Born in Terowie, South Australia on 20 October 1888, to Isaiah and Caroline Maria Paulina Perry, née Roediger, his brother, Frank Perry was a South Australian industrialist and member of parliament. He married Florence Muriel Day on 16 September 1920.
Charles (Charlie) Perry played just 58 games for Norwood. However, his story is rich with character and achievement – not only for his feats as a Norwood ruckman and defender, but also for his great popularity across communities, and for the strength of his character and leadership.
Charlie was vice-captain in his final year at Prince Alfred College and had just finished studying to become a Minister in the Methodist Church when he played his first game for Norwood. He had red hair and played his early games on the wing and so quickly attracted the nickname “Redwing” after a favorite ballad of the time. During his first year (1909) he played several games with his brother Frank who later founded Perry Engineering and became an MP.
The football public warmed to Charlie and he became very popular for his strength, invariable fairness and resolute skills in ruck and across the back lines. He possessed a splendid physique, a good high mark, an accurate kick and was able to score goals when the opportunity arose. In a Norwood side that was near the bottom of the table for most of his career, Charlie had plenty of work to do in the backlines where he frequently single-handedly turned back opposition attacks.
In 1915 he finished equal first in a three way tie for the Magarey Medal before placing second in a count-back, according to the rules of the time. Charlie was posthumously awarded the 1915 Magarey Medal in 1998.
World War 1Edit
He served in Europe with distinction as a chaplain during World War 1 and captained the Com-bined Training Units team in the AIF exhibition match played in London in 1916.
On 24 January 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel H.D.K. Macartney, the Officer Commanding of the 3rd Australian Divisional Artillery recommended that Perry be awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire: "During the period Sept.17th to Decr.31st 1918, Chaplain-Major PERRY has been Chaplain to the 8th Aust.F.A.Brigade [viz., Australian Field Artillery Brigade]. His duties have always been carried out in a thoroughly cheerful and tactful manner, and throughout the rapid advance, leading up to the cessation of hostilities, his gallant bearing and unselfish devotion to duty, generally under adverse conditions, have materially assisted the administration of this Unit. He has been a splendid example to both Officers and men. [Signed] H.D.K. Macartney, Lieut-Colonel. Commander, 3rd. Aust. Div. Artillery.".
After the war he returned to Norwood before retiring in 1920.
He continued to serve in the Methodist ministry, as the Chaplain of Prince Alfred College, as vice-chairman (and life member) of the Norwood Football Club, on the Umpires' Board and as a deputy commissioner of the South Australian Football League.
Charlie was a man who proved himself in all walks of life.