Historical information

This photo is one of the oldest known photographic records of an Australian Rules football team in the Bacchus Marsh area. Australian Rules football was played in this area as early as the 1870s. An organized competition to play regular matches was formed in the early years of the twentieth century. This photo records the premiership winning team of 1912 in the match played against Melton. The match was reported in the Bacchus Marsh Express of 31 August 1912.
The names of the players are not recorded on this photo, but the Express records the names of Marsh, Fairbank, Northcott, Palmer, Roy Simpson, Morris, Tom Grant, Jack Taylor, Bert Jones, Portingale (c.), Densley Bros., Wittick, Harry Grant, Leonard, Odgers, Bodycote.


This item has historic and social significance as an image of one of the early sporting teams of Bacchus Marsh and district. It is a typical example of team photographs of this era. It is evidence of the transition of football from a social informal setting to an organised activity and signals the growth of importance of sport, in this case Australian Rules football, as a cultural and social activity central to the Australian ethos.

Physical description

A sepia photograph print mounted on mounting board, showing a group of 27 men arranged in three rows in front of a banner reading PREMIERS 1912 BMFC. Eighteen men are in football guernseys, nine in civilian clothes, three of whom are carrying towels over their shoulders. One player, very likely the captain, is holding a football. The photo is taken in an outdoor setting.

Inscriptions & markings

On the reverse in pencil: 'Middle row - 5th from left JOHN WITTICK.'