Monday December 15th marks the centenary of the inaugural meeting held at Fulham Town Hall, which was arranged to assist with the recruiting of footballers into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment – more commonly known as the Footballers’ Battalion.
With this in mind, supporters club deputy chairman and O’s WW1 historian Steve Jenkins has been in contact with Hammersmith & Fulham council requesting permission to allow O’s supporters the opportunity to visit the town hall for this very special anniversary.
We are extremely pleased to confirm that permission has been granted by the council and to also that a ceremony will take place that evening to commemorate the ten Clapton Orient footballers, who, along with the twenty five players representing Arsenal, Bradford City, Chelsea, Croydon Common, Crystal Palace, Luton Town, Southend United, Tottenham and Watford, joined up to serve King and Country on that fateful day in 1914. The contribution and example made by the footballers who served in the 17th and also the 23rd Middlesex (2nd Footballers’ Battalion) went a long way to preserve the future of professional football in this country after the national game had received major criticism for continuing after war was declared.
Just like the O’s of 1914, Leyton Orient supporters can take the lead – this time by meeting up exactly one hundred years to the day to mark this special anniversary.
However, due to the Town Hall currently undergoing major renovation there is currently severe Health and Safety restrictions in place and therefore numbers are extremely limited – a maximum of fifty people will be allowed on the night.
Consequently anyone wishing to attend this historic and proud event is required to register their name by emailing Steve at [email protected]
or contacting him on 07971 146502. The first fifty supporters to register will be eligible to ‘join up’ that night. All those attending will have to report to the main reception from 7.45pm for the start of the event at 8:00pm.
Fulham Town Hall is opposite Fulham Broadway Underground Station which is on the District Line.
The story of Clapton Orient’s major contribution to the Footballers’ Battalion in the Great War is told in They Took The Lead which is available from the club shop.