Brentford FC's Fallen Heroes.

Houghton Bee

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wanderer paul

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Just registered and applied under Houghton Bee as this sounds very interesting, knowing how difficult researching my own family tree has been at times you have my total admiration for the work done on this project :sorted:

Access granted. :sorted:

You will see the new name to be added under the letter “D” and the last man on the list ;)
 

wanderer paul

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Another name will be added to the Brentford FC “we will remember them.” war memorial list with the addition of rediscovered Private Harry Dutfield.

All in tomorrow’s match programme. ;)

This takes the former players who fell in the Wars to 15 with the addition of Walter Spratt as the sixteenth.

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

We Will Remember Them - Brentford FC - 2019.jpg
 

TW3Bee

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wanderer paul

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Here's the article but with the addition of some snippets that weren't used in the programme.......

It has been over 105 years since the first shot was fired in World War One. "My search for those who represented Brentford FC (at some time in their career) and who made the ultimate sacrifice, continues to this day. New sources for research are added online daily. Snippets of information, written down and printed one hundred years or so ago, re-opens closed avenues into finding and bringing back into our memory the names of those once lost in time. Once rediscovered, these brave men will never be forgotten again.

We Will Remember………..

My research into Brentford FC for season 1902/1903 mentioned a player, named “Dutfield”, who had appeared for the Bees first eleven, at full-back, once in the Southern League and once in a London League match (Dutfield was a reserve XI player for most of his time). Newspaper reports just showed his surname and nothing more.
Dutfield, being an uncommon surname, was one I had expected to be searchable with some ease. Unfortunately not! So I waited for new sources to appear online.

One new source then appeared…

At the start of season 1902/1903 a piece on Brentford FC, in the Uxbridge & West Drayton Gazette, gave mention of a player named “Duffield” (sic) who had arrived from Croydon and played as a full-back. He was to be a reserve player for the coming season. This new source (Croydon) re-opened the file on Dutfield. Finally, a first name and more.

The research is summarised below……

Harry Dutfield small.jpg

Harry Dutfield was born to George and Ann Dutfield (nee Thompson) and registered in the Aston district of Birmingham Warwickshire in last quarter of 1879. [George Alfred and Ann married in Leeds on 25 September 1865 at St Peter’s.]
The 1881 Census of England show the family living at; (the) “Back of 95”, 1, Icknield Square, Birmingham, Warwickshire. George is noted as a leather dresser (a currier) and was born in Battersea in 1846. Ann, his wife, was born in Leeds Yorkshire in 1844. Their five children were; Ernest (b.1870), Ada (b.1872), Kate (b.1874), Clara (b.1876) and Harry (b.1880).

At some time, between the two census records of 1881 and 1891, the family moved to Wallington, near Croydon, Surrey.
Now residing at; 5 Golden Terrace, Wallington, Croydon, Surrey. George (44) is still in the leather trade as a currier. Ann, 45, is now a mother to six children. Ada had, by now, left the family home (m.1892) and Arthur is the additional child (b.1881).
Harry Dutfield followed his father into the leather trade and became a leather dresser.

One of several newspaper records, for example in the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter of 29 April 1899, show a “Dutfield” appearing at full-back for Beddington Corner FC in a local Surrey junior league, known as the Herald League.

Dutfield - Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter 29 April 1899 small.JPG

The next record available is the marriage of Harry Dutfield to Louisa Clara Brown. This was registered in the first quarter 1899 at Epsom Surrey.

The 1901 Census has Harry, now 22, as a leather dresser and Louisa, 23 (b. Carshalton Surrey), living at London Road, Wallington, Croydon, Surrey. They have two children; George Dutfield (b.1899 Beddington Corner, Surrey) and Gladys Dutfield (b.1901 Beddington Corner, Surrey).
[Note the birth town given in this Census.]

From 1900 to 1902, H. Dutfield is noted as a footballer for Beddington Corner FC. For example, in the West Surrey Times dated 30 March 1901, H. Dutfield played for “The Corner” against Farncombe FC.

