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Sargood and Sargar

Mar 28, 2023 | Sport History

by Gary Somerville, Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club

Two of the most prestigious names in team shooting are the “Sargood” and “Sargard” trophies for team shooting. The names for the trophies comes from the name of the original donor, F.T. Sargood, his family having a soft-goods manufacturing business with premises in York Street in the city, Sargood Gardiner Limited. They manufactured clothes and other textile items and were involved in Coltons and Top Dog clothing. This company was formed in 1926 from the much older firms Sargood Bros[1] and W. Gardiner and Sons. At F.T Sargood’s death in 1903 it had close to 5000 employees in Australia and New Zealand. The company was taken over by Australian United Corporation in 1964. Sargood Bros. company also appear to have had a Rifle Club formed during WW1 to aid in promoting enlistment. Their miniature range was on the company’s factory premises and opened[2] in March 1915.

Lieutenant Colonel, Sir Frederick Thomas Sargood (1834 -1903)[3][4]arrived in Melbourne from England in 1850 and joined the Victorian Volunteer Artillery[5] as a private in 1859. He took an interest in Rifle Shooting and was considered one of the best shots in Victoria. The earliest newspaper record we find of Sargood shooting was in November 1860 at the Caledonian Society’s Rifle Match[6]. We find him again in December of the same year winning a 2nd place for the St Kilda Rifle Company. We also find Sargood shooting at Wimbledon in 1862[7] for the St Kilda Rifle Company.

1874 saw Sargood elected as a member of the Victorian Legislative Council. In 1880 Sargood travelled to Britain[8] following the death of his first wife and while there, as a representative of the Colonial Government, he inspected the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield gaining examples of the various stages of the Martini Henry Carbine and Bayonet as well as the Enfield Mk1 Revolver. This was as a result of the colony of Victoria looking to be more self-reliant in regards to arms and ammunition production.

In 1883 he became the first Victorian Defence Minister, reorganising the defences from Volunteer to Militia as well as being involved in the formation of Rifle Clubs and was the main instigator of the Cadet Corps for schoolboys in 1884.

By all accounts Sargood was a man of fine character both in business and as a politician; he was described as “shrewd, energetic and scrupulously honest”.

Sargood built his property Rippon Lea in around 1868. Rippon Lea is now under the control of the National Trust. The property originally included a Rifle Range for Miniature Rifle for his personal use.

With his interests in Rifle Shooting and positions within the Volunteer movement and Victorian Government, Sargood and his family/business interests were able to support the shooting movement by providing a number of trophies. In 1872[9] competition at the VRA included a “Sargood Cup” for the best shot at 1000yds[10]. In 1883 Sargood presented a Challenge Shield[11] for competition between schools in the colony and in 1884[12] Sargood gave the Sargood Club Trophy for competition to encourage the formation of Rifle Clubs in the Colony, the match to be fired using Martini Henry Rifles.

1900 saw The Sargood Interstate Trophy initiated, ‘The Sargood’ Inter-State trophy, open to any team of 10 from the defence forces, naval and military, of any State in the Commonwealth; prizes, £20 first team, and £10 second, and a silver trophy, value 50 guineas, presented by Messrs. Sargood, Butler, Nichol, and Ewen, to be held for one year by the Commandant of the State to which the winning team belongs, and to become the property of any State winning it three times; distances,’ 200yd and 600yd, 10 rounds at each.

Later in 1908[13], the Sargood Bros. are named as supplying a 20 Guinea Silver Cup for the winner of the Victorian Kings and another trophy, the Sargood-Harris Gold Cup[14] was shot for during the NSW Kings of 1919.

Image from the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser 20 October 1909[15]

The “Sargard” is named for the company Sargood Gardner Limited. The Sargard Trophy we shoot for today at the NSWRA Championships appears to be the Sargood Interstate Teams Trophy remounted for continued competition as the Sargard Teams Trophy.

It is uncertain when the Sargard Trophy came into being. The first mention in records are in 1930 however the document seems to indicate previous competition for which no records are found.

The Sargard has been traditionally shot following the 1st Stage of the Queens/Kings, 4 man teams firing 15 shots.

The current Sargood Trophy Image by G. Somerville
Image courtesy of Marrickville Rifle Club collection

The 1954 winning team from Marrickville Rifle Club shows that the Sargood Interstate Shield has had several backing boards over its life. It is likely that the other Sargood Trophies have had similar updates or in some cases possibly gifted back for continued competition.

Image courtesy of Warracknabeel Rifle Club Collection – The Sargood Shield

[1] The original company, Sargood King & Co was established in 1852 by Frederick James Sargood, father of Frederick Thomas Sargood.

[2] The Age 15 March 1915

[3] The website of the Dictionary of Australian Biography by Percival Serle cites – Burkes Colonial Gentry, 1891, The Argus, Melbourne, 3 & 5 January, 1903, The Age, Melbourne, 3 January 1903, The Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903, Victoria, the First Century; P Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.



[6] The Age 30 Nov 1860.

[7] The Argus 12 September 1862

[8] Thomas, B. (2009) Sargood Arms Manufacture Collection in Museums Victoria Collections

[9] The Age 28 November 1872

[10] The Argus 8 May 1876

[11] The Argus 7 April 1883

[12] The Argus 15 May 1884

[13] The Argus 24 Aug 1908

[14] Sunday Times 19 October 1919


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