In August, 1915 George Dayman was 20 years of age. This was an age when many football careers commenced but Australia was at war and so he enlisted in the Army on the 9th August, 1915. On the 12th January, 1916 his Battalion, the 27th, embarked from Adelaide for the Western Front.
For the next three years George endured the horrors of war, exemplified by this extract from the Advertiser 11th Oct 1917. “Mr. and Mrs. Dayman of Kensington, have been notified that their son, Corporal W.G. Dayman is suffering from gunshot wounds.”
George returned to Adelaide and civilian life in early 1919, in time for Norwood’s pre-season trials. Dayman came from a footballing family. His cousins were Clem and Les Dayman. Clem played for North Adelaide, the State and later captain-coached Port Adelaide. Les played for Footscray, the State and after a brilliant career with Port was named in their Greatest Ever Team.
George soon established himself in the league side as a solid and reliable backman. 1919 was an unsettled season for Norwood as explained in a review published in the Express and Telegraph 15th April 1920 “The team was so frequently altered last year on account of men coming back from the war that Norwood had little chance of developing system.” George was caught up in this turmoil and whilst mainly playing in defence was at times called upon to play at half forward and on one occasion at centre. At season’s end he received the,” Best Trained Player,” award.
During this time, Dayman played in two notable games not involving Norwood. On July 19th, 1919, a special Peace Match was played at Adelaide Oval. The match was played between George’s old battalion, the 27th and the 10th Battalion. It was a repeat of a game played by them in France. The game was again staged the following year on Anzac Day.
1920 was Dayman’s last season in the league side. Injury and form resulted in him dropping in and out of the side. Unfortunately he missed out on playing in the 1920 finals when he was named as an emergency.
William George Dayman: War Veteran and League Footballer. A great achievement.
He was born on February 20th, 1895 at Salisbury and died on June 3rd, 1980 at North Adelaide
B Ridge June 2018