that order). South Melbourne 69 games (1925-29). South Melbourne best and fairest 1928. South Melbourne captain 1929. Seven games representing Victoria (VFL) 1928-29. Third VFA ‘Recorder Cup’ 1932 (while captain-coach Port Melbourne). Won both 1933 VFA ‘Recorder Cup’ and 1933 ‘VFA Medal’ with Williamstown. Joined Camberwell mid-year 1934 - 6 games (1934) (Ficarra).

1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - C Stanbridge
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - C Stanbridge
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - C Stanbridge
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - C Stanbridge
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - C Stanbridge
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - C Stanbridge
1933 Wills League Footballers - C Stanbridge
1933 Wills League Footballers - C Stanbridge


Bill Coffin

Camberwell 63 games, 53 goals (1929, 1932-34) (Ficarra). Kicked 6 goals in only his second game for the Tricolours (in a losing Camberwell score of 9.13) - 1929 Round Three against Northcote at Northcote.

Roy Selleck

Ex-Springvale. South Melbourne 3 games (1932). Camberwell 31 games (1935-37) (Ficarra).

Bill Vanthoff

From Terang. Melbourne 60 games 42 goals (1930-34). Represented Victoria (VFL) v South Australia 1933. Camberwell 25 games (1935-36) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 16 games). Later curator at MCG.

Wally Ware

Brother of champion Footscray ruckman Norm Ware who won the Brownlow Medal in 1941. Hawthorn 63 games, 27 goals (1930-34). Camberwell 28 games (1935-36) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 19 games).

1933 Wills League Footballers - W Ware
1933 Wills League Footballers - W Ware


Tom O’Halloran

Ex-Wesley College and Burnley. Richmond 142 games, 120 goals (1925-34). ‘Regarded as the best mark of his era’ (Holmesby/Main). Richmond best and fairest in his first year (1925). Member Richmond VFL premiership teams 1932, 1934. Captain-coach Richmond Seconds 1935. Camberwell 19 games, 44 goals (1936). Captained Camberwell 1936 temporarily in the absence of injured Horrie Mason. Hogan suggests he was captain-coach for the entire year.

1933 Allens League Footballers - T O'Halloran
1933 Allens League Footballers - T O'Halloran
1934 Allens League Footballers - T O'Halloran
1934 Allens League Footballers - T O'Halloran
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - T O'Halloran
1938 Hoadleys League Footballers - T O'Halloran


George Tatham

Collingwood 23 games, 16 goals (1931, 1933). Camberwell 63 games, 116 goals (1934-38) (Ficarra). Camberwell vice-captain 1935. A sharp-shooting opportunist who once kicked 8 goals in a 1936 match (Round 10) against Williamstown on the Camberwell ground. 26 goals 1934, 28 goals 1935, 30 goals 1936, 32 goals 1937. (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 28 games).

Tom Lasky

Camberwell 38 games (1932-34) (Ficarra). Signed with Brunswick (VFA) April 1936. Fitzroy (VFL) 4 games (1937). Returned to Brunswick 1937. Later, according to Holmesby and Main, St.Kilda’s bootstudder for many years.

Ron Promnitz

Ex-Hurstbridge. Camberwell 7 games (1936) (Ficarra). A defender who transferred to Coburg and became one of that club’s most outstanding players in the forties, featuring prominently on Kornies football cards.

1948 Kornies Victorian Footballers - R Promnitz
1948 Kornies Victorian Footballers - R Promnitz


Keith Wilson

Camberwell 21 games (1936 -37) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 12 games).

Jack Kidd

Essendon 42 games (1926-30), Carlton 2 games (1931), Fitzroy 1 game (1933).
Camberwell 7 games (1936) (Ficarra). Round 6, 1936 - Permit from Oakleigh (VFA).
(Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 8 games).

Frank Pierce

Ex-Hawthorn Seconds. Camberwell 92 games (1932-37) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 18 games 1936).
VFA Recorder August 1, 1936 - Frank Pierce (by Gee)
VFA Recorder August 1, 1936 - Frank Pierce (by Gee)


Ron Griffiths

Camberwell 32 games, 79 goals (1934-35, 1937-38) (Ficarra).
Kicked 7 goals against Williamstown Round 3, 1935, and 6 goals against Coburg Round 13, 1937. (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 15 games 1937-38).

