As World War 1 raged in Europe, Fitzroy beat Carlton to win the four-team competition.


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1916 Summary

"The names of last year's men now wearing kahki are:-
Baud, Challis, Burleigh, Triplett, Calwell, Gordon, E. Brown, Muir and Fielding. Dick and Keily offered their services, but were not accepted owing to physical defects."
"Carlton will probably be lead by W. Dick with McGregor as lieutenant. They will have a large number of new men to try out. Among those who names are on the list are Keast, from Boulder City; Canet (forward), from Brunswick Juniors; Smith, from Tocumwal; (W) Swan, from Shepparton, McCullough, from a local church team; White and Dunne, Carlton District Juniors; and Caddy from Brunswick."
(Age April 22 p9)

The first world war meant that their was a huge shortage of players for the 1916 season, with only Carlton, Collingwood, Fitzroy, and Richmond being able to field teams. Despite enormous pressure, the VFL decided not to cancel the competition, and so the season went ahead with only 4 teams playing each other 3 times each for a 12 round season.

This meant that all four teams automatically reached the finals, and as a direct result Richmond played in its first final. Fitzroy also managed to win the premiership after winning 3 finals in a row, despite only winning 2 games and drawing another for the season.

After winning 10 games during the season, Carlton would narrowly beat Richmond in its Semi Final, before losing to Fitzroy in the Preliminary Final, after being reduced to 16 men before halftime. After finishing as minor premiers with 10 wins, we had the right to challenge Fitzroy in the Grand Final and went on to contest our third Grand Final in a row. The reigning dual premiers, Carlton, lost to Fitzroy by 29 points after scoring 8.8.56 to Fitzroy's 12.13.85.

On an aside, Alex "Bongo" Lang returned to play for Carlton in 1916, after serving a 5 year ban for accepting a bribe in 1910. He was one of three Carlton players stood down from the selected team to play South Melbourne in the 1910 Semi Final. Lang would complete his career after playing 105 games for Carlton.


At the Carlton AGM in January; "Regarding the proposal to curtail the season on the account of war, it was felt that the playing of football on Saturday afternoons had no adverse effect on recruiting, but it was a relaxation for the public from the serious problems of business and war, and that it would be unwise to deprive thousands of people that source of recreation.The club proposes to carry out the season's matches as usual, and to hand over to the war funds whatever surplus there is after paying expenses."

League Premiers Emphatic

February 1916 and talk of disbanding the football competition is growing. Carlton at it's AGM came out strongly against the abandonment of the competition.
A full report of the AGM can be read via this link.

Football and the War - League Clubs Differ

At a special meeting of the League, the clubs differed on their views that football should be suspended for the duration of the War.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74503398


The Richmond Australia newspaper wrote about the coming 1916 season and the fact that only 4 clubs were competing.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119690125

vs Pioneer Battalion

April 22
The Blues played a military team calling themselve the "Pioneer Battalion" from Broadmeadows at Princes Park.
"The soldiers showed a fine even team, well trained, whilst Carlton tried several new players, who were rather on the light side."
(Essendon Gazette April 27 p1)
The soldiers had a number of senior players including former Carlton skipper, Fred Elliott
The home side took the opportunity to try out a few juniors and some of the senior players were in need of a run.
Carlton lost by 47 points;
Carl; 0.0 2.0 2.0 3.2.20
PBat; 3.2 7.4 10.5 10.7.67
Best; Hammond, Dick Kelly, White, Haughton, Dunne and Fisher.

vs Combined Juniors at Princes Park, April 29

Carlton team;
Backs; Shortell, Kiely (Capt), Sharp
Half backs; Leehane, O'Brien, Greaves
Centre; Dunn, White, Tonkin
Half forwards; Fisher, Harker, Daykin
Forwards; Topping, Gardiner, Lang
Folllowers; Hammond, Haughton
Rover; Valentine
Umpire; Elder
Quarter time; Carl. 7.3.45 - 0.1.1
Half time; Carl. 12.6.78 - 2.2.14

Patriotic Football Match

Carlton played Collingwood in Ballarat on the Eastern oval on Monday June 05 (King's Birthday).
Proceeds to the Ballarat Red Cross Funds.
A even match throughout with Collingwood holding a 7 point lead with seconds to go. Harker from a place kick hit the post, then, as a result of some nice play between Canes and Daykin to Harker, who kicked the equalizer as the bell sounded.
The Carlton team;
Backs; Holmes, Jamieson, Keily
Half backs; Robinson, Dick (Capt), McDonald,
Centre; Canes/Canet?, McGregor, White
Half forwards; Fisher, Shortell, Daykin
Forwards; Lang, Gardiner, Harker
Followers; Hammond, Grove
Rover; Sharp
Umpire; Elder
Match drawn;
Carl. 1.3 4.5 5.7 8.10.58
Coll. 1.3 3.5 4.9 8.10.58
Goals; Harker 2, Lang, McDonald, Holmes, Topping, White, Daykin.
Players mentioned; Lang, Keily, McGregor, Daykin, Gardiner, Dick, McDonald, Holmes, Jamieson, Topping, White, Harker, Fisher, Canes.
(Ballarat Star June 06 1916 p6)


Five Players Wounded

From the Western Front in France, Frank Doyle one the VFL stewards, wrote to James Stewart vice president of the Carlton Football Club about the Diggers' attempts to play football behind the front line.
This story was published in the Northern Star, Lismore NSW September 12 1916.
To read, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92970075




People of 1916

Coach: Norman Clark
Captain: Billy Dick
Leading Goal-kicker: Vin Gardiner - 44 goals


Debuts: Frank Rigaldi, Ern Carter, Harry Greaves, Robert White, Charlie Canet, William 'Mickey' Dunn, Alf Huggett, George White

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1915 | 1917

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Page last modified on Saturday 17 of December, 2022 18:03:14 AEDT by blueycarlton.

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