• George Dinnie

Army / Flying Corps
  • 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 3rd Brigade
  • Private

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  • Birth

    Ayr, South Ayreshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Midland, Western Australia, Australia

Stories and comments
    • George Dinnie - 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
    • Posted by blacksmith, Tuesday, 2 June 2015

    Profile Images. *An article in the Bunbury Herald of 18 August 1914 titled “To Arms - The South West and Bunbury Response” relates to the event recorded in the wonderful group photograph above. A group of men of the first 60 Bunbury volunteers selected for The Expeditionary Force. *George Dinnie - In His Heyday. The Daily News Wednesday 2 October 1929. George Dinnie had an impressive and accomplished career in wrestling and weight lifting, Highland Games, British Association football, circus performance, and as an owner of champion sheep dogs. It is highly unlikely that George Dinnie left the state with the 11th Battalion for the Gallipoli Landing as was stated in the newspaper article titled “George Dinnie - In His Heyday”. His army record ceases on his appointment to "E" Company at Blackboy Hill in October 1914, and the Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper of May 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of 1915 records that George Dinnie was appearing in Hyland’s Circus at Boulder – “First Appearance of GEORGE DINNIE, Champion Strong Man in his MARVELLOUS FEATS OF STRENGTH.” (Refer to the link to Trove List: George Dinnie - W. A. State Champion Wrestler) *George Dinnie – Up on his farm. The Daily News Thursday 10 October 1929. A recent discovery at the National Archives of Australia has uncovered an application for employment submitted by George Dinnie to the State War Council His claim nominates two years service in the Navy prior to being discharged at Bunbury as a result of a bad leg. Follow the links to Australian War Memorial, Department Of Veterans' Affairs, State Library of W.A., University of N.S.W., Anzacsightsound, and NLA `Trove` websites to view the images and other articles as they appeared in the newspapers of the day.

    • George Dinnie - 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
    • Posted by blacksmith, Tuesday, 2 June 2015