Dutfield - West Surrey Times 30 March 1901 a small.JPG

In the Uxbridge & West Drayton Gazette, dated 19 July 1902, Brentford Football Club announced several new signings for the coming season, 1902/1903. One signing was “Duffield” (sic) a full-back from Croydon. The research mentioned above notes that Dutfield is the man Brentford signed and that he played in the Croydon area for Beddington Corner FC.

Dutfield - Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 19 July 1902 a small.JPG

Harry Dutfield played for the Brentford First XI just once in the Southern League (versus Reading in a three nil defeat) and once in the London League (versus Woolwich Arsenal in another three nil defeat). His main contribution to the Bees was for the Reserve XI who played in the South-Eastern League and the reserve division of the London League, Division 2.
At seasons end, 1902/1903, there isn’t another mention of Dutfield playing for Brentford. Nor is there mention of Harry Dutfield moving to another Club to continue his football career, even at junior level back in the Surrey leagues.

The 1911 Census of England and Wales is where we next see the family. The Dutfield family had moved to Leicestershire. Harry and Louisa were living at 91 Repton Street, Leicester Leicestershire.
Now 32 years of age, Harry was still a leather dresser and Louisa, 33, was now a mother to six children; George (b.1899 Surrey), Gladys (b.1901 Surrey), Alice (b.1903 Surrey), William (b.1904 Surrey), Percy (b.1906 Surrey) and Grace Ellen (1911 Leicestershire).
Records aren’t readily available to follow what happened after 1911 except the births of more children! Frank Dutfield (b.1913 Leicester), Bertie Dutfield, (b.1915 Leicester [Bertie, however, died soon after birth in early 1915]), Florence Dutfield, (b.1916 Leicester) and Leonard Thomas Dutfield (b.1918 Leicester).

Harry Dutfield answered the call for men to join the Colours between 7 & 10 of May 1917. He joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion Leicestershire Regiment as Private H. Dutfield 203533.
He was posted to the 7th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, in October 1917, before his posting and embarkation to France. He was then transferred to the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment sometime later, likely to be around 24 October 1917. [The dates of enlistment and movements are taken from fellow men whose records survive and are closely numbered to Harry Dutfield]

The surviving War Diary [WD] of the 1st Leicestershire’s allow us to follow Harry’s progress from October 1917 to June 1918. The most poignant piece is from June 1918…….
The Battalion, on 6 June 1918, were in the front Line, to the left of the Chateau Segard sector.

The WD notes on the 6 June 1918; “Intermittent shelling by both sides, throughout the day, which otherwise passed uneventfully. 16th King’s Royal Rifle Corps relieved the Battalion at night. Relief somewhat hampered by hostile gas shelling on our front line and hostile activity on back areas. Relief eventually complete at 12.00 midnight.” The WD kept detailed notes, which is unusual for many regimental diaries, of a running casualty list for each month. For June 1918 it notes; “Casualties; other ranks, ‘C’ Company; 1 killed, 6 wounded.”

The one man killed we know to be; Private Harry Dutfield 203533, of C Company 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.

His body is laid to rest in the CWGC Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. PLOT XI. E. 5.

Dutfield - War Grave smal.jpg

Sadly, before his own death, Harry would have had to suffer the sad news that his and Louisa’s eldest son, George Henry Dutfield #40869 of the 8th Bn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), was killed in action on 13 April 1918, aged just 18.
George Henry Dutfield is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial Hainaut, Belgium, Panel 2.

Louisa Clara Dutfield never re-married and is noted in the Register of 1939 as still living in Leicester along with their youngest son Leonard Dutfield. Louisa later passed away in 1949."

May they Rest in Peace.
 

OhBeehave

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Jack Cock was awarded the MM in WWI. Played for the Bees before the war and was then part of the Brentford team which won the London Combination in 1918-1919. Plus he played in the 1919 'Victory International' match alongside 'Patsy' Hendren of the Bees too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cock

This tweet popped up in my Facebook memories today (from those days when you could make your tweets post on there as well) so I retweeted it again today. I wasn't a member here then so I've not seen any of this until now having decided to search for him and thought I'd post it here too.