Keith Onley

Camberwell 22 games (1937-38) (Ficarra). To Camberwell 1937 from Port Melbourne. Note: A Ken Onley 3 games for Hawthorn 1934 (Holmesby and Main).

Cletus (Clete) Turner

Originally from Cressy (Victoria). Geelong 5 games (1932), Fitzroy 15 games (1933-34), Carlton 19 games (1935). Camberwell 24 games (1937-38, 1941) (Ficarra). (Camberwell ‘Team of the Century’ book has 3 games).

Terry Brain

South Melbourne 141 games, 198 goals (1928-37). Rover and member South Melbourne’s 1933 VFL premiership team. South Melbourne best and fairest 1934. Camberwell 16 games, 33 goals (including two hauls of five) (1938) (Ficarra). Came to Camberwell 1938 with Laurie Nash but unlike Nash was actually ‘legally’ cleared by South Melbourne.

Norm Hillard

Ex-Carlton Seconds and Kew. Hawthorn 32 games, 57 goals (1933-37). Camberwell 17 games (1938-39) (Ficarra). Left Camberwell after ten Rounds of 1939 season – after falling out with coach Laurie Nash and President Frank Hartnett. Kicked 36 goals in those ten 1939 matches, playing in the forward line. (This included 8 goals in Round 4 match against Sandringham at Camberwell). Fitzroy 95 games (1939-46). Best on ground (at centre half back) in 1944 VFL Grand Final at St.Kilda (Fitzroy premiers).

Bill Ford

A ruckman originally from Tallygaroopna. Richmond 1 game (1927). Sandhurst 101 games (1929-33). Hawthorn 56 games, 38 goals (1934-37). Camberwell 40 games (1938-40) (Ficarra). Kicked 7 goals in Round 18 match 1939 against Brunswick at Camberwell. (Camberwell 26.13 to Brunswick 18.13. Nash 6 goals).

Roy Laing

Non-playing coach of Camberwell 1937-38 (aged 44, 45) and also seventeen years later in 1955. Essendon 130 games (1913-15, 1918-25). Starred in Essendon’s 1923-24 premierships. Represented Victoria (VFL) five times and captained Victoria against South Australia 1921.

Jim Toohey

Ex-Sandhurst. Fitzroy 35 games (1935-36, 1938). Son of Jim Toohey senior (Fitzroy 78 games 1913-17, 1920). Camberwell 24 games (1939-40).

Alan Fitcher

Fitzroy 98 games (1929-36). Captain-coach Brighton (VFA) 1938. Camberwell 14 games (1939). Ruckman. Later football writer with ‘The Sporting Globe’.

1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - A Fitcher
1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - A Fitcher
1933 Wills League Footballers - A Fitcher
1933 Wills League Footballers - A Fitcher


Ted Pool

Originally Kalgoorlie (WA). A champion rover with Hawthorn - 200 games (1926-38). Represented Victoria (VFL) seven times. Started Camberwell 1939 (aged 32). Camberwell 10 games, 19 goals (1939). Played only the first ten games of 1939 so may have been involved in the ‘rebel’ group opposed to Laurie Nash (and Frank Hartnett). 'Ted Pool and Laurie Nash brought off a "double cross" on the throw-pass in the last quarter at Oakleigh. Nash started the movement, Pool returned the ball, raced on past Len Murphy, and Nash completed the brainy manoeuvring with a quick pass to the dashing forward, who brought off a perfect running drop-kick goal' (Unidentified newspaper - cutting - April 15, 1939).

1933 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Licorice Larks League And Association Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Godfrey Phillips Victorian Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Standard (Mirams Caricatures) - Ted Poole
1933 Standard (Mirams Caricatures) - Ted Poole
1933 Wills League Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Wills League Footballers - Ted Poole
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - Ted Poole
1933 Wills League Footballers (Large) - Ted Poole
1934 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole
1934 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole
1934 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole
1934 Allens League Footballers - Ted Poole


Viv Randall

Ex-Caulfield. Hawthorn 73 games (1934-38). Twice represented Victoria (VFL). Wingman. Camberwell 22 games (1939-40).

