NSW Hall of Champions

Sport & Service Exhibition


Champions who served their country

Discover the achievements of Hall of Champions athletes who served their country in war and peacetime.

On now until December 2018

ARMY

Reginald 'Snowy' Baker
1884 – 1953
Boxing, Rugby League, Swimming, Sculling, Diving, Gymnastics, Equestrian
Australia’s greatest all-round athlete, ‘Snowy’ Baker served as a trooper with the NSW Lancers from 1902, gaining the rank of sergeant and excelling in military sports.

James 'Judy' Masters
1892 – 1955
WWI 1914 – 1918
Soccer
Between 1908 and 1927, James ‘Judy’ Masters was the first of Australia’s great soccer players. He served with the Australian Imperial Force from 1915 to 1918 in Gallipoli and France, where he was wounded.

Anthony 'Nick' Winter
1894-1955
WWI 1914 – 1918
Athletics
Five years after serving as a light-horseman in Egypt with the Australian Imperial Force, ‘Nick’ Winter won Australia’s first athletics gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games.

Cecil Healy
1882 –1918
WWI 1914 – 1918
Swimming
A pioneering international swimming champion, Cecil Healy won gold and silver at the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games. Killed in action on the Somme battlefront in 1918, Healy remains the only Australian Olympic gold medallist to die on the battlefield.

Harold Hardwick
1888-1959
WWI 1914 – 1918
WWII 1939 - 1945
Swimming & Boxing
Swimming gold and bronze-medallist at the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games, champion boxer, surf lifesaver and rugby union player, Hardwick served in WWI in the Middle East and WWII rising to the rank of colonel.

Charlie Macartney
1886 – 1958
WWI 1914 – 1981
Cricket
Prior to WWI Charlie Macartney was a bowling all-rounder. After the war, he became one of the greatest batsmen of his era. Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916 he was posted to France. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for gallantry.

John Bromwich
1918 – 1999
WWII 1939 - 1945
Tennis
Known for his double-handed forehand grip, John Bromwich was one of Australia’s top doubles players in the 1940s. He served in New Guinea where he contracted malaria. He was accidentally shot in the hand, which affected his left hand grip.

Roger Cornforth
1919 – 1976
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rugby Union & Water Polo
Roger Cornforth was in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp during WWII. After the war he built himself up, playing with the Wallabies in 1947 and representing Australia in water polo at the 1948 London Olympic Games.

Sir Donald Bradman AC
1908 – 2001
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
The world’s greatest batsman, Don Bradman rewrote the record book during his Test career from 1928 to 1948. During WWII he was supervisor at the Army School of Physical Training, Frankston, Victoria. After the war, he captained the 1948 Invincibles.

Jack Fingleton
1908 – 1981
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
Jack Fingleton played in 18 Test matches between 1932 and 1938. He enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1941, and was transferred to the Press Relations unit working in intelligence and censorship.

Neville Sellwood
1922 – 1962
WWII 1939 - 1945
Horse Racing
Neville Sellwood, rode winners in every major race in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane between 1947 and 1962. While serving in the militia, a sympathetic commanding officer allowed him to ride trackwork and at local race-meetings.

Ray Stehr
1913 – 1983
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rugby League
Front-rower Ray Stehr led Eastern Suburbs to five premiership victories before and after WWII, between 1929 and 1946. Stationed in Darwin with the Australian Army Services, Stehr helped foster rugby league in the Northern Territory.

Stan McCabe
1910 – 1968
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
A right-handed batsman, Stan McCabe played 39 Test matches for Australia from 1930 to 1938.
McCabe enlisted in the Australian Defence Force during WWII. Due to poor health and chronic feet problems, he was given a clerical job at the Victoria Barracks.

Horace Lindrum
1912 – 1974
WWII 1939 - 1945
Snooker & Billiards
World professional snooker champion in 1952, Horace Lindrum became the first player to complete 1,000 snooker centuries in 1970. During WWII Lindrum enlisted in the Royal Australian Engineers. He raised money for disabled servicemen and women through his sport.

Thelma Coyne Long
1918 – 2015
WWII 1939 - 1945
Tennis
Between 1936 and 1956 Thelma Coyne Long won 12 Australian doubles championships, and 18 Australian Open titles. She had a ten year absence from competition due to WWII, when she served with the Australian Women’s Army Service.

Norman von Nida
1914 – 2007
WWII 1939 - 1945
Golf
Three-time Australian Open and PGA champion, von Nida served in the Armoured Brigade Army Service Corps from 1942 to 1944. Travelling to Britain after the war in 1947 with 17 pounds in his pocket, he won 3,263 pounds, a British prize money record.

Adrian Quist
1913 – 1991
WWII 1939 - 1945
Tennis
Adrian Quist won Wimbledon titles before and after WWII. He won the Doubles with Jack Crawford in 1935 and John Bromwich in 1950. He was a lieutenant in the army and transferred to the Reserve of Officers in 1945.

Sir William Northam CBE
1905 – 1988
WWII 1939 - 1945
Yachting
At age 59 Bill Northam became the oldest competitor to win an Olympic gold medal when his yacht Barrenjoey won at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. Northam was Lieutenant in the 28 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps during WWII.

Kel Nagle OAM
1920 –2015
WWII 1939 - 1945
Golf
Due to military service in WWII, Kel Nagle got a late start as a professional golfer.He went on to win at least one tournament each year from 1949 to 1975, including the Australian Open and Australian PGA.

