Football from the Somme WWI

Contributed by PWRR

Captain Nevill's football © PWRR & Queen's Museum

This football was kicked at the start of the British attack on the first day of the Battle of ths Somme 1st July 1916Giving the World the beautiful game - and playing it in the trenches

Football was invented in England and exported around the globe, and the keenness of the true football fan to play the game, even in adverse conditions should not be under-estimated. Perhaps the most extreme example of this was when British soldiers from the East Surrey Regiment led by Captain Wilfred Percy 'Billie' Nevill advanced over the top towards German trenches on the first day of the Battle of the Somme - kicking footballs as they went. Their confidence that the German defences had been destroyed by British artillery fire was sadly misplaced and most were killed or wounded by enemy fire. Two of the footballs were found the next day and returned to England. One of these marked 6 B (signifying the 6th Platoon B Company) is now on display at the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment Museum at Dover Castle.

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  • 1. At 10:40 on 8 March 2010

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  • 3. At 10:57 on 8 March 2010, JohnWeston76 wrote:

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  • 4. At 11:43 on 8 March 2010, Paul wrote:

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