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Occupation List - Fireman

Introduction

Although much smaller than the Police Department in terms of manpower, the fire brigades, especially the MFB has had links to Football in Melbourne.

Under Chief J.T. Wilkins, the Fire Brigade earned the sobriquet of the ‘Brigade of Champions’ as a result of the active recruitment of elite sportsmen. ‘Jack’ Wilkins was chief between 1927 and 1940, and his active preference for such recruits filled the Fire Brigade with champions from avariety of sports including football, cricket, boxing, wrestling and rowing.
A social history of workplace Australian football, 1860–1939 - Peter Burke 2008, p253

Brigade Teams

The Fire Brigade had a team in Melbourne's Wednesday League where the team performed strongly. The Brigade left the Wednesday League in the 1930's but continued to play football directly against the Police Department and other Public Service Teams.

FireBrigade FC Team 1923 Photographer Unknown - source:SLV H6942
FireBrigade FC Team 1923 Photographer Unknown - source:SLV H6942
Fire Brigade FC Team 1930 Source: H2008.122/149 Charles Boyles Collection SLV
Fire Brigade FC Team 1930 Source: H2008.122/149 Charles Boyles Collection SLV

See Fire Brigade FC Team 1930 (SLV 122_228)


VFL/AFL Footballers

This list includes all known Senior Footballers and which brigade they played for. Melbourne is serviced by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), but there have also been separate Fire Departments with the airport, Railways and in Country Victoria.

The list below is the result of individual research and we would be interested in other names that can be added to the list. Frustratingly there are few VFA or interstate players on the list so far.

The list is organised by Team and Year rather than by player to make it easier for the reader to see how the players are not spread evenly through teams and time. The Footscray, North Melbourne, Essendon Triangle during the 1920s and 1930s is clearly evident.

Player Total VFL Games Team Brigade VFL Years Ref
Carlton
Fred Jinks 60 Carlton 1906-1909 & Footscray VFA Eaglehawk fire brigade 1906-1909 13
McPherson,Harry 9 Carlton 1925-1926 1925-1926 12
Doyle,Alex 53 Carlton 1929-1931 1929-1931 11
Cameron,Gordon 17 Carlton 1940, 1946 1940, 1946 27
Hopper, Ken 83 Carlton 1945-46, Hawthorn 1947-51 Eastern Hill 1945-1951 43
Collingwood
Tyson,Charles 144 Collingwood 1920-1926 1920-1926 17
Knight,Jack 128 Collingwood 1934-1940 1934-1940 15
Barrett, Kevin 8 Coll 1940/SthMelb 1941 1940-1941 39
Keith Milte 11 Geelong 1938, Coburg c1941,Collingwood 1942-1943 Fireman 1938-1943 37
Essendon
Barker,Syd 68 Essendon 1921-1924 1921-1924 3,17,18
Campbell,Garnet 157 Essendon 1923-1933 1923-1933 2,16,17
Vosti,Jack 127 Essendon 1925-1932, 1935 MFB 1925-1932, 1935 7,17
Walsh,Paddy 115 Essendon 1927-1936 MFB 1927-1936 4,16,17
Webster,Len 145 Essendon 1927-1938 1927-1938 8,16,17
Watson,Ernie 23 Essendon 1929-1930 MFB 1929-1930 1
Torney,Hugh 173 Essendon 1933-1943 MFB 1933-1943 5,17
Plummer,Elton 141 Essendon 1934, 1936-1944 MFB 1934, 1936-1944 10, 17
Bushby,Percy 142 Essendon 1936, 1939-1948 1936, 1939-1948 33
Eason,Dick 27 Essendon 1937 CFA 1937 9
Buttsworth,Wally 188 Essendon 1939-1949 1939-1949 17
Lane,Gordon 178 Essendon 1940-1949 Windsor 1940-1949 6, 29
Fitzroy
Clay,Alf 83 Fitzroy 1940-1944 1940-1944 34
Footscray
Vosti,Jack 127 Footscray 1933-1934 MFB 1933-1934 7,17
Spargo,Bob 67 Footscray 1934-1941 1934-1941 17
Eason,Dick 27 Footscray 1935-1937 CFA 1935-1937 9
Clay,Alf 83 Footscray 1938-1939 1938-1939 34
Ellis,Ted 150 Footscray 1940-1944 1940-1944 17,23
Geelong
Keith Milte 11 Geelong 1938, Coburg c1941,Collingwood 1942-1943 Fireman 1938-1943 37
Hawthorn
Priestley, Addis 2 Hawthorn 1927 1927 1927 36
Clay,Alf 83 Hawthorn 1937 1937 34
Barker,Jack 113 Hawthorn 1937-1945 1937-1945 23
Bohan,Jim 131 Hawthorn 1938-1946 1938-1946 20
Wright, Morton 1 Hawthorn 1938 1938 1938 35
Collard,Cyril 13 Hawthorn 1957-1958 1957-1958 24
Melbourne
John Daly 8 Melbourne 1914 Wonthaggi Fire Brigade 1914 14
Spargo,Bob 67 Melbourne 1942 1942 17
North Melbourne
Britt,Gerry 21 North Melbourne 1925-1927 Malvern 1925-1927 32
Barker,Syd 68 North Melbourne 1927 1927 3,17,18
Tyson,Charles 144 North Melbourne 1927-1929 1927-1929 17
Adamson,Jimmy 180 North Melbourne 1929-1941 1929-1941 17
Ellis,Ted 150 North Melbourne 1933-1939 1933-1939 17,23
Clay,Alf 83 North Melbourne 1944-1946 1944-1946 34
Richmond
Barker,Syd 68 Richmond 1908 1908 3,17,18
Foster,Bert 133 Richmond 1928-1936 1928-1936 16,17
Ablett, Len 70 Richmond 1939-1943 1939-1943 42
((Bob Bawden|Bawden, Bob) 107 Richmond 1939-1945 1939-1945 41
Scott, Jack 89 Richmond 1939-1945 1939-1945 40
South Melbourne
Graham,Jack 227 South Melbourne 1935-1949 1935-1949 17,20
Lane,Gordon 178 South Melbourne 1950-1952 Windsor 1950-1952 6, 29
Goldsmith,Fred 119 South Melbourne 1951-1959 Eastern Hill-fire brigade ' headquarters 1951-1959 19,22
St Kilda
McPherson,Harry 9 St Kilda 1928 1928 12
Lloyd,Stan 117 St Kilda 1934-1942 1934-1942 17
Curyer,Clarrie 104 St Kilda 1935-1941 1935-1941 17
Garvin,Reg 130 St Kilda 1937-1946 1937-1946 17
Knight,Jack St Kilda 1941-1942 1941-1942 15
Bob McLean 3 St Kilda 1941, Norwood c1930s, Port Adelaide 1939-48 In SA 1941 26


