There were a large number of talented football players who enlisted with the 2/4th including Lou Daily and Joe Pearce who returned home as well as Con Ryan, McCafferty and White. Many talented players lived in the Goldfields such as Ron Badock, Halligan, etc. as well other towns with a concentrated population like Collie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton where players such as Annersley and Wheelock lived.
We know Wheelock (played Kalgoorlie) and Badock resided and worked at Norseman.
Those team players who did not return include Alf Mussman and Bill Innes who played for East Perth, John William (Jack) Sanderson played for West Perth and Ron Burchell and Hellmrich played for Swan Districts.
Football was unpaid, Most certainly young men and boys could not concentrate entirely on their sporting career. They had to work to support themselves. Most would not have had a car, nor would their parents and certainly not a vehicle with which their son could drive himself to training and footy! These were the years of depression and to have a job often was a blessing.
The following has been taken from East Perth Football Club’s Royal Anzacs Please go to
Alfred Charles Mussman
Games played: 103 (1935-40)
After being a member of the 1936 premiership team under Jerry Dolan, Alf Mussman enlisted in the AIF in 1940 and served overseas with the 2/4th Machinegun Regiment. He was killed in action in Singapore on February 12, 1942, with another East Perth player in William Leonard Innes dying on the same day.
Mussman’s last game was the first semi-final of 1940 when East Fremantle beat East Perth and the Football Budget of the next week had this to say: “Alf Mussman was just about the pick of the losing team. He gave a solid aid to the defence and when not placed in that division, continued his useful play. It was difficult to fault his effort in any way.”
Read also about Mussman, who originally played for Sturt, South Australia and transferred to East Perth. (Can we say Ben Cousins took up a few hints from Mussman?! ) He played in the 1936 premiership team; playing a total of 103 games, kicking a total of 102 goals. He last played for East Perth in 1940 in the first semi-final. They were defeated by East Fremantle.
WX9552 William (Bill) Innes enlisted a few days before Mussman on 4 December 1940. According to information obtained from the East Perth Football Club history.
Innes was not only a talented footballer but had distinguished himself in several sports including cricket and cycling. He played his first league game with East Perth on 25 May 1940 and competed in 12 games until the end of the season and prior to his enlistment. Please read further about Bill Innes.