Brentford FC's Fallen Heroes.

wanderer paul

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Private Ralph Shields
Regiment: No.2 Company Australian Army Service Corps
Regiment No. NX57251
Born: 1892 Died: 21.11.1944
Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp, Borneo.
He is buried in Labuan Cemetery, Section N, Row AA, plot no. 16.

Ralph Shields was born in Newbiggin, County Durham, where he started working as a miner, like his father. He began his footballing career with Newcastle United. He moved to Huddersfield Town in 1914 and, whilst there, he served in the First World War as a Bombardier, in the Royal Field Artillery. In 1920 he spent a short time at Exeter City before another move, this time to Brentford, in 1921. After only nine appearances for the Bees in 1921-22, he was released and spent time as an Amateur at Sittingbourne and Blyth Spartans.

On the 28th October 1927, he immigrated to Australia, sailing from London to Sydney, New South Wales, onboard the Osterley along with 700 other passengers. His occupation was listed, once again, as a miner.

In July 1940, Ralph joined the Australian Army Service Corps and was shipped to Malaya and this is where he was one of the near 15,000 Australian servicemen taken as Prisoners of War (POW). He was held in the Sandakan POW Camp in North Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as part of B force. The 1494 POW’s that made up B force were transferred from Changi on 7.7.1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour 18.7.1942. At the age of 52, Ralph succumbed to an illness on 21.11.1944.
(Although – having read some research on the internet by the Shields family - the family believe that he was executed, by the Japanese, as an escaped POW.)
 

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wanderer paul

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Private William Kirby
Regiment: 6th Pioneer Battalion Royal Engineers – attached to the East Yorkshire Regiment.
Regiment No. 40391
Born: 21.6.1882 Died 3.10.1917
Killed in action at the Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.
He is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

William Kirby was one of three footballers to wear the colours of Brentford FC during WW1, but did not in appear for the football club in peacetime. In 1916-1917, William played in 18 London Combination matches for Brentford, scoring 2 goals. His previous clubs include; Preston North End, Swindon, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Exeter, Merthyr and he also played in the very last season that Croydon Common existed as a professional football club in 1914-15. William signed up in December 1915 and served in the Royal Engineers. He was invalided out of the army but rejoined in 1917 as he didn’t like the conditions at the Woolwich Arsenal workshops making munitions for the war. He was killed in the Battle of Ypres in 1917.
 

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wanderer paul

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Sapper John Fredericks Alborough
Regiment: 2nd Signal Company Royal Engineers; also attached to the 5th Field Company Royal Engineers.
Regiment No. 21127
Born: 1893 Died: 31.10.1918
He is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Brookwood, near Woking.

John ‘Fred’ Alborough joined the Royal Engineers as a career soldier and served with his unit throughout World War One. On his return home, he joined Brentford FC in September 1918. He played in, what was to be, a successful season, as Brentford FC won the London Combination that season, causing quite a stir. He made three appearances for Brentford, on the 28.9.18, 19.10.18 and lastly on 26.10.18. Soon after his last appearance, just 5 days later in fact, he passed away at the young age of 26.
The suspected reason given was ‘Spanish Flu’, which was the reason for more deaths after WW1 than actual casualties during the whole war.
He was given a military burial, his grave in Brookwood is shown, but this is still a sad story, especially after serving in a war such as WW1, only to pass away so near to the end of the conflict and to an infection which can be seen as curable nowadays.
 

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wanderer paul

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Sergeant Henry Cook
12th Battalion Alexandra Princess of Wales' Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
Regiment No. 20982
Born: 1894 Died: 09.01.1917.
Died of shrapnel wounds received from shelling, Somme, France.
He is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte. Plot II. L.6.

Played as a 'Guest' for Brentford FC 1915-16 (10 apps) while stationed in London.
Henry was a professional footballer, in peacetime, for Middlesbrough FC.
He received shrapnel wounds, from artillery shelling, while engaged in road works in the Maurepas area, west of Paris, France.
Henry was only 23 and he left a wife and two young children.
 