 

wanderer paul

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From yet more research, it never ends, I believe another former player is now due for recognition for his service in WW1 and for making the ultimate sacrifice.

Louis Lawrent D'ABADIE.

Said to be; D'Abadie L L.jpg

Born 10/8/1877 Port of Spain Trinidad.

Louis was born in Trinidad, the third son of St Luce D’Abadie (a landowner) and Ida D’Abadie (née Girod), of Port of Spain, Trinidad.

For a short time in 1887 he was a student at Stonyhurst College, before completing his education at St Augustine's College, Ramsgate. A diligent student and a keen sportsman, he was well read in the literatures of France and England, a brilliant debater, and had intended to study law.

Louis D'Abadie appears in the 1891 Census while at St Augustine's College in Kent. [Pupil. Trinidad]

The Newspaper Archives has several pieces about L., L.L. or Louis D’Abadie while a student at St Augustine’s Ramsgate Kent.

L. D’Abadie played cricket for the College during 1891 to 1894.
[30 May 1891 - The Era - London, London, England, 12 May 1894 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England]

His name appears in the College's merit lists for; English & Mathematics [06 August 1892 – Tablet - London, England, 29 July 1893 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England, 05 August 1893 - Tablet - London, London, England, 03 November 1894 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England, 27 July 1895 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England] and also for theatrical performances [14 February 1891 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England, 25 February 1893 - Tablet - London, London, England, 16 March 1895 - Tablet - London, London, England].

In October 1896 an L. D’Abadie starts appearing in Brentford Reserve matches in the West Middlesex League. He may have been introduced to Brentford via a fellow Trinidadian, Felix Leotaud, who was Captain of the Brentford Reserve XI.

Later, during the same month, D’Abadie also appears for St Augustine’s at football.

During November and December 1896, L. D’Abadie continues to appear for the B’s Reserves. Even appearing in the Middlesex Junior Cup for Brentford Reserves. After December 1896, no more records are seen where L. D’Abadie plays again for Brentford.*

[*Due to Middlesex papers not being digitised online and they're also too damaged to check physically at local libraries.]

D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 24 October 1896 crop.JPG D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 4 November 1896 crop.JPG

D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 5 December 1896 crop.JPG D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 12 December 1896 crop.JPG

D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 19 December 1896 crop.JPG D'Abadie - Middlesex Independent 21 November 1896 a crop.JPG

In the summer of 1897, D’Abadie appears again for St Augustine’s College at cricket. During September to October he appears for St Augustine’s at football [30 October 1897 - Thanet Advertiser - Ramsgate, Kent, England]. He also appears for Ramsgate FC during December 1897 [Thanet Advertiser 25 December 1897].

The summer of 1898 once again sees L. D’Abadie appearing for St Augustine’s XI at cricket. After May 1898, no more sources can be found for L. L. D’Abadie.

However, in April 1905, there’s mention of a D’Abadie playing Polo for Trinidad versus Jamaica!

The next mention of Louis comes in the form of a ship register in November 1914.

He left Trinidad with Edward Ellis*, Thornton Warner^, John Wilson (all three members of the local constabulary) and Bertie Russell on 14th November 1914, arriving in England on 8th December.

He enlisted in London and went to France on 15th November 1915.

His Service Number; SPTS/2276, shows he enlisted sometime in late December 1914 or early January 1915.
2099 joined on 3rd December 1914
2293 joined on 6th January 1915


His Battalion left England on 14 November 1915 and disembarked in France on 15 November 1915.

Private L. L. D'Abadie was killed when going "over the top" with his regiment to help to capture "Delville Wood".

The Battalion War Diary notes his death.