Harry Harley

Ex-Woomelang. Melbourne 20 games (1938-39). Camberwell 17 games (1940).
Fiddian (‘East Side Story’) has Harley kicking 63 goals in 1940; Ficarra has 57 (seven in Round 3, seven in Round 7).

George Lenne

Camberwell 24 games (1938-39); Melbourne 21 games (1941-42, 1945).

George Lenne 1940
George Lenne 1940


Stan Spinks

Ex-Auburn. Hawthorn 143 games (1931-41). Champion Maybloom wingman and centreman who twice ran second to Dick Reynolds in the Brownlow Medal (1937 and 1938). Hawthorn best and fairest 1932, 1938. Represented Victoria four times. Dropped to Hawthorn Seconds 1941. Signed with Camberwell 1941 and was suspended by the VFL for crossing without a clearance. Camberwell 8 games (1941) (Ficarra). See football biography of Spinks by Roger Spaull, Boylesfootballphotos.

1933 Allens League Footballers - Stan Spinks
1933 Allens League Footballers - Stan Spinks
1933 Wills League Footballers - Stan Spinks
1933 Wills League Footballers - Stan Spinks

Claude Newton

Camberwell 15 games (1938-39). Defender. Played first five rounds of season 1939 but left after incurring the displeasure of coach Laurie Nash and President Frank Hartnett mid-season. Transferred to Prahran (VFA).

Jack Bennett

Camberwell 23 games (1938-39); Carlton 119 games (1940-47).

Jack Bennett 1940
Jack Bennett 1940


Harry Whitehead

Camberwell 34 games (1940-41). Camberwell best and fairest 1941.

Arthur ‘Porky’ Sykes

Played 125 games for Williamstown (starting 1927 or earlier). Half back flanker. Williamstown best and fairest 1930, 1931, 1932. Represented VFA against VFL 1931, 1932. Represented VFA 1931 against NSW in Sydney. Runner-up VFA ‘Recorder Cup’ 1930. Equal fourth VFA ‘Recorder Cup’ 1931. Equal fifth ‘VFA Medal’ 1933. Second to Charlie Stanbridge in Williamstown best and fairest award 1933. Father of David Sykes (Fitzroy 34 games 1961-63, 1967-68). After leaving Williamstown and moving to the eastern suburbs Sykes played 2 games for Camberwell in 1938 (Rounds 9, 10).

Arthur Sykes - 1932 Godfrey Phillips Card - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards
Arthur Sykes - 1932 Godfrey Phillips Card - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards


George Clamp (see Charlie Clamp – above)


Roy Cazaly (see ‘1941’ above)




