Football clubs displayed their patriotism by publishing lists of players (past and present) who had enlisted, and by organising carnivals and events to raise funds for the war effort. This film shows a fundraising match between the 1915 VFL premiers Carlton and an Army Camp side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Camp team, wearing the Collingwood strip, was made up of current and former AFL players who had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. The match, won by Carlton, raised 248 pounds for the Wounded Soldiers Fund and attracted 6000 spectators.
”The Tanks that Broke the Ranks”
Written and composed by English music hall writers Harry Castling and Harry Carlton,The Tanks that Broke the Ranks, was a popular music hall song celebrating the first use of tanks on the battlefield. The sheet music was released in December 1916, just three months after the first use of tanks in war by the British, during the Battle of the Somme.
Although both sides regarded the tanks with interest and awe when first deployed, their success was mixed. Of the 49 tanks shipped to the Somme, only nine made it across ‘no man's land’ to the German lines.
The song references many prominent German military leaders of the day, including Kaiser Wilhelm, Alfred von Tirpitz, Paul von Hindenburg and Prince Wilhelm. It was very popular in music halls in 1917. This recording was sung by internationally acclaimed Australian performer and recording artist Peter Dawson under the pseudonym ‘Will Strong,’ which he used for music hall recordings.