D'Abadie - War Diary Noting Death 31 7 1916.JPG

Pte L. L. D'Abadie has no known grave and is, therefore, remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Department de la Somme, Picardie, France. On Pier and Face 8 C 9 A and 16 A. In addition, he is also Commemorated on the Port of Spain Cenotaph.

Medal entitlement: 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal*.
[*His medals were returned to the Ministry in 1923, as noted on his Medal Index Card]

L L D'Abadie - Medal Index Card.jpg

A friend from Trinidad wrote: “He had great facility of speech, and a wonderful persuasive and winning manner. He took great interest in sport, was a thorough sportsman, and sometimes wrote in the local papers. He was a great favourite with everyone, a faithful friend, and, as you may imagine from what I have said, the pleasantest of companions.”
“Louis was one of the first Trinidadian to leave Trinidad, after the declaration of war, to join the Army. He and a few others left together without fuss or show, and almost unnoticed. I must confess I never seriously thought he meant to join the Army. First of all he must have been very near the age limit, if not over it, and fighting did not seem me to be in his line. However, he proved that he was in earnest, and his colleges, Trinidad, and his family and friends have every reason to be proud of him.”


A comrade wrote: “Louis was killed in action while taking part in the advance...he was instantaneously killed by a shell on July 31st, 1916, while advancing through Delville Wood. The morning before we went into action he attended an open-air Mass, and, with the rest of us Catholics, received Holy Communion on the field, so that we were all prepared for any sacrifice.”

Another comrade wrote: “'Darby' (as we always called him) was beloved by all, and every one of us will, deep in our hearts, treasure his memory as one of the finest men and truest comrades we have ever had the good fortune to meet.”

*Edward Charles Ellis, Lieutenant, Gloucestershire Regiment, died on 7th August 1915, aged 26. He is commemorated in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery.
^Thornton Sparr Warner, Captain, Gloucestershire Regiment, died on 23rd July 1916, aged 33. He is commemorated on Pier and Face 5B THIEPVAL MEMORIAL.


A Ships Register, from the SS Stuyvesant, has an Ida D’Abadie (aged 73) returning to the West Indies, from the Port of Dover, on 28 October 1920. Along with a Joseph D’Abadie (aged 52) and his wife, Marcelle (aged 48).

[Did they travel to the UK to claim Private L. L. D’Abadie’s wages owed and war gratuity but did they forget his campaign medals that were due after his death?]

Louis D'Abadie has been added to the GPG's list of The Fallen.
 
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wanderer paul

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We remember those who gave their lives in the two World Wars;
William Allwright, John Bayne, Louis D’Abadie, Harry Dutfield, Alexander Glen, Henry Gould, James Greechan, Patrick Hagan, Joshua Hardisty, George Kennedy, George Littler, Henry Purver, Horace Robotham, Percy Saunders, Ralph Shields, Walter Spratt & Alexander Walker.

Also, to those who appeared in our colours as “guests”;
John Alborough, Albert Bonass, Harry Cook, William Kirby, William Mathews, Richard Wynn.

We also remember those Brentford supporters who also gave their lives in the two wars and those conflicts since.


878086C6-5AC9-44EF-965E-E9AC136A7F9B.jpeg

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
 
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hatfieldbee

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Not a Brentford hero story... but...

Just watched the Cenotaph Remembrance ceremony. Very surreal in it's necessarily Covid much smaller format. 26 Veterans in the march past instead of c10k. Very eery. Many less wreaths laid.

Also couldn't go to the cancelled local ceremony in East Ham, normally where we went evety year with my late Father in Law, who died earlier this year. He always laid a cross in memory of one of his Army colleagues from the 2nd WW with him in Southern Italy, who was killed out there.
 
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wanderer paul

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One more former Brentford FC footballer has been rediscovered and added to the list of former Brentford players to be remembered who lost their lives in WW1 & WW2.

Once again, the discovery was thanks to the numerous updates of the online newspaper archives. An extremely valuable source of information which has helped to re-open player files who were once "unknowns" to players we now know more of and we can honour their service to the nation.

