Horace Edward Macfarlane was descended from one of South Australia’s earliest pioneering families. An article in the Advertiser 22 March 1929 to celebrate the 87th birthday of his mother, Mrs Annie Elizabeth Macfarlane, revealed some interesting information. She was born in Hindley Street in 1842. Her father was one of the State’s first bullock drivers, carting to various parts of the State. The article went on to say , “ She has been a most enthusiastic supporter of the Norwood Football Club.”
Horace was born in Redhill and began his working life as a blacksmith. He moved to Adelaide in his teens and began playing for Eastwood where, still a junior, he was spotted by Norwood.
Following good form in the 1901 pre-season trials, Macfarlane was chosen in the league side for round one against Sturt which happened to be Norwood’s first ever game at Norwood Oval. From his debut he made an outstanding impression as this article from Quiz 16 May 1901 shows, “Macfarlane who comes from a junior team with a good reputation provided a pleasing surprise for those who knew him not and his big-hearted, rattling efforts placed him without doubt at the head of his club mates for fast all round play. His pace is very speedy and his dodging excellent, while his judgement is exceptionally clear for one so inexperienced in first class football. On the wing he performed splendid service and soon established himself a favourite with the barrakers.”
His good form continued and culminated in the 1901 Grand Final. Norwood defeated Port in an exciting, low-scoring game and Horace kicked one of only four goals scored by Norwood.
His 1902 season was dramatically interrupted when on 7 February he enlisted in the 4th Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse for service in the Boer War. He was one of two Norwood players to enlist, the other being a former captain, William Gladstone Plunkett. He departed for South Africa on 1 April but the war quickly ended and he arrived back on home soil on July 31st and was in the Norwood side against West Torrens on 16 August .
From then until his last game against North on 1 September , 1905 he was in and out of the league side and his new job as a survey hand affected his availability.
Macfarlane’s thirst for adventure and willingness to serve did not end with his retirement from Norwood. At 32 years of age on the 29th August, 1914 he enlisted in the 10th Battalion AIF. A battalion raised in South Australia which became known as, “The Fighting Tenth.” He embarked from Adelaide on October 20th, 1914. After training in Egypt, Macfarlane on April 25th, 1915 took part in the Gallipoli landings, thereby ensuring a permanent place in Australian history as an original ANZAC.
Wounded at Gallipoli, he recovered and endured and survived the horrors of the Western Front. He returned to Adelaide on December 4th, 1918.
The seemingly indestructible Horace Edward Macfarlane finally succumbed on the 19th January 1958 and is buried in the AIF Section at the West Terrace cemetery, Adelaide
B Ridge Dec 2018
See Also: RSL Virtual War Memorial