Historical information

This is the earliest known photo of an Australian Rules football team in the Bacchus Marsh area. The photo is of 27 men and two boys standing in front of the Evans Pavilion at Maddingley Park Bacchus Marsh. The image shows players, officials and trainers, the players wearing early twentieth century playing guernseys featuring front fastenings. Some are wearing knickerbockers, some long trousers. Trainers have their towels slung over their shoulders. Men in civilian clothes, possibly club officials, are wearing suits and hats. The boys and two of the players are wearing caps, one player wearing a hat. The central figure, possibly the captain, is holding a football which has the initials B M I F C. These initials stand for "Bacchus Marsh Imperial Football Club". At this time, many football clubs used the word "imperial" in their title. This team may possibly have had the nick-name of "Imperials".


This item has historic and social significance as the earliest image of one of the early sporting teams of Bacchus Marsh and district. It is evidence of the growth of importance of sport, in this case Australian Rules football, as a cultural and social activity central to the Australian ethos. It is also evidence of the dominance of the masculine ethos in the Australian culture of this time. The image has strong research value for the information it conveys about this particular club and its early participants.

Physical description

Photographic reproduction of earlier photograph

Inscriptions & markings

Hand written below photograph "Bacchus Marsh Football Club 1901." The names Fred Pearce and Jack Bence with arrows indicating the players identified.