PERCY CHARLES MATTHEWS

• Born; 19 February 1884 Caddington Luton Bedfordshire.
• Married; Louise May Watts 3 August 1912 Hayes, Hillingdon Middlesex.
• Died; 12 October 1916 Gueudecourt, Somme France.

Brentford FC – 1914/1915 – Forward
1914/15 – 3 appearances (Southern League).

Matthews 1914-15.JPG
Percy Matthews appearance record 1914/1915

Percy Matthews was a local amateur footballer, who was signed to Uxbridge FC, and appeared for Brentford FC during 1914/1915, due to the lack of players at Brentford’s disposal due to WW1.
Percy also appeared the previous season, 1913/14, for Brentford in reserve XI matches. He became Uxbridge’s captain from 1913 and also played cricket for Hayes CC during the summer months.

Matthews - Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 28 February 1914.JPG
Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 28 February 1914

Percy Charles Matthews, the eldest son of Henry and Emily Matthews. He was born on 19 February 1884 in Caddington Bedfordshire, a village just to the west of Luton. A second son, William, was born two years later in 1886.
The Census return of 1891 tells us that the Matthews family was living on Stanley Street, Luton Bedfordshire. Percy’s father, Henry, was a brick maker, at the local brick works. His mother, Emily, was a Straw Hat Machinist. The odd thing is, Percy is registered at two addresses in the Census! Once with his family and the second time with his widowed grandmother on Dunstable Road.

The Census return of 1901 shows the family still living in Stanley Street Luton, with the addition of the house number, 52. Henry is now a widower (Emily died in 1898). Percy’s occupation is noted as “stoker”. This could be stoking the kilns in the brick factory while Henry is now a Dyer in the hat making industry. William, too, is also noted as a dyer.

On 25 July 1902, Percy enlisted into the Royal Navy, serving for 6 years until 31 March 1908. He served on HMS Jupiter, a Majestic class Battleship, from July 1903 to January 1905 as a stoker. Then HMS Diadem, a Protection class Cruiser, from March 1905 to April 1907 as a stoker 1st class. Lastly, HMS London, a London class Battleship, from June 1907 to 31 March 1908. Percy was then discharged after 90 days detention for; “refusing to work”.

Percy is then found in the newspaper archives playing football for Uxbridge FC. He was a forward and a regular starter in the Uxbridge first eleven. He appeared at an amateur trial for Brentford in 1913 and appeared in a number of reserve eleven fixtures in the London League.

Matthews - Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 02 August 1913.JPG
Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 02 August 1913

As soon as season 1914/1915 started, football was under pressure to end the season forthwith and for the players to enlist into the armed services, along with nearly every other young men from their country. Football decided to continue, in the face of anger from some quarters, but this led to many Clubs struggling for players, as the call to arms was too great to ignore for many.

Brentford FC were Club who suffered with players signing up to enlist or offering their services to munition factories in London and Birmingham. Under these tough conditions, Brentford signed up a number of local amateur players to fill in for those professionals who left so as to complete the fixture list. Percy Matthews was one such amateur footballer. However, he too decided to join the colours, after appearing three times for the Bees (versus Barry, Mid-Rhondda and Stalybridge Celtic - see picture above).

Matthews - BARRY 0 Brentford 1 SL2 The Sportsman 14th September 1914.JPG
Barry 0 Brentford 1 SL2 - The Sportsman 14th September 1914

Percy Matthews joined the Essex Regiment, 1st Battalion, under service number 30462, with the rank of Private. The service number suggests an enlistment date during November 1915 (The Derby Scheme). However, he would’ve been placed on army reserve until he was mobilised, most likely during May 1916 when reinforcements were desperately required after major losses.

The Essex Regiment landed in France – after serving at Gallipoli – and readied themselves for one of the first major offensives in August 1916, the Battle of the Somme. In October 1916, the 1st Battalion moved to a position to assault Gueudecourt on the Somme. On 12 October 1916, after the main assault, Private Percy Matthews was listed as “missing”. His death was confirmed sometime later but his body was never found on the battlefield. Private P Matthews is noted on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.

