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William Kennedy : West Ham United

William Kennedy : West Ham United

Born: Grays (1890)

Signed: 1910

Position: Centre Forward

Appearances: 23

Goals: 10

Left: 1912

Internation Caps:

Died: 13th October 1915

William Kennedy was a school teacher who played amateur football for local club Grays. He also appeared for Northfleet before joining West Ham United in 1910. He scored on his debut against Brighton & Hove Albion. Playing alongside Danny Shea he scored 4 goals in 10 league games that season. He also did well the following year scoring a hat trick against Brentford on 21st October, 1911. Unfortunately he suffered a serious knee injury in a FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough on 8th February, 1912. Kennedy was unable to play professional football again. On the outbreak of the First World War Kennedy joined the British Army. Lance Corporal William Kennedy, a member of the London Scottish Regiment, was killed on the Western Front on 13th October 1915. His body was never found and his name appears on the Loos Memorial.


Hammers support Shrouds of the Somme

Ahead of Saturday's Remembrance game against Burnley, West Ham United is proud to announce their partnership with the Shrouds of the Somme, an extraordinary commemorative World War One art installation which is set to be unveiled at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park next week.

To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures will be laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4000 square metres across the South Park Lawn, adjacent to London Stadium. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed on Somme battlefields, who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields.

All 72,396 figures have been made by hand by artist Rob Heard, taking him 15,000 hours across a period of four years.

As we reach the centenary of the end of the First World War, I would encourage West Ham fans and East Londoners alike to see this powerful tribute of sacrifice and bravery

David Gold

The project is especially poignant for West Ham United, who lost many players and former players during the First World War.

Frank Cannon, Frank Costello, Frederick Griffiths, Sidney Hammond, William Jones, William Kennedy, William Kirby, Arthur Stallard and Robert Whiting all went to fight for their country, never to return. West Ham United supporters also formed their own Pals Battalion.

The 13th Service Battalion, better known as the West Ham Pals, were part of the Essex Regiment which fought at the Somme. 131 of that Battalion were killed at the Somme but have no known grave and will, therefore, be represented in the Shrouds installation.

The enormous scale of the Shrouds project demonstrates the true cost of the conflict, whilst also giving Hammers fans and members of the public an opportunity to remember those who never returned home.

Shrouds of the Somme is the creation of artist Rob Heard

West Ham United have supported the Shrouds of the Somme by printing almost 30,000 leaflets and 500 of their posters, many of which will be seen across London in the coming weeks.

David Gold, West Ham United Joint-Chairman said: “West Ham United is incredibly proud to partner with the Shrouds of the Somme project. The Club cherish their close relationship with the Armed Forces, dating back more than a century with the West Ham Pals, and we will always continue to show our dedication towards Remembrance, and those who died in the service of our country. As we reach the centenary of the end of the First World War, I would encourage West Ham fans and East Londoners alike to see this powerful tribute of sacrifice and bravery.”

Entry to the installation will be free to the public and will be open between 10am-7pm from its official launch on 8 November through to 18 November.

Any profits raised from donations will be given to the Armed Forces charity SSAFA and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. If you would like to learn more about the project or find out how you can support it, you can do so via the Shrouds of the Somme website.


Latest Opinion

Great Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August, 1914. Cricket and rugby competitions stopped almost immediately after the outbreak of the First World War. However, the Football League continued with the 1914-15 season.

Most football players were professionals and were tied to clubs through one-year renewable contracts. Players could only join the armed forces if the clubs agreed to cancel their contracts. If the club refused, the men could be prosecuted by their clubs for breaking the terms of the agreement.

On 7th August, 1914, Lord Kitchener , the war minister, immediately began a recruiting campaign by calling for men aged between 19 and 30 to join the British Army. At first this was very successful with an average of 33,000 men joining every day. Three weeks later Kitchener raised the recruiting age to 35 and by the middle of September over 500,000 men had volunteered their services. At the time the men were told that the war would be over by Christmas.

On 6th September 1914, Arthur Conan Doyle, appealed for footballers to join the armed forces: "There was a time for all things in the world. There was a time for games, there was a time for business, and there was a time for domestic life. There was a time for everything, but there is only time for one thing now, and that thing is war. If the cricketer had a straight eye let him look along the barrel of a rifle. If a footballer had strength of limb let them serve and march in the field of battle." Some newspapers suggested that those who did not join up were "contributing to a German victory."

Frederick Charrington, the son of the wealthy brewer who had established the Tower Hamlets Mission, attacked the West Ham United players for being effeminate and cowardly for getting paid for playing football while others were fighting on the Western Front. The famous amateur footballer and cricketer, Charles B. Fry, called for the abolition of football, demanding that all professional contracts be annulled and that no one below forty years of age be allowed to attend matches.

