Super Rugby


QRU Match No. 199 - Queensland Raise War Funds

Queenslanders are Remembering

QRU Match No. 199 - August 23, 1941

Queensland’s hopes for the 1939 national tour and the 1940 domestic season were dashed when our Red Wallabies landed in Plymouth, England on the day WWII was declared.

Queensland and Wallaby captain, Queensland Representative Number 474, Vayro Wilson, a mathematics master by profession, was mistakenly introduced to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as a ‘Choirmaster’ much to the enjoyment of his teammates.

The Wallabies assisted in barricading and sandbagging their hotel before re-embarking on a three-month journey home.

Brian Oxenham and Keith Windon shaking hands at Twickenham Stadium duing the ill-fated 1939 Wallabies Tour

Two years after the last Queensland capped Match, Queensland Rugby hosted a fundraising event to support the ongoing war effort. The Queensland side, without many first-class players, faced the hugely successful Services team at the Exhibition Ground wearing the banded jersey of Brothers Rugby Club. QRU Match No. 199, which resulted in a 31-14 Reds victory, raised spirts and funds for what would be another four-years of international conflict.

Many Club players served in the War, as well as at least twelve State Representatives. Queensland Representative Number 510 and Wallaby 317, Winston Ide, the first Australian Rugby player of Japanese descent, signed up briefly after returning from the ill-fated 1939 European Tour.

Queensland Representative Number 510 and Wallaby 317, Winston Ide

Bombardier Ide was captured in the fall of Singapore, 1942 and spent years at as a prisoner of war building the Burma-Thailand railway. He suffered with the members of his 2/10th Field Regiment until 1944 when, en-route to Japan on the “Hell Ship”, Rakuyo Maru, they were struck by a torpedo from the American submarine U.S.S. Sealion. The Maru took 12 hours to sink, and Winston was last seen assisting fellow POW’s into rafts before becoming one of 1559 Australian and British troops who were killed in the event.

Queensland team that faced Combined Services - August 23, 1941

Jersey No. QRU No. Name
1 529 William 'Bill' Gardiner
2 383 Eddie Bonis
3 532 Frank Keefe
4 526 Jimmy Arundel
5 528 Kevin Desmond
6 531 Eric Johnson
7 535 William 'Bill' Morrison
8 522 Alan Livermore
9 527 Thomas 'Kevin' Bourke
10 530 Harry Jefferies
11 534 John 'Jack' McLean
12 533 Jack Keim
13 489 Cyril Andrews
14 536 Jimmy Sheehan
15 503 Len Walker


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