Matthews - British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920.JPG
Medal Index Card

Matthews - Kent Messenger & Gravesend Telegraph 02 December 1916.JPG
Kent Messenger & Gravesend Telegraph 02 December 1916

Percy’s wife, Louise May Matthews, claimed a widow’s pension. On the card is noted a daughter, Audrey Doris Matthews (born 30 August 1913).

Matthews, Percy (30462).jpg
Pension Claim Index Card

Louise Matthews remarried on 24 August 1929 to William Maurice Stockley (Railway Fireman on LNER) in Uxbridge. Louise Stockley died
during 1977 in Exeter Devon.
Audrey Matthews married a Benjamin Percival (m. Barnet 1935. died 1947). Audrey is noted at her death (2006 Hertfordshire) as Audrey Doris Richards, so remarried at some point after 1939.


Percy Matthews is the 18th former player to be rediscovered and remembered.

I will continue with my search in finding the names of those who served, and died, who also played for Brentford FC. (There's one more who could be added but, due to lack of records, I cannot confirm, 100%, that he is who I believe it is.)

In eleven years, since this thread was created on the GPG, those once forgotten footballers who have been found has risen from 4 or 5 - originally known - to EIGHTEEN former players and SIX guest players, a total of Twenty-Four.

I'm sure there are a few more!!
 
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Herbert

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wanderer paul

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One comes along, after a long wait, and then another comes soon after!

As I said above, my research into Brentford FC's players from 1889 to 1920 continues. Nearly 500 players, mostly first XI (403), have been noted as appearing for Brentford in competitive and friendly first XI matches in those 31 seasons. Not including all the players, as yet, who appeared during seasons 1915/16 to 1918/19 (Although a large percentage have been researched for their service in WW1).
Around 25% of these 500 players still haven't even been named, in full. Just their surname or with the addition of an initial.
New records pop up online that assist me in finding out more about our former Bees. Either newspapers added or records surface, from good sources, such as FA Registration for professional footballers from mid-1890's to 1920. With the help of these new sources, here's the next new name to be remembered on Brentford FC's Roll of Honour.

Alfred William Mehew

Brentford FC – 1898/1901 – Half-Back
  • 1898/99 – 5 apps (SL).
  • 1899/1900 – 3 apps (SL).
  • 1900/01 – 2 apps (SL). 1 app (FA Cup). 5 apps (LL).
  • Total – 16 appearances.
* SL = Southern League. LL = London League.
I’ve been researching this footballer since I started looking at the players who appeared for Brentford FC from 1889/1920 for the website. Plus, looking into their War service, if any, during WW1. With such an unusual name, you’d think it would be easy. Well, it hasn’t been! Newspaper reports note the player as; Mayhew, Mehew, Meyhew and Mahew. All pre-fixed with a “W”.

"W. Mehew" didn’t appear too many times for the Bees, over the three seasons he was at the club. He was an amateur footballer who came to Brentford, in August 1898, from Kettering St Mary’s FC and signed amateur forms for the Southern League. It was said he was a young, “painstaking”, player, while at Brentford, slight in stature and lightweight.

Mayhew - Middlesex County Times 03 September 1898.JPG
Middlesex County Times 03 September 1898

Due to an injury, he missed most of season 1899/1900.

Mayhew - Middlesex Independent 08 November 1899.JPG


Middlesex Independent 08 November 1899

Once fit, Mehew was loaned out to Monsted’s, Gray’s Athletic and Covent Garden football clubs to regain his fitness. He reappeared at the beginning of season 1900/01 but, in October 1900, he left Brentford to join Hounslow FC.
Later, in December 1900, it was reported in the newspapers that he appeared on trial for Fulham FC, versus Hendon, in the Southern League. Mayhew also appeared over the Christmas period for Fulham too.