West Ham had high hopes that they could win the Southern League for the first time and refused to cancel the contracts of their professional players. In Syd Puddefoot they had the country's most promising young goalscorer. The only significant new signing that year was Joe Webster from Watford.

West Ham won six of their first 12 games. Syd Puddefoot got nine goals during this period. George Hilsdon and Richard Leafe were also in good form and got 7 between them. Once again West Ham were challenging for the Southern League title.

In October 1914, the Secretary of State, Lord Kitchener, issued a call for volunteers to both replace those killed in the early battles of the First World War. At the beginning of the war the army had strict specifications about who could become soldiers. Men joining the army had to be at least 5ft 6in tall and a chest measurement of 35 inches. However, these specifications were changed in order to get more men to join the armed forces.

William Joynson Hicks established the 17th Service (Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment on 12th December, 1914. This group became known as the Football Battalion. According to Frederick Wall, the secretary of the Football Association, the England international centre-half, Frank Buckley, was the first person to join the Football Battalion. Initially, because of the problems with contracts, only amateur players like Vivian Woodward, and Evelyn Lintott were able to sign-up.

As Frank Buckley had previous experience in the British Army he was given the rank of Lieutenant. He eventually was promoted to the rank of Major. Within a few weeks the 17th Battalion had its full complement of 600 men. However, few of these men were footballers. Most of the recruits were local men who wanted to be in the same battalion as their football heroes. For example, a large number who joined were supporters of Chelsea and Queen's Park Rangers who wanted to serve with Vivian Woodward and Evelyn Lintott.

Under considerable pressure from the Football Association eventually backed down and called for football clubs to release professional footballers who were not married, to join the armed forces. The FA also agreed to work closely with the War Office to encourage football clubs to organize recruiting drives at matches.

The Athletic News responded angrily: "The whole agitation is nothing less than an attempt by the ruling classes to stop the recreation on one day in the week of the masses . What do they care for the poor man's sport? The poor are giving their lives for this country in thousands. In many cases they have nothing else. These should, according to a small clique of virulent snobs, be deprived of the one distraction that they have had for over thirty years."

Three members of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee visited Upton Park during half-time of matches to call for volunteers. Joe Webster, the West Ham United goalkeeper, was one of those who joined the Football Battalion as a result of this appeal. Jack Tresadern joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. An intelligent man, he quickly reached the rank of lieutenant.

West Ham United supporters also formed their own Pals Battalion. The 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham Pals) were part of the Essex Regiment. On 5th March 1915 the East Ham Echo reported that Henry Dyer, the Mayor of West Ham, held a concert on behalf of the West Ham Battalion: "During the evening the Mayor briefly addressed the men. He remarked that it was the first time he had the opportunity of speaking to the Battalion as a whole. He was proud of them and when they had gone away a close watch upon their movements would be kept."

In his book War Hammers: The Story of West Ham United During the First World War, Brian Belton argues that the battle cry of the West Ham Pals was "Up the Irons." They saw action at the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Cambrai. The war took a terrible toll on these men. Over the next three years the battalion suffered casualties of 37,404 killed, wounded and missing.

West Ham was once again drawn against Newcastle United in the FA Cup. Despite two goals from Richard Leafe, Newcastle earned a 2-2 draw. As a result of the war effort, FA Cup replays were prohibited in midweek so that the tie had its second performance at St James Park the following Saturday. Newcastle won the game 3-2.

Syd Puddefoot remained in great form and scored 18 goals in 35 games in the 1914-15 season. Richard Leafe (13 in 30) and Arthur Stallard (7 in 11) also made impressive contributions. However, the club was only able to manage only one point in their last four games and could only finish in 4th place in the league.

Attendances at league games fell dramatically during the second-half of the season because of the impact of the First World War. It was decided that the Southern League would not operate in the 1915-16 season. As football players only had contracts to play for one season at a time, they were now out of work. It has been estimated that around 2,000 of Britain's 5,000 professional footballers now joined the armed forces. This included most of the West Ham team.

Not all the West Ham players joined the armed forces. According to Brian Belton, the author of War Hammers, The Story of West Ham United During the First World War (2007): "Syd Puddefoot, worked long, exhausting and often dangerous shifts in munitions factories."