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wanderer paul

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Sergeant Albert Edward Bonass
Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve)
Regiment No. 1898979
Born: 1911 Died: 09.10.1945
Albert was killed in a flight training accident in Yorkshire.
He is buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Plot Sec.G Row.K Grave.11

He played as a ‘guest’ player, for Brentford FC, in 1941-42 (1 app) and 1942-43 (1app).
Albert wore the colours of Darlington, York City (1933-34), Hartlepools (1934-36), Chesterfield (1936-39) and QPR (1939) in peacetime.
He joined the Police Force as a reserve constable, soon after World War 2 broke, and then joined the RAF as a Wireless Operator, flying in Wellington bombers. While flying in a Stirling bomber, during a training flight on 9th October 1945, it crashed near Tockwith in Yorkshire, killing all inside.
 

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vcmazz

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Thank you for this excellent work Paul.
 

JCMcBee

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chaps...........lest we forget.........all bees wearing poppies tomorrow.
 

wanderer paul

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Keep an eye out for the OS on Sunday.
 

I'll Bee Damned

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Thank you Paul.

Sgt. Bonass buried up the road from me. Will place a poppy on his grave this weekend on behalf of us all
 

wanderer paul

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From the details given, it looks as though Alborough was born in 1893 not 1883, and Cook in 1894 not 1884. You may wish to correct the entries.

Cheers. Now edited.
 

I'll Bee Damned

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As promised
9D45A80A-E090-4D26-B0E4-76EDE251F9EF.jpg
 

wanderer paul

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As promised
9D45A80A-E090-4D26-B0E4-76EDE251F9EF.jpg

A lovely gesture. He may have only played two matches during ww2, as a guest player, but he still wore the red and white stripes. Thanks.
 

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Super work on this, Wanderer Paul, and you other guys.
It is so good that we remember these former players, and the ultimate sacrifices they made, so that we have the freedom to follow Brentford today and to enjoy so many other things ...
 

wanderer paul

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Brentford FC's fallen heroes.

After a long Sunday of research, a week ago, the following Brentford FC footballer can receive the recognition he deserves.

Company Sergeant Major George William Kennedy DCM, MM, MID.

Regiment: 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders) Quebec Regiment, Canadian Infantry.

Regiment No. 418239

Born: 12.03.1882 Died: 16.11.1917

He died of wounds to the face, received in one of the many Battles of Passchendaele, Belgium.

He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

Grave Ref.: XXII. DD. 12A

George was born in Dumfries and started his football career at amateur level with Maxwell Town Volunteers, one of the forerunners of Queen of the South. In 1906 he joined Lincoln City, staying for two seasons. Chelsea called for his signature in the summer of 1908 and he played in 12 Football League games for the Blues, in 1908-09. The following season, 1909-10, George didnn't make a single Chelsea first team appearance. So, in the summer of 1910, Brentford FC's manager Fred Halliday secured the services of the Scottish left half from Chelsea. He went on to play in the Southern League for three seasons, 1910-1913, appearing 73 times and scoring 2 goals, as well as making an additional 5 appearances in the FA Cup. The 1911 census shows that he lived at 33 Adelaide Road, Brentford, as a "boarder".and surprisingly, his trade given as a "plasterer". George returned to Scotland after he was released from Brentford and signed up to play for Dumfries FC for the 1913-14 season.

On the 23rd May 1914, George emigrated to Canada, onboard the ship SS Grampian, leaving Glasgow and arrived in Montreal, Canada, on 1st June 1914. He went alone, unmarried, with the passenger list giving his trade as a "plasterer". With war being declared so soon after leaving, and with Canada still being a British Colony, George Kennedy went to a Montreal enlistment station and signed up to join the 42nd Battalion Royal Highlanders Quebec Regiment in March 1915.

The 42nd Battalion diaries have been digitised and thanks to this, we can read about the times when he was decorated and when he was promoted to a Company Sergeant Major of "D" Company (25th February 1916). The London Gazette also has note of when he was awarded the Military Medal, in October 1916 and the Distinguished Conduct Medal, in February 1917, for "Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty."

On the 16th November 1917, George Kennedy received wounds to the face and was sent to No.9 Canadian Field Ambulance where sadly, he died of his wounds. A soldier of great standing and Brentford FC's most decorated known to date.

