17th Middlesex (1st Football Battalion)

As we have seen elsewhere, Association football had a tough time in the early part of the 1914-18 War, the governing bodies roundly criticised for carrying on with football instead of encouraging players to join up. In December 1914 on the suggestion of Lord Kitchener, Brentford MP  William Joynson-Hicks founded the Football Battalion. Frank Buckley was the first to enlist- he had been a soldier before joining Aston Villa in 1902, and had  represented England against Ireland in February 1914. Commanding the Battalion, Buckley became a Major and was wounded at The Somme.

standing: Sergeant Percy Barnfather (Croydon Common), Private William Jones (Brighton & Hove Albion), Private William Booth (Brighton & Hove Albion),  Private George Beech (Brighton & Hove Albion), Private Tommy Lonsdale (Southend United), Sergeant Joe Smith (Chesterfield), Sergeant Yeoval, Private Frank Martin (Grimsby Town), Private Jack Sheldon (Liverpool)
seated:  Private Pat Gallacher (ex Tottenham Hotspur), Captain Edward Bell (ex Portsmouth & Southampton),Lieutenant Vivian Woodward (Chelsea), Captain Frank Buckley (Bradford City), Private Sid Wheelhouse (Grimsby Town), Private Tommy Barber (Aston Villa), Lance Corporal Fred Bullock (Huddersfield Town).

17th Middlesex (1st Football Battalion) Regiment Football Team-1917
standing:  Lance Corporal Jack Doran (Coventry City), Lance Corporal Pat Gallacher (exTottenham Hotspur), Private John Spick, Regimental Sergeant Major Alfred Sabine, Private Joe Webster (West Ham United), Sergeant Alfred Hollanby, Company Sergeant Major Gibson (Nottingham Forest), Private Gardiner.
seated:  Lance Corporal George Pyke (Newcastle United), Lieutenant Bennett, Captain Cosmo Clark, Lieutenant-Colonel George Kelly, Captain Robert Templeman, Lieutenant Claude Gann, Private John Woodhouse (Brighton & Hove Albion).
ground: Private Jack Dodds (Oldham Athletic), Private David Kenney (Grimsby Town), Captain Percy