END






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End Notes


1. The Camberwell Football Club theme song sung at the Kia Ora Sports Parade on the night of August 8, 1947 is a near-identical version – in both words and tune – of the ‘Notre Dame Victory March’ composed in 1908 for the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (U.S). In 1961 South Melbourne Football Club adopted the song after successfully seeking permission from the owners of the original theme. It is not known whether Camberwell sought permission. The Camberwell version is marginally closer to the original words than the Swans version. See Jim Main, In the Blood – South Melbourne-Sydney Swans Football Club (Celebrating the Red and White), Bas, 2009, pp. 384-385.
2. Marc Fiddian’s reasons for Camberwell’s decline in the 1950’s and 1960’s are offered in the Preface to his 1980 work 'East Side Story'. The Preface is also noteworthy for its description of the 1979 premiership celebrations.
3. Writing ten years after the final demise of the Camberwell Football Club, Marc Fiddian observed Camberwell had a rich history individually but a poor record collectively. See Marc Fiddian, The VFA – A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877-1995, 2004 p. 138. Earlier, in his 1977 book 'The Pioneers' written for the Centenary of the VFA, Fiddian pointed to another anomaly. Camberwell was then still the only club admitted to the VFA before World War Two not to have won a premiership and yet it stood alone as the first VFA or VFL club ever to kick seven scores of 30 or more goals. These scores were 31.24 v Port Melbourne (1939), 32.15 v Yarraville (1940), 32.19 v Mordialloc (1972), 30.14 v Werribee (1972), 31.19 v Werribee (1974), 31.13 v Waverley (1974), 33.27 v Yarraville (1976).
4. Robert Allen, Cazaly – The Legend, Slattery Media Group, 2017, Footnote 858.
5. Clinton Walker, A Football Life, Pan Macmillan, 1998, pp. 37-38.
6. For Camberwell Football Club’s somewhat obscure origins and early history, see Marc Fiddian, East Side Story, 1980; Camberwell Football Club – Souvenir History, 1952 (Introduction by C.S.Greenwood, President); Santo Caruso, Marc Fiddian, Jim Main, Football Grounds of Melbourne, Pennon Publishing, 2002; Camberwell Football Club - www.footypedia.com; Wikipedia. www.footypedia.com gives the ESFA premiership as 1899 whereas Fiddian (‘East Side Story’) and the 1952 Camberwell Football Club publication both give 1900. Wikipedia gives the RDFA premierships as ‘1907-1908-1909-1911’ whereas www.footypedia.com gives only ‘1907-1908-1911’. Camberwell’s main grandstand built in 1935 replaced a ‘Pill Box’ pavilion built in 1878 (and still standing 1935).
7. Both the 1923 semi final and the 1923 (first) Final were played at Oakleigh. To be slightly pedantic, Fiddian, in ‘East Side Story’, has the (first) Final loss as four points. My arithmetic, referring to a note from Camberwell Cricket Club historian Ron Redding which has the result as 6.12 to 7.8, suggests two points. In the 1923 MDFA season Camberwell competed against the following nine clubs - Alphington, Brunswick Juniors, Fairfield, Hawthorn District, Ivanhoe, Moreland, Oakleigh, Public Service, and Yarra District.
8. The ‘Alway’ of the 1923 team was probably related to Jim Alway, a Camberwell footballer of the mid-fifties, and ‘Birchall’ was probably Harold Birchall, the father of Ian ‘Pots’ Birchall, a popular Camberwell cricketer of the fifties and sixties.
9. Not surprisingly, my main source for this information about Camberwell’s 1921-25 halcyon years is the indefatigable Marc Fiddian. See Marc Fiddian, The Pioneers – 100 Years of Association Football, VFA, 1977; Marc Fiddian, The VFA – A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877-1995, Melbourne, 2004 (First Edition). See also Camberwell Football Club – Souvenir History, 1952 (Introduction by C.S.Greenwood, President); Camberwell Football Club Annual Report and Balance Sheet Season 1923; Camberwell Football Club Annual Report and Balance Sheet Season 1924. Two articles cited by Wikipedia are ‘Admittance of new club’, The Argus, October 13, 1923, p. 16; J.W, ‘Football – Victorian Association clubs’, The Australasian, January 28, 1922, p. 158. A note provided to me by Camberwell Cricket Club historian Ron Redding has some detail of Camberwell’s 1923 season (including the 1923 Camberwell premiership team), but no identification as to source.