"Lest we forget"

http://mobile.brentfordfc.co.uk/news/article/george-william-kennedy-remembered-09.11.14-2072361.aspx

George Kennedy
 

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Kettering Bee

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Very good work Paul. What a brave and courageous man, weren't they all!
 

wanderer paul

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As well as those named in previous posts that lost their lives in WW1 and WW2, many Brentford FC footballers, ex, contracted or guest, and staff, served in either the well known "Sportsmen's Battalions" of the Middlesex and Royal Fusiliars regiments or in their home county regiments. These will also be named and recognised in an article in a programme, hopefully this year or next year.
Finding the correctly named player, and in which regiment they served with, is very difficult, due to many men having the same first and last names or the records of their service were lost in WW2 due to the London bombings. Therefore nothing exists online and a trip to the NA at Kew would be the only way of finding out if the player served or not. A little task which will add to what we already know.

After finding out about George Kennedy, we now have two known players buried in the same military cemetery in Lijssenthoek, Belgium. James Greechan is the other. A trip to their last resting place would be something, maybe next year for this too.
 

wanderer paul

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Thanks once again to Nick Hester yesterday for brightening up the memorial with fresh flowers.

Sadly, the plaque looks a bit "weathered", whether it's through weathering itself or over polishing, I couldn't say, and the writing/message has faded badly.

There are still the names of Bees players to be added to a new plaque, the ones that I've highlighted above who have played for Brentford FC in peacetime.

I'm currently checking up on the possibility of at least two more footballers who lost their lives in WW1 and the laborious research continues trawling through papers and archives for any more names that deserve to be added to a Brentford FC memorial plaque.
 

wanderer paul

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Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday, I'll be having a quiet two minutes at 11am to remember those players we know and those we still don't. Also, all the other brave souls who lost their lives in Wars before and since.

I've come to a point where there's no further advancement re the two possible Brentford footballers who could be added and honoured on the Brentford FC memorial.

One was John 'Jack' Hendren, brother of Patsy. I mentioned this in the Hull City programme in the article; footballers and season 1914/15. It's mentioned in local papers that he had played for the Club, but I cannot find any confirmation or line ups - it will be in the reserve team XI - which include Jack Hendren.

The second possible player is Henry 'Harry' Gould. Again, it was mentioned in local newspapers and again it will be as a reserve, we know 95% of the line ups are correct for first XI games. I've looked back 2-4 seasons and he's not mentioned in any London League or Southern Amateur Alliance line ups that are given, but only about 50% are. This young man was a Kingstonian Amateur and Brentford (possibly) and he died during training at Colchester Barracks in September 1914.

I just wish we had some info to confirm it all. Sadly, as it's 100 years ago, there's not much around to research.

Still, we will remember them.
 

wanderer paul

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I may now have a lead on Harry Gould. :)
 

wanderer paul

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I may now have a lead on Harry Gould. :)

This young man - he was only 20/21 when he died - may be a forgotten serviceman. Many of those who died at the beginning of the War were forgotten and the services didn't add them to the lists as they should've when collating the names of the fallen or death in service. Harry isn't on the CWGC pages either. When all serving men who died should be.
So I've contacted a group called; In From the Cold Project, and they're now investigating his record and to see if they can find where he's buried. If found, then next of kin will be sought and Harry will be commemorated at his place of burial. Harry Gould is listed on the Isleworth memorial, as he was born in Isleworth.

I'll keep you posted.

*** Update ***

Harry Gould is on the Isleworth Memorial. I checked it this afternoon! First row at the top of the list.
 

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jlove

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Great job WP.
 

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Great job WP.

Hear hear. What Wanderer is doing is beyond a great job IMHO. By diligent painstaking research bringing these young men out of the shadows and enabling them to be remembered as they should be for their tremendous sacrifice. Proud that they have a link with this great club of ours. Thanks Wanderer.
 

wanderer paul

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Just had an email from the "In from the Cold Project" - this group of volunteers locate non-commemorated WW1 soldiers that have slipped through the net and sees that these soldiers, and civilians, receive the recognition their services to their country deserve - and they have located the grave of "Harry Gould" in Colchester Cemetery, Essex. His grave is unmarked. More details when I have them, but I believe a gravestone will be produced to mark his last resting place.
 

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Just had an email from the "In from the Cold Project" - this group of volunteers locate non-commemorated WW1 soldiers that have slipped through the net and sees that these soldiers, and civilians, receive the recognition their services to their country deserve - and they have located the grave of "Harry Gould" in Colchester Cemetery, Essex. His grave is unmarked. More details when I have them, but I believe a gravestone will be produced to mark his last resting place.

