Bicton-Palmyra RSL’s Anzac Day service to remember fallen North Fremantle FC players


Lincoln Allan with North Fremantle coach Shane Woewodin. Picture: Matt Jelonek
Lincoln Allan with North Fremantle coach Shane Woewodin. Picture: Matt Jelonek

IN NORTH Fremantle a lone soldier stands atop a plinth, rifle in hand and head bowed, the names of the fallen etched under his feet.

Among the names are 12 North Fremantle Football Club players who left to fight in World War I, names that have captivated 15-year-old Scotch College student Lincoln Allan so much he decided to keep the memory of them alive in another way.

Lincoln, who grew up on John Street opposite the club’s Gilbert Fraser Reserve base, is writing a personal project on the footballers and said he had already learnt so much.

“I found the connection the club has to Scotch College back in 1901 to 1915 as very interesting,” he said.

“Scotch College teachers and former students played for North Fremantle in those years and three of those killed went to Scotch College: student, Lance Corporal William Hewby at Fleurbaix on The Western Front; sports master, 2nd Lieutenant John Newham at Gallipoli and student, Lieutenant John Dunstan, Royal Air Force, who died in England.

“Researching the details of the fallen soldiers was humbling especially as I can see today’s footballers training and playing from my front window.”

World War I had a lasting impact on the North Fremantle Football Club, which folded in 1915 due to a lack of personnel after 44 players and officials enlisted, before being reincarnated as the North Fremantle Amateur Football Club in 1921.

These players, as well as the other North Fremantle men who died in World War I and II, will be remembered at the Anzac Day service held at the fallen soldiers’ memorial tomorrowat 9am.

North Fremantle FC’s fallen

Private Arthur Gilbert “Chum” Whittle (27), 11th Battalion. Died Gallipoli – May 2, 1915.

2nd Lieutenant John “Jackie” Drummond Newham (26), 5th Battalion. Died Gallipoli – May 8, 1915.

Lance Corporal William John Hewby (19), 11th Battalion. Died Fleurbaix – May 30, 1916.

Private John Morris Toohey ( aged 20), 12th Battalion. Died Mouquet Farm, Pozieres – August 19, 1916.

Private William Byfield (27), 51st Battalion. Died Mouquet Farm, Pozieres – September 3, 1916.

Private Samuel Thomas Podger (25), 51st Battalion. Died – February 13, 1917.

Private Victor Ernest Ellement (25), 16th-48th Battalion. Died Passchendaele – October 14, 1917.

Private Frederick Charles Shingler (34), 51st Battalion, Died Passchendaele – October 14, 1917.

Lance Corporal Walter James Backshall (35), 48th Battalion. Died Passchendaele – October 20, 1917.

Lance Corporal William Thomas Maddern (27), 28th Battalion, Died Polygon Wood – October 28, 1917.

Lance Corporal William Arnold Spencer Thomas (22). 51st Battalion. Died Villers-Bretonneux – April 24, 1918.

Lieutenant John Leonard Dunstan, Royal Air Force, Died England – October, 1918.