10. ‘Football – New Association clubs’, The Argus, January 7, 1926, p. 11. (Cited Wikipedia).
11. For Camberwell in the VFA in the Twenties, see Camberwell Football Club – Souvenir History, 1952 (Introduction by C.S.Greenwood, President); Marc Fiddian, East Side Story, 1980; Camberwell Football Club Annual Reports 1926-1929; Thelma Baker Scrapbook 1945-1969; Camberwell Football Club Spreadsheet (prepared by J.Ficarra); Russell Holmesby and Jim Main, Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers.
12. The years 1940 and 1941 are included here for the obvious reason that the VFA affairs of those two years had more in common with the VFA affairs of the 1930’s than the 1945-49 years that followed upon the recess of 1942-45.
13. Our Football Girl (All Australian Girl) – ‘A Snappy Fox Trot Song’ – Music by Al Lewis – With Special Lyrics for Australian Rules, Rugby League, Rugby Union by H.S.Bridgeman and Arthur Wendling, July 1933.
14. 1931 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report. 1931 was a tough season for the Tricolours, especially when the footballs didn’t turn up. As The Age of August 3, 1931 reported, ‘consternation was caused at Camberwell when the footballs for the game against Oakleigh failed to materialise on Saturday morning. A hurried search was made at the railway station and inquiries from railway officials elicited the fact that they were last seen by a guard of the train on which they had been consigned, but that no trace of them could be found after that. Camberwell officials immediately got in touch with Mr Ross Faulkner who supplies the footballs for all Association matches, and he made a hurried trip to Camberwell by car with two more footballs’.
15. See Marc Fiddian, The Roar of the Crowd – A History of VFA Grand Finals, 1987, pp. 38-39.
16. The report in the ‘VFA Recorder’ noted the crowd of 7000 (paying 271 pounds) was significantly less than the 10,000 (paying 320 pounds) who attended the 1935 First Semi Final. It also mentioned Camberwell’s ‘legion of followers’. Prahran defeated Brunswick in the Second Semi Final of 1936 and Northcote defeated Brunswick in the Preliminary Final. In the end Northcote, the dominant VFA team in the first half of the thirties, went all the way - again.
17. The 1932 VFL team:
P.Bentley (Rich), F.Gill (Carl), H.Rumney (Coll)
A.Robertson (SM), G.Strang (Rich), B.Mills (Haw)
K.McAlpine (Foots), W.Roberts (St.K), C.Usher (Melb)
J.Titus (Rich), F.Nash (Ess), F.Murphy (Coll)
R.Pratt (SM), H.Vallence (Carl), H.Bunton (Fitz)
C.Davey (Carl ), P.Walsh (Ess), K.Forbes (Ess)
Res – L.Hardiman (Geel), J.Francis (Haw)
Best players were – VFL: Gill, Walsh, Rumney, McAlpine, Bunton, Titus; VFA: Jones, Sykes, Luff, Garrett, Rayment, Hughson. Goals – VFL: Bunton 4, Titus 2, Francis 2, Forbes 2, Vallence 2, McAlpine, Roberts, Pratt; VFA: Luff 4, Hellwig 3, Rayment 3, Mason 3, Hughson.
18. The ‘VFA Recorder’ offered the following statistics for the three Camberwell players: Williams (25, 5.10 ½, 12.0); Brett (23, 5.10, 12.2); Jones (23, 6.0, 13.0). This figure of 23 for Jones is certainly wrong – he was 24 in 1933.
19. For a profile of Horrie Mason, see Marc Fiddian, Well Done Camberwell – The Camberwell v Oakleigh Football Saga, 2016, p. 15.
20. See Paul Hogan, Tigers of Old, Richmond Football Club, 1996. The reference to Henderson contains minor inaccuracies. The Camberwell Team of Century book (2003) is also inaccurate. Henderson played 121 games for Camberwell, not 51.
21. Norm Pilbeam, a grandson of Charlie senior, has inherited an undated medallion (a watch fob) from his grandfather which he believes is a Camberwell premiership medallion of 1908 vintage. The medallion, made in Birmingham in 1888/89, displays a footballer kicking a round ball. Little is known about Clamp senior’s subsequent involvement with Camberwell until he is mentioned again as club trainer (1923-24) and club bootstudder (1926-28, 1930). Clamp was awarded a Camberwell Life Membership in 1928, praised as a ‘hard-working official who has filled various positions in your club during the past twenty years’. It seems, as a bootstudder, Clamp not only looked after the players’ footwear, ‘he made all the boot studs required during his spare time'. Camberwell Annual Reports, 1927, 1928.