Other Senior Footballers

Note the reference to A.Dean names him as the first captain of Collingwood.

Player Total VFL Games Team Brigade VFL Years Ref
A.Dean Collingwood (VFA) 30
Theo Greenland Williamstown - Circa Late 1940s 27
Nipper Truscott Mines Rovers (Goldfields League) 1907–12, East Fremantle (WANFL) 1913–24 25
Roy McGlinn East Freemantle WA 28


Note
Condon,Jack -Geelong 1949-1950 was a 'fireman' on the railways, this is not a fire-fighter roll.


References

1 Ernest H. WATSON
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=948
Watson was a fireman with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade

2 Garnet CAMPBELL
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=131
Like many of his teammates he worked as a fireman.

3 Sydney Q. BARKER
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=39
He was one of the many Essendon players who worked as a fireman.

4 Paddy Y. WALSH
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=939
He had been a fireman in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade for twenty five years before he retired in 1968.

5 Hugh J. TORNEY
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=909
Like many other Essendon players of the time, Torney was a fireman, and he spent thirty five years in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade

6 Gordon F. LANE
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=524
Gordon Lane died on 21st July,1973, after having worked all his life as a fireman.

7 Jack W. VOSTI
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=926
Like many Essendon players of this period he worked as a fireman with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

8 Len M. WEBSTER
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=960
Like many Essendon players of the time, he was a fireman.

9 Dick T. EASON
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=263
After the War, he was a senior officer with the PMG and the Chairman of Country Fire Authority for thirteen years.

10 Elton A. PLUMMER
dev.essendonfc.com.au/team/player-past.asp?id=744
Plummer retired in 1977 as a Station Officer after thirty-nine years in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

11 Alec Doyle
www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Alec+Doyle
Alexander Conan Doyle was a carpenter, a fireman, and an excellent exponent of Australian Rules Football

12 Harry McPherson
www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Harry%20McPherson
He was recruited from the Fire Brigade FC, prior to that, he had played for Essendon Reserves,

13 Fred Jinks
http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-index.php?page=Fred+Jinks
member of the Eaglehawk fire brigade

14 John Daly
http://www.demonwiki.org/tiki-index.php?page=John%20Daly
Cleared to Wonthaggi Fire Brigade (external link) before Round 6, 1915.

15 Jack Knight, St Kilda coach
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8201118
He began with Collingwood when 20 years and became one of its leading followers Knight is a member of the Fire Brigade and is stationed at Northcote

16 Boyle Fireman Photo
http://boylesfootballphotos.net.au/tiki-index.php?page=Fire+Brigade+FC+Team+1930+%28SLV+122_228%29
Garnet Campbell
Paddy Walsh
Len Webster
Bert Foster

17 In the SPORTS FIELD. (1939, April 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956)
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12122704

Here is the foundation of a first-class League football team among present-day League players:-Torney, Butsworth, Plummer, Ellis, Adamson. Anderson, Curyer, Lloyd ("Ming the Merciless" to his fellow firemen), Garvin, Graham, and Spargo. Former football stars include Vosti, Foster, Webster, Campbell, C. Tyson, Walsh, and the late Syd. Barker.

18 Syd Barker Obit
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4076754
He had 23 years service with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and had risen to the position of first-class fireman.