Five former West Ham United players were killed in action during the war: Fred Griffiths, Arthur Stallard, William Jones, Frank Cannon and William Kennedy. West Ham's star forward, George Hilsdon, had to endure a mustard gas attack at Arras in 1917. This badly damaged his lungs and although he played briefly for Chatham Town after the war it brought an end to his professional football career. Fred Harrison was also badly gassed on the Western Front and never played football again.

Major Frank Buckley kept a record of what happened to the men under his command in the Football Battalion. He later wrote that by the mid-1930s over 500 of the battalion's original 600 men were dead, having either been killed in action or dying from wounds suffered during the fighting.

* If you want to read more about the history of West Ham United from 1895 to 1918 see here.

* If you want to know more about football and the First World War see here.

I am very interested in finding out more about the 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham Pals). If you had relatives who joined this battalion I would be interested in hearing from you. Over the next few weeks I will be reading local newspapers published during the First World War that are kept at the Newham Local Studies Library at Stratford. I will then keep a look out or information about your relatives in the newspapers.

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.


ENTERTAINMENTS, SPORTS AND PASTIMES.

West Ham's first permanent place of entertainment was Relf's, later the Royal Albert, music hall, Victoria Dock Road, Canning Town. (fn. 55) It was opened about 1875 by Charles Relf, who adapted the Town of Ayr public house for the purpose. He later rebuilt and enlarged the music hall and managed it until his retirement in 1906. In 1909 it was again rebuilt, partly with the materials of the Imperial theatre, Westminster, which had recently been demolished. The New Imperial, as it was then renamed, was burnt out in 1931, but was later rebuilt and became a cinema. It was renamed the Essoldo about 1958. (fn. 56) It became a bingo club in 1963 and was demolished about 1967. (fn. 57)

The Theatre Royal, Salway Road, Stratford, was built in 1884 by Charles Dillon (formerly Silver), an actor-manager. (fn. 58) There had been earlier attempts to establish a theatre at Stratford. A music hall, in Martin Street, existed in 1868. (fn. 59) In the early 1880s Dillon, his sister, and her husband Frederick Fredericks, had regularly visited Stratford with a mobile theatre, using a site in Oxford Road adjoining Angel Lane. (fn. 60) That may have been the theatre in Angel Lane, erected without a building licence in 1881, which the local board in 1882 ordered to be removed. (fn. 61) The Royal, designed by J. G. Buckle, was built on the site of a former wheelwright's shop, on the corner of Salway Road and Angel Lane. In 1886 Dillon sold it to Albert (brother of Frederick) Fredericks, who enlarged it in 1888 and again in 1891. The Fredericks family managed the theatre from 1888 to 1932. After the First World War it fell into financial difficulties, and from 1926 onwards it was often closed for long periods. In 1953, however, the Royal was taken over by Theatre Workshop, and became one of the best-known theatres in England. The East 15 Acting school, opened in 1961 in association with Theatre Workshop, met at Mansfield House, Canning Town, until 1966, when it was transferred to Loughton. (fn. 62) Theatre Workshop left Stratford in 1964 but returned in 1967. (fn. 63)

The Borough theatre, High Street, Stratford, was opened in 1896 by Albert Fredericks, owner of the Theatre Royal, to the design of Frank Matcham. (fn. 64) It was one of the largest theatres in Greater London, with seating for over 3,000. In its early years many well-known actors played there, including Beerbohm Tree, Sir Henry Irving, and Ellen Terry. (fn. 65) The Fredericks family managed the Borough until 1933, when it became the Rex cinema. (fn. 66) It became a bingo club in 1969. (fn. 67)

The Empire theatre of varieties, Broadway, Stratford, was opened by London District Empire Palaces (later Moss Empires) Ltd., in 1898, to the design of W. G. R. Sprague. (fn. 68) It was built on the site of Rokeby House. (fn. 69) It was wrecked by bombing during the Second World War, and was demolished in 1958. (fn. 70)

The Forest Gate public hall, Woodgrange Road, built about 1902, contained a theatre, known for many years as the Grand. (fn. 71) The Y.M.C.A., Greengate Street, Plaistow, built in 1921, included the Little Theatre, used for live productions as well as cinema shows. (fn. 72) A theatre at the Dockland Settlement, Canning Town, was opened in 1926. The warden promised that Shakespeare would be played monthly or even fortnightly by the best companies at cinema prices. (fn. 73) The Passion plays produced at Plaistow by Father Andrew, S.D.C., are mentioned elsewhere. (fn. 74)

