As the country stops this Sunday to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice, O’s supporters will have the opportunity to remember the Clapton Orient side that served in the Great War, when the Leyton Branch of the Royal British Legion holds its annual remembrance service at 9.30am, at the War Memorial in Coronation Gardens, Leyton, E10 5NG.
The memorial includes a large plaque commemorating the service and sacrifice made by the players, staff and supporters of Clapton Orient Football Club. The wording on the plaque includes the names of the three O’s players; William Jonas, George Scott and Richard McFadden, killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The Legion warmly invite O’s supporters to join them once again at the remembrance service on Sunday morning. In recent years the numbers attending has greatly increased and it has been noticeable that a good number of Orient fans have been present.
The 17th Pals’ Battalion Band, which was formed to commemorate the O’s service in the Great War, will be in attendance and its buglers will play ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ during the ceremony in which tribute and wreaths will be laid. The 17th Pals’ have toured both the Somme and Ypres in the past two years representing the Orient, performing at the world famous Menin Gate in June and last year playing at the Thiepval Memorial in honour of the Clapton Orient side along with all the footballers who served with 17th Bn Middlesex Regiment – The Footballers’ Battalion, in the Great War.
A wreath on behalf of Leyton Orient Football Club and Supporters’ Club will be laid, as will wreaths from Heart of Midlothian Football Club and the London Branch of Hearts Supporters’ Club.
O’s WW1 Historian, Steve Jenkins, has recently sent a wreath to Hearts on behalf of Leyton Orient Football Club which will be laid at the Hearts Memorial in the Haymarket, Edinburgh, by O’s fan Neil Mackay. The mutual exchange of wreaths has been taking place for a number of years now and it is hoped that closer ties will be forged in recognition of both club’s military heritage.
After the ceremony in Coronation Gardens, the 17th Pals’ will lead the parade as it makes its way from Buckingham Road and along the High Road to the parish church of St Mary in Church Road, E10 5JP, where a special service will be held.
It would be great to see as many O’s supporters as possible at the War Memorial on Sunday – please do try to support this important and meaningful commemoration.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM