The 1916 First VIII

Pictured above
Back row (from left): L.F. Armstrong, J.A. Campbell, H. Ross-Soden, J.L. Baillieu and C.H.Z. Woinarski.

Front row: L. Latham, F.R. Gale, T.A. Harris , H.A. White and T.L. Baillieu.

The photograph of the 1916 Melbourne Grammar First VIII that hangs in our Boatsheds highlights a special moment of the School’s history.

This photograph shows the crew of nine and their coach, Harry Ross-Soden (OM 1906). While they achieved a great deal as a group – they won the 1916 Head of the River; three crew members were Captain of Boats over time; and Harry Ross-Soden competed as a rower in the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games – perhaps the most significant story behind the photograph is that of the people in it who served in WWI and/or WWII, all returned home to Australia from the war safely.

Like so many others in our Archive, this photograph also points to a story of camaraderie and connection. When the crew won Head of the River in 1916, the news reached all the way to the Western Front. Harry Baillieu, the brother of crew members James and Tom Baillieu, was serving when he learned of the win. Harry was given permission to fire a shot to mark the occasion. Perhaps a small celebration, but one that would have nonetheless lifted soldiers’ spirits.

Excerpt from a letter from Harry Baillieu (OM 1909) (in France) to his brothers, James and Tom:

A letter from Clive* yesterday told me that Grammar had won the Boat Race. Now, I proposed to tell you how I celebrated the occasion. The facts were I could not get a bottle, and I could not arrange a spread here, but this fine achievement had to be given its proper recognition, even under existing irrelevant conditions at the front. I rang up the Major of the Battery and explained everything, and told him I wanted to celebrate the Grammar victory by having a special shot...Major agreed…

* Clive refers to Clive Baillieu (OM 1908), brother of Harry, James and Tom.

1916 crew list


Lionel Foster Armstrong (OM 1916)

WWI returned soldier


Casmir Henry Zichy Woinaski (OM 1916)

WWI & WWII returned soldier


John Alan Campbell (OM 1918)

WWI returned soldier

Captain of Boats 1918

Leander Crew Olympic Games

Jesus College Crew 1919-21


James Latham Baillieu (OM 1917)


Lambert Latham (OM 1916)

WWI returned soldier


Tom Latham Baillieu (OM 1916)

WWI returned soldier


Fredrick Richardson Bunbury Gale (OM 1916)

WWI returned soldier

Captain of Boats 1916


Harold Arthur White (OM 1917)

WWII returned soldier

Captain of Boats 1917


Thomas Alexander Britten Harris (OM 1916)

WWII returned soldier

Melb. Uni Cox 1919-23


Harry Ross-Soden (OM 1906)

WWI returned soldier

Australian Olympian


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