Cinema shows, 'the latest London craze', were advertised in 1897 by the Theatre Royal, which used them as supporting items between the acts of a play. (fn. 75) Occasional films were shown there again in 1907 and 1909, but never became a regular feature. (fn. 76) By then, however, cinemas were beginning to spring up throughout West Ham. The earliest ones used converted premises with serious fire hazards. The danger was demonstrated, in December 1908, at Gale's picture house (formerly Volckman's confectionery factory), High Street, Stratford, where a slight fire caused a stampede. (fn. 77) Three months later the borough council ordered five cinemas to close until they had been made safe. (fn. 78) By 1909, however, purpose-built cinemas were appearing: the Rathbone cinema, Rathbone Street, Canning Town, was one of the first. (fn. 79)

In 1917 there were at least 19 cinemas in the borough. (fn. 80) The number remained at about that level during the 1920s and 1930s, (fn. 81) but the total accommodation probably increased, since the new cinemas opened in that period included four very large ones. The New Imperial (former music hall) and the Rex (Borough theatre) have been mentioned above. The Broadway (later Gaumont), Tramway Avenue, Stratford, opened in 1927, claimed to be the largest in the country. (fn. 82) It was designed by George Coles for Philip and Sid Hyams. It was closed in 1960. (fn. 83) The Odeon, Romford Road, Forest Gate, was opened in 1937 by Odeon Theatres Ltd. (fn. 84)

During the Second World War several cinemas were bombed and by 1950 only seven remained open. (fn. 85) By 1969 only one, the Odeon, Forest Gate, was still a cinema, though several survived as bingo clubs. (fn. 86) Among cinemas, not previously mentioned, which survived for many years, were the Greengate, later the Rio, Barking Road, Plaistow (c. 1912–57), (fn. 87) the West Ham Lane Kinema, later the Century (c. 1922–63), (fn. 88) and the Queen's, Romford Road, Forest Gate (c. 1914–41). (fn. 89)

Music has played a remarkable part in the life of West Ham. (fn. 90) Much of this was due to the Curwen family. John Curwen (1816–80) established the Tonic Sol-Fa Press at Plaistow and the Tonic Sol-Fa college at Forest Gate. (fn. 91) In 1882 his son, John S. Curwen (1847–1916), founded the Stratford musical festival, which still survives. (fn. 92) Musical education in the borough was greatly stimulated also by the Forest Gate school, later the Metropolitan academy of music, founded by Harding Bonner in 1885. (fn. 93) The West Ham philharmonic society, founded in 1868, survived until 1877 or later. (fn. 94) Another society with the same name was founded by H. A. Donald in 1896 and ceased about 1912. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was also much musical activity in the churches and in several municipal schools. Some of the school choirs won prizes in international competitions. The borough council appointed a part-time official organist (later musical director), arranged concerts, plays, and recitals at the town hall, Stratford, and the public hall, Canning Town, and employed military bands to play in the public parks. Many musicians trained in West Ham achieved distinction elsewhere. Most of the town's musical activities were halted by the Second World War, and some, including the Metropolitan academy, came to a final end. In 1946 the council appointed a full-time music adviser and entertainments organizer. (fn. 95) That experiment ended in 1948, but after that the council supported cultural activities by providing accommodation for bodies like the public libraries Music Circle, and by subsidizing Theatre Workshop and amateur drama groups. (fn. 96)

Football, West Ham's main sport, was recorded as early as 1582, when a man was murdered during a game there. (fn. 97) West Ham United F.C. was formed as a professional club in 1900, but its origin has been traced back to three earlier amateur clubs, St. Luke's, Old Castle Swifts, and Thames Ironworks. (fn. 98) A. F. Hills, of the Thames Ironworks, was the principal founder of the professional club. West Ham entered the Football League in 1919, won the Football Association cup in 1964, and the European Cup Winners' cup in 1965. (fn. 99) Since 1904 the club's ground has been Upton Park, East Ham, formerly part of the grounds of Green Street House. (fn. 100) Clapton F.C., a leading amateur club founded in 1878, has played since 1888 in Upton Lane, on the ground previously attached to the Spotted Dog public house. (fn. 101) Several young players have gone from Clapton to West Ham United, and the professional club has also recruited many from the local schools. Early in the present century the West Ham schools football association was one of the strongest in the United Kingdom. Between 1907 and 1936 West Ham schools won the English shield three times and were runners-up four times, while individual boys won 36 international caps. (fn. 102) At a lower level football was being played in the 1920s by over 100 clubs in the borough. (fn. 103)

In the 18th and early 19th centuries prize fights were sometimes staged on the southern marshes of West Ham, despite opposition from magistrates and police. (fn. 104) Jem Mace (1831–1910), heavweight champion of the world, lived at Stratford during his fighting career. (fn. 105) The Park council school produced three British schools boxing champions before 1936. (fn. 106)

