NEWS: O’s Fallen Commemorated on Sunday

access_time 5 years ago

Today is Armistice Day and at 11 o’clock this morning the Country will pause to remember the dead of two World Wars and conflicts since. The Armistice was signed between the Allies of WW1 and Germany on November 11th 1918 to signal the end of hostilities and took effect on ‘the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.’

The O’s have cause to remember further to the service and sacrifice made by the forty-one players and staff of Clapton Orient who enlisted into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment – which was more commonly known as the Footballers’ Battalion. Ten Orient footballers signed on the dotted line at a specially convened recruitment meeting held at Fulham Town Hall on Tuesday December 15, 1914, with the Orient captain Fred ‘Spider’ Parker being the very first footballer in the entire country to enlist. Indeed Clapton Orient was the first football club to join up en masse and the O’s patriotic example led other clubs to join-up to serve King and Country.

Three Clapton Orient Footballers made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and their lives will be commemorated during an Act of Remembrance which is being held at the war memorial in Coronation Gardens this coming Sunday. The memorial has a large marble plaque which acknowledges with honour the men from Clapton Orient who served with the 17th Middlesex, in particular; Company Serjeant Major Richard McFadden MM, Private William Jonas and Private George Scott.

Act of Remembrance Sunday, November 13.

O’s supporters and friends of the Club are encouraged to join up with members of the Leyton Branch of the Royal British Legion along with members of the public in Coronation Gardens for this important ceremony. The Orient bugle team and the 17th Pals’ Battalion Band will be in attendance along with pipers from the Legion and a wreath will be laid to remember the Orient lads of 1916.

CSM Richard McFadden MM 

142 Appearances 68 Goals                 Serre, Somme, October 23, 1916

Pte William Jonas  

74 Appearances 23 Goals                   Delville Wood, Somme, July 27,1916


Pte George Scott 

213 appearances                                 St Quentin, Somme, August 16, 1916

We also remember Lance Corporal Sidney Wheelhouse, the captain of Grimsby Town Football Club who played as a guest player for Clapton Orient whilst he was in London awaiting his move to France along with his comrades

 in the Footballers’ Battalion.

L/Cpl Sidney Wheelhouse              Beaumont Hamel, Somme, September 19 1916