Excellent work on your and "In from the Cold Project". Have we any more info on how this poor young chap lost his life whilst still in training tragic accident or illness. Not that it matters other than to complete the story, what counts is that he gets the recognition that he deserves.
 

wanderer paul

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He had heart problems. This heart disease was known about when playing for Kingston on Thames FC, after being transferred there from Brentford - although the Brentford link hasn't been confirmed by being listed in a team line up yet, but not many reserve line ups are known. The link is mentioned in two reports from the period though.

The grave plot is now known and, in the next year or two - it takes time these things it seems! - a CWGC gravestone will be ordered and made for him and then his plot in Colchester Cemetery will be marked. There isn't a ceremony, but when I know it's been completed, a trip to Colchester may be on my list of "things to do". :)
 

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100 years ago today, 14 July 1916, Sergeant Patrick Hagan 3004, of the 11th Battalion Royal Scots, took part in one of the many battles of the Somme, Bazentin Ridge. He never returned. His body lost to the earth.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. Panel: Pier and Face 6D & 7D.

RIP
 

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wanderer paul

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100 years ago today, Private Henry George Purver, SP/3728, of the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sportsmen's), was recorded as 'missing', presumed killed in action, during the attack at Delville Wood, Somme France.
There's no known grave but he is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing. Pier and Face 8 C 9 A and 16 A.

He played for Brentford FC in just two first team matches in the southern league, during 1911-12 season. He was also a regular reserve team player in the London League, appearing in the abandoned 1914/15 season, before he went to France.

No known picture survives of Harry Purver, unfortunately, but we will still remember him. RIP.
 

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wanderer paul

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99 years ago, Private James Greechan (17740) of the 12th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry, Died on 25 August of wounds after the Battle of Langemarck (1917); the third Battle of Ypres. He's buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium. Grave No.XVII.A.9
Played for Brentford FC; 1906/07 - 15 appearances - 2 goals.

A diary entry from 1906/07 says:


"Inside left hails from beyond the borders having been born in Shettleton near Glasgow in 1884. He has played for the Edinburgh Hibernians and comes to Brentford from Boness. Fast and tricky, he is a robust player and a capital shot at goal. He goes to scale at 11stone 7llbs and stands 5ft 9ins"​

He scored 3 goals, the last of which, I believe, was in the 4-2 victory over Reading on March 9th 1907 in The Western League (not counted above). He also scored for us in a 2-1 win over Southampton the day before,on March 8th in the Southern League!
His first Bees goal was just a few days before that, in a 4-1 Southern League victory over QPR. It was his Southern League debut, and it was the opener, a speculative long range shot, early in the game, that slipped through the QPR goalkeeper's hands. 3 goals in 4 days!

RIP

Never forgotten.
 

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Houghton Bee

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As well as those named in previous posts that lost their lives in WW1 and WW2, many Brentford FC footballers, ex, contracted or guest, and staff, served in either the well known "Sportsmen's Battalions" of the Middlesex and Royal Fusiliars regiments or in their home county regiments. These will also be named and recognised in an article in a programme, hopefully this year or next year.
Finding the correctly named player, and in which regiment they served with, is very difficult, due to many men having the same first and last names or the records of their service were lost in WW2 due to the London bombings. Therefore nothing exists online and a trip to the NA at Kew would be the only way of finding out if the player served or not. A little task which will add to what we already know.

After finding out about George Kennedy, we now have two known players buried in the same military cemetery in Lijssenthoek, Belgium. James Greechan is the other. A trip to their last resting place would be something, maybe next year for this too.

Paul, I know the quoted post is nearly two years old but was a full list of Bees who served ever published?

My granddad passed away recently and amongst his possesions we've found an interesting book 'The National Roll of the Great War, Section 1'. You are probably aware of it already but in case you aren't it was published post-war with the intention of naming everyone who served or worked for the cause during the war, civilian and military. A quick online suggests they only managed to publish 14 volumes before giving up. Section 1 is one of 2 or 3 volumes dedicated to north, west and central london. My great-grandmother is mentioned for her work at the Park Royal Filling Factory, along with her address at the time.

I've spent some time checking through the book this evening to see if any of the deceased mentioned in this thread are in the book but have drawn a blank. I'd be more than happy to look for more BFC related names if they are available and this source hasn't already been used. And also if anyone has relations that lived in London and served in WW1 and would like further information I'm happy to help provide whats written if asked.
 