When “Mayhew” left Brentford, and later Fulham, we know he signed for Kettering FC. This Club is also known to have disbanded in 1901. (It was to re-appear later in the 1900’s.) Woodford FC, being his town of birth and also where he lived, was a newly formed Club in August 1901. W. Mehew was noted as the Clubs Vice-Captain.

Mayhew - Mehew - Northampton Mercury 23 August 1901.JPG

Northampton Mercury 23 August 1901

The obvious person to look for was a W Mayhew, with the addition of variations of the spelling, but nothing fitted. I left it and hoped a source would be forthcoming in the future. The FA registrations was that source.

Kindly transcribed by a fellow historian from Chesterfield FC, the records show that he signed for Kettering FC on 29 January 1901. The FA registration records also show us the following:

1900-1901 MAYHEW W Kettering 29 1 1901
1901-1902 MEHEW W Woodford (Northants) 21 8 1901
1902-1903 No record
1903-1904 No record
1904-1905 No record
1905-1906 MAHEW W Woodford 8 9 1905
1906-1907 No record
1907-1908 MEHEW W Woodford Albion 30 11 1907
1908-1909 MEHEW A W Woodford Albion 21 8 1908
1909-1910 MEHEW A W Kettering Working Men’s 9 9 1909
1910-1911 MEHEW A W Woodford Albion 3 11 1910
1911-1915 No records

With this new source, the player can now be confirmed as Alfred William Mehew.


  • Born; Q1 1881 Thrapston Woodford Northamptonshire.
  • Baptised; 13 February 1881 Thrapston Northamptonshire.
  • Married; Hannah Wilson 4 December 1902 Woodford Northamptonshire.
  • Died; 9 May 1915 Aubers Ridge France.
  • Buried; XI. D. 22. Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, la Gorgue France.
Alfred Mehew was born to William and Lois Mehew of Thrapston Northampton in early 1881. William was a labourer in Ironstone.

The 1881 Census records the family living in Lower Green Thrapston, Woodford, Northamptonshire. The next record, the Census of 1891, shows the family still in Thrapston but with the addition of George and Ada Mehew. William, the father, is still a labourer in the Iron/White stone industry. The Census record notes the name of Alfred as, "A William Mehew". (Was this when he becomes known as William and not Alfred?)

Alfred William Mehew is then noted as a footballer, in the newspapers, and he signs for Brentford in August 1898.

After returning home, the Census of 1901 notes the Mehew's living at New Town, Woodford, Thrapston, Northamptonshire. William, the father, is still in the Ironstone industry, William (Alfred) is noted as a shoemaker riveter, George as a furnace man and Ada as a boot and shoe closer.

In 1902 Alfred William Mehew marries a Hannah Wilson. They have two children, William and Hilda, before the 1911 Census. The Census tells us that William (Alfred) Mehew (age 30) is residing at Church Green, Woodford, Northamptonshire, and is now a blast furnace man, with Hannah (age 32), William (age 7) and Hilda (age 5).

In June 1912, Alfred and Hannah have another child, a girl, naming her Melba.

The next records are from WW1.

Alfred Mehew enlisted, as a Private, into the Northamptonshire Regiment on 23 November 1914. We can be pretty sure of this date as his service number, 16496, seems to be in a batch of numbers issued in Kettering Northamptonshire on this day. Thanks, in part, to near numbers around Mehew’s that show a date of enlistment which survive in the records.

After enlistment, Alfred would’ve been sent for training and then awaited his date of mobilisation. We can suggest he was mobilised sometime in March 1915 and posted to the Depot Battalion.

The Northants were already in France, at this time, as they were recalled from Alexandria, Egypt, in the October of 1914 and sailed to Le Havre France in November 1914.

Private A. W. Mehew landed in France on 15 April 1915 (as noted on his Medal Index Card) as part of new re-inforcements after the 2nd Northants had taken part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. (Private Mehew would’ve been at the Infantry Base Depot before deployment to his battalion.)

Mehew Mayhew - Medal Card.JPG

A note in the Battalion War Diary says;

18 April ’15 In billets at Bal-St-Maur.
19 April ’15 In billets. Route march and practice drills. Weather good, sunshine all day. Capt. Jackson and 2nd Lt. Friendship joined the Battalion alongwith a draft of 113 NCO’s and men.

In the next twenty days Private Mehew; route marched, practiced close quarter drills, went into the trenches, dug trenches and probably heard about the use of gas being used against the French in Ypres. On 26 April 1915, another draft of 114 Officers and men joined the battalion. The weather was good, sunny and hot.

The Battalion War Diary can then be followed from 1 May 1915 up to the date of the offensive at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915.

1 May ’15 In trenches. Heavy Bombardment at 4:30am near Neuve Chapelle lasting till 6am.
2 May ’15 In trenches. Masks issued for counteracting the effect of noxious gases. Also, bicarbonate of soda in water to dip the masks in. Tins kept for this purpose.
3 May ’15 In trenches. A draft of 35 men joined the battalion this night at 8:30pm.
4 May ’15 In billets at Rue Du Bois. Weather Fine. Battlalion marched at 8pm to Sailly. Billeted one mile west of that town.
5 May ’15 In billets. Nothing to report.
6 May ’15 In billets.Company parade. Weather fine.
7 May ’15 All preparations made for offensive operations and details explained to all ranks. At 6:30pm, message received that operations has been suspended for 24 hours.
8 May ’15 Final preparations. All officers received their instructions and all explained to their men. Moved to Sailly at 10:15pm in Brigade column.
9 May ’15 Reached place of assembly at 12:30am. D Coy proceded to dig trenches and clear the wire in the orchard. D Coy were joined by A Coy. B Coy in trenches to the rear of the orchard. C Coy to the right. Men were detailed to carry tools, rations and ammo.
At 5:50am, the Northants Regt. Will attack the salient at point 372 with the objective line being 368 to 361.
Artillery bombardment start at 5am till 5:50am.
A & D Coy’s advance to point 372. They came under heavy enfilade fire immediately from machine guns at 353. A Coy nearly wiped out.
B Coy advanced in support of A & D Coy’s at 6am. But immediately came under enfilade machine gun fire on exiting the orchard.
At 6:30am C Coy advanced with two machine guns to support the push towards the enemy trenches.
They were unable to advance beyond am orchard and had to be withdrawn.
At 8am machine guns remained on position until 11am.
Very few of A Coy reached the enemy lines and returned. Just one officer, four men of D Coy returned. Then 10 men and 10 wounded of D Coy returned too.
At 9:15pm orders received for regiment to proceed back to Division HQ.

Before action numbers were: 20 officers & 867 other ranks.

At roll call: 8 officers & 453 other ranks.
Officers: killed (4) wounded (5) missing (3)
Other Ranks: killed (63) wounded (154) missing (197)

Around one half of the battalion was lost in one failed offensive action….The attack was an unmitigated disaster on the part of the British. No ground was gained, no tactical advantage was gained, and they suffered more than ten times the number of casualties as the Germans. To make matters worse the battle precipitated a political crisis back home, which became the Shell Crisis of 1915.

Private Alfred William Mehew was killed in action on 9 May 1915.

The concentration report, as to where his body was found, show the co-ordinates as 36.N.9.c.1.8. These show that he had just left the trenches from where the attack started from. This place is near to a farm, a few metres off of Rue Delvas, NE of Fromelles. (tMapper shows the place where his body was found - insert the co-ordinates above to show the place)

He was exhumed and laid to rest at Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, la Gorgue France. Plot XI. Grave D. 22.

Hannah Mehew claimed a pension for her and their three children.

Mehew, Alfred Wm (16496).jpg

Alfred William Mehew becomes the nineteenth Brentford player to be remembered, alongside the six guests, from WW1 and WW2.

I continue the search and, in my opinion, there will be others waiting to be rediscovered and remembered.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.
 
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hanwellbee

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Release of the 1921 census early next year should help with research on late teens players and families left behind of those who died. Will be on FMP I believe?
 
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