22. In 1933 Clamp won Camberwell’s ‘most popular player’ competition. In September 1933 supporters organised a dance in his honour at the Deepdene Pavilion.
23. In 1933 Clamp was employed in an administrative position at Camberwell Town Hall and by 1935 was Deputy Town Clerk. Norm Pilbeam suggests Clamp’s retirement as a player in 1935 is understandable given ‘he would have regarded his business career as more important’, and in early 1936 his first and only child was a few months old. Clamp married in 1934.
24. Norm Pilbeam remembers: ‘Cousin Ian told me he recalled his Dad coming home in footy boots. Ian was born 1935. Charlie Clamp married a ‘Gallus’ whose family had a large dairy on the corner of Warrigal and High Street Roads (where Safeway now is). They then lived at 379 Warrigal Rd’. The VFA Recorder, April 13, 1936 listed Camberwell’s Secretary as C.H.Clamp, Boundary Road Burwood, phone W1121, private phone WX 1407.
25. Norm Clamp married December 1939 and enlisted June 1940, also serving in the Middle East. Norm Pilbeam relates that Charles Clamp was married in February 1908 and produced eight children, including five girls - Thelma (born 1908), Ida (1913), Doris (Norm Pilbeam’s mother – 1915), Tess (1922), and June (1924). Norm remembers - ‘The first three were born at No. 4 Hope Street and the rest in 23 King Street. 23 King is two doors from the house opposite Hope Street so they moved about fifty metres. I can visualise the family carrying the furniture across the road’. Charlie Clamp senior’s oldest daughter Thelma was the players’ nomination for ‘Queen’ in the 1926 Camberwell Football Club ‘Queen’ Competition. Three brothers playing for the same club in a single decade is not a common occurrence and this has caused a good deal of confusion when compiling Camberwell’s historical records. Most of the club’s Annual Reports from 1923-1969 (the most reliable source of information) have survived but the fact that some have not, and many do not list players’ ‘games played’ anyway, makes for all sorts of difficulties and has contributed to the confusion surrounding the three Clamp brothers. The ‘Camberwell Team of the Century Souvenir’ book produced in 2003 has a number of mistakes in this respect, although no doubt its authors tried their best with the records that were available. The book has the three Clamps playing 162 games altogether, which is correct, but distributes them wrongly. Norm Clamp played one game, not 32 games. The book has George only playing 17 games which is the number he played in 1941 so it seems the 32 games he played in 1939-40 have been credited to Norm. Also, the game Norm did play in 1936 seems to have been given to Charlie (who retired 1935).
26. VFA Recorder, June 29, 1936.
27. VFA Recorder, April 13, 1936.
28. VFA Recorder, May 2, 1936.
29. VFA Recorder, September 12, 1936 – Editorial, pp. 5-6 – ‘The Present, Past and Future!’
30. 1938 Camberwell Football Club Annual Report.
31. The Sporting Globe, July 5, 1939, p. 11. For a very thorough and insightful examination of the throw pass era, see Australian Rules Football Schism (1938-1949) (Wikipedia)
32. See my interview with former Williamstown rover Mal Macpherson (1946-50) – ‘Willy’s Will-o-the-Wisp’ on this website.
33. In 1939 George Hawkins of Prahran booted 164 goals, and Harry Vallence of Williamstown kicked 133. In 1940 Ted Freyer of Port Melbourne kicked 157. In 1941 Bob Pratt of Coburg kicked 183 and Laurie Nash of Camberwell kicked 141.
34. Dave Stewart (‘The Globe’s Football Statistician’), ‘More kicks in new code than in League – Fast non-stop football’, The Sporting Globe (Melbourne), August 24, 1938, p. 11. For the full article, see my ‘Footy Stats – A Short History’ on this website.
35. According to ‘Sporting Life’ magazine, Hartnett was born at Northcote where his father John was instrumental in Northcote Football Club entering the Association in 1909. ‘Football Doctor Prescribes’, Sporting Life, May 1950, p. 49.