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Thanks for the offer. I may take you up on it, very soon!

Nothing as yet has been printed, but it's still something I'd like to try and do though.

To date, I've researched 300+ footballers who have appeared for Brentford, from the very early 1900's through to the 1920's (age range around 16-50 for WW1 service), and around 120 have some sort of record of serving in the armed forces.

I'm sure there are more, many more, but it's the lack of records that stop you going further with their family trees.

I am yet to swap info with the main man on this subject, MC, to see what info he has collated over the years on the players too.

Send me a pm and we'll see what we can arrange.

Thanks.
 

wanderer paul

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HB, I know what book that is now and I do have access to it, and it's many volumes, via the Find My Past website, but many thanks for thinking about me using it for research.

It has helped for some players but many aren't even listed.
 

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Forgot to remember this man on the 31st October, Sapper John Frederick Alborough 21127, of the 2nd Signal Company Royal Engineers (RE) and the Experimental Dept. 5th Field Company Royal Engineers (RE).

Born in Battersea, in the middle months of 1892, he joined the RE when he turned 18. He's noted in the 1911 census as being in Fort Hill Military Hospital Rochester Kent. He was mobilised soon after WW1 was declared and embarked to the western front on 15 August 1914. He survived the War, as he returned home and married May Lambert on 29 December 1917. A child, Gladys, was born in late 1918. He also played for Brentford FC in three London Combination matches on; 28 September 1918 v Arsenal, 19 October 1918 v Millwall and 26 October 1918 v Orient, as an outside-right. Just five days later, on 31/10/1918, he died at St George's Hospital in Tooting, probably of the flu epidemic sweeping the country. He's buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking. Was Gladys born before he passed away? You'd hope so, but he may have died before. May he RIP.
 

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Forgot to remember this man on the 31st October, Sapper John Frederick Alborough 21127, of the 2nd Signal Company Royal Engineers (RE) and the Experimental Dept. 5th Field Company Royal Engineers (RE).

Born in Battersea, in the middle months of 1892, he joined the RE when he turned 18. He's noted in the 1911 census as being in Fort Hill Military Hospital Rochester Kent. He was mobilised soon after WW1 was declared and embarked to the western front on 15 August 1914. He survived the War, as he returned home and married May Lambert on 29 December 1917. A child, Gladys, was born in late 1918. He also played for Brentford FC in three London Combination matches on; 28 September 1918 v Arsenal, 19 October 1918 v Millwall and 26 October 1918 v Orient, as an outside-right. Just five days later, on 31/10/1918, he died at St George's Hospital in Tooting, probably of the flu epidemic sweeping the country. He's buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking. Was Gladys born before he passed away? You'd hope so, but he may have died before. May he RIP.

We will remember.
 

wanderer paul

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We will remember them.

RIP
 

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Gladys's birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1918 so she was probably born between Sep and Dec that year. He may well have never known his daughter.
 

wanderer paul

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I may have found another ex-bee who lost their life in WW1. He didn't serve in France - home service only - but died whilst wearing the colours. I/We need to check one or two things before confirming but it's a 90% possibility that it is the right man.
 

wanderer paul

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Following on from my post above..........

During my research, regarding Brentford FC footballers who served in WW1, I came across a Scottish footballer; Alexander White Walker.

Alex played for the Club during 1904/05 - picture below - but little else was known about him or what happened to him in later life, so here’s his story.

Alex Walker 1904-05 small.jpg

Alexander White Walker was born in an area of Edinburgh known as St George on 15 November 1881. His Scottish baptism record survives online and includes the names of his parents and this allowed me to research further into Alex’s history.

In the Scotland Census of 1881, recorded before Alex’s birth, the family were all living at; 7 Oliver Terrace St George Edinburgh. His Father, Alexander Walker, was a baker and aged 38. His Mother, Janet Walker (nee Staig), was aged 36 and was mum to two sons; George (3) and Robert (2).

Sometime between the 1881 and 1891 census records, Alexander Walker (Father) passed away.

The Scottish Census of 1891 tells us that Janet, now with three sons, had moved to; 106 Gorgie Road St George Edinburgh. Janet had begun working as a mangle operator while the three sons, now aged 13, 12 and 9, were all scholars, i.e. at school.

