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The 1907 International Match – Brisbane

Jan 17, 2024 | Sport History

by Gary Somerville, Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club

The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum[1] is located on Wharf Street, Maryborough and contains a large collection of militaria including a badge from an International Rifle Teams Match won by Nikolai Theodor Svensen in 1907.

The British and Australian Rifle Teams arrived in Brisbane[2] on the 4th October 1907 after competing at Bisley and shooting the Palma Match (won by the USA) in Ottawa, Canada en-route to Australia. The Australian Team returning included Lt Walter Colman Addison of South Australia who had won that year’s Bisley King’s Prize.

The International Match was open to teams of 10 men representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Competing in 7 shot matches over 300, 500 and 600 yards the competition was fired on the 15th October 1907 at the Toowong Rifle Range (now in suburban Brisbane). The match was won by the Scottish Team[3] followed by England then Australia.

We find Theo Svensen, a Norwegian/ Australian shooting as a member of the Scottish Rifle Team. The badge is labelled that the team was the “Queensland Scottish Rifle Team”.

Image Left: Nikoli Theodor Svensen from the Australian War Memorial Collection

Following the Brisbane Kings, the English Team headed south to compete in the NSW Kings and the Empire Match to be held that year between Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand with Australia running out the winners.

Theo was a member of the Logan and Albert Rifle Club in Queensland. Theo Svenson, back row, second from the right

Nikolai Theodor Svensen 1879- 1966

Theo Svenson was born in Larvik, Norway, 1879 coming to Australia as a child and settled in Brisbane, Queensland with his parents.

Theo enlisted in the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry as a Private to serve in the Boer War departing Australia in November 1899. He had spent time with the Queensland Rifles Regiment. In South Africa, he served in Driefontein, Orange Free State and at the Relief of Kimberly.

After the Boer War Theo continued in the militia rising in rank to be Lieutenant in 1907 and Captain in 1910.

In 1914[i] [ii]he enlisted in A Company, 15th Battalion AIF being commissioned Lieutenant and after being wounded on Gallipoli in May of 1915 and then soon after suffering from enteric fever he was repatriated to Australia in 1916.

Theo continued to serve in the military until retiring in 1924 with the honorary rank of Major.

In his shooting career prior to the War, we find Theo competing in various Kings with the Cadets (1907) and as a member of the Logan and Albert Rifle Club.

In civilian life Theo trained to be a survey draughtsman working at the Brisbane Survey Office.

Further reading: Theo’s hobbies included war games with toy soldiers as reported below:






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