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1914 - 1955
The Crest
Matters bigger than football intervened with the outbreak of World War I.

Fourteen Saints were killed in action during the bloody war, which claimed the lives of over 40 million people. A further ten paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II some decades later.

St Kilda added a Union Jack to its guernsey for the last two games of 1914, before trading out its white for yellow in a sign of solidarity for Allied Force, Belgium, who had several current and former St Kilda players fighting in their country.

B Carr St Kilda Football Club 1920
Lest We Forget

Paul Bell (d. Balikpapan, 1945)
Arthur Caldwell (d. Malta, 1918)
Harry Comte (d. Tarakan Island, 1945)
Claude Crowl (d. Gallipoli, 1914)
Adam de Ross (d. France, 1917)
Bill Downie (d. Japan, 1943)
Jim Farnan (d. Pozières, 1916)
Bob Flegg (d. Feuersbrunn, 1944)
Horace Griffin (d. France, 1916)
Lou Holmes (d. Gallipoli, 1915)
Bill Hudson (d. New Guinea, 1945)
Stuart King (d. Coral Sea, 1943)
Otto Lowenstern (d. France, 1917)
Bill Madden (d. Bullecourt, 1917)
Paddy McGuinness (d. Le Treport, 1918)
Wallace Mills (d. Babinda, 1943)
Hector Mitchell (d. Singapore, 1917)
Bert O’Connell (d. Broodseinde Ridge, 1917)
Harold Parker (d. Lille, 1917)
Hugh Plowman (d. Fleurbaix, 1917)
Beres Reilly (d. Crete, 1943)
Albert Roberts (d. New Guinea, 1942)
Ralph Robertson (d. Aboukir, 1917)
John T. Shelton (d. Tobruk, 1941)
John P. Walker (d. Pozières, 1916)

Stuart King St Kilda Football Club (d. Coral Sea, 1943)
Reformed in trademark colours.

St Kilda entered a period of recession during 1916 and 1917, reforming just shy of a year before the close of the war in November 1918.

The club’s traditional colour scheme of red, white and black was reinstated by 1923, complete with the tri-panel motif that would be engrained into the club’s visual identity for the next century.

Unfortunately, the onset of the Roaring Twenties – the post-war period known for its prosperity, wealth and success – began with its 10th wooden spoon in 21 seasons of VFL. The Saints instigated another climb up the ladder in the ensuing years and – save for a last-place finish in 1924 – pieced together consistent and competitive football.

1930's St Kilda Football Club Footage
The next wave
Wels Eicke St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2007
Debuting as a 15-year-old, Wels Eicke was one of the longest-serving Saints of his era. A brave player who was a fine kick and had tremendous spring, the inaugural Best & Fairest is said to have taken one of the greatest marks ever when he soared over a pack of 10 players.
Colin Watson St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2008
A brilliant winger, centreman and half-back flanker from South Warrnambool, Colin Watson was a compact footballer with loads of dash and a penetrating kick. Watson was hailed the best footballer in the land with the 1925 Brownlow Medal, but stunned St Kilda when he accepted a job for the coach of Stawell for the following season.
Bill Mohr St Kilda Football Club Marking the Ball
St Kilda’s most prolific goalkicker until the arrival of Tony Lockett, Bill Mohr still stands as a legend in his own right a century on from his heyday. The powerful and accurate full-forward booted 735 goals in his 195 appearances, becoming the first of just three Saints to kick 100 goals in a season.
Harold Bray St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2007
Although softly spoken, Harold Bray let his football do the talking. A tenacious on-baller, Bray finished on the dais in three Brownlow Medal counts (1947, 1949, 1952) and won two club Best & Fairests (1945, 1947) across his decorated career.
Keith Drinan Hall of Fame Inductee 2007
The dependable half-back flanker who evolved into one of St Kilda’s most efficient full-backs. Keith Drinan captained St Kilda in two separate stints, the first of which had him as the youngest VFL skipper at the time, aged 26.
Jim Ross St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2007
A classy forward/ruck, Jim Ross was a genuine footballer of quality in an era where Saints stars were few. By the end of his career, the Victorian-turned-Tasmanian had three Best & Fairests, leading goalkicker and St Kilda Team of the Century honours to his name.
Bill Cubbins St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2008
Resolute and strong-minded, Bill Cubbins slots into a unique and near-unmatched niche of St Kilda’s history. Across his three stints at the Saints which spanned over three decades, the fine full-back won four Best & Fairests; only surpassed by Nick Riewoldt (six) in later years. Famously, Cubbins booted 22 goals in a reserves game to swiftly be recalled to the senior line-up.
Roy Cazaly St Kilda Football Club
The brilliant high-flyer did much more during his career at St Kilda and South Melbourne than entrench the beloved "Up There, Cazaly" into Australian folklore. Making his debut in 1911 amid a player strike, Cazaly was one of the best players of his time, becoming one of 12 inaugural Australian Football Hall of Fame Legends.
Bruce Phillips St Kilda Football Club Hall of Fame Inductee 2008
Another fine example of a forward-turned-defender, Bruce Phillips' emergence as a star back came in bizarre circumstances. Plonked at full-back after his father complained to the committee about limited forward opportunities, Phillips dominated the new role to become a cornerstone of the Saints' 1950s fabric.
The tide began to turn near the close of the decade.