36. According to ‘Sporting Life’ magazine, ‘In 1938 as deputy president of the VFA in the absence abroad of the late J.J.Liston he had the throw-pass introduced and also secured the MCG for the Association Grand Final’. ‘Football Doctor Prescribes’, Sporting Life, May 1950, p. 49.
37. As a fearsome fast bowler who had represented Australia in Test Cricket against England, the twenty-eight-year old Nash was naturally snapped up by the Camberwell Cricket Club and performed sensationally for them in Melbourne’s Sub-District competition in seasons 1938-39 and 1939-40.
38. Laurie Nash had captained South Melbourne in 1937.
39. Hartnett tried unsuccessfully at this time to acquire Jack Regan from Collingwood and Fitzroy greats Haydn Bunton, Wilfred ‘Chicken’ Smallhorn and Frank Curcio. Another target – Marcus Boyall of Collingwood – did eventually cross to Camberwell but only in 1945, after Hartnett had relinquished the Presidency. Robert Allen claims Brain (1938), Hillard (1938), Harley (1940), and Henderson (1939) went to Camberwell from their respective VFL clubs without clearances. See Robert Allen, Cazaly – The Legend, Slattery Media Group, 2017.
40. Hartnett was succeeded as Camberwell President in 1934 by J.Gray. In 1938 he succeeded G.McCutchan who had replaced Gray as President. In 1941 Hartnett was succeeded by Gil Hendrie. Hartnett was never a shrinking violet. Apart from his assertiveness in football matters, he was a singer of some note, and once stood for Federal Parliament (as an independent candidate against Robert Menzies in the Kooyong electorate, in September 1940). Frank Hartnett died in February 1971, aged 70. For biographical details, see Marc Fiddian, The Pioneers – 100 Years of Association Football, VFA, 1977 - pp. 141-142 (Portrait of Frank Hartnett). For Hartnett’s forthright opinions on football governance, see ‘Football Doctor Prescribes’, Sporting Life, May 1950, pp. 49-50; ‘Dr Hartnett Discusses Unified Control’, Oakleigh Football Club Year Book 1950, pp. 35, 37.
41. An undated 1938 newspaper cutting, Thelma Baker scrapbook. A 1939 cutting (also undated) pointed to the continuing excitement in the Camberwell district: ‘Dr Hartnett, Camberwell President, and his colleagues have electrified cricket and football in the district and the local council is giving whole-hearted support’. Yet another undated cutting outlined the Camberwell Football Club and Council drive to ‘make the suburb of Camberwell a leading sporting centre’. The Mayor of Camberwell in 1938 was Cr W.R.Warner, the founder of Warners Nurseries.
42. Camberwell’s other main contributors to the scoreboard in 1938 were Arthur Davidson (32 goals), Bill Ford (13), Roy Williams (10), Jack Bennett (9), Clete Turner (9), and Ron Griffiths (8).
43. Nash came fifth in the 1938 VFA Medal with 20 votes and second in the 1939 VFA Medal with 30 votes. He came equal second in the 1939 Recorder Cup with 4 votes and fifth in the 1941 Recorder Cup with 29 votes. He won Camberwell’s best and fairest award in 1939.
44. E.A. ‘Ned’ Wallish, The Great Laurie Nash, Ryan Publishing, Melbourne, 1998, pp. 208-209. Hillard was cleared to Fitzroy and became famous as best on ground in Fitzroy’s 1944 premiership victory. Newton was cleared to Prahran. It would seem the former Hawthorn star Ted Pool, recruited by Hartnett for the 1939 season, was also shown the door. Pool played every one of the first ten matches and had kicked 19 goals (including five in the Round 8 match against Brighton) but played no more after that. A 1939 article (undated and unidentified newspaper cutting), describing the ‘throw pass’ as ‘a revelation’, specifically mentions a spectacular Nash-Pool ‘double-switch of the ball’.
45. ‘Football Doctor Prescribes’, Sporting Life, May 1950, p.50.
46. ‘L.Nash and The Argus – Libel Action Settled’, The Argus, July 22, 1939 – ‘Settlement reached yesterday in action brought by L.J.Nash against The Argus concerning a report in June 14 issue’.
