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history of australian rowing at olympic games

Olympic Games—Paris 1924


A small number of images of 1924 Australian team at these Games can be found through this link at the Australian Rowing Images website.

The State Associations each nominated a representative to act as a selector to choose the Australian team. The Australian Olympic Federation (as it then was) agreed to send an eight if the panel recommended a particular crew and if their expenses were guaranteed. 

The panel selected the in-form Murray Bridge Rowing Club crew, from South Australia, on the condition that they met any challenges on the Port Adelaide course.

Bull was similarly nominated. Several crews challenged but the selected eight and sculler survived and went on to represent Australia at the Games.

The Murray Bridge Rowing Club crew won the test race on the Port River at Port Adelaide on 9th March 1924. The crew received financial assistance from throughout South Australia from public subscription in order to be able to represent Australia at the Games. Members of the Club recount stories of the crew members still having to work overseas as musicians to make ends meet.

The Murray Bridge crew won the South Australian eights race by 10 lengths in 1921 and started favourites for the Interstate race. However the Western Australia crew took the honours with SA fourth.

In 1922 the South Australian crew defeated all starters with a three length win. However they only narrowly won in 1923 by half a length, but nonetheless the Murray Bridge crew set their sights on Olympic representation and fund raising commenced.

Arthur Bull was also the in-form sculler in Australia during this period. He hailed from the Leichhardt Rowing Club in Sydney and won the Interstate event in 1922 and 1923 and also the test race in 1924.

Men's Eight

Men's Eight after test race

Standing left to right - Unknown, H E Wynne, J P Marcus, F Willoughby, W Christopher, R H Wallman (Chairman SARA), His Excellency Sir Tom Bridges, E Higgs, H L Binney, C A Jepp, C A M West (Hon Sec SARA), S A Johnson, far right unknown
Crew members are from left to right, A C Tauber, E D Thomas, W E H Jarvis, R A Cummings, F M Cummings, H E Graetz, W M Sladden, A V Scott, W H Pfeiffer, G E Tucker (emergency), Aud Martin

For more information about this Men's Eight crew, see "The Murray Cods," an entertaining speech given by Ted Thomas Jnr on 27 July 2000 upon the opening of Murray Cod Drive in Murray Bridge SA and the naming of the boat the "Murray Cods".

Australian Team

Men's Single Scull – Fourth

Arthur G Bull (NSW)

Men's Eight - Eliminated in repechage

Bow: H Ephraim Graetz (SA)
2: Edward D Thomas (SA)
3: Walter  E H Jarvis (SA)
4: Arthur V Scott (SA)
5: Alf C Tauber (SA)
6: Walter H Pfieffer (SA)
7: Frank M Cummings (SA)
Str: William M Sladden (SA)
Cox: Robert A Cummings (SA)
Coach: H Edward Higgs (SA)
Reserves: G E Tucker (SA) & S Wendt (SA)
Manager: Cecil A M West (SA)

Selectors: One representative from each State Association

Arthur G Bull

Arthur G Bull


Men's Eight

This was the first Games where repechages were held. The eight was beaten by Italy in the heat. In the repechage they came third behind silver medallist Canada in first place and Argentina in second. The winning American crew included the later famous author and Presidential candidate Dr Benjamin Spock.

E1: 1st GBR, 2nd FRA, 3rd BEL, 4th ARG
E2: 1st USA, 2nd CAN, 3rd NED
E3: 1st ITA, 2nd AUS, 3rd, ESP
R: 1st CAN, 2nd ARG, 3rd AUS, 4th BEL
Final: 1st USA (Yale BC – Leonard Carpentier, Howard Kingsbury, Daniel Lindley, John Miller, James Rockefeller, Frederick Sheffield, Benjamin Spock, Alfred Wilson, Lawrence Stoddard (cox)) 6:33.4, 2nd Canada 6:49.0, 3rd Italy, 4th GBR. (10 crews)

Men's Single Scull

Arthur Bull won through to the final but was off colour on the day and in the end did not finish the race. He was therefore unplaced. However this was reportedly after he was in the lead with 200 metres to go and after a bitter struggle with Jack Beresford. Beresford won the sculls after losing the heat to the silver medallist Garrett-Gilmore. The American sculler was over 5 seconds behind Beresford and the Swiss sculler well off the pace.

E1: 1st AUS, 2nd FRA, 3rd POL
E2: 1st SUI, 2nd NED, 3rd CAN
E3: 1st USA, 2nd GBR.
R: 1st GBR, 2nd NED – FRA (did not finish)
Final: 1st Jack Beresford (UK) 7:49.2, 2nd William Garrett-Gilmore (USA) 7:54.0, 3rd Josef Schneider (SUI) 8:01.0, 4th Arthur Bull (AUS) did not finish. (8 scullers)

Men's Double Scull

E1: 1st USA, 2nd FRA, 3rd HUN
E2: 1st SUI, 2nd ITA
Final: 1st USA (John Kelly & Paul Costello) 6:34.0, 2nd FRA 6:38.0, 3rd SUI, 4th BRA. (5crews)

Men's Coxless Pair

E1: 1st FRA, 2nd GBR, USA scratched
E2: 1st NED
Final: 1st NED (Antonie Beynen, Wilhelm Rosingh) 8:19.4, 2nd FRA 8:21.6. UK did not start due to illness. (3 crews)

Men's Coxed Pair

E1: 1st FRA, 2nd USA, 3rd BEL
E2: 1st SUI, 2nd ITA
Final: 1st SUI (Edward Cardeveau, Alfred Felber, Emil la Chapelle (cox)) 8:39.0, 2nd ITA 8:39.1 (margin 2 feet), 3rd USA. 4th FRA (5 crews)

Men's Coxless Four

E1: 1st GBR, 2nd FRA
E2: 1st CAN, 2nd SUI
Final: 1st GBR (Trinity BC Cambridge, Charles Eley, James McNabb, Robert Morrison, Robert Sanders) 7:08.6, 2nd CAN &:18.0, 3rd SUI, 4th FRA. (4 crews)

Men's Coxed Four

E1: 1st FRA, 2nd BEL, 3rd ESP
E2: 1st FRA, 2nd GBR, 3rd POL
E3: 1st ITA, 2nd HUN
E4; 1st NED, 2nd SUI
R: 1st SUI, 2nd GBR. 3rd HUN, 4th BEL
Final: 1st SUI (Hans Walter, Alfred Probst, Emile Albrecht, Eugen Sigg-Bachthold, Walter Loosli (cox)) 7:18.4, 2nd FRA 7:21.6, 3rd USA 7:23.0, 4th ITA, 5th NED. (10 crews)

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