Wartime competition 1942 - 1944
Norwood-North games: 3
Norwood-North goals: 0
Doug Hammerstein's football career was shaped by World War II. He debuted with Norwood-North in the Patriotic Competition in 1942, served with the Royal Australian Air Force, and then celebrated South Australia's first post-war premiership as a member of the West Torrens team in 1945.
Doug was born in Adelaide to Augustus John Hammerstein and his wife Margaret (née McFayden) on 17 January 1917..He had brothers Max and Bill and sisters Pat and Nancy. His early life was not easy. While living at Kensington, Doug, 18, was fined £2 2/-with 5/- costs in August 1936 after he and a companion illegally picked olives for sale to supplement the struggling family's income.
Doug played with North Whyalla in 1940 and with Norwood Bs in 1941. As a member of the League Reserves team which came into the seconds competition in 1942, he moved up to play for Norwood-North in three losing matches, twice as a half-back flanker and once coming off the bench.
He enlisted in the RAAF on 17 March 1943 and was a Leading Aircraftman at discharge on 15 August 1945. Named as his next of kin was his wife Beryl Mary (Foster), whom he had married at St Teresa's Catholic Church, Whyalla, on 27 July 1940.
Cleared to West Torrens in 1945, Doug came on just before half-time in the preliminary final against Norwood and impressed his new club more than his old one with a goal and a vigorous display at the finish which helped clinch a four-point victory. Doug was named as a follower in the second ruck for the grand final against Port Adelaide, which was a hot favourite and led by 32 points at quarter time. Torrens came back strongly, however, and before nearly 50,000 spectators claimed its first flag since 1933 with a 15.25 to 15.12 victory.
Doug enjoyed success again in the Upper Murray grand final in 1949. He was a rover for the underdog, Loxton, which upset the Renmark team of Norwood champion Lionel Blackmore 13.11 to 9.14 before a crowd of 4,000 at Berri.
Doug Hammerstein, 74, died on 10 August 1991 and was buried at Loxton, mourned by his widow and children Anthony, Rodney, Pauline, Kym and Mary - though, according to his 90-year-old brother Max, Doug "had about 14 children". Beryl was 96 when she passed on at Wangaratta on 16 March 2018 - a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.
P Robins, D Cox March 2019
* Picture supplied by SA football historian Trevor Gyss.