Tom Hart was born in Victoria, but grew up on the outskirts of Adelaide. He enlisted for military service in 1916 and suffered a gunshot wound to the right foot at the Battle of Messines in France in June 1917. Tom spent months recuperating and was about to return to the front line when the War ended and he returned Adelaide in early 1919.
Tom’s career with Norwood started in 1920 and he quickly developed into a brilliant half-forward flanker with pace, guile, a high mark and a dangerous eye for the goals. He continued to perform well for Norwood and in 1922 was the league's leading goal-kicker after kicking 50 goals. 1922 was also a premiership year for Norwood and along with the likes of Sibley and Bent, Tom was a key member of the team’s very strong forward line.
The Norwood committee expected Tom to be back for the next season but Carlton had tried for more than twelve months to entice the flashy half-forward to Princes Park, and finally succeeded in May 1923. He returned in 1924 but was not the Tom Hart who had delighted Norwood supporters in previous years. Tom left Norwood in May 1924.
He completed his career with West Adelaide and then went bush as a railway fettler and ganger with the Commonwealth Railways. He was still doing this hard, physical work into his forties until the start of World War II in 1939. Once again Tom enlisted in the AIF but wasn’t allocated to combat duty, due to his age and previous service.
R Crompton April 2013
See also: Tom Hart (Blueseum, Carlton Football Club)