We next come across Alex Walker when he joined Heart of Midlothian FC in April 1899, as an inside-right, following in the footsteps of his brother, Robert Walker (Bobbie Walker). Over three seasons playing at Hearts, Alex appeared in 14 senior matches, scoring 3 goals. He also appeared in the reserve team of the time and made in total 48 appearances and scored 14 goals.
His brother, Bobbie, later became a legend in the Scottish game and is named in the Heart of Midlothian FC Hall of Fame, having spent 23 years as a player at the Tynecastle Club. Also appearing for the Scotland National and Scottish League XI sides.

After leaving Hearts in May of 1903, Alex moved to Motherwell FC for the 1903/04 season, in the July. No records are known of his appearances whilst at Fir Park.

Alex Walker signs.JPG

A season later Alex journeyed down south to join Brentford FC, in September 1904. In his one season at Griffin Park, Brentford’s first at their new ground, Alex made just eight Southern League appearances, without scoring a goal. His first seven appearances were between September 5 and November 5 1904 versus; West Ham, Reading, Bristol Rovers, QPR, Millwall, Tottenham and Luton. His last and final appearance wasn’t until March 11 1905 versus Swindon Town. A newspaper report from September 1905 mentions that Alex had suffered a severe knee injury while at Brentford. After recovering from this injury he was looking at returning to Scotland to continue his football career. Unfortunately, with the sources available, no further record of his football career can be found.

Alex Walker Injury 30 Sept 1905.JPG

Alex Walker is shown in this Brentford FC postcard from 1904/05, by Wakefield’s. Alex is sitting in the front row, second from the left.

Brentford FC - 1904-05 - Postcard marked.jpg

The last census available to view, naming Alex, is from 1901 and this records the family; Janet Walker (56) and the youngest son, Alex Walker (19), living at 96 Gorgie Road St George Edinburgh. Alex’s occupation was listed as; Gas Meter Maker. There is a record, from 1911, where we know that Janet and Alexander had moved to Musselburgh.

My research into Alex Walker found that he joined The Royal Scots Regiment as Private 4496 on 9 December 1915 in Musselburgh Scotland.

He was immediately posted to the Reserve, as many soldiers were in this period of WW1, before being mobilised for training on 18 March 1916 at Glencorse and posted to C Company 3/9th Battalion, The Royal Scots (Highlanders). This particular Battalion was the 3rd line of the 9th Battalion Territorial Force. (It was later merged into the 4th Battalion Royal Scots in June 1917.)

Alex’s service record survives – part of the small percentage to survive the WW2 bombings – and tells us that he was 5’ 6” tall and aged 34 at time of enlistment. The record goes on to say that Alex was sent to the 2nd Scottish General Hospital, at Craigleith Edinburgh, on 8 April 1916 with symptoms of TB (Tuberculosis). Sadly, on 12 May 1916, Alexander White Walker died.

His record lists his time in the Colours as “Home” service only, for just 56 days, so he or his surviving family didn’t receive either of the campaign medals from WW1 but they were sent the memorial plaque (known as the death penny).

Alex Walker - MiC Royal Scots - front small.jpg

Alex is buried in the Edinburgh Cemetery, North Merchiston, and occupies a family plot numbered K26, in which Janet (his mother died July 1915) and Bobbie (his elder brother died August 1930) are also interred.

This man takes the number of former Bees who lost their lives during WW1 and WW2 to eleven.
 

wanderer paul

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There is a slim possibilty that another ex-Bee, and professionall footballer, has been discovered to have lost their life in WW1.

As with Alex Walker above though, a life not lost due to facing the enemy but, more than likely, an enemy from within.

Here's an Obit of the soldier. A brave man but sad reading the news article though.

Obit - Coroner Report - blanked.jpg

Need to check a few things first before declaring another ex-Bee losing their fight for life in WW1.
 

wanderer paul

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Any progression on that player?

No, unfortunately, It's a bit tricky. I would need the death and marriage certs, but money is tight to stretch this far. I'd also need to confirm his birth with the above records, as I have a birth record - I hope is the correct one - from Scotlands People. His census records seem to be correct with the birth record.

He is recorded in Southampton FC history, but I have told them that the person they have the records of isn't the footballer. Records don't tie up. I'm 80% certain it's my man, but.......They are checking too but no news from their end.

