OUR HER-O's: Introducing the Orient players and staff that saw action in WWI

access_time 3 years ago

On each of the next five days we will post profiles about 10 of the players and staff who fought, kindly supplied by Club Historian Neil Kaufman.

There are varying degrees of information known about the players, but the stories are important and while the tale of Richard McFadden, George Scott and William Jonas is being beautifully told on stage in The Greater Game, it is time to shine a light on the others who made huge sacrifices for the future of this country.

ASKEW, Leslie William

Bill Askew was the O’s Assistant Groundsman and enlisted with the O’s players, becoming a private in the Army. He was wounded in service.

He was born in the fourth quarter of 1886 in Marylebone, London and alongside his role at Leyton Orient, he played centre half for local clubs’ Xylonite FC, Tottenham Gothic Works, Chadwell Heath and Finchley. He also made appearances for Aston Villa, making two league appearances in 1911-12, and Southern League sides Norwich City and West Ham United in 1912, making 104 Southern League appearances with two goals, eight FA Cup appearances and 28 WW1 appearances in 1915-16 for the Hammers. He died in London during 1955.

ASHURST, William

He enlisted as an Orient player, became a Private in the Army and scored one goal against Crystal Palace on 11 March 1916, a 1-5 defeat.

BAILEY, Walter George.

Joe Bailey, as he was known, served as a Captain in the Army and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and a Military Cross and Two Bars for gallantry and devotion to duty with the 17th Battalion (1st   Football) and the Norfolk Regiment, being wounded twice. He played regularly for O’s in 1916-17 scoring nine goals.

He was born in Thame, Oxfordshire on Sunday 9 February 1890 and started his career with his local side Thame United before joining Nottingham Forest in 1910, making four league appearances with one goal.

After the War in 1920 he signed for Reading making 41 League appearances with 17 goals and proving a popular post-war figure at the club. He scored Reading’s first ever Football League goal and hat-trick.

He won amateur caps for England before WW1 and was originally picked as a member of the GB Olympics squad in 1912 but had to pull out due to an injury. He was part of Reading’s team that defeated Milan 5-1 on their tour of Italy in May 1913.

He ended his playing career with Boscombe and then Sittingbourne. Bailey died in Kent during 1974.

BEECH, George

Beech was a Private with the forces who enlisted as an Orient player and attained the rank of Serjeant

A centre forward who made his O’s debut on 4 September 1915 at Chelsea, the first match of Wartime football and also played at Arsenal on 2 October 1915, a 1-0 defeat. He scored goals against Brentford on 18 December 1915, West Ham United on 1 January 1916, two goals against Luton Town on 25 March 1916 and goals against Arsenal on 1 April 1916 and Crystal Palace on 15 April 1916.

Beech joined up voluntarily with the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment known as the Footballer’s Battalion in December 1914 and his Service Number was TR/10/ 48056 when he was playing for Brighton & Hove Albion. He served in Flanders, Belgium and was awarded the British Victory Medal. In December 1915 and February 1916, he was an Acting Serjeant and played football for the 27th Middlesex in Birmingham before 1500 fans, the match against Bellis and Morcom ended 1-1.

Beech was born in Sheffield on Tuesday 15 March 1892. He represented Sheffield Schools at both football and athletics and signed for Sheffield Wednesday from the Attercliffe Sports Club in May 1911. He moved to Brighton & Hove in April 1914 in a deal that took David Parkes to Sheffield and in 1914-15. After the War he was back in Hove and in 1919-20 he made a further 2 Southern League appearances

On leaving Brighton in 1929 he took over the Lord Clyde pub in Queens Road, Brighton and later qualified as a masseur and between 1949 and 1952 he held the trainers post for the Brighton Tigers ice hockey side and also ran the Battle of Trafalgar pub in Guildford Road, Brighton for some considerable time until his death in Bevendean Hospital, Brighton on Saturday 4 January 1964.

BLAKE, Frederick James Carter

Freddy Blake was a well-known amateur London full-back. He acted as O’s Captain when Fred Parker was away on Army duty.

During the War he first served as a Corporal in June 1917 and later as a Major in the Territorial Army in the Essex Regiment before being wounded.

Fred Blake was born in Walthamstow, London during 1892, his father James was a School Head Master and his mother Ruth, a housewife. Blake started playing with a number of junior clubs’ including Avenue Boys Club, later to become Walthamstow Avenue, Deptford based Bronze Athletic and in 1911 with Newbury Park. In 1914 he made a couple of Southern League appearances for Queens Park Rangers.

After the War he signed for Ilford FC and led them to two Isthmian League titles in 1921 and 1922. In 1923 he moved to Clapton FC

He later became Landlord of the Three Cups public house in Chelmsford and was Vice President of the Essex Referees Association and also chairman of the Chelmsford Licensed Victuallers Association.
Blake died in Romford, Essex during June 1960.