The West Ham swimming club, founded in 1894, is said to be the oldest surviving in Essex. (fn. 107) Plaistow United swimming club, founded in 1920, soon became one of the best in the country and in 1936 supplied five members of the English Olympic water polo team. (fn. 108) E. H. Temme of Plaistow was the first person to swim the English Channel in both directions. There are several other swimming clubs in West Ham, including the Starfish, founded in 1948 for the south of the borough. (fn. 109)

In the mid 19th century cricket was played on the Spotted Dog pleasure ground, Upton Lane. (fn. 110) That may have been the ground used by the Cricket Company, a well-known club of the period. (fn. 111) The South Essex cricket club, said in 1923 to be one of the oldest in West Ham, was founded about 1888. (fn. 112)

Speedway (motor cycle) and greyhound racing are carried on at the West Ham stadium, Custom House, opened in 1928. (fn. 113) The stadium has been used occasionally for other sports, including stock car racing. A skittle ground, attached to a public house, was mentioned in 1764. (fn. 114) Several skittle alleys were built in the parish in the later 19th century. (fn. 115) Plans for a roller-skating rink, in Hamfrith Road, Stratford, were approved in 1876, and in 1909 there was a rink attached to the public hall, Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate. (fn. 116) The latter continued in use until after the Second World War. (fn. 117)

Among various forms of public or social service to which many West Ham residents devoted their leisure, especially before the First World War, was the promotion of temperance, thrift, or mutual aid among a population living in conditions which made it difficult to cultivate such habits. Before the First World War there were some 75 temperance societies and 100 friendly societies in the borough. (fn. 118) The temperance societies, with their emphasis on total abstinence, were closely linked with the churches. Their strength was shown in 1897, when they successfully opposed the granting of a liquor licence to the new Borough theatre. (fn. 119) A few of the friendly societies were concerned with temperance as well as thrift, but most were not, and they usually met in public houses. Their total membership was low for a town of this size. (fn. 120) More important were the cooperative movement and the trade unions. (fn. 121)

Notable among cultural organisations has been the Essex Field club, founded in 1880, and based since 1900 on the Passmore Edwards museum, in Romford Road, Stratford. (fn. 122) The Canning Town Field club, later the Chip Chap club (1883–5), comprised five working men. It collected many prehistoric remains, which were eventually acquired by the Passmore Edwards museum. (fn. 123)

The Loyal United East Ham and West Ham Volunteers appear to have been formed in 1798. (fn. 124) In 1803, when the war with France was renewed, the West Ham Volunteer Infantry was formed, comprising two companies, commanded by Capt. (later Major) William Manbey, who had served with the earlier corps. It was demobilized in 1814. A separate East Ham corps, apparently formed after 1803, was demobilized in 1807. (fn. 125) When the volunteers were revived in the 1860s an artillery depot was opened at the Green, Stratford. (fn. 126) It closed c. 1960. (fn. 127) An infantry depot was opened about 1890 at the Cedars, Portway. (fn. 128) It survived in 1969. (fn. 129) In 1914 volunteer service became more than a pastime: during the First World War some 100,000 West Ham men served in the forces. (fn. 130)

The Stratford Times, West Ham's first paper, was founded in 1858. (fn. 131) It is said to have been closely identified, at least in its early days, with the Victoria Dock Co. The Stratford Express, following an independent line, was founded in 1866, absorbed the Stratford Times, and outpaced other rivals to become the leading local paper. (fn. 132) The East and West Ham Gazette (1888), which survived, as the South Essex Mail, until 1941, was a Liberal paper. The West Ham Guardian (c. 1888–1902) was Conservative.


1914-15 Southern League : First Division

West Ham was once again drawn against Newcastle United in the FA Cup. Despite two goals from Richard Leafe, Newcastle earned a 2-2 draw. As a result of the war effort, FA Cup replays were prohibited in midweek so that the tie had its second performance at St James Park the following Saturday. Newcastle won the game 3-2.

Syd Puddefoot remained in great form and scored 18 goals in 35 games in the 1914-15 season. Richard Leafe (13 in 30) and Arthur Stallard (7 in 11) also made impressive contributions. However, the club was only able to manage only one point in their last four games and could only finish in 4th place in the league.

Attendances at league games fell dramatically during the second-half of the season because of the impact of the First World War. It was decided that the Southern League would not operate in the 1915-16 season. As football players only had contracts to play for one season at a time, they were now out of work. It has been estimated that around 2,000 of Britain's 5,000 professional footballers now joined the armed forces. This included most of the West Ham team.

