An ANZAC Tribute
Members of the Henley & Grange Swimming Club who fought for Australia
In a Club whose history goes back to 1912, it is expected that there will be members in the past who have gone to fight for their country. At this time in 2015 we pay tribute to those past members of the Club who have been mentioned in the Club’s records for their service. As many early records of the Club were lost in severe storms, there will be members who are not mentioned and we would appreciate any additional information.
Against this background then, it is not surprising that on the day of the very first Henley to Grange long swim between the two jetties, Saturday 10 March 1917, there was much ceremony in the unveiling of a Roll of Honour at the sea end of the Henley Jetty by the Minister of Marine and Industry (Hon. R P Blundell). This tablet showed the names of members of the Henley Beach Amateur Swimming Club who had volunteered to the Empire’s call. Unfortunately the ultimate fate of this tablet is unknown. Two of the volunteers, Lloyd Videon and Harold Smith had made the greatest sacrifice, it was reported.
No fewer than 54 of 66 members of the Club had gone to the front. These statistics are from a quote in The Advertiser attributed to Mr R W Webb who was the first President of the Club.
During World War II, by 1940 many Club and Committee members had already enlisted in the war and were now serving in England and in Egypt. The following year was reported as being a quiet year for the Club due to the large number of Members enlisting.
In 1942 it was reported that owing to enlistments and military call-ups of the majority of the more prominent competitive members, the usual swimming carnivals and member consistency races were not held. The Annual Henley to Grange Long Swim was cancelled due to the war crisis. Member K O’Connell was reported as a prisoner of war and three other members B Sutherland, G Knapp and S Livingston were reported as missing in action in Malaya.
By 1943 it was reported that more members had joined the Forces during that year. The three members reported missing in the previous year were now known to be prisoners of war. The Henley to Grange Long Swim was held again in that year and special collections together with donations by Club Members raised a substantial amount and were given to the Lady Mayoress Local Prisoners of War Fund.
It was reported in 1945 that it was a great relief to hear of the release of Kevin O’Connell, a former Club Champion, after three years in a German POW camp and also Bert Sutherland and Stan Livingstone who had been captive for three years in a Japanese POW camp.
A Roll of Honour which listed names of financial Club members at the time of their enlistment in World War II was prepared for hanging in the Clubrooms but again nothing is known of the fate of this Board either.
We honour the memory of these brave young men and all other former members who have taken up the call to defend our country.
Squad swimming is provided by the Henley & Grange Swimming Club for its members using professional coaches.
Swimmers have the opportunity to improve their technique and performance, leading to participation in competitions.
The club attends local, country and interstate swimming meets and members enjoy the social interaction as well as competition.
It is the aim of the Club to enable young people to enjoy swimming not only as a competitive sport but as a lifetime means of keeping fit.