Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cricket at Pascoe Vale South

In a previous post I noted that there was a great deal of post-war expansion in Coburg and surrounds due to the Soldier Settlement Housing Scheme. Pascoe Vale and Pascoe Vale South were just such areas.

Recently, I discovered a photograph in the Coburg Historical Society collection. It’s of a cricket team formed from returned soldiers living in the soldier settlement area of Pascoe Vale South and dates from the early 1930s. 

Image courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

Only some of the men in the photo have been identified. They are:
Front row: 4th from left, Stan Hopper; 6th from left, George or Jim Marsh; 7th from left, Bob Grantham.
Back row: 2nd from left, Alf Rocard; 3rd from left Jack Paternoster; 4th from left, Jeffcot; 6th from left Andy Anderson; 7th from left, Hyland; 8th from left, Rousseau.

I was curious to see whether these men had connections to the area prior to their period of service. I also wondered  whether they remained in the area.

I could not locate the service record of Andy Anderson, but a search of electoral rolls revealed that he was a printer who lived in Gallipoli Parade from the 1930s through to the 1960s.  An article in the November 1997 issue of ‘Search’, the Coburg Historical Society Newsletter, also revealed that Andy Anderson’s daughter Audrey married Jack, the son of Bob Grantham, another player in the cricket team.

690 Private Robert Edmund Ley Grantham MM served with the 31st Battalion. He enlisted in July 1915 as an 18 year old vigneron of Rutherglen. He applied for a War Service Home Loan in February 1926 from 18 Woolacott Street, Coburg. By 1933 he was living in Gezireh Street, Pascoe Vale but in the mid-1930s he moved his family to Footscray.

14633 Gunner Stanley Alexander Hopper served with the 6th Battery, 23 Howitzer Brigade. He enlisted on 20 May 1916 as an 18 year old tailor’s cutter from South Melbourne. In April 1925 he applied for a War Service Home Grant from the State Savings Bank of Victoria and in the early 1930s he was a wood machinist living at 623 Bell Street, Pascoe Vale. He did not remain there long and by 1936 was living in Henderson Street, West Brunswick where he remained for the next thirty years.

I could find no service record at all for Jeffcot. I searched the war records under Jeffcot, Jeffcott, Jeffcoat, but no result. Maybe somebody reading this might know more. If so, I’d love to hear from you.

I could find no reference to a Jack or John Paternoster in the war service records. The closest I could get was 6872A James Robert Paternoster of the 6th Battalion, who was a 42 year old clerk from Camberwell when he enlisted in November 1917. On his return, he and his wife Edie remained in the Camberwell area and he died in Chelsea in 1954. So far I have found no connection to Pascoe Vale. I wonder, therefore, whether the Jack Paternoster identified in the photo was an ex-serviceman at all. I have located a Henry John Norman Paternoster, living in Danin Street, Pascoe Vale in the 1930s, so maybe this is our man. If you know, please contact me.

4433 Sapper Alphonse Rocard served with the 8th Field Company Engineers. He was born in Dunedin, New Zealand  but enlisted in Melbourne in January 1915 as a 25 year old carpenter. His wife, his next of kin, lived firstly at Albert Park then Richmond. He was living in Clarence Street, East Brunswick when he applied for a War Service Home Grant in March 1925. The electoral rolls show that by 1931 he was a cabinet maker living in Gallipoli Parade in Pascoe Vale. He lived there until his death in 1953 and his widow, Maud, remained at that address until the 1970s.

1680 Private Samuel Joseph Rousseau served with the 1st Anzac Cyclist Battalion. Born in Granya in country Victoria, he enlisted in August 1915 as a 19 year old labourer. In January 1924 he applied for a War Service Home Grant from 66 Wilson Street, Brunswick West. By 1931 he was a carpenter living at 4 Gezireh Street, Coburg with his wife Gladys. They were still there in the mid-1950s.

This has been an interesting piece of research for me. I used the soldier’s war service records, available online through the National Archives of Australia website, and electoral rolls, which I accessed via Ancestry. I was not surprised to find that most of these men had no connection to Coburg or (Pascoe Vale) prior to their war service, but I was very surprised to find that about half of them left quite quickly. Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, by the time they were leaving it was the mid-1930s and these were the worst years of the Depression.


  1. it is informative post for sport's.This post publish new important cricket news.This post article is important and helpful .Thanks a lot for share your great post.

  2. Thanks. I know that in the Coburg Historical Society collection there is a Cricket Scoring Book for the West Coburg Progress Cricket Club that covers the years 1936 to 1938. It lists office bearers, playing members and life members. Includes players, scores and teams played. Teams played included Pascoe Vale, Presbyterians, Coburg Thirds, Bellvue, PAFS, Haig Amateurs, Baseballers. It's a bit later than the WW1 era, but you just never know, there might have been ex-servicemen still playing.