© 2017

Australian Rules Football During the First World War

  • Offers the first analysis of the effects of the First World War on Australian Rules football

  • Examines the relationship between the Great War, patriotism and this national sport

  • Explores the emergence of competitive women's football and its relationship to patriotism

Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics book series (PASSP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 1-15
  3. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 17-37
  4. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 39-52
  5. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 53-68
  6. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 69-87
  7. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 89-104
  8. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 105-120
  9. Dale Blair, Rob Hess
    Pages 121-125
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 127-143

About this book


The book explores the intersection between the Great War and patriotism through an examination of the effects of both on Australia’s most popular football code. The work is chronological, and therefore provides an easy path by which events may be followed. Ultimately it seeks to shine a light on and provide considerable detail to a much-ignored period in Australian Rules football history, including women’s football history, that was subject to much upheaval and which reflected considerable social and class divisions in society at the time. One hundred years on, the Australian Football League presents past soldier footballers as unequivocal representatives of a unifying national ‘Anzac’ spirit. That is far from the reality of football’s First World War experience.


Great War Anzac Sport history Patriotism Gender

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Dale Blair is Historian at Deakin University, Australia.

Rob Hess is Associate Professor in Sport History at Victoria University, Australia.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Australian Rules Football During the First World War
  • Authors Dale Blair
    Rob Hess
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-57842-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-86264-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-57843-9
  • Series ISSN 2365-998X
  • Series E-ISSN 2365-9998
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 143
  • Number of Illustrations 9 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Australasian History
    Modern History
    History of Military
    Social History
    Political History


“This is an important contribution to World War I sport history and is extensively well researched, using primary and secondary sources. This book is a must-read for individuals with an interest in sport in Australia or across the globe during World War I.” (Micheal D. Warren, Journal of Sport History, Vol. 46, 2019)