CARNEY, James Henry

He enlisted as an Orient player and was a Private in the Army playing a few Wartime games.

He was born in Kildare, Ireland and came to England at an early age. During the War his two brothers were killed in action. He served in Salonica and in France and held the rank of Major where he was seriously wounded, losing his right arm.

In later years he turned to writing and wrote four novels and was editor for many years of the Crosfield Chronicle.

CHAPMAN, John Robert

Jack Chapman, as he was known, was born in Islington, London on Monday 29 April 1895 to John Henry and Alice Chapman and lived at 35 Charles Street, Islington, when his father died they moved to Swanley Street, also in Islington.

He started playing with Southern League Brentford and was a first reserve for England Amateurs versus Ireland in November 1913.

During the War years he served in the Royal Engineers, Postal Section and the centre forward scored for O’s at Spurs in a 4-2 defeat on 14 October 1916 and he also played again on 21 October 1916 in a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

After the War, he was just one of five players to return to O’s on 7 August 1919 having been registered with Southall FC during 1918, making nine O’s League appearances with two goals in the 1919-20 season.

He scored on his League debut after fifteen minutes in a 2-1 win over Port Vale on 15 November 1919 before 8 000 fans and his other goal came against Grimsby Town on 3 April 1932. In August 1921 he joined the Middlesex based club Excelsior and in 1935 he married Millicent Moule in Islington. His death details are unknown.

CROSSLEY, Charles Arthur

Charlie Crossley, or Arthur as he was also known, enlisted as an Orient player.

He was born in Short Heath, north of Willenhall, Walsall on Thursday 17 December 1891, making his professional debut for Hednesford Town against Birmingham Tramways on 2 September 1912.

The short and thickset 5ft 7ins and 12st 12lbs inside-right joined Walsall and then in February 1914 he moved to Sunderland, making 14 League appearances with two goals and two appearances in minor cups before War interrupted the Football League. In 1916 after doing his training in London he became a stoker on a naval submarine.

After the War in 1919 he returned to Sunderland, making a further 32 appearances with 12 goals. In February 1920 he represented the North versus England in a trial but was not called-up again.

In August 1920 he moved to Everton  and headed their scoring list with 18 goals from 40 appearances including a spell between February and March 1921 with 11 goals from 12 games to take Everton on an unbeaten run of seven games to become the darling of Merseyside but the following season he sustained a number of injuries, and netted a total of 21 goals from 55 starts.

Crossley died in Wolverhampton on Thursday 29 April 1965 having amassed 161 League and FA Cup games, scoring 52 goals during his playing career.

DALRYMPLE, Robert Rodie

Bob or Dally Dalrymple enlisted as a Private at the Fulham Town Hall on 15th December 1914. He was promoted on Lieutenant Corporal on 25 January 1915, to Corporal on 11 February 1915, he was appointed to the rank of Serjeant on 29 May 1915 and demobbed on 18 February 1918.

He was wounded twice during his service while serving in the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment) also known as the 17TH Battalion (1st Football) as an Army Serjeant. His service number was F/267.

He played very few games for O’s during the War years. He did score in the second War game played against Watford, a 2-0 win on 11 September 1915 before 6 000 Millfields fans and on his return from the front in March 1919 with goals at QPR on 8 March, a 5-2 defeat, against Spurs on 15 March, a 1-2 defeat, against Arsenal on 12 April in a 2-2 draw and in the final War match played on 21 April 1919, a 5-2 victory over Brentford.

On 30 December 1915 he was wrongly reported to have been killed in action but on 1 January 1916 his wife received a letter from the Army stating he was alive and well.

He was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland on Friday 2 January 1880, being the second youngest of seven children, son of James, a plumber. He played for Westmarch Juniors while training to become a carpenter, Abercorn, who were members of the Scottish Second Division in May 1899, Heart of Midlothian in 1902-03 with 13 appearances and 8 goals, Kilbarchan, on loan, Glasgow Rangers in  1905-06, with 15 appearances and 8 goals Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth and Fulham in 1907 before joining O’s on 28 January 1911 for £300 and went onto to become one of the clubs’ true pre-war legends making 143 first team appearances with 38 goals.

He returned to the club after the Great War  in 1919, making a further 7 League appearances, the final being against Bury on 22 November 1919 but the 38-year old sustained an injury, ending his O’s career before leaving to coach in Wales with the southern League side Ton Pentre in January 1920

He had a wonderful senior career between 1902 and 1919, making 417 appearances with 133 goals. Dalrymple died in Worthing, Sussex on Sunday 26 July 1970, aged ninety.

DUNN, Frederick

Defender Freddie Dunn, who enlisted as an Orient player, he attained the rank of Corporal Shoeing Smith and played in January 1916 at Northampton Town.

He also represented the Footballers’ Battalion team in February 1916.