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OUR HER-O'S: The final part of Orient's World War I heroes

access_time 3 years ago


Alf Parsons who enlisted as an Orient player was an amateur player in 1914-1915 and later for a long-time a trainer with O’s. He served as a Gunner during the War. In August 1924 it was reported that now a fireman, he died when trying to put-out a fire in north London.


He served as a Gunner with the forces having enlisted as an Orient player.

TILLEY, Arthur William

Tilley was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire on Sunday 6 March 1892 to Thomas, a shoemaker, and Annie Tilley (nee’ Chapman), a right winger who started off with Fletton United. He made 1 Football League appearance for O’s on 29 March 1913 against Grimsby Town and lived at 40 Fletching Road, Clapton.

He left O’s after picking up an injury in training and went for a trial with Lincoln City in 1914. He enlisted as an Orient player and was a Private, fighting with the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment) (1st Football), his service number being F/72.

He was listed in the O’s squad for the 1915-16 War season,  he played in a 1-5 home defeat to Chelsea on 13 November 1915, it was reported that he was suspended in December 1915.

He also played during 1917 and on 25 December 1918 against Arsenal. After the War in July 1919, he had trials with both Coventry City and Wimbledon but eventually signed on pro terms for Rugby Town FC in October 1919. He died during 1984, aged ninety-two.

Rutherford who enlisted as an Orient player and served as a Gunner with the forces.


Reynolds enlisted as an Orient player and who was a Corporal with the forces.


Charlie Satterthwaite enlisted as an O’s player and played a few London Combination games  in 1916.
He reached the rank of Corporal in the Army with the 35th (Labour) Battalion and the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) with Service number GS/39044. Although at the age of thirty-six and having retired from playing in 1910 after leaving Woolwich Arsenal, he enlisted having seen the O’s captain Fred Parker the first footballer to take the lead and enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)  and rising to the rank of Corporal.

Satterthwaite was born in Cockermouth, near Penrith in Cumberland on Friday 1 April 1887 and started as a junior with local side Black Diamond and then with Workington in 1895 playing in the Cumberland Senior League before the tall and strong winger joined League side Bury in 1896, making 4 League appearances with 2 goals. He moved to Burton Swifts a year later, making 8 League appearances. In 1899 he moved to Liverpool from the Moss Bay Club from the Workington area and over three years he made 46 appearances, scoring 12 goals.

In August 1902 he joined New Brompton before joining Southern League team West Ham United in 1903, making 32 Southern League appearances with 12 goals and 4 appearances with 5 goals in the FA Cup in the 1903-04 season.

He moved to Woolwich Arsenal in May 1904 and he became the Club’s first ever goalscorer in the First Division when he scored in a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 24 September 1904. He stayed at Woolwich for six-seasons netting 48 goals from 141 starts before re-joining his former club Workington

He died in Workington on Tuesday 25 May 1948.

RAW, Joseph

Joe Raw was a Lance Corporal in the Army and played at full-back.

WILSON, Daniel J.

He enlisted as an Orient player, he was a Private in the Army, playing for reds versus the whites in a practice match on 20 August 1916.

UPEX, Richard

Dick Upex was a Private in the Army who enlisted as an Orient player after moving over from Croydon Common FC. The 5ft 9½ and 12st 2lbs forward made his first team debut on 15 January 1916, scoring in a 2-3 defeat against Crystal Palace and also played on 25 November 1916 at Millwall, on 2 December 1916, he scored against Watford in a 1-1 draw. He was sent-off in a reserve match , along with George Beech, against Croydon Common in January 1916. He also played during January 1917 and against Arsenal on 3 February 1917. He also made ‘guest’ appearances for Tottenham Hotspur during April 1919.

He was born at 31 Tower Street, New Fletton, Peterborough, Huntingdonshire on Sunday 26 June 1892 to George and June Upex, his father being a labourer on the railway. Dick became a sugar boiler in the confectionery trade. He started his playing career with the Great Eastern Locomotive works team and then Peterborough City until joining Croydon Common in October 1912 and scored a hat-trick for the reserve team against Brentford reserves, making a total of 33 Southern League appearances with 15 goals, 6 FA Cup appearances with 3 goals and 3 minor cup games with 0 goals.

He played in their side who were crowned champions of the Southern League Division Tow title in 1913-14.

Upex joined the Army when enlisting on 15 December 1914 at the Fulham Town Hall following in the footsteps of O’s skipper Fred Parker and his colleagues. The meeting saw seven Croydon Common players and ten O’s players sign up for service. He also made some guest appearances for Tottenham Hotspur.
Corporal Dick Upex ,Service number F/73 saw service at the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Loos, Cambrai and Lens he finished his Army career in the 13th Service Battalion. Number G/29924. He won the British War Medal.

After the War in July 1919 he signed for Southend United, making 17 Southern League appearances, scoring 6 goals. The following season he was on the books of Charlton Athletic appearing in 21 Southern League games with 10 goals and also recorded 5 FA Cup ties with 5 goals in 1920-21, including their first ever hat-trick in the FA Cup against Catford Southend in a 6-0 victory on 25 September 1920. In 1921-22 he made 3 Football League appearances until leaving the Valley in May 1922.

In 1937 he was a Commission agent and during the 1950’s he ran a successful turf accountant until handing over the running of his business to his sons, so he could enjoy playing both billiards and golf.

He had four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Upex died at his Croydon family home on Monday 22 May 1979, aged ninety-two.