The brilliance of Colin Watson in 1925 saw the well-travelled Saint earn the league’s most coveted individual honour – the Brownlow Medal – and the reputation as one of the best footballers in the land.

Despite his sudden departure at season’s end, St Kilda continued to press the most dominant teams in the league, which had since expanded to include Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond and Footscray.

The Saints hit their strides by 1929, breaking into the top-four to snap an 11-year finals absence. While glory was elusive, the emergence of a spry youngster from Wagga Wagga began a new era for the red, white and black.

The Mighty Mohr

The invincible performances of Bill Mohr ushered in St Kilda’s most optimistic era since its formation some 50 years prior.

The powerhouse forward led the club’s goalkicking from 1929-1940, slotting an almighty 735 goals across his 195 games in the red, white and black.

Mohr became the first St Kilda player to kick 100 goals in a season – taking out the League Goalkicker Medal in 1936 – and remains just one of three Saints to achieve the remarkable feat.

Bill Mohr St Kilda Football Club - Colourised
Mohr's incredible goalkicking was a sight to behold.

The boy from Wagga Wagga could boot goals from any angle, mastering the art from any distance, position or in-game predicament through any variety of kick.

Like his successor Tony Lockett would in later years, Mohr had the capacity to provide a spark of hope to Saints fans on even the darkest of days. Likewise, he became one of the most outstanding full forwards in an era noted for producing the greatest batch of goalkickers in the game’s history.

Mohr left an indelible mark on the club that wouldn’t be filled until Lockett, but he wasn’t the only legend to find a unique place in club history during the 1930s.

St Kilda Football Club's Bill Mohr Marking the Ball
A legend is born.

While St Kilda’s name and colours had been established at its formation, the famed Crest – arguably its most defining visual feature – didn’t originate for another 60 years.

The legend of the Crest was born one fateful day at Junction Oval, as the Saints held onto victory against the ruthless Shinboners in one of the game’s most epic encounters. The game, likened more to a battle than a game, ended with just 15 men on the field – seven of whom continued to play on injured.

The great Bill Mohr, Clarrie Hindson and Roy Bence were among the felled soldiers, but the steely resolve of the red, white and black persevered.

The noble display was deserving of commemoration.

St Kilda President Fred Arlington-Burke ordered medals adorned with the St Kilda Crest to be struck for every player. Ever since, the iconic emblem has been present on every single St Kilda guernsey.

It has become synonymous with the club motto Fortius Quo Fidelius – Strength Through Loyalty – and remains one of St Kilda’s most enduring symbols. It serves as a sign of bravery in the face of adversity, unwavering resilience and a reminder to never give in, even under the most dire of circumstances.

1933 St Kilda Football Club Crest Medal
Battered, bruised, but not beaten.

Matt Cave (eye gash)
Bill Mohr (broken ribs)
Clarrie Hindson (broken ankle)
Roy Bence (concussion)
Bill Downie* (broken thumb)
Jack George* (ankle)
Doug Bourne* (calf)
Billy Roberts* (concussion)
Jack Holden* (ankle)
Jack Anderson* (leg)
Stewart Anderson* (knocked out)

*continued to play despite injury.

