British Sportsmen

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    A few years ago the Sunday Times Magazine had an article about British sportsmen who died in WWI .......

    Tony Wilding was born in New Zealand in 1883. An outstanding tennis player he was Wimbledon's singles champion four years running (1910, 1911, 1912, 1913). He also won the doubles final four times. In June, 1914, Wilding lost the men's singles final to Norman Brookes.

    On the outbreak of the First World War Wilding joined the Royal Naval Air Service.
    Tony Wilding was killed during an attack on enemy sniper posts at Neuve Chapelle on 9th May, 1915.

    In Memory of
    Armoured Car Div., Royal Marines
    who died age 31
    on 09 May 1915
    Former Wimbledon Tennis Champion, 1907 (Doubles), 1908 (Doubles), 1910 (Singles & Doubles), 1911 (Singles), 1912 (Singles) & 1913 (Singles). Educated New Zealand; Trinity College, Cambridge, B.A. Called to the English Bar, Inner Temple, 1906; qualified Barrister and Solicitor of Supreme Court of New Zealand, 1909. A member of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Queen's.

    Remembered with honour

    Ronald Poulton-Palmer was born in Headington on 12th September 1889. Educated at Oxford University he played rugby union for the Barbarians and Harlequins. He eventually became captain of England and in a match against France in 1914 he scored four tries.

    He became chairman of the Huntley and Palmer biscuit business in Reading but on the outbreak of the First World War he immediately volunteered for the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He arrived on the Western Front in March, 1915.

    Ronald Poulton-Palmer was killed at Ploegsteert Wood on 5th May, 1915. A fellow officer reported that when he went round the company at dawn "almost every man was crying". Poulton-Palmer was one of 26 England rugby international players killed in the war. A further 30 Scottish internationals also lost their lives during the conflict.

    In Memory of
    1st/4th Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment
    who died age 25
    on 05 May 1915
    Son of Professor Edward Bagnall Poulton and Mrs. Emily Palmer Poulton, of Wykeham House, Oxford. Captain of the England Rugby Football XV in 1914.

    Remembered with honour

    Donald Simpson Bell was born in Harrogate in 1890. He trained to become a teacher at Westminster College and while in London played for Crystal Palace.

    After leaving college Bell became a teacher at Starbeck College in Harrogate. He also played as an amateur for Newcastle United but in 1912 he turned professional and played for Bradford Park Avenue.

    On the outbreak of the First World War Bell became the first professional footballer to join the British Army. He enlisted as a private but by June, 1915 he had a commission in the Yorkshire Regiment. Two days after his marriage in November, 1915, he was sent to France.

    Second Lieutenant Bell took part in the Battle of the Somme. On 5th July, 1916 he stuffed his pockets with grenades and attacked an enemy machine-gun post. When he attempted to repeat this feat five days later he was killed. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his action of 5th July. It is the only one ever awarded to a professional footballer.

    In Memory of
    Second Lieutenant DONALD SIMPSON BELL
    V C
    9th Bn., Yorkshire Regiment
    who died age 25
    on 10 July 1916
    Former professional football player. Son of Smith and Annie Bell, of Western Flats, Queen's Rd., Harrogate; husband of Rhoda Bell, of Wilmslow, Cheshire.

    Remembered with honour

    An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29740, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack a very heavy enfilade fire was opened on the attacking company by a hostile machine gun. 2nd Lt. Bell immediately, and on his own initiative, crept up a communication trench and then, followed by Corpl. Colwill and Pte. Batey, rushed across the open under very heavy fire and attacked the machine gun, shooting the firer with his revolver, and destroying gun and personnel with bombs. This very brave act saved many lives and ensured the success of the attack. Five days later this very gallant officer lost his life performing a very similar act of bravery.

    Gerard Anderson attended Eton and Oxford University. An outstanding athlete, Anderson was the AAA champion at the 120-yards hurdles in 1910 and 1912. He also broke the world record holder at the 440-yards hurdles.

    Anderson also represented Britain in the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. Unfortunately he suffered a freak accident in the final and finished without a medal.

    After leaving university Anderson became a manager at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. On the outbreak of the First World War he immediately abandoned his career and offered his services to the British Army and was granted a commission as a Second Lieutenant.

    Gerald Anderson went to France with the Cheshire Regiment and was killed in action at Hooge, near Ypres, on 9th November, 1914.

    In Memory of
    Mentioned in Despatches
    3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn., Cheshire Regiment
    who died age 25
    on 09 November 1914
    Son of Prebendary and Mrs. Anderson, of 20, Chester Street, London S.W. Hurdling Champion of England.

