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com Simple history or click the link in the description below head over there now The soldiers who played football in battle World War one While the trench warfare of the First World War saw four years of bloody slaughter This didn't seem to dim the British enthusiasm for football or soccer as it's sometimes called outside of Britain Quite literally on the front lines this passion would overflow onto the battlefield itself So much so that right at the beginning of the war one part of the frontline had a truce on Christmas Day So there could be a football match in no-man's land between the British and the Germans the Christmas truce had many senior officers concerned about socialising with the enemy and footballs were then banned for fear of Mutiny in the following year in 1915 the London Irish rifles football team went the next step further smuggling several footballs into the trenches All but one had been punctured by an officer the night before the big push at the Battle of Luce where? Chlorine gas would be used for the first time by the British to cover their advance Rifleman Frank Edwards later known as the Footballer of loose have kept a deflated ball under his uniform As the other man applied their gas masks in haste The win had blown the gas back into the British trenches Many men slow in adjusting their masks fell choking to the floor of the trenches Edwards meanwhile calm and collected use every available breath to inflate his football When the whistle blew he threw the football into no-man's land As he and his fellow soldiers went over the top they defiantly passed it back and forth during combat as they attacked a German lines They even spread out in a forward formation like in a football game Edwards was shot in the thigh and suffered from the chlorine gas, but he would survive the war It is believed that the football ended up in the German barbed wire So many British professional players signed up for military service that the army created two special football battalions for propaganda purposes These were part of the Duke of Cambridge's Middlesex regiment and were mostly made up of former full-time footballers officials and referees These battalions made their debut at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and between then and the end of the war suffered truly appalling casualties One of his early members sergeant Arthur nippy Wileman was a former Chelsea player who won a military service medal for bravery and was sadly Killed in action just a few months before the war ended But maybe the most daring of the football exploits happened on the very first day of the Battle of the Somme in northern France Which was to be one of the bloodiest battles ever in the history of warfare The salm offensive started on July 1st 1916 at 7:30 a.
m It was brutal in the extreme in just the first 30 minutes of the battle over 20, 000.
British soldiers had been killed It's an average of around 11 men killed every second Squad commander captain Wilfred P Neville along with his man of the 8th East Surrey regiment were charging with bayonets fixed towards the German trenches They were tasked with breaking through the German lines and capturing the French village of motovlog The young captain had brought some footballs over from England with him and planned to use them as a playful and cheeky Encouragement for when his men went over the top at the beginning of the salm offensive He had written on one the great European Cup tie fine on East saris versus Bavarian kickoff at zero While on the other at red no referee The last one was thought to be captain Neville's Way of telling his men not to treat the enemy too.
Kindly So as they attacked for wood that day captain Neville dribbled his football across the uneven surface of no-man's land Having to contend with the rough uneven surfaces of churned up mud bomb craters unexploded bombs mines an enemy machine-gun fire While the other ball was kicked along by his squad Straightaway, they were met with stiff enemy resistance But despite this captain Neville almost made it to the enemy line which was nearly 300 yards away before being shot in the head and killed as he attempted to throw a hand grenade into the nearby German trenches He was just 21 years old when he died Later, his football was found close by in the German barbed wire.
It was still intact The second ball was also discovered unconquered in the German barbed wire less than 60 feet from the enemy trenches Their objective the village of Montalban fell into British hands by the afternoon But few of the Athey saris lived to see that happen as they suffered appalling casualties during the initial advance Captain Neville had offered a prize to anyone who was first to put a ball into the German trench.
The prize was left unclaimed Afterwards his commanding officer wrote to his mother and his words best summed up captain Neville's courage and character He was one of the bravest men I have ever met and was loved and trusted by his men to such a degree That would have followed him anywhere major APB Erwin Captain Neville was buried at the Karno military cemetery in France along with 850 British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the area in various battles between 1915 and 1916 As for the footballs both were brought back to Britain to be displayed in museums One was sadly destroyed in a fire in 2016 while the other one is still on permanent display at the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Museum at Dover Castle You You.