I was also hoping that he would have an officers record at the National Archives in Kew. But there isn't one, which is unusual for an officer. Most officer records survived the WW2 bombings. There is a record of the officer who survived with the same name. I may have to go through this one to see if the two have been mixed.

The player is; Alexander Glen.
 

wanderer paul

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Added another War-time "Guest" player to the list of War dead.

https://griffinpark.org/forums/showthread.php?t=102119

Billy Mathews.

He only played one game for Brentford, on 20 November 1915, versus Spurs. Served his country in the Royal Horse Artillery and died at home after illness. The CWGC recognised his service and subsequent death. He has a CWGC headstone on his grave at Christleton cemetery Cheshire.

Here's a link to his story.

http://www.christleton.org.uk/christleton2/heroes/mathews/index.html

:)

Still looking, just in case there are more.
 

wanderer paul

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Any progression on that player?

No, unfortunately, It's a bit tricky. I would need the death and marriage certs, but money is tight to stretch this far. I'd also need to confirm his birth with the above records, as I have a birth record - I hope is the correct one - from Scotlands People. His census records seem to be correct with the birth record.

He is recorded in Southampton FC history, but I have told them that the person they have the records of isn't the footballer. Records don't tie up. I'm 80% certain it's my man, but.......They are checking too but no news from their end.

I was also hoping that he would have an officers record at the National Archives in Kew. But there isn't one, which is unusual for an officer. Most officer records survived the WW2 bombings. There is a record of the officer who survived with the same name. I may have to go through this one to see if the two have been mixed.

More now below.......
 

wanderer paul

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After another lengthy search, former Brentford FC footballer, Alexander Glen, can be added to those to remember this coming Remembrance Day, 11 November 2017.

There are publications around, notably Southampton FC Who’s Who, that note Alex’s death as; Glasgow 1966. Further background research into Alex's family tree confirmed my theory that this death record is incorrect and he in fact died on 21 September 1916.

Here’s Alexander Glen’s story.

Alexander Glen was born on 11 December 1878 in Kilsyth Stirlingshire, Scotland. His father, John Glen was a Master Builder, aged 34, and his mother was Mary Glen (nee McVicar), aged 33.

The 1881 Scotland census notes the family living at 23 Main Street Kilsyth Stirlingshire. John and Mary, along with three children; Jessie 8, Mary 6 and Alexander 2.

The 1891 Scotland census shows the family still living in Main Street, Kilsyth, but now at number 46. John is noted as a contractor (builder), aged 48, and Mary, aged 46. Two children are listed, Mary (16) and Alexander, who is now 12 and a scholar.

Sometime during the late 1890’s, Alex began playing football and turned out for Fitzhugh Rovers FC and Glasgow Parkhead FC, in Scottish Junior football.

On 31 March 1901, the Scotland census tells us that Alex is 22 years of age and is residing at; 143 Fir Park Street, Dennistoun, Glasgow. He is boarding with the Govan family and his occupation is noted as; Medical student.

It is mentioned in the Southampton Who’s Who (and other sources) that Alex was sent to South Africa and the Boer War. Being a medical student, he served with the Scottish National Red Cross Hospital (SNRCH) as a First Class Orderly. In the SNRCH medal rolls (dated May 1901) he is noted as a Medical Student. Alex received the Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps, Cape Colony and Orange Free State. On his return to Scotland, he continued his medical studies in Glasgow and played for Clyde FC.

In July 1902, Grimsby Town offered him the opportunity to play in the English First Division. His main position in the side was as an inside-forward. At the end of the 1902/03 season after just 13 games and 1 goal, Alex left Grimsby Town and moved a little further south and signed for Notts County FC. Once again, after just one season with the Magpies (20 games and 3 goals), he was on the move, this time to North London to sign for Tottenham Hotspurs FC, in May 1904. After two seasons at Spurs, playing in the Southern League, Alex moved even further south, this time to Southampton FC, also in the Southern League. During the 1906/07 season he appeared in 29 matches, scoring 10 goals. This wasn’t enough to secure another season at the Saints and Alex was on the move again. Just a short trip further along the south coast to Portsmouth FC. He didn’t play many times for Pompey, just seven appearances and one goal, and so his last move in football was to Brentford FC in July 1908.

Alex Glen while at Spurs.