Not all the West Ham players joined the armed forces. According to Brian Belton, the author of War Hammers, The Story of West Ham United During the First World War (2007): "Syd Puddefoot, worked long, exhausting and often dangerous shifts in munitions factories."

Five former West Ham United players were killed in action during the war: Fred Griffiths, Arthur Stallard, William Jones, Frank Cannon and William Kennedy. West Ham's star forward, George Hilsdon, had to endure a mustard gas attack at Arras in 1917. This badly damaged his lungs and although he played briefly for Chatham Town after the war it brought an end to his professional football career. Fred Harrison was also badly gassed on the Western Front and never played football again.

Major Frank Buckley kept a record of what happened to the men under his command in the Football Battalion. He later wrote that by the mid-1930s over 500 of the battalion's original 600 men were dead, having either been killed in action or dying from wounds suffered during the fighting.

Before the season kicked off in September World War One had already broken out, but the Southern League, along with the Football League, decided to continue with their fixtures. New players were goalkeeper Joe Webster, full-backs Bill Cope and George Speak, and Alf Fenwick, a forward. In the first two home games Syd Puddefoot scored twice in victories against Gillingham and Luton Town but away from home it was the same story with three successive defeats. There were home draws against Swindon and Queens Park Rangers and the away form improved with victories at Southend, Croydon Common and Watford. Inside-forward Alf Leafe scored in five successive games to bring his total to seven. Due to the war there were many restrictions, and attendances were poor. On Boxing Day Brighton were beaten 2-1 at home, with Puddefoot scoring twice. He went one better a few days later when scoring a hat-trick against Exeter City in a 4-1 victory at the Boleyn.

The FA Cup brought an exciting clash with Newcastle United which saw Alf Leafe score twice in a 2-2 home draw. Alf scored again in the replay but the Geordies progressed by winning 3-2 before 28,130 fans. Portsmouth and Southend were beaten at home and following the 1-1 draw with Millwall the team were undefeated in nine games and up to second in the league. However, despite home wins against Cardiff City and Watford, there were three away defeats which left the team in fourth place as the season ended.

GILLINGHAM : Southern League First Division

EXETER CITY : Southern League First Division

Webster, Cope, Speak, Fenwick, Askew, Randall, Ashton, Bailey, Puddefoot, Leafe, Wright

On 6th September 1914, Arthur Conan Doyle, appealed for footballers to join the armed forces: "There was a time for all things in the world. There was a time for games, there was a time for business, and there was a time for domestic life. There was a time for everything, but there is only time for one thing now, and that thing is war. If the cricketer had a straight eye let him look along the barrel of a rifle. If a footballer had strength of limb let them serve and march in the field of battle." Some newspapers suggested that those who did not join up were "contributing to a German victory."

Frederick Charrington, the son of the wealthy brewer who had established the Tower Hamlets Mission, attacked the West Ham United players for being effeminate and cowardly for getting paid for playing football while others were fighting on the Western Front. The famous amateur footballer and cricketer, Charles B. Fry, called for the abolition of football, demanding that all professional contracts be annulled and that no one below forty years of age be allowed to attend matches.

West Ham had high hopes that they could win the Southern League for the first time and refused to cancel the contracts of their professional players. In Syd Puddefoot they had the country's most promising young goalscorer. The only significant new signing that year was Joe Webster from Watford.

GILLINGHAM : Southern League First Division

LUTON TOWN : Southern League First Division

PORTSMOUTH : Southern League First Division

SWINDON TOWN : Southern League First Division

SOUTHEND UNITED : Southern League First Division

QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Southern League First Division

MILLWALL : Southern League First Division

BRISTOL ROVERS : Southern League First Division

CROYDON COMMON : Southern League First Division

Black and white photographs of crowd scenes at football matches which were later turned into postcards were prevalent before the outbreak of the First World War. This match has been identified as being taken at The Nest which was the home ground of Croydon Common on the 31st October 1914 with the Hammers winning 2-1.

The Bishop of Chelmsford paid a visit in Bethnal Green where he gave a sermon on the need for professional footballers to join the armed services. The Stratford Express reported on 2nd December 1914: " The Bishop, in an address on Duty, spoke of the magnificent response that had been made to the call to duty from the King. All must play their part. They must not let their brothers go to the front and themselves remain indifferent. He felt that the cry against professional football at the present time was right. He could not understand men who had any feeling, any respect for their country, men in the prime of life, taking large salaries at a time like this for kicking a ball about. It seemed to him something incongruous and unworthy".