19 SOUTH MELBOURNE'S fireman full back Fred Goldsmith caused panic in the household of club secretary Joe White when he rang at 9 a.m. on Saturday and said South Melbourne grandstand was on fire. Goldsmith, who was on duty at Eastern Hill-fire brigade ' headquarters

20 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22254038
Jack Graham
He came from Red Cliffs in 1935, and has played 185 games and Kicked 118 goals. He is another player who is a fireman.

Jack Bohan
Coming from Kew in 1938, he has played 113 games. Aged 26 years, he has much football ahead of him. He is a fireman.

21 Jack Barker
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Barker_%28Australian_rules_footballer%29
Off the field he worked as a fireman and once played a game despite suffering smoke inhalation the previous night.

22 Fred Goldsmith
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Goldsmith_%28Australian_footballer%29
A fireman, Goldsmith started his career in 1951

23 Ted Ellis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Ellis_%28footballer%29
. Outside of football, Ellis was a fireman. To make ends meet he would drive a truck on his rostered days off.

24 Cyril Collard
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Collard_%28footballer%29
Cyril served in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade between 7 February 1958 and 3 June 1988 reaching the rank of Senior Fire Fighter.

25 http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/truscott-william-john-8863
Truscott was, as well, captain of the East Fremantle Volunteer Fire Brigade and a member of the East Fremantle Town Council

26 http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mclean-allan-robert-charles-15038
transferred to the Port Adelaide Football Club when it secured him a job with the local fire brigade.

27 Greenland originally played for Newport CYMS and South Melbourne Seconds. He is also a professional footrunner. A fireman by occupation, he is 23, and single.
Cameron played with Carlton before going to 'Town. He can lift a side with his fearless tear-througri play. He has played 63 games with the side. He is a fireman, 27, and single.
Williamstown Has Record of Consistency. (1949, October 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2 Supplement: The Argus Week-End Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22782592

28 EAST FREMANTLE'S STAR ROVER WAS THE FIREMAN WHO WAS WATCHED BY THOUSANDS
HELL WITH THE LID OFF. (1939, March 25). Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), p. 2. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article76205393

29 In private lite Gordon Lane Is a fireman at Windsor station
SOUTHS STARS SHINE AGAIN. (1952, May 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5 Supplement: The Argus Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23180915

30 Fire Brigade, photographed in Edinburgh Gardens in 1881 Third from left is Fireman A Dean, then captain of the Britannia Football Club, but later to be first captain of Collingwood
ANOTHER SELECTION OF "CAMERODDITIES" FROM READERS. (1940, July 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7 Supplement: The Argus Week-end Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11302805

31 Condon is a fireman on the rail-ways. One can imagine how he ap- preciates the opportunity of running around on the nice green sward after stoking engines for a living!
LEAGUE FOOTBALLERS OF 1950 — RUCKMEN. (1950, April 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2 Supplement: The Argus Weekend Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22824103

32 Gerry Britt, a fireman now stationed at Malvern, was one of the "Battling Britts." . "Gerry" was later captain of the last fire brigade team, he was heavyweight boxing champion of the fire brigade, and was also a League and Association footballer
When Tug-o-war Was a Glamour Sport. (1949, February 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2 Supplement: The Argus Week-End Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22711837

33 Leading footballers appeared in the fire brigade boxing championships, which attracted a large crowd to Eastern Hill last night. In the heavyweight contest P. Bushby (Es- sendon),
BOXING FOOTBALLERS. (1944, April 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 11. Retrieved May 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11824891

34 Leading footballers appeared in the fire brigade boxing championships, which attracted a large crowd to Eastern Hill last night............. and in light heavy Paget outpointed A. Clay (Fitzroy)
BOXING FOOTBALLERS. (1944, April 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 11. Retrieved May 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11824891

35 Died on fire duty. see articles listed in http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=48880. Thanks to (Stephen Wade)

36 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3849658. Thanks to (Stephen Wade)

37 (ex Geelong) . frefighter SEVERAL EX-SOUTH MEN IN V.F.A. FINAL. (1941, October 4). Record (Emerald Hill, Vic. : 1881 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164971914
Image

39 - Fireman from Eastern Hill - WHO’S WHO IN FOOTBALL. (1940, May 11). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 - 1954), p. 6 Edition: Edition2. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from [http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188804783

40 'A Fireman' - WHO’S WHO IN FOOTBALL. (1940, June 1). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 - 1954), p. 6 Edition: Edition1. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188806643

41 'In Fire Brigade' - WHO’S WHO IN FOOTBALL. (1940, June 1). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 - 1954), p. 6 Edition: Edition1. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188806643


42 'In Fire Brigade' - WHO’S WHO IN FOOTBALL. (1940, June 1). Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 - 1954), p. 6 Edition: Edition1. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188806643

43 'Until last summer Ken was a useful cricketer in the Brunswick Sub district team. He is single, and lives either at home or the Eastern Hill fire station, where he is employed.'Argus 1-Jul-1950 p12 The Argus Week-end Magazine

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