47. The following sources have been used to compile this portrait of Laurie Nash: ‘Australian Rules Football Schism’ (1938-1949) (Wikipedia); Marc Fiddian, Well Done Camberwell – The Camberwell v Oakleigh Football Saga, 2016, pp. 25-27; E.A. ‘Ned’ Wallish, The Great Laurie Nash, Ryan Publishing, Melbourne, 1998 (‘The Camberwell Years – Just What the Doctor Ordered’); Marc Fiddian, The Pioneers – 100 Years of Association Football, VFA, 1977; Thelma Baker scrapbook (newspaper) cuttings (Laurie Nash at Camberwell 1938 – 1941); Marc Fiddian, The VFA – A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877-1995, Melbourne, 2004 (First Edition) p. 139; ‘Football Doctor Prescribes’, Sporting Life, May 1950; Oakleigh Football Club Year Book 1950.
48. By far the best and most thorough treatment of the life and many careers of Roy Cazaly is the monumental work by Robert Allen. See Robert Allen, Cazaly – The Legend, Slattery Media Group, 2017. Allen devotes Chapter 22 – ‘Among the Wowsers’, pp. 185-190 – to Cazaly’s year at Camberwell. Cazaly and family rented in Bethela Street Burwood during the season. He also mentions the interesting facts that in 1941 all but three of the 32 players on Camberwell’s list were locals and only 8 were aged over 24.
49. Built at the cost of 4000 pounds, the new grandstand/pavilion accommodated 700 persons. The pavilion housed a hall, two training rooms, a committee room, a kitchen, hot and cold showers, and caretakers’ quarters. In addition, a new fence was constructed around the arena.
50. ‘The hall in the new pavilion is the pride of the Camberwell club’, reported ‘VFA Recorder’. Notably the Camberwell Seconds team also held events in the new pavilion. If we fast forward the tape to the darker year of 1941 we can see the pavilion was still swinging – with the old standby of regular Thursday night euchre complemented by the occasional ‘Baby Show’, ‘Fete’, ‘Dog Competition’ and ‘Fancy Dress Football Match’. Supporters’ meetings took place every Tuesday night. Camberwell Town Hall was still used and the club conducted a Revue (‘Melody and Mirth’) there in 1941.
51. The following sources have been consulted as aids in writing this history of Camberwell Football Club 1930-1941:
Marc Fiddian, East Side Story, 1980.
Marc Fiddian, The Roar of the Crowd – A History of VFA Grand Finals, 1987, pp. 38-39.
Marc Fiddian, The Pioneers – 100 Years of Association Football, VFA, 1977.
Marc Fiddian, Goals Goals Goals – A Study of League and Association Full Forwards, 1996.
Marc Fiddian, The VFA – A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877-1995, Melbourne, 2004 (First Edition).
Marc Fiddian, Well Done Camberwell – The Camberwell v Oakleigh Football Saga, 2016.
E.A. ‘Ned’ Wallish, The Great Laurie Nash, Ryan Publishing, Melbourne, 1998.
Robert Allen, Cazaly – The Legend, Slattery Media Group, 2017 (Chapter 22 – ‘Among the Wowsers’ (Camberwell 1941, pp.185-190).
Camberwell Football Club – Souvenir History, 1952 (Introduction by C.S.Greenwood, President).
Team of the Century (1884-1994), Camberwell Football Club, 2003.
Russell Holmesby and Jim Main, Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers (Tenth Edition), BAS Publishing, 2014.
Paul Hogan, The Tigers of Old, Richmond Football Club, 1996.
Bound volume of VFA Recorder (1936).
Bound volume of VFA Recorder (1941).
Camberwell Football Club Annual Reports – 1930-1941.
The Sporting Globe, July 5, 1939, p. 11 – Camberwell in Adelaide 1938.
Thelma Baker scrapbook (newspaper) cuttings - Laurie Nash at Camberwell 1938.
Football Doctor Prescribes, Sporting Life, May 1950, pp. 49-50.
Dr Hartnett Discusses Unified Control, Oakleigh Football Club Year Book 1950, pp. 35, 37.
John Ficarra, Camberwell Football Club History spreadsheet.
Michael Riley, VFA Project (Boylesfootballphotos).
Australian Rules Football Schism (1938-1949) (Wikipedia)
http://www.thegapchessclub.org.au/vfa/
TROVE (National Library of Australia)
Norm Pilbeam (correspondence with author – 2015-2018)
Interview - Ken Munro, 2017
52. The sources used for the compilation of the following fifty notable Camberwell players of the thirties were:
Russell Holmesby and Jim Main, Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers (Tenth edition), Bas, 2014; Marc Fiddian, Well Done Camberwell, 2016; Marc Fiddian, East Side Story, 1980; Paul Hogan, The Tigers of Old, 1996; Camberwell Team of the Century 1884-1994, 2003; Michael Riley, VFA Project (Boylesfootballphotos); John Ficarra, Camberwell Spreadsheet 1926-1972; Camberwell Football Club Annual Reports 1923-1969.