Skip navigation

1926 APS Head of the River

The fifty-ninth Head of the River was conducted again on the Upper Yarra course. Scotch won again but by less than in the previous year in a close race. They were coached for the first time by Charles Littlejohn.

The heats were conducted on 7th May and the final on 8th May.

Xavier missed out on the final by only 2 feet.


Starter: T Davies

Umpire: T Crosthwaite

Judge: H James

Clerk of Scales: R H Hadley


The exciting finish of the Head of the River

1st Scotch, 2nd Geelong Grammar, 3rd Melbourne Grammar

Head of the River

Time: 5.11.0
Margins: One canvas and 2 feet

1st Scotch College - Bow: Evan H Learmonth, 2: William J R Wilson, 3: Harold D Jeffreys, 4: William G Ross, 5: Alfred L Scott, 6: Noel V Nixon, 7: Louis R Scharp, Str: Thomas M Chisholm, Cox: William V M Bailey, Cch: Dr Charles W B Littlejohn
2nd Geelong Grammar - Bow: G S Long Innes, 2: W H Sherlock, 3: J A Caddy, 4: J M Roberts, 5: P Wolfcarius, 6: R G White, 7: W B Griffiths, Str: J S Hope, Cox: G J Jones, Cch: William H Pincott
3rd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: E J Carnegie, 2: L F P Loader, 3: N R Teague, 4: W Y Bryant, 5: J B J Osborne, 6: R F Bunting, 7: G H C Muirhead, Str: L C Parish, Cox: F C Scarlett, Cch: Eric William Tulloch

1926 Melbourne Grammar School First Eight


The following sad story of the coach of the Melbourne Grammar crew coach E W Tulloch appears on the MGS website:

A cry of “I have got you now” were the last words spoken by decorated soldier, businessman and MGS First VIII Rowing Coach Eric William Tulloch (OM 1899). Tulloch had retired to bed early on 7 May 1926 after an impromptu dinner dance at Lauriston Hall boarding house in East Melbourne to celebrate the School’s emphatic win in its heat of the Head of the River on the Yarra. In the early hours of the following morning, Tulloch had disturbed a burglar and had characteristically sought to disarm and capture him. In the struggle that followed, Eric Tulloch was shot through the heart and died at the scene......

Understandably, in the wake of the news of their coach’s murder, the distraught 1926 crew had some decisions to make. In the end the decision was a simple one, as they believed that Eric Tulloch’s wishes would have been for them to compete in the final as planned. A brilliant race ensued with Scotch College being the ultimate winners by a canvas length from Geelong Grammar School, with Melbourne Grammar two feet away in third place.

Other crews competing were:
Xavier College - Bow: J M Flynn, 2: W Dowling, 3: K G Mahon, 4: N G Whitehead, 5: T J Kelly, 6: K J White, 7: W J Fox, Str: Tom A Naughton, Cox: A J Kenny, Cch: Wilfred "Bill" Cahill
Geelong College - Bow: N L Philip, 2: D F Roadknight, 3: L A Simms, 4: H D Cumming, 5: W M Troup, 6: R B McI Reid, 7: J McColough, Str: S V McColough, Cox: J O Tait, Cch: C J Collyer
Wesley College
- Bow: A J Overell, 2: R H Ebbott, 3: J H G Castle, 4: R E Lockwood, 5: C F G Stagg, 6: H H Hadley, 7: W H J Anketell, Str: R J D Turnbull, Cox: E L Chesterfield, Cch: Charles Donald

E1: 1st SC, 2nd WC
E2: 1st MGS, 2nd GC
E3: 1st GGS, 2nd XC

Second Crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Regatta, conducted on 1st May 1926.)

Time: NTT
Margins: 3/4 length, 3/4 length and 3 feet

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Scotch College
3rd Xavier College
4th Wesley College

Second crews racing over half a mile on the Upper Yarra - shortly after the start.

The date of this photo has not been conclusively identified but there is strong evidence that it is 1926. Note the cars following on the north bank of the Yarra on Batman Avenue.


Third Crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Regatta, conducted on 1st May 1926.)

Time: NTT
Margins: 2 feet, 1 1/4 length and 1 length

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Scotch College
3rd Wesley College
4th Xavier College

Fourth crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Regatta, conducted on 1st May 1926.)

Time: NTT
Margin: 1 length

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Scotch College

< previous 1925
> next 1927

top of page