Sid Barnes
1916 – 1973
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
Sid Barnes made his Test debut in 1938. In 1942 he enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force, serving for three months. After the war he and Sir Donald Bradman scored a world record fifth-wicket partnership of 405 during the Second Test in 1946-47.

Ossie Pickworth
1918 - 1969
WWII 1939 - 1945
Golf
Ossie Pickworth’s record three successive Australian Open wins 1946 to 1948, was achieved just 12 months after being demobilised from the army. Pickworth was a cook in the Australian Imperial Force, serving in New Guinea and British North Borneo.

Vic Patrick OAM
1920 –2006
WWII 1939 - 1945
Boxing
Vic Patrick had 55 victories – 43 by knock-out. He was Australian lightweight champion from 1941 until 1948. Patrick joined the army in 1942, serving at home in the service corps. Wartime politics meant he only fought in Australia and New Zealand.

Ray Lindwall MBE
1921 – 1996
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
Fast-bowler Ray Lindwall served in New Guinea with the Anti-Aircraft and Fortress Signal unit during WWII. He survived bombing, malaria and Dengue fever. After the war he played football for St. George, returning to cricket on the 1948 Invincibles team.

Bobby Fulton AM
b. 1947
VIETNAM WAR: 1962 - 1975
Rugby League
One of rugby league's four inaugural Immortals, Bobby Fulton played for Manly-Warringah and Eastern Suburbs. In 1967-68 Fulton was an Army conscript in the Vietnam War. He was a Physical Education instructor on the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney.

Greg Smith OAM
b. 1967
Wheelchair Athletics
Greg Smith was with the First Army Regiment before a motor vehicle accident left him a quadriplegic. He has gone on to win medals at three Paralympic Games and four World Championships and competed in Wheelchair Rugby.


 
 
 

AIR FORCE

Keith Miller MBE
1919 – 2004
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
At his peak Keith Miller was the world’s best cricketing all-rounder. During WWII he flew DH Mosquitos supporting Allied operations over Europe and the North Sea. After the war he played Tests for Australia, including with the1948 Invincibles.

Bob Newbiggin
1921 – 1989
WWII 1939 - 1945
Surf Lifesaving
Champion surf swimmer, Bob Newbiggin won a record five consecutive surf race titles between 1939 and 1948. During WWII he flew heavy bombers over Europe in the Royal Air Force. After the War Newbiggin won surf championships from 1945 to 1947.

Lionel Van Praag
1908 – 1987
WWII 1939 - 1945
Speedway Racing
Winner of the first World Speedway Championship in England,1936, Lionel Van Praag was awarded the George Medal for bravery for rescuing injured crewmen when his RAAF Douglas DC-2 was shot down by the Japanese in Sumba Strait, Indonesia during WWII.

Tom Kirk
1914 – 2001
WWII 1939 - 1945
Woodchopping
Tom Kirk was a household name in woodchopping for 30 years from 1933. He won 22 world championships and 12 US titles. He trained as a flight mechanic with the Royal Australian Air Force, and was promoted to Leading Aircraftman.

Ken Kearney
1924 – 2006
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rugby Union & Rugby League
Ken Kearney played for Australia in 25 rugby league Tests, and seven times in rugby union before and after WWII. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942 and was a radio operator for Lancaster bombers in England.

Bill Brown
1912 – 2008
WWII 1939 - 1945
Cricket
Bill Brown played for Australia before enlisting in 1942. He was a flight lieutenant with the Royal Australian Air Force, serving in New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war he captained Australia in 1945-46, and was in the 1948 Invincibles.

Herb Narvo
1912 – 1958
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rugby League & Boxing
Herb Narvo represented Australia in boxing, and on the 1937-38 Kangaroo tour. He served as a physical training, boxing and paratroop instructor in the Royal Australian Air Force at Richmond, NSW. Narvo helped Newtown win the 1943 rugby league premiership.

Harry Berwick MBE
b. 1923
WWII 1939 - 1945
Golf
Harry Berwick was with the Royal Australian Air Force’s Airfield Construction Squadron. Discharged in 1945, he became the leading amateur in the Australian Open in 1949 and went on to become a legendary figure in Australian amateur golf.

Melvyn Wood LVO MBE QPM
1917 – 2006
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rowing
After WWII, Merv Wood won gold in the single sculls at the 1948 Olympic Games. He won subsequent Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals. Before joining the Royal Australian Air Force as a navigator in 1944, he competed at the 1936 Olympic Games.

 

NAVY

Brian Bevan
1924 – 1991
WWII 1939 - 1945
Rugby League
After his first grade debut in 1942, Brian Bevan was sent to Plymouth, England as a stoker on the cruiser Australia with the Royal Australian Navy. He tried out with Warrington Club and later had an 18-year career with that club.

Des Renford MBE
1927 – 1999
WWII 1939 - 1945
Swimming
Des Renford swam the English Channel a record 19 times in the 1970s and ‘80s. Joining the Navy at 16, he served on a mine layer in the Pacific. Consequently, his first channel swim was at the age of 43.

Joseph ' Joey' James Donovan
1949 – 2001
Boxing
One of Australia’s first Indigenous amateur boxing judges and referees, Joseph Donovan was Australian amateur flyweight and bantamweight champion between 1965 and 1973, and competed at two Olympic Games. In the Royal Australian Navy for nine years, Donovan became a Physical Training Instructor.