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History

Remembering the Coventry City players who fought in World War One and World War Two

10 November 2019

Today is Remembrance Sunday, when the country pays tribute to those who have fought and died for our country in our Armed Forces, and those who still serve today.

Tributes were paid before our Remembrance game against Accrington Stanley last week, and today Coventry City captain Liam Kelly will attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the War Memorial Park in Coventry.

First printed in our mathcday programme, we pay tribute to some of those Coventry City players who fought in World War One and Two

 

FIRST WORLD WAR – 1914-18

Initially following the outbreak of the ‘Great War’ in 1914, competitive football continued.

Coventry City played their games in the Southern League Division Two, until the end of the 1914-15 season. The hostilities prevented any further organised sport. Many Coventry City players joined the Army and were involved in the fighting:

The following Coventry City players lost their lives during the First World War:

John Harkins - 18 games, 1 goal. 1914-15. Killed in action aged 35 during the defence of Kut Al Amara in Iraq on 22nd April 1916.

Steve Jackson - 12 games. 1911-14. Killed on 26 October 1917 during his battalion's attack on a fortified mound south-west of Hamp Farm, in front of the village of Gheluvelt.

Walter Kimberley –23 games, 1 goal. 1912-14. Originally reported as killed in action but actually captured in battle of Marne and held as a prisoner of war in Germany. Died on 22nd April 1917 in Birmingham.

Tom Morris - 19 games, 2 goals. 1914-15. Served as a Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. He was killed in action.

John Tosswill – 17 games, 1 goal. 1913-14. Taken ill while with Royal Engineers Unit at Southampton, and died following an operation on 28th September 1915.

George ‘Tubby’ Warren - 109 games, 56 goals. 1907-11. He was killed in action in France on May 17, 1917.

The following players were wounded during the First World War:

Jerry Best - 236 games

Stanley Day – 0 games

R.O. Bob Evans – 139 games

Eli Juggins - 111 games, 7 goals

Walter Wilson - 4 games

Billy Yates – 111 games, 1 goal

The following former CCFC players also served during the First World War:

Bob Alderson –15 games, 3 goals

John Doran – 1 game, 2 goals

Joe Enright – 22 games, 9 goals.

Patsy Hendren – 33 games, 14 goals

Tom Shields - 4 games

Charlie Tickle – 125 games, 21 goals

Robert Turner - 14 games, 1 goal

 

SECOND WORLD WAR – 1939-45

No Coventry City players were killed during the Second World War. Sadly former player Arthur Bacon (1934-37, 16 games, 17 goals) lost his life.

Bacon had a short, but prolific career with the club. He was forced to leave after sustained an eye injury, joining Burton Albion. Bacon was killed in an air rad in Hawthorn Street, Derby on 27th July 1942, after he fell off his bicycle while serving as a special constable.

Players who served in WW2 include:

Jack Astley – 140 games, 5 goals. 1936-44.
Right back who retired from playing during the War, joining the Army as an officer rising to Captain. Died aged 74 in 1984.

Ken Chisholm – 71 games, 35 goals. 1950-52
Scottish Striker who served as an RAF fighter pilot. Died aged 65 in 1990.

Lol Coen -22 games, 3 goals. 1938-48
Played for City either side of the War, he made guest appearances for several clubs during hostilities and was awarded the D.F.C

Ernie Curtis – 21 games, 2 goals. 1935-37.
Ex Wales international and FA Cup winner with Cardiff, joined City at the end of his career. Served in Far East and was taken prisoner by the Japanese from 1941-45. Following the War, he returned to Cardiff, and died in 1992 aged 85.

Don Dorman – 94 games, 32 goals. 1951-54.
Winger, who served in the War before becoming a footballer. Twice wounded and captured in the Battle of Arnhem. Died aged 74 in 1997.

Charlie Elliott – 101 games, 2 goals. 1931-48.
Served in the Navy at the end of the War - at the start of the Second World War he joined the Coventry Fire Brigade, and was on the roof of Coventry Cathedral during the blitz which destroyed it. Went on to be acting manager of the club, become a first class cricketer for Derbyshire, an international umpire and was awarded the MBE. Died in 2004, aged 91.

Jim Harrison – 23 games, 3 goals. 1951-53.
A left back, he served in the Army in India and Burma. Died in 2004, aged 83.

Martin McDonnell – 245 games. 1949-55.
Centre-half, who served in Normandy prior to joining Coventry City. Died in 1988, aged 63.

Ted Roberts -  223 games, 87 goals. 1936-39 & 1946-52.
Centre forward, who fought at Arnhem in 1944. Third highest scorer in the Club’s history, he died in August 1970.

 

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