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Remembrance Day

Posted By Sports Development Officer on 29/11/2017

Remembrance Day this year occurred on Saturday 11th November and 11am was the scheduled starting time for the SACA 1st Grade match between the Adelaide University Cricket Club and the Adelaide Cricket Club. Before the game a special Commemoration Service was held to unveil the WW1 Memorial Picket Fence located at the entrance to University Oval between the grandstand and scoreboard.

The Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, The Interim Vice Chancellor of Adelaide University Professor Mike Brooks, The President of the Adelaide University Cricket Club, Mr Adam Kimber SC and the General Manager of Adelaide university Sport, Mike Daws were among those who carried out official duties. The start of the match was then delayed a few minutes for the 11am Remembrance Service.

Research conducted by the historians of the AUFC and AUCC have spent thousands of hours over the last three years painstakingly identifying the Adelaide University students who played with the two Clubs in the period preceding the War. Unfortunately records of participation were only available from the newspapers of the time or from photographs held by the Adelaide University Archives. There had never been any systematic documentation of playing records by either Club. In many cases there were only surnames and the players had to be identified from student records held by the University. Where there were common surnames, validation was usually made by identifying that they had played football/cricket at school and were it team photos in school magazines. It is fortunate that newspaper reporting of all grades of sport was covered well in that era. Finally the players names of all players were then cross checked these against the Adelaide University's Honour Rolls and Australian War Service Records. However, a number of students and graduates who had been pre-War members of the football and cricket teams were in England at the time the War broke out. Medical graduates often were doing post-graduate studies and along with several Adelaide University Rhodes Scholars they put on hold their study and enlisted in the British Forces. Researchers then relied on the British War Archives, the Oxford University Honour Rolls or other published works to confirm service. The researchers have to this point in time identified 194 footballers and cricketers who served. Sadly 20 of them paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Football and Cricket Clubs have worked together on this important project and raised funds through picket sponsorship and other fund raising activities which has culminated in the WW1 Memorial Picket Fence. For each of the Servicemen, a plaque with their name and rank along with an acknowledgement of the picket donor, is affixed to a picket.