A Glen spurs 1905.jpg

His time at Brentford was a little stop start. He appeared in just 11 Southern League matches, scoring three goals, but he also appeared for the Reserves in the United League and London League. At a point towards the end of 1908 he contracted blood poisoning. During his period of convalescing, at the beginning of 1909, the Middlesex Independent newspaper noted that Alex had gone to a suburb of Sheffield.*

A Glen - Middx Ind - Jan 1909.JPG

* This small snippet in the local paper, from January 1909, linked the research to one source, his older sister and her husband – a Doctor – as they were living in Ecclesall, Sheffield.

At the end of the 1908/09 season, aged 32, Alex’s football career looks to have come to a natural finish. The England census of 1911 shows that he was living in Southsea, Portsmouth, boarding with the Matthias family. His occupation is noted as; Commission Agent (Horses). Also boarding at the address are three Portsmouth professional footballers, so he must’ve kept in contact with former team members.

Where Alex went to and what he did after 1911, we just don’t know. There aren’t any reliable sources to pin him down.

My curiosity around Alex Glen was due to his death date – as noted above. Having researched the Glasgow 1966 death more closely, I found out that the Alexander Glen whose death this refers to was actually; Alexander Kennedy Glen, born in Dumbarton in 1877. Therefore, when did Alexander Glen (born 1878) die?

Continuing with my search of the online newspaper archives, I came across several Coroner Reports in the Yorkshire newspapers, for the end of September 1916. On 21 September 1916, a Lieutenant Alexander Glen, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, sadly committed suicide whilst in camp at Ripon, North Yorkshire.

A Glen - Obit - Coroner Report -  Hartlepool Northern Daily Echo 23 September 1916 pg4.JPG

Could this be the former professional footballer?

Further research found the registration of his death, at Ripon in September 1916, and then a small obituary in a Sheffield newspaper, for a “dearly beloved brother”, took my eye (See attached). Dr. and Mrs T. Chas. Jones, were living at The Grove Walkley Sheffield. Lt. Alexander Glen was 38, a perfect age for the footballer. This was a lead I had to follow through.

A Glen - Obit - Sheffield Daily Telegraph 27 September 1916 pg4.jpg

The family and address were found without a problem in the 1911 England Census. Doctor Thomas Charles Jones and Jessie Jones. I searched for their marriage but nothing was found in England. However, my instinct told me to look in Scotlands People. There was a marriage in January 1891 in Kilsyth. The parents of Jessie were, John and Mary Glen (nee McVicar), a match.
Also living at the Sheffield address, with Dr and Mrs Jones, was an Effie Glen. Who was she? Looking in the Scotlands People archives I found a birth record of Euphemia Glen, September 1881. Parents; John and Mary Glen (nee McVicar). Perfect.

Searching the Soldier Effects Record for Lt. Alexander Glen – an account of War Gratuities paid to the relatives of soldiers who had died in service – it notes a Gertrude M Glen as receiving the payment.
There is a record in the archives of Alexander Glen marrying a Gertrude Mary Gregory in Leigh Lancashire at sometime between July and September 1916, so shortly before committing suicide.
There’s also another record in the archives, this is for a daughter, Elizabeth H Glen, born between January and March 1917 in Leigh Lancashire. (Mother maiden name – Gregory).

The Coroner’s Report has a very poignant suicide note written by Lt. Alexander Glen. We shall never know how or why he got to a point where he had to take his own life. Serving in the forces? Personal issues? Who knows?

Personally, this has been a sad story to tell but one I’m pleased to have discovered so that; Lieutenant Alexander Glen, is now remembered and not forgotten about ever again.

Lieutenant Alexander Glen is buried in Ripon Cemetery Ripon Yorkshire.

Alex Glen - RAMC - Gravestone - Ripon Cemetery.jpg

Therefore, after a few months of research and looking at many records, we can add another two names to the Brentford FC Roll of Honour.

Private Alexander Walker and Lieutenant Alexander Glen.

We can add another Brentford FC Guest footballer to the list; Shoeing Smith William Mathews - as mentioned in a post above.
 

rebus

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Well done Paul. My research on Brentford players has revealed mental heath issues have been ever present throughout the club's history. It's a subject not often talked about but hopefully this is now ending.
 

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Today, October 26 2017, is the first day of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for 2017. Wear one with pride.

Remembrance Names - The 13 - 2017.jpg
 
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