    Remembered with honour

    Frederick Septimus Kelly was born in Australia in 1881. Educated at Eton and Oxford University he was an outstanding sportsman. He won the Diamond Sculls at Henley in 1902, 1903 and 1905. He was also a member of the gold winning team at the London Olympics in 1908.

    On the outbreak of the First World War he joined the British Army. In 1915 he fought at Gallipoli and won the Distinguished Service Cross for conspicuous gallantry.

    Frederick Septimus Kelly was killed at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre on 13th November, 1916.

    In Memory of
    D S C
    Hood Bn. R.N. Div., Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 35
    on 13 November 1916

    Remembered with honour

    Attached Files:

  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Walter Tull, the son of joiner, was born in Folkestone in April 1888. Walter's father, the son of a slave, had arrived from Barbados in 1876 and had married a girl from Kent. Over the next few years the couple had six children. In 1895, when Walter was seven, his mother died. Walter's father remarried but died two years later. The stepmother was unable to cope with all six children and Walter and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist run orphanage in Bethnal Green, London.

    After finishing his schooling Tull served an apprenticeship as a printer. Walter was a keen footballer and had a trial at Clapton, a East London amateur club. By the beginning of the 1908-09 season Tull was playing for the first-team. A talented inside-forward, he helped Clapton enjoy a successful season. They won the Amateur Cup, the London Senior Cup and the London County Amateur Cup. The Football Star praised Tull's "clever footwork" and described him as being the "catch of the season".

    Walter Tull was invited to join Tottenham Hotspur and the club decided to sign this promising young footballer. It has been claimed that Tull was only the second black man to play professional football in Britain

    During the First World War Tull served in both Footballers' Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment, 17th and 23rd, and also in the 5th battalion, rising to the rank of sergeant and fighting in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. When Tull was commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 30 May 1917 (still in the Middlesex Regiment) he became the first black combat officer in the British Army; this was unprecedented at the time, and the 1914 Manual of Military Law specifically excluded Negroes from exercising actual command as officers. Despite this, Tull's superior officers recommended him for a commission. Tull fought in Italy in 1917/18, and was Mentioned in Despatches by Major General Sydney Lawford for 'gallantry and coolness' while leading his company of 26 men on a raiding party, to cross the fast-flowing rapids of the River Piave into enemy territory. For bringing his men back unharmed Tull was recommended for a Military Cross. He returned to northern France in 1918, and was killed in action on 25 March during the Spring Offensive of the First World War, near the village of Favreuil in the Pas De Calais. His body was never recovered, despite the efforts of Private Billingham to return him while under fire.

    Walter Tull is remembered at The Arras Memorial, Bay 7, for those who have no known grave He fought in six major battles; Battle of Ancre, November 1916 (first Battle of the Somme); Battle of Messines, June 1917; 3rd Battle of Ypres, July- August 1917 (Passchendaele, Menin Road Bridge); September 1917; Second Battle of the Somme, St.Quentin, March 1918; Battle of Bapaume, March 1918 (2nd Somme).

    In Memory of
    Second Lieutenant WALTER DANIEL JOHN TULL
    17th Bn. attd. 23rd Bn., Middlesex Regiment
    (formerly 5th Bn.)
    who died age 29
    on 25 March 1918
    Son of the late Daniel Tull; brother of Edward Tull-Warnock, of 419, St. Vincent St., Glasgow. Former professional footballer with Tottenham Hotspurs and Northampton Town. He played more than a hundred first team games for Northampton Town before the First World War intervened.

    Remembered with honour

    Attached Files:

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Second Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell, VC. Born - Harrogate, Dec 3 1890. Died - Contalmaison, France, July 10, 1916.

    Donald Bell was the first professional footballer to enlist for the First World War, with the 9th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, and the only professional footballer to be awarded the Victoria Cross. At 6ft 1in and 13st, Bell was a gifted all-round sportsman who had played for Crystal Palace, Bishop Auckland and Newcastle before turning professional with Bradford Park Avenue in 1912.

    To quote from his citation: "On July 5, 1916, at Horseshoe Trench, Somme, France, a very heavy enfilade fire was opened on the attacking company by an enemy gun. Second Lieutenant Bell immediately, on his own initiative, crept up a communication trench, and then, followed by a Corporal Colwill and Private Batey, rushed across the open under heavy fire and attacked the machine gun, shooting the firer and destroying the gun and the personnel with bombs."

    Bell died five days later leading another attack on a machine-gun post, an action considered by many to be worthy of a second Victoria Cross. His wife, Rhoda, who he had married 36 days previously, learned of his Victoria Cross award the day her husband, just 25, was killed. She never remarried.

    Bell is buried at Gordon Dump Cemetery, France, at the following location: 4m NE of Albert. Plot IV. Row A. Grave 8. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Green Howards Museum in Richmond, Yorkshire.

Share This Page