Arthur ‘Stonewall’ Jackson made his Norwood debut at the age of 16 and played an increasingly important defensive role in three Norwood premierships. He was one of the best players in the first South Australian team to beat Victoria, 6.8 to 4.6 at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground on 10 July 1890. He also represented the North of the colony at cricket and the South of the colony at football.
His older brother Henry was a prominent Norwood premiership player in 1982.
Arthur was born at Kapunda on 6 January 1872, the younger son of Henry Jackson and his wife Agnes, née Fickert. At Prince Alfred College, he won medals for cricket in 1887 and 1888, in the latter year making the highest score, 47, and netting a match bag of 9/84 in a commanding performance against St Peter’s College. As a batsman with the first grade club Hindmarsh in 1889-90 he combined a very good defence with great hitting power. He gained selection in the North of the colony cricket team in January 1889 and played with Adelaide in 1891-92.
Arthur contributed to two intercollegiate football victories, by 6.6 to 3.9 in 1887, with future Norwood star Percy Stuart kicking four goals, and by 8.11 to 2.5 in 1888, when the PAC Chronicle reported that “Jackson showed fine form, his brilliancy at times evoking loud applause.”
Recognising his talent, Norwood blooded the youngster against the Natives at Kensington Oval on 21 July 1888 on the way to a second successive premiership. In 1889 he was entrenched as a very useful member of the team which won South Australia’s first grand final, edging out Port Adelaide 7.4 to 5.9. In 1891 Arthur again tasted premiership success as Norwood took top spot with another hard-won victory over Port, 5.4 to 3.4. He held down centre half-back safely and drew comment in The Advertiser for a “beautiful run” out of defence.
Reflecting on Norwood's slide backwards in 1892, The Adelaide Observer said: "With McGaffin, Clift, White and Richards severing their connection with the club, and Jackson only being able to take part in one or two matches, it might really be said that the greater part of the backbone of the team of the previous year had gone . . . It was always a hard matter for the opposing side to get past Jackson and Richards, who were a couple of defenders as good as we ever possessed.”
Arthur moved to Millicent, the birthplace of his future wife, but reappeared at Adelaide Oval in 1894 as captain of the South of the colony football team which also included sometime Norwood men Bob Wilson, Tom Fallon and Walter Foote. South came from behind to draw with North, three goals apiece. The South Australian Register declared that “although Jackson . . . was a failure in play, he was largely responsible for securing the draw by the clever way he worked the changes in his ruck”.
Arthur moved to Western Australia and was a member of West Perth’s first two premierships teams, in 1897 and 1899. He played 30 games in three seasons and kicked five goals. In April 1899 he played in the initial first-class cricket match between Western Australia and South Australia. Arthur made scores of four and 23 not out for the home team before the visitors eked out a four-wicket victory.
A railway clerk, Arthur married Ada Louisa Wallis in WA in 1897. They lived at Coolgardie, Geraldton and Cottesloe, and raised five children, Ida (Mrs A. A. Watts), Vera (Mrs H. Smiley), Harry, Arthur and Mabel. Arthur was 63 when he died in the Fremantle Hospital on 29 June 1935
P Robins, D Cox, G Adams June 2020