    George Dinnie In His Heyday. Varied Career of Former Great Wrestler. Broad Road Challenge To Perth Grapplers. George Dinnie, heavyweight Scot, who wrestled such men as Buttan Singh, Peter Bannon and Jack Carkeek two decades ago, is in Perth and issues a challenge to any wrestler here. He is not satisfied that 'Americanised' wrestling is more effective than the old style which was once so popular here. "Maybe I'm not what I was, but I'd like to wrestle any of them. If any one of them accepts my challenge I'll start training right now." With that George Dinnie banged his fist on the table to emphasise his earnestness. “Them" referred to any wrestler, local or imported, now in Perth. The old-timer did not issue that "defy" in an attempt to disparage the ability of the present crop of mat men, he said, but to show that his retirement from the ring has not adversely affected his once splendid physique. "Stan Zbysko is a top-liner, and he is 60; Eklund must be getting on to 50, and he hold's a world's championship; and Santel is no chicken," thumped Dinnie, "and I'm feeling as well now as ever I did. This is something for the promoters to think about; I fancy I'd be as good a draw now as I was." Dinnie, a big active Scotchman, whose "tin" ear and facial scars indicate that he has not always bred sheep for a living, is now caring for the lambs in the Latham district, and is down for the Royal Show with a prize dog. He found time to let up from meeting old acquaintances long enough to call at this office, lodge his unusual challenge, and to talk of wrestling past and present. Although he has seen few matches recently, the former champion follows up the mat same in the newspapers. He is robust, appears strong and healthy as the result of his outdoor life, and is anxious to put the alleged superiority of modern mat methods to the test. Partner Of Worlds Champion. Dinnie was famed as a wrestler long before he came to Australia 25 years ago. Born in Ayrshire (Scotland) on July 18, 1875, he soon made his mark at catch-as-catch-can and Cumberland styles of wrestling, which held sway until Americans introduced such variations as Boston crabs, splits, toeholds, etc. He toured the music halls of England and Scotland as wrestling partner to the champion of the world, Jack Carkeek, and also won renown as a strong man and weight-lifter. With a sound knowledge of the finer points of wrestling, Dinnie made an impressive figure on the mat. Old-timers have told me that he was probably the strongest grappler of his day - and these measurements certainly suggest that he possessed plenty of muscle and brawn in his heyday: -. Weight, 14.7; chest (normal), 47 1/2 in.; biceps, 18in.; forearms. 15 1/2 in.; neck, i8in.; thigh, 241n.; calf, I8 18 1/2 in. I do not know how they compare with his measurements today, but he fills but his clothes above the ordinary. In 1904 he and Carkeek came to Australia under contract to the late Mr. Harry Rickard, opening at the Sydney Tivoli on May 7 of that year, Carkeek was offering £10 to any man whom he could not throw in 15 minutes, and when there were no opponents, the champion would go through his paces with Dinnie. Then would come the latter’s ever-popular strong-man act in which he lifted weights from all positions and startled onlookers by pitting his weight and strength against that of eight men in tug-of-war. He would don a chest belt, and, pulling like a horse harnessed to a load, would drag the team across the stage. Arrival In Perth. From the Tivoll the duo went to Melbourne Opera House and then to Theatre Royal, Perth. At that stage Dinnie had a difference of opinion with Carkeek and the combination broke up. An interview with Fire Chief J. M. Lapsley resulted in his joining up with Perth Fire Brigade, and it was there that he linked up with Billy Innis, who is now behind the registrations counter of Police Traffic Branch. Innis became gymnasium instructor for the firemen and had a lot to do with bringingDinnie into the wrestling limelight of this State. For two years and five months George fought fires and wrestled often enough to prove himself the best in W.A. Leaving the brigade about 1906 he joined the Police Force, but did not forsake the mat name. With Innis, who was still the fire brigade gymnastic instructor, and Paul Schonk, Constable Dinnie went to Kalgoorlie for an Easter tournament. Those were the days when the goldfields were booming. For some reason the tournament did not take place, but he proved his claim to the wrestling title, by defeating a German named Herman for a purse of 50 sovereigns, prior to the Hock Keys-Bob Greenshields boxing match. Dinnie threw the big German in two straight falls. Prior to the contest the winner was challenged by Massa Singh, but the Indian did not take on the match, and the two returned to Perth. Throws Woods From Ring. He then figured in a sensational affair with an Englishman, Bert Woods, as his opponent. Notwithstanding that Woods was good enough to act as wrestling partner to the great Hackenschmidt, he finished a bad second in that match, being tipped into the orchestra pit. The contest was held in His Majesty's Theatre for £100 a side, and, of course, when Woods could not continue after a spell, Dinnie was declared winner. They met again at the old skating rink in Hay-street, and the Scot won again; but because he had taken "French leave!" from duty to fulfil the engagement that night, he was suspended from the police force pending an inquiry. The circumstances of his alleged breach were never investigated, however, for he handed in his coat and returned to the music halls. He found his way to Melbourne, and at the old Athletic Club in Russell-street wrestled a draw with the great Indian middleweight, Buttan Singh, the story of whose colorful earner was told in "The Daily News" some weeks ago. For two hours they tussled without a fall and the decision was given a draw. Singh held the Australian title, and a return match was arranged at the Alfred Hall Ballarat, the championship and the Don belt being at stake. Dinnie had a big pull in weights and won by two falls to one in about two hours Wild Match With Kannon Shortly afterwards (1908) he returned to Perth and was challenged by Peter Bannon, the big Lancashire wrestler. They met at His Majesty's Theatre on September 21, 1908, and now, after 21 years, the controversy over the affair is not really ended. The referee's decision went to Bannon. A newspaper report of the match stated: "What was originally intended to be a contest for the championship of Australia culminated in a display of fisticuffs, and the unrehearsed denouement of the principals is not calculated to popularise the pastime." Despite a solid advantage in weight. Dinnie did not come into action until well through the contest when he grasped his opponent around the neck while they struggled dangerously close to the orchestra pit. The crowd went wild, it had not forgotten Woods' swallow dive into the pit, propelled by Dinnie, and it sensed a repetition of the doubtful move. Hundreds bellowed 'Foul' and advised the referee one way and another in emphatic terms. Suddenly Bannon appeared to become infuriated and punched his assailant a half-dozen times in the face, inflicting a gash over George's eye which afterwards received three stitches at the Perth Hospital. That was not stage play. Opinions differ about what happened then, but it ended with the referee diving between them and disqualifying Dinnie. A return match was mooted but never eventuated. The Don belt had been exhibited in Sandover's window in Hay-street before the contest, and Bannon claimed it. Dinnie contended that the belt had not been at stake and that he had won it outright from Buttan Singh; and Buttan joined in to make it a triangular argument. The affair went to Court, but was never thrashed out - and all the while the belt, then valued at £100, reposed in a newspaper office safe. It is still there, a momento of an exciting night. “It is of no use to them now," mused Dinnie, after telling the story, 'I will see if I can redeem it". Landed At Gallipoli. George then went back to the music halls until war broke out in 1914 when he enlisted at Bunbury. He went away with the 11th Battalion and was at the historic landing at Gallipoli on April 24, 1915. A shrapnel-torn arm brought about his return to Australia. He then made for the North-West, and later went in for sheep-rearing on his own. Except for a win by two falls to one over Jumbo Johnson at Collie in 1910, Dinnie has done little mat work since the war, though he says that he has kept in shape and now feels that he would enjoy a contest. Old-timers know I always liked the rough stuff," he laughed, "and these boys nowadays seem to make it a bit that way." The Daily News Wednesday 2 October 1929.H

    • George Dinnie - 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
    • Posted by blacksmith, Tuesday, 2 June 2015

    Peeps At People. Followers of wrestling in this State will be interested to know the whereabouts of George Dinnie, the one-time champion of the State, and who even at the present time could tip any man up and hold him down on the mat for the required number of seconds. Scottish bred and born, and a real muscular son of the land of brawn, bagpipes and bannocks. G. D. came out as a young man, and while in this city as a fireman at the Central station, under the late Superintendent Lapsley, was the top weight lifter and general gymnast as well as the boss wrestler. He is located on a pastoral proposition between Buntine and Wubin - on the Goomalling-Wongan Hills-Mullewa line, and won all the prizes possible with his Kelpies. Sheep is one of George's pet studies, and he is now breeding the woollies for profit. Sunday Times Sunday 18 October 1931.