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Daniel Brendon Caroll


 

He was born 17th November in Flemington, a suburb of Melbourne , Victoria . There is still a dispute over the year he was born. The Olympic database says that Carroll was born in 1892, and at 16 years and 286 days was therefore the youngest man to be capped for Australia and the youngest ever to win an international cap. A birth certificate held in the Australian Rugby Union archives gives Carroll's year of birth as 1887.

 

His family moved to Sydney when he was young. He played for St. Aloysius College in Sydney in 1903-05 and with the St. George club from 1906 to 1908. Recognising Carroll’s talent, the experienced St. George and Australian forward Harold Judd took the youngster under his wing. In 1908 Carroll made the State side against Queensland and the touring Anglo-Welsh team.

 

He was part of the Australian side to tour Great Britain in 1908-09 during which they won a gold medal at the Olympics for Australia when they beat Cornwall (who were representing England ) in the rugby final at White City stadium in Shepherd’s Bush They won 32-3 with Carroll scoring two tries. This was Australia ’s only gold medal during these Olympics. Carroll at

 

Above Danny Carroll in the 1908.

 

 

Above the 1908 Australian Olympic side

 

Above close-up of Danny Carroll in the 1908 Australian Olympic winning side

 

Above the only known surviving rugby gold medal from the 1908 Olympics

 

Above the Australian side than played the USA on 16th November1912. Carroll no.20. 1 Wogan, 2 Adamson, 3 George, 4 Fraser, 5 Jones, 6 Meibusch, 7 Flynn, 8 R.Hill, 9 Fahey, 10 Wylie, 11 Pugh, 12 Kent, 13 Murphy, 14 Dwyer, 15 Messenger, 16 Griffin, 17 Ward Prentice (Captain), 18 Dr Bohrsman (Manager), 19 Richards (Vice-Captain), 20 D.Carroll, 21 W.W.Hill, 22 Walker, 23 Cunningham, 24 Watson, 25 Tasker, 26 Dunbar, 27 Clarken.

 

It was during this tour of North America with the Wallabies that Carroll decided to stay in California where he studied geology at Stanford but these were interrupted by the war. He played in two test matches for Australia v Wales at Cardiff on 12th December 1908, when they lost 9-6, and the 1912 match against the USA . He did play in several other matches for Australia against club sides and in the Olympics.

 

Above the 1914 Leland Stanford Junior University . 1. Watkins, 2. Blase, 3. Maloney, 4. Gard, 5. Clover, 6. Wilcox, 7. Urban, 8. Wines, 9. Austin , 10. Carroll, 11. Brown, 12. Lachmund, 13. Davidson, 14. Darsie, 15. Peck, 16. Andrews, 17. Erb, 18. Hall, 19. Reeves, 20. Tilton.

Above the USA side that played New Zealand in 1913. Back Row (L-R): Daniel Brendon Carroll (Stanford University), Clark Lewis Boulware (not used) (Stanford University), Haley (not used) (Stanford University), William Pettigrew Darsie (Stanford University), Herbert Rowell Stolz (replacement) (Stanford University), Brant (?) or Flemming (not used) (?), Joseph C. Urban (Stanford University), A.Knowles (replacement) (?), Charles A. Austin (Olympic), G.Voight (Santa Clara University), Frank Jacob Gard (Captain) (Stanford University), Roland Roy Blase (Stanford University), William Norris King (University of California). Front Row: Forbes (not used) (?), Stirling Benjamin Peart ( University of California ), Joseph Louis McKim ( University of California ), G.Glasscock (Olympic), E.B.Hall ( Stanford University ), Benjamin Edward Erb (not used) ( Stanford University ), Louis Cass ( Stanford University ), Mowatt Merrill Mitchell (Los Angeles Athletic Club), Quill (not used) ( Santa Clara ), J.A.Ramage ( Santa Clara University ).

Above Carroll at Stanford in 1917

 

Above the Stanford 1917 rugby team Back Row (L-R): Wallace, J.L.Reynolds, Boyle, Kyle, Ring. Middle Row: Warren, Henderson, Adams, McClung. Front Row: L.R.Reynolds, Worthy, Carroll, Erb, Ford.

During World War 1 he served in the American Army. He won the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 364th Infantry Regiment, 91st Division, A.E.F., near Bois-de-Cheppy , France , 28 September 1918. Although wounded in the arm in the attack of 26th September Lieutenant Carroll gallantly led his platoon forward, under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire, through the Bois-de-Cheppy. Later, while leading his platoon in an attack near Neuve Grange Farm, he continued on until severely wounded a second time. He also won the Purple Heart.

Later he played rugby for the Australian Army in the King’s Cup tournament (a mini-Rugby World Cup) in 1919

He resumed his studies at Stanford and graduated in 1920, aged 32.  He still played and coached rugby and because of his outstanding rugby background, he was selected as player and coach of the US rugby Olympic squad for the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp where he earned a second gold medal for the USA .

 

Above the 1920 US Olympic Team (L-R) Back Row: Wallace, Patrick, O’Neil, Fish, J Muldoon, Fitzpatrick, Slater, Righter.  Middle Row: Meehan, Hazeltine, Maloney (trainer), Tilden (c), Carroll (pl/coach), W Muldoon, von Schmidt, Scholz. Front Row: Wrenn, Doe, Hunter, Davis, Winston. Missing: Templeton, Kirksey

 

He won 3 caps for the USA from 1913 to 1920

He played in three tests for the USA v New Zealand in 1913, v France XV in the Olympic final and v France at Colombes on 10th October 1920 when they lost 14-5.

 

Above the USA side that played a French XV on 10th October 1920. The correct players are Back Row (L-R): Templeton, Muldoon, Wrenn, Winston, Kirksey, Scholz, Davis, Carroll, Righter, Fish, Patrick, Tilden (captain), Hazeltine, C.Slater, Fitzpatrick, Wallace. Front Row: Doe, Hunter, Von Schmidt, Mehan, O’Neil. (players names in bold played in match. Vidal not in photo)

 

After Stanford, Carroll furthered his education at Oxford and the Royal School of Mines in England .

Carroll married Helen Warden from Great Falls , Montana in 1927, and had one son Daniel. His wife died in 1941 and he remarried.

After his playing days were over he promoted rugby throughout the San Francisco area and became a successful oil company executive with Standard Oil.

For the last 35 years of his life Danny worked for the California Co. in Great Falls , Montana , Denver , Colorado and New Orleans . At the time of his death he was a tax and insurance commissioner for the company and lived in Kenner , New Orleans .

Danny died on 5th August 1956 in New Orleans . After his death he ensured his rugby mementos were sent back to relatives in Australia . One of his gold medals is currently kept in a Sydney Bank Vault.

His Funeral Service took place in Kenner , New Orleans on 6th August 1956.

 

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© Patrick Casey, 2011
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