William Joynson Hicks established the 17th Service (Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment on 12th December, 1914. This group became known as the Football Battalion. According to Frederick Wall, the secretary of the Football Association, the England international centre-half, Frank Buckley, was the first person to join the Football Battalion. At first, because of the problems with contracts, only amateur players like Vivian Woodward, and Evelyn Lintott were able to sign-up.

As Frank Buckley had previous experience in the British Army he was given the rank of Lieutenant. He eventually was promoted to the rank of Major. Within a few weeks the 17th Battalion had its full complement of 600 men. However, few of these men were footballers. Most of the recruits were local men who wanted to be in the same battalion as their football heroes. For example, a large number who joined were supporters of Chelsea and Queen's Park Rangers who wanted to serve with Vivian Woodward and Evelyn Lintott.

Under considerable pressure from the Football Association eventually backed down and called for football clubs to release professional footballers who were not married, to join the armed forces. The FA also agreed to work closely with the War Office to encourage football clubs to organize recruiting drives at matches.

The Athletic News responded angrily: "The whole agitation is nothing less than an attempt by the ruling classes to stop the recreation on one day in the week of the masses. What do they care for the poor man's sport? The poor are giving their lives for this country in thousands. In many cases they have nothing else. These should, according to a small clique of virulent snobs, be deprived of the one distraction that they have had for over thirty years."

Three members of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee visited Upton Park during half-time to call for volunteers. Joe Webster, the West Ham United goalkeeper, was one of those who joined the Football Battalion as a result of this appeal. Jack Tresadern joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. An intelligent man, he quickly reached the rank of lieutenant.

West Ham United supporters also formed their own Pals Battalion. The 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham Pals) were part of the Essex Regiment. On 5th March 1915 the East Ham Echo reported that Henry Dyer, the Mayor of West Ham, held a concert on behalf of the West Ham Battalion: "During the evening the Mayor briefly addressed the men. He remarked that it was the first time he had the opportunity of speaking to the Battalion as a whole. He was proud of them and when they had gone away a close watch upon their movements would be kept."

In his book War Hammers: The Story of West Ham United During the First World War, Brian Belton argues that the battle cry of the West Ham Pals was "Up the Irons." They saw action at the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Cambrai. The war took a terrible toll on these men. Over the next three years the battalion suffered casualties of 37,404 killed, wounded and missing.

West Ham won six of their first 12 games. Syd Puddefoot got nine goals during this period. George Hilsdon and Richard Leafe were also in good form and got 7 between them. Once again West Ham were challenging for the Southern League title.

In October 1914, the Secretary of State, Lord Kitchener, issued a call for volunteers to both replace those killed in the early battles of the First World War. At the beginning of the war the army had strict specifications about who could become soldiers. Men joining the army had to be at least 5ft 6in tall and a chest measurement of 35 inches. However, these specifications were changed in order to get more men to join the armed forces.


Underwood Deviled Ham Cans

Three views of the Underwood Deviled Ham label.

Sharp-eyed visitors to the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site might spot this object displayed in the kitchen. Stacked on the small kitchen table and the counter are several cans of Underwood deviled ham.

Deviled ham is ground ham mixed with spicy seasonings, such as chili peppers, cayenne peppers, or mustard. The William Underwood Company, founded in Boston in 1822, found success providing canned foods to the U.S. Army during the Civil War and to settlers who needed long-lasting food products for their trip west.

Underwood started producing deviled ham in 1868. In 1870 the company trademarked the devil logo used on the can, and it is now the oldest trademark for a food product still in use in the United States. The design of the devil has undergone significant change since the cans pictured above were made. As seen here, the original devil featured long black claws, one cloven hoof, and a fierce expression on his mustachioed face. The current incarnation presents a more congenial image replete with a happy grin and depicted in the act of giving a friendly wave.

These antique (empty) cans were provided for Mrs. Rose Kennedy by the William Underwood Company in the late 1960s to aid in her project to refurnish the house to reflect the year of President John F. Kennedy's birth, 1917.


LILLEY Genealogy

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CROSS Genealogy

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Royal heartbreak: Princess Diana's eerie role model for Prince William revealed

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Diana: William ‘went back into his shell’ after death says expert

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Diana was known to be exceptionally close to both her sons, particularly when her marriage to Prince Charles came under strain. William was one of her closest confidants even though he was only a teenager when his parents split up. The Princess of Wales was always conscious of how William would live his life in the spotlight as second-in-line to the throne and, after struggling to deal with being in the public eye herself, hoped he would be able to cope with the scrutiny.

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According to journalist Christopher Andersen, Diana hoped he would become like the late President John F. Kennedy&rsquos son, John Kennedy Jr, who also grew up under the public gaze.

