Yesterday was "ANZAC Day", when people in Australia and New Zealand commemorate their soldiers who fought in WW1 and WW2
I've found this interesting illustation in French newspaper "Excelsior" dated November 20th, 1916 in the middle of WW1 turmoil... the headline reads (in French...) "Australians, Warriors and Sportsmen" whereas the caption indicates "This curious snapshot was taken during a rugby match in England recently played between two teams of Australian soldiers (Anzac). We know that our allies have called 'Anzac' the Australian and Zealander troops that took a brilliant part in the Dardanelles campaign.")
Some research (thanks a lot Sean!) shows that this was a charity game - known as the "Pioneer Exhibition Game" - held at Queen's Club in South Kensington on October 28th, 1916 to raise money for British and French Red Cross. The game was played in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 which included the (then) Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) and King Manuel II of Portugal (source wikipedia)
Actually, it was not rugby - my newspaper was misleading! - but Australian Rules... two ANZAC units forming a 18 players team, most of them coming from main VFA/VFL clubs: Melbourne, Geelong, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Collingwood... ("footy" history is quite complicated...cf wipedia again...)
Australian War Memorial has kept two great pictures of the teams... both of them showing wonderful jerseys !
Here is the "Australian Training Units" team, led by Captain (Capt) Chaplain Charles Julius Perry (played for Norwood) wearing a red jersey with a "giant" kangaroo...
And here is the "Third Australian Divisional" team, led by Lieutenant (Lt) Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss (played for South Melbourne) wearing a blue jersey with an "giant" Australian map... and winner of the game by 4 goals and 12 behinds (36 points)...
Lets also notice that this game was organised by Australian Olympic swimmer Lt Franck Beaurepaire (hey, a French name!)... 7 Olympic medals won in London (1908, aged 17), Antwerp (1920) and Paris (1924)!... and later Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1940...
For the record - and to have their names being remembered - let me also list the players.
Third Australian Divisional team: Identified, but position unknown, are Lieutenant (Lt) Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss (played for South Melbourne), captain (killed in action 4 January 1917); Lt John Brake (University); Dan Minogue (former captain of Collingwood); C Willis (South Melbourne); L Little (Melbourne); William Isaac Sewart (Essendon); J Pugh (Launceston); H M Moyes (St Kilda); P J Jory (St Kilda); C Lilley (Melbourne); L E Lee (Richmond); Cyril Louis Hoft (Perth); L Martin (University); R Alley (Williamstown); H James (Richmond); B H Mills (Brunswick); J Foy (Perth); Lt W Orchard (Geelong)
Third Australian Divisional team: Identified, but position unknown, are Captain (Capt) Chaplain Charles Julius Perry (played for Norwood), team captain; John Thomas (Jack) Cooper (former captain, Fitzroy) (later killed 20 September 1917); PC Trotter (Fremantle); J Donaldson (Essendon); H Kerly (Collingwood); J Hoskins (Melbourne); H Boyd; S C Martin (University); H C Cosnvi? (Association); C Armstrong (Geelong); J Scullin (South Fremantle); Malfield ( Fremantle); T A Paine (Northam; E Beames; J Bower (Port Melbourne); McDonald (Essendon); Lieutenant Colonel Jackson (South Australia); H Moore (South Australia). Field umpires: Coporal Gray and G Barry.
Boundary umpires: T S Hewitt and E J Watts. Goal umpires: Lieutenant H Olsen and S M Keen.
All the details of the game are known because a programme of the match was published at the time, and now kept at National Library of Australia as "Pioneer Exhibition Game Australian Football : in aid of British and French Red Cross Societies : 3rd Australian Division v. Australian Training Units at Queen's Club, West Kensington, on Saturday, October 28th, 1916, at 3pm" (record here). This record indicates that this 12 pages programme was richly illustrated, including this "Sport and War - The advantage of the High Mark" by Will Dyson that I was fortunate enough to find on the web in a working document from University of London (credit below)... Nice illustration indeed!
Edit 28/4: Sean has uncovered a British Pathé video showing that game and ceremony - magic and moving! Here it is...
Credit to Australian War Memorial for team pictures and names of players - and many thanks, mates, for sharing it under CC-BY-NC 3.0 AU licence!
Credit to Carol Mills, Univeristy of London, for his/her paper on "Expatriates Australian Black & White artists: Ruby and Will Dyson 1909-1919"