Yarra Hockey Club would like to commemorate all members (including those from Fairfield HC and Ivanhoe HC) who have served and died in military operations.

We would like to share the story of Bert Thompson, a founding member and talented player of the Fairfield Hockey Club, who holds a special place in the Club’s history as it’s first casualty of World War 1.

Bert’s dedication to the Club, as evidenced by his life membership in 1910, extended beyond the playing field and into administration, as the Club’s Secretary. However, in 1915, the Club’s matches were suspended due to WW1 and Bert enlisted in the 1st AIF.

After training, he embarked for Europe aboard HMAT A18 Wiltshire and served with the 23rd Battalion, 10th Reinforcements. During his time in Egypt, Bert attained the rank of Acting Corporal before embarking for France in June 1916.

Bert’s short but impactful service ended tragically when he was killed in action at the Battle of Pozieres on August 23rd, 1916. With no known grave, Bert’s sacrifice is forever remembered at the Villiers-Bretonneux Memorial in Picardi, France.

As a tribute to Bert and other fallen comrades from the club, Fairfield HC donated the ‘Fairfield Shield’ to the VAHA in 1923, awarded to the winner of the ‘A’ Grade Premiership.