Billy Orchard

William Henry Orchard MC (9 August 1888 – 22 July 1965) was an Australian rules football player for the Geelong Football Club between 1906 and 1915. He served in the First AIF. He was awarded a Military Cross.

Billy Orchard
Personal information
Full name William Henry Orchard
Date of birth 9 August 1888
Place of birth Geelong, Victoria
Date of death 22 July 1965(1965-07-22) (aged 76)
Place of death Geelong, Victoria
Original team(s) Geelong Grammar
Debut Round 16, 1906, Geelong
vs. Carlton, at Corio Oval
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1906, 1908–1915 Geelong 112 (67)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1914 Geelong 18 (11–6–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1915.
Sources: AFL Tables,


The son of Edwin Orchard (1863-1927)[1] and Ruth Orchard (1866-1938), née Mallett,[2] he was born on 9 August 1888. He married Henrietta Jessie Galbraith (1895-1966) on 21 July 1915;[3] they had three children, William, Douglas, and June.


He captained the club for two seasons in 1914 and 1915. He was also playing coach in 1914.[4] In October 1916 he played in an Australian Rules exhibition match at the Queen's Club ground in London for the 3rd Division A.I.F team which defeated the Training Unit Team.[5] He was a field umpire in the Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1920s.


Orchard was an outstanding cricketer taking 264 wickets at 12.6 between 1903–1936 in the Geelong Cricket Association.

Military career

In 1918 at Ypres he was awarded the Military Cross for "the efficient manner in which he (Captain Orchard) carried out his task of reorganisation and his cheerfulness under depressing circumstances that earned for him the Military Cross." [6]

See also


  1. Deaths: Orchard, The Geelong Advertiser, (Saturday, 10 December 1927), p2.
  2. Deaths: Orchard, The Age, (Monday, 14 November 1938), p.1.
  3. Social Gossip, The (Ballarat) Evening Echo, (Saturday, 24 July 1915), p.3.
  4. Geelong Football Club Honour Roll Archived 16 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. The Game of their Lives; Nick Richardson, Pan Macmillan, Sydney, 2016
  6. The Story and Official History of the 38th Battalion A.I.F.; Eric Fairey : The Bendigo Advertiser Pty Ltd and the Cambridge Press; Bendigo, Vic. 1920


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