Like William, he also had to cope with life in the limelight after a famous and beloved parent died suddenly.

Mr Kennedy was pushed into the spotlight when he was just a toddler, after his father&rsquos tragic assassination in 1963, and went on to gain celebrity status.

Writing in Vanity Fair in 2003, Mr Andersen pointed out why Diana thought the two were similar. He said: &ldquoLike his closest counterpart America, the late John Kennedy Jr., Hollywood-handsome William often seems to resemble a flawless actor who might be chosen to property him on-screen than the genuine article.&rdquo

Diana even nicknamed her son DDG &ndash Drop Dead Gorgeous &ndash in his youth.

She told a friend: &ldquoI want William to be to handle things as well as John does.&rdquo

Princess Diana and Prince William (Image: Getty)

John Kennedy Jr was the son of the late President, John F. Kennedy (Image: Getty)

However, Mr Andersen added: &ldquoKennedy himself thought that both William and Harry faced more daunting problems than the ones he confronted.&rdquo

Mr Kennedy later said: &ldquoI was really able to lead a normal life from about the age of five.

&ldquoI went to boarding school and then to college.

&ldquo[Harry and William] will have to constantly deal with [the media] starting now.&rdquo

Mr Kennedy was able to have a career and control his public image more than William, because &ndash as one of the Queen&rsquos heirs, his life is committed to public duty and he is constantly being trained to one day become the monarch.

Kennedy was only three when his father died in 1963 (Image: Getty)

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However, both Mr Kennedy and William did have to struggle with grief and fame following their parents&rsquo tragic deaths &ndash a devastating life event Diana was not to know the two men would share.

JFK&rsquos death triggered mass public mourning and is now seen as a key moment in US history.

Mr Kennedy, just three at the time, was famously seen saluting his father&rsquos casket when it left St Matthew&rsquos Cathedral at the state funeral.

He went on to become &ldquoAmerica&rsquos Prince&rdquo, but, as writer William D.Cohan pointed out in Vanity Fair last year, his family&rsquos &ldquolegacy weighed him down&rdquo.

Confiding in a friend about the difficulties of grieving in public, Mr Kennedy once said: &ldquoYou just don&rsquot wallow in death. You move on. You hold it inside.&rdquo

Diana was known to be exceptionally close to her two sons William and Harry (Image: Getty)

Diana, dubbed the 'People's Princess', left a legacy of compassion for her sons to inherit (Image: Getty)

Mr Kennedy went on to date models such as Cindy Crawford and the actor Sarah Jessica Parker, who said she did not understand &ldquoreal fame&rdquo until she dated the late President&rsquos son.

He died in a plane crash in 1999.

Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997 &ndash William was 15, while his brother Prince Harry was 12.

The two boys pulled at the public&rsquos heartstrings when their grandfather Prince Philip asked them to walk behind their mother&rsquos coffin during her funeral, in front of thousands of mourning fans.

In 2017, the Duke of Cambridge spoke to the BBC for the documentary &lsquoDiana, 7 Days&rsquo and described the experience.

Harry, 12, and William, 15, walking behind their mother's coffin (Image: Getty)

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He said: &ldquoIt was one of the hardest things I&rsquove ever had to do, that walk.

&ldquoIt felt like she was almost walking alongside us.&rdquo

As Mr Andersen pointed out, since Diana&rsquos death William has been &ldquoheir to the myth and mystique&rdquo of his mother too, much like Mr Kennedy had to inherit his father's charming legacy.

The Vanity Fair article recalled how a leading member of Britain&rsquos Conservative Party once said: &ldquoDo you honestly think people would care half as much about William if he was the image of his father instead of his mother? Do you?&rdquo


Fight #9: Semifinal 2 – George Washington vs. Thomas Jefferson

Name: George Washington

Military experience: General of the Continental Armies, American Revolutionary War.

Special abilities: Athletic polymath. Washington mastered nearly every sport of his day, including archery, horseback riding, swimming, wrestling, iron-bar throwing, and sword fighting. Washington was also more rugged than most politicians. While most Easterners grew up in warm colonial homes, he spent his youth as a backwoods surveyor in the Ohio Valley, building rafts out of trees with his bare hands in frigid weather, fording rivers, and hacking paths through thick forests. He was also fearless in battle: In a 1754 letter to his brother, he commented “I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound.”

Name: Thomas Jefferson

Military experience: Colonel, Virginia Militia. Commander of Albemarle County Militia at start of the American Revolution did not see action.


Watch the video: What an achievement for the club! Noble on West Hams first European game at the London Stadium (January 2022).

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