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War Heroes
from our
Local Elite Footballers

Joe Smith 2.jpg

Joe Smith of Kilnhurst won the 1912 Montagu Cup with Hickleton Colliery before playing for Birmingham and then Chesterfield.

 Smith served in the 17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment – the so-called "Footballers' Battalion" – in northern France.

He rose to the rank of Company Serjeant Major, and was killed on 13 November 1916 near the end of the Battle of the Somme.Smith was mentioned in despatches for displaying considerable bravery, "after being wounded, again dashed into battle, only to be shot down".
Birth 23rd August 1889, Son of Benjamin and Maria Smith of Swinton Rotherham.
Husband of Mrs F Morrell formerly Smith of  22 Roman St Thurnscoe East Rotherham.
Buried in Serre Road Cemetery no 1.   Region Pas De Calais   He is buried Plot 1 Row G  Grave 19..  Inscription:  He died the noblest of death  A man may die fighting for God and right liberty


Allen Foster.png

Allen Foster of Rawmarsh played for Parkgate Athletic before making his name for Reading FC. He was remembered for his hat-trick scored against Italian giants AC Milan in the Biscuitmen's 5–0 victory on 13 May 1914.

The result prompted the leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera to report that "without doubt, Reading FC are the finest foreign team seen in Italy.
On 8 August 1916, he went over the top with the battalion during the Battle of Delville Wood and was shot in the thigh, abdomen and arm.

Foster was recovered by four stretcher-bearers from no man's land and was transported to a hospital in where he died of his wounds.
17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment  
Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension.  Plot 2 Row A Grave 70  Somme France.
Inscription: In ever loving rememberance of my dear husband who fell in Deville Wood aged 29yrs  Mrs B.E.Foster, 1 Windsor Place, Clifton Bristol.

Larrett Roebuck good pic.jpg

Larrett Roebuck of Jump played for Silverwood Colliery and then Huddersfield Town.
On 18 October 1914, Roebuck was recorded as "presumed dead" after an attack during the Race to the Sea. His death was confirmed by two comrades in January 1915.  Larrett was the first Football League player to be killed in the First World War.
Service no 88116.  Birth 1885 Rawmarsh Yorkshire. 2nd Battalion York's and Lancs Regiment.    Ploegsteert Memorial Panel 8 Belgium. Hainaut Belgium.
No known grave


William "Dutch" Gladwin of Kilnhurst got the winner in the 2nd ever Montagu Cup final in 1898. He then signed for Doncaster Rovers. He lost his life at Gallipoli.
1312  2nd Battalion Kings own Royal Lancaster Regiment.Died 8th May 1915
Ypres Menin Gate  Panel 12 West -Vlaaderen Belgium 

Leslie Thompson.jpg

Leslie Thompson of Little Houghton played for England Schoolboys and was only 17 when WW2 started. He was already a professional with Leeds United and managed 32 appearances. He was in the RAF and flew on a Lancaster Bomber on a night bombing mission.

On their return they were attacked by a night fighter which forced their plane to crash into a field in Denmark.
630 sqdn Royal Air ForceVolunteer Reserve  Died 27 th  August 1944 aged 22
Buried in Skarrild Churchyard Denmark.Grave
Sergeant 1125440   Son of Albert and Gladys May Thompson


Billy Westwood played in the 1904 Montagu Cup final.  He played for Thornhill United (later Rotherham County), Denaby United, Mexborough Town and Bristol Rovers.  He broke his leg playing for Rovers (something which is said to have denied him international honours) after which he rejoined Mexborough Town.  He had married a Mexborough girl, Elizabeth Denham in 1909.
Billy's grandson, Dennis Priestley won the World Darts Council championship in 1991.
Billy fell whilst fighting around Arras (France) on 3rd May 1917
Credit:  Bill Lawrence's "From Pit Town to Battlefields, Volume 2, Pgs 140-142"
Billy is fondly remembered at Bristol Rovers


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