1933 Newspaper Article - Five St Kilda Players Injured
Nothing finer nor more inspiring than St Kilda's magnificent win against overwhelming odds has been witnessed at the seaside oval.
The Argus Newspaper
1922 St Kilda Football Club Crest
The first known insignia of St Kilda Football Club. This emblem originated 50 years after the club’s formation and before the cherished Crest was adopted.
1933 St Kilda Football Club Crest
An undying symbol of resilience. Medals with this Crest were struck in 1933 after an undermanned and injury-hit St Kilda toppled North Melbourne against all odds.
1980 St Kilda Football Club Crest
Going retro. The fan-favourite ‘Stickman’ took precedence throughout the 1980s, however the Crest remained proudly on the club’s guernsey as it had since 1933.
1995 St Kilda Football Club Crest
What we’ve come to know and love. The Crest was made the club’s official logo early into the AFL era, accompanied by the Saints’ motto, Fortius Quo Fidelius.
2023 St Kilda Football Club Crest
It unites us, it defines us. A commemorative Crest in celebration of 150 years of St Kilda Football Club, retaining all which makes the red, white and black truly special. This Crest is inspired by the initial design from 1933.
Times were tough for the Saints.

In-between the brief rises in fortunes there were damaging internal arguments and bickering, committee upheavals and constant changes in coaches. It reflected on-field, with just 34 wins and four draws registered from 1940-1949.

It was during this time however that St Kilda surprisingly added its first major achievement its long-empty silverware cabinet.

Football in war-time.

The VFL Lightning Premiership, or Patriotic Premiership, was organised between Rounds 14-15 of the 1940 VFL Season to raise funds for the wartime effort, which had broken out the year prior.

The one-day knockout competition saw all 12 teams compete in 20-minute matches, with the last team standing awarded a “fine cup” in reverence of their accomplishment.

Bill Mohr recovered sufficiently from injury to take part in the tournament, playing a hand in steering St Kilda to victories over Hawthorn, Carlton and Richmond.

1940 VFL Season Patriotic Cup Newspaper Article
The Changi Brownlow.

Football was surrounded in a state of contention during wartime, but overseas, it became a uniting force for those far away from their homeland.

The Changi Football League, played at Changi Prison in Singapore, brought in excess of 15,000 Australian prisoners of war together during a time of incomprehensible suffering.

The makeshift league purportedly boasted some of the best talent ever seen.

Peter Chitty
Among them was two-game Saint Leslie ‘Peter’ Chitty.

The Corryong farmer was taken prisoner in March 1942 during the Fall of Singapore, but even in the worst conditions imaginable at Changi Prison proved an inspiration among the competition.

Chitty, who represented ‘Geelong’ in the league, was awarded the one and only Changi Brownlow after he led a side of Victorians against the best players across the rest of Australia, being presented the medal by former Brownlow medallist Wilfred ‘Chicken’ Smallhorn in front of his peers and captors.

It remained one of his most prized possessions after his eventual release and return to Australia by October 1945.

Leslie ‘Peter’ Chitty Holding a Medal
What it represented was him telling his captors that the Anzac spirit would never be broken.
Peter Chitty's son, Roger
The world was a fast-changing place at the close of the war, but St Kilda’s success-starved run persisted.

While the start to the 1950 season promised more regular success with the club’s maiden 100-point victory, the following seasons did little to repay the faith.

Wooden spoons in 1952, 1954 and 1955 to usher in the new decade took their toll, despite prolific defenders Jim Ross, Bruce Phillips and Keith Drinan all gracing the club during this time.

The Saints opted for the short-lived ‘Panthers’ moniker in 1945 in an attempt to sound more fierce, but the original Saints nickname was swiftly reinstated.

James Wandin: The Trailblazer

James “Jim” Wandin was St Kilda’s first ever Indigenous player, making 17 senior appearances from 1952-1953. Only nine other Indigenous players had debuted in the VFL before him.

Despite racial vilification on and off the field, Wandin was proud that his struggles were part of reason why conditions improved for Indigenous players in later years.

Wandin was great-great nephew to William Barak, the last traditional ngurungaeta (tribal leader) of the Wurundjeri-Willam clan. He assumed the title following his football career and was involved in Indigenous Affairs with the Victorian Government.

I believe that if I was born anything but Aboriginal, I would not have reached the heights that I did. I had to prove something.
James 'Jim' Wandin
Change eventually came in the form of new coach Alan Killigrew.

Although a diminutive figure, Killigrew was a towering and fearsome presence. His firebrand approach was pivotal in dragging the side he represented for 78 matches out from the depths.

Killigrew’s pointed declaration was the impetus behind St Kilda’s subsequent rise, move to its spiritual home of Moorabbin and most importantly, long-awaited Premiership success.

“Nobody would laugh at St Kilda.”

Brian Gleeson, Neil Roberts & Alan Killigrew