Simpson Trophy Competition


The competition originated in 1890, as an annual rifle shooting match, fired by Australian Army members under service conditions. Prize monies come from the Simpson Trophy Fund.

The fund was set up by the Hon. Alfred Mueller Simpson MLC, who: "Having received from Her Majesty's Government, by way of payment for his services as a member of the said Legislative Council is desirous of appropriating the said sum to some use useful public purpose."

The Fund benefits from the interest accruing from monies placed in trust between 1890 and 1894. 

The Trust’s original Trustees were: The Hon. Thomas Playford, father of Sir Thomas Playford, and Major General Francis Downer CMG, Major General of Her Majesty's Forces in the said service.

Originally, the competition was for service members shooting individually, but, in 1954, with the approval of the trustees and the Grandson of the Hon. A M Simpson, the event was changed to a team competition, consisting of three members.

As a result of representations made by the Commander 4th Military District to the Trustees (through DCCS), the RAN and RAAF were included as competitors from 1948.

The Trophy is a handsome, silver mounted work, made by Adelaide firm BASSE & Co. It depicts the Army of the day with mounted and dismounted soldiers and is suitably inscribed.

Although its actual origin is not recorded, it must be presumed that the trophy was donated at the time the Trust was signed.

The importance of the trophy is indicated by the fact that, according to records, it was held by the Adelaide Museum or Art Gallery until 1946 and was only allowed to be released for specific occasions on the authority of the solicitors controlling the Fund.

In 1946, it passed into the care and control of the Army, and is currently held by the Army Museum of SA at Keswick Barracks.

The competition is still being competed for.