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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Football during the War


raich
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Dear All,

Please see this photo. Does anyone know why the Chelsea team would play in Southern Aircraft Research Depot (SARD) in Farnborough in 1917!!! I know the league and FA Cup were cancelled...

Thanks

Raich

post-28343-1205772479.jpg

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morale boost ?

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bet they didnt dive except in dog fights !!

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Any names to the photo?

The chap second from left back row is Walter Bettridge, the Chelsea left back, the guy bottom left also features in other tream photos and I think his name is H. Ford. The guy middle left I think is J. Harrow.

Here's another with Walter meeting two Prince of Wales' at the 1915 Cup Final (which they lost 3-0 to Sheffield United).

post-28343-1205777898.jpg

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I can confirm that H Ford is Henry Thomas Ford known as Harry Ford and Jack Harrow is also there. The man seated centre is Nils Middleboe a Danish International amateur who played against England in the 1908 Olympic final.

According to the information that I have, Chelsea along with 11 other clubs from London and Watford who were the Southern League champions, formed the London Combination League.

They played in and around London and the south-east from September to April and club programs were produced which listed the players along with their service rank. Chelsea regulars included Gunner Hampton, Corporal Croal and Airman Halse.

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  • 6 months later...

I've just come across an article in a local paper dated 1921 that lists the Memorial Roll for WW1 for Oakthorpe, Leicestershire

On it is states "Air Force - W. BettEridge"

The footballer in the thread above was also born and raised in Oakthorpe but is spelled Bettridge.

Other possible villagers who'd fit the bill would be George W. Betteridge and Walter Betteridge.

The thing is that I cannot find any medal card for RAF or RFC for a W. Betteridge...

Can anyone help crack this person - possibly Walter the footballer plus the whole Chelsea team joined the RAF, but didn't do much apart from play football...

A mystery

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  • 1 month later...

Just obtained Walter Bettridge's Service Record and he was at SARD from 1916 until 1919 - case solved !!!

Next question is, were other chelsea players as well or are they ringers?

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  • 1 year later...
Guest ian.fairweather

Hi, I was very interested in your info on Walter Bettridge. He was my great uncle on my fathers mothers side. My father was Ronald Fairweather from the Measham / Oakthorpe area. He served in the RAF and Navy during WW2.

Regards

Ian Fairweather

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The 1914-15 season was a financial disaster due to the number of players (and spectators) who had volunteered for the armed forces. For example the Durham FA at its AGM in May 1915 reported that 3,605 players, 1,102 officials and 651 other members had enlisted. One notable recruit was Charles Buchan of Sunderland, who joined the Grenadier Guards and found himself posted to London where, it was announced, "he would be available to play for Chelsea when his military duties permitted."

A joint meeting of the Football League, Southern League and the Scottish and Irish Leagues was convened at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool on 3rd July 1915, and a number of resolutions were adopted, including a prohibition on making payments to players. (The Scottish League dissented from this latter measure, and professional footballers in Scotland continued to be paid). Furthermore, in order to prevent disruption to the war effort, all games were to be played on Saturdays or public holidays. Subsequent to this meeting the Football League, in a separate meeting, decided to abandon the League programme altogether for the 1915-16 season. After this somewhat hasty decision, wiser councils must have prevailed, for a fortnight later at the Football League AGM it was announced that League competitions would continue - but organised on a regional basis, with separate competitions in the North-West and Midlands. In the south, the London clubs got together with a number of Southern League members to form the London Combination. It was stressed however that all matches were to be regarded as friendlies, and no Medals, Shields, Cups &c. would be awarded. And of course, the players would not be paid.

Patrick

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  • 2 years later...

Has anyone any information on football played by women during the war?

The highest attendance for such a game was 52,000 at Goodison Park the home of Everton.

Many of the popular teams were made up from female workers in armament factories & there were some of the players on very high wages for the day.

I am interested in all details but I have a special interest in teams from the North East, I have found details on teams from North Tyneside but to date I have not found any details on teams in the County Durham area, do any details exist?

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.

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