Best charlton life – Charlton Life Somme and Arras Battlefield Tour

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charlton life – Charlton Life Somme and Arras Battlefield Tour

Joe Hayes

charlton life – Earlier than speaking about seeing our former gamers in cemeteries and coming throughout an actual First World Warfare unexploded bullet laying on the bottom, I’ll briefly clarify what this journey was about and my connection to the journey. This earlier than you may learn all of the attention-grabbing stuff!

Firstly, as a quickly to be third yr Historical past pupil on the College of East Anglia, for one in every of my modules, I will probably be finding out the First World Warfare. Thus, it appeared applicable, I went on this journey to enhance my data across the topic and perceive the abilities wanted if I used to be to doubtlessly have a profession as a historian resembling our information Clive Harris – Director of Battle Honours Tour Restricted, Member of Guild of Battlefield Tour Guides and Charlton Athletic Museum Trustee.

charlton life – Charlton Life Somme and Arras Battlefield Tour

The Somme and Arras Battlefield Tour adopted on from the Charlton Life (the biggest and greatest on-line Charlton Athletic discussion board) journey organised two years in the past to the Ypres Salient. As earlier than, cash raised was donated to the Charlton Upbeats Down Syndrome workforce and to the Charlton Athletic Museum.

The itinerary for this yr’s tour was designed to go to key websites that have been chosen to replicate the historical past of Charlton Athletic Soccer Membership and its shut involvement with the struggle. There have been additionally nice private experiences and connections for some folks on the journey, with a lot of their relations being listed at a few of the websites we visited.

charlton life – After arriving in France within the early morning of the 27th, our first cease was Gommecourt. Personally, the sort of cemetery, is one which I like visiting most. It’s smaller and is quite a bit much less effectively visited then the massive websites such because the Thiepval Memorial. At Gommecourt, the 56th London Division and the 46th North Midland Division took half in an ill-fated diversionary assault to the North of the 4th Military in 1916, alongside the primary Somme offensive. I like visiting a lot of these cemeteries, as they’re largely manufactured from only one or two regiments graves and from the identical motion.

charlton life – Charlton Life Somme and Arras Battlefield Tour

Clive made a vital level throughout his discuss at Gommecourt, that it was our selection as guests to the websites, whether or not we needed to take heed to his talks or go to the cemeteries with out background data to the important thing battles that might have taken place. The purpose being that, individuals are allowed to go to and respect the websites in their very own manner.

charlton life – Regardless of the heavy rain, that was current all through the day, nobody was postpone, as we then stopped off on the Thiepval Memorial. Earlier than this journey, Thiepval was one in every of two websites, that I had beforehand visited. It’s a perfectly well-kept website, with a wonderful customer centre and highlights the best way wherein the UK and the Commonwealth Warfare Graves Fee worth the actions of its troopers on the Western Entrance through the First World Warfare.


charlton life – Clive Harris talking to the group at Thiepval (Writer’s personal {photograph})

The go to to Caterpillar Valley, was one that may doubtlessly be most remembered by all on the journey. Caterpillar Valley is dwelling to the memorial for fallen Charlton participant Fred Chick. Born in April 1892, in St George’s Hannover Sq., Chick spent a lot of his childhood within the Britten Road Outdated and New Workhouse, after being admitted on the age of six in November 1898.

As was customary for many workhouse youngsters, Chick was given coaching in a selected commerce to realize important abilities to make a residing as an grownup. In 1911, Chick was a spectacle body employee for an optical lens firm in Camberwell, South London.

charlton life – His transfer south of the River Thames, was adopted by him becoming a member of Charlton Athletic. Regardless of the membership having no official file of him taking part in, Chick does seem in a named 1913/14 workforce {photograph} dressed as a coach.

The hyperlink to him becoming a member of Charlton is formally unknown, however one in every of Charlton’s most well-known gamers pre-World Warfare One was Scotty Kingsley, who additionally labored within the optical lens enterprise. Chick becoming a member of Charlton was coupled with nice novice success for the membership, because it rose from the Lewisham, Woolwich and Southern Suburban Leagues to the London Premier Division.

Fifteen months after the outbreak of the First World Warfare and shortly after his marriage to Florence Gordair, Chick would enlist, becoming a member of the Queens Personal Royal West Kent Hussars, Service quantity 2311. Chick’s unit didn’t serve in France, however because of rising casualties he was a part of a draft to France in the summertime of 1916.

On the 31st August 1916, the casualties have been drawn up for the month. The casualties for the battalion have been 9 officers killed, 17 wounded, different ranks, 88 killed, 146 lacking, 328 wounded. Fred Chick being amongst those that fell. Initially, Chick was posted as lacking, however his physique was then recovered together with a fellow comrade from the identical unit on the finish of the struggle.

As defined, Chick’s physique is now buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, and is frequently visited.  It is necessary that as followers of Charlton Athletic, that we give particular remembrance to our former gamers who served and fell through the First World Warfare. This exhibits an instance of the best way wherein Charlton as a neighborhood comes collectively to honour its struggle lifeless.

charlton life – Clive Harris talking over Fred Chick’s Grave (Writer’s personal {photograph})

The night was adopted by the sampling of native beers in Arras bars and eating places and dialogue over the day’s occasions, which credit score to the work of Clive and the Commonwealth Warfare Graves Fee had left a sense of emotion and big curiosity from folks on the journey. When on excursions and visiting historic websites, you all the time look in the direction of that feeling of engagement and lasting recollections. The occasions of the entire weekend positively gave us that.

The next day, we visited Cerisy to listen to the story of Sandy Turnbull. Turnbull was an Inside Ahead for each Manchester United and Manchester Metropolis, who notched up a powerful 143 targets in 330 appearances throughout his profession. This was previous to him enlisting within the 23rd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, adopted by his switch to the 8th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment.

Turnbull was killed on the threerd Might 1917, through the Battle of Arras. Turnbull, regardless of his life ban from Soccer in 1915 together with different gamers for match fixing, is a well-remembered and revered soldier who fought on the Western Entrance and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. This a part of the journey will even be effectively remembered for the discovering of an actual unexploded bullet from the First World Warfare, laying on the bottom within the filth close to to the memorial at Cerisy.


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