RAAF Inter-services premiership team 1942 (SLV 122_241)

Charles Boyles Collection SLV
Inter-services premiership team 1942 (SLV 122_241) Source: State Library of Victoria Pictures Collection
Inter-services premiership team 1942 (SLV 122_241) Source: State Library of Victoria Pictures Collection

Link to Photo at SLV Website
SLV Accession no. H2008.122/241

Team: RAAF Inter-Services Team
Location: Punt Road Oval (East Melbourne)
Date: 1942

Trainers H.Woods, A. Eaton, G. Coomber, Maurie Sheehan, T. Bowen, A. Eaton, R. Eaton
Back: George Bailey, Norm Hillard, Mick Hughson, Bob Pratt, Ron Todd, Len Smith, Arthur Sleith, G. 'Jack' Sullivan , J. Brown (trainer)
Second Row: F/Lt M. McIntosh, L.Hill, Jack Grant, Frank Curcio (Capt), Pde. McNamara, Cliff Johnson (Vice Captain), Eric Glass , C. Shield, F/Lt McCann
Front: W.Walsh, Vin Doherty, Jim Knight, Jim Thoms, Alby Pannam


Excellent and fascinating photo. A RAAF representative team photographed at Punt Road Oval before a Services match, apparently 1942. (The date ‘1942’ can be read on the football held in the front row; ‘RAAF’ is very clearly written on the ball). The Richmond grandstand is seen in the background. In the war years, matches between Services teams were sometimes conducted as curtain-raisers to VFL games. On July 12,1942, at Punt Road, watched by a huge crowd estimated at 40,000, a Combined Services team, to aid war funds, actually played Richmond’s VFL team. The crowd was treated to an exhibition of long-kicking by Fitzroy full-back Fred Hughson. See S.Caruso, M.Fiddian, J.Main, Football Grounds of Melbourne, Pennon, 2002, p. 130.

A number of very accomplished VFL players are shown in this photo - Norm Hillard (Fitzroy, second from left in second back row), Mick Hughson (Fitzroy, third from left in the second back row), Bob Pratt (South Melbourne/Coburg goal-kicker extraordinaire, fourth from left in the second back row), Ron Todd (Collingwood/Williamstown legend, fifth from left in the second back row), Len Smith (ex-Northcote/Melbourne/Fitzroy, sixth from left in the second back row), Frank Curcio (Fitzroy’s star ruckman, third player from left in middle row),
Jim Knight (Geelong/Carlton, front row, holding the ball), Alby Pannam (Collingwood, extreme right front row), Jim Thoms (Footscray, second from right in front row).

Smith (Fitzroy/Richmond) and Pannam (Richmond) were later to become senior VFL coaches. Jim Knight died in war service, October 11, 1943. He played 42 games for Geelong (1939-41) and 15 games for Carlton (1942-43). Three of the players in this photo also appear in another (Boyles) photo of a Services team: Photo 10 version 1 (H.2008. 122/109 and 123). They are Ron Todd, the player second from right in middle row, and the player third from right in middle row. Note players are wearing a Victoria-style jumper with a big V. Sign on grandstand advertising A.I.F. Clock showing 12.30 pm. Airman on extreme left of middle row and another airman on extreme right of middle row. At centre of middle row is a gentleman with a white collar, presumably chaplain. This same photo appears in Jim Main and David Allen, Fallen - the Ultimate Heroes, Melbourne, Crown Content, 2002, p. 283.

Further Work Needed

The full list of names for this photo are from the original framed version of the photo. See the copy from Lynette Benson http://member.melbpc.org.au/~lbenton/website/raafprem42.jpg

'C.Shield' is possibly Clarrie Shields who played for the RAAF team.
'J.Grant' is possibly Jack Grant ..Geelong player

Coomber and R. Eaton are Trainers for Fitzroy (and appears in a few non SLV Fitzroy photos)

Jim Knight died on active service 1943 in an aircraft accident near New Guinea.

F/Lt M. McIntosh is probably Malcolm Angus McIntosh (the only F/Lt M McIntosh in the RAAF)

Experience Compared to VFL teams of the Period

Reviewing the 1942 VFL Grand Final provides a comparison.
Essendon's 19 men, and the winning team, featuring Dick Reynolds and between them the 19 players played 1288 Career VFL games, 3 players had over 100 VFL games and one with 99. The losing Richmond side was captained by Jack Dyer and the 19 players combined for 1325 career games with 5 players with over 100 games and one with 98.

The 1942 RAAF Team, of the 17 identified players, they played 1675 career VFL games with 8 players with over 100 games and one with 95.

PlayerVFL GamesClubsNotes
George Bailey58Carlton, Perth (WAFL)Perth Team of the Century
Norm Hillard126Fitzroy, HawthornPremiership Player
Mick Hughson95Fitzroy
Bob Pratt158South Melbourne, CoburgVFL Leading goalkicker 1933–1935, AFL Hall of Fame Legend
Ron Todd76Collingwood, WilliamstownVFL Leading Goalkicker Medalist 1938, 1939
Len Smith75Melbourne, Fitzroy
Arthur Sleith5Preston, Carlton
Jack Sullivan31Richmond
Frank Curcio249FitzroyFitzroy Captain, Fitzroy Team of the Century
Cliff Johnson Williamstown
Eric Glass138Melbourne, East Fremantle, WilliamstownWilliamstown Team of the Century
Vin Doherty113Collingwood, Hawthorn, FitzroyPremiership Player
Jim Knight57Geelong, Carlton1941 Geelong best and fairest player
Jim Thoms120Footscray, West Torrens
Alby Pannam183Collingwood, RichmondPremiership Player, Collingwood Captain
Clarrie Shields46Footscray, Collingwood, St Kilda
Jack Grant145Geelong, Fitzroy1939 Geelong best and fairest player

Duplicates - Near Identical Photos

RAAF Team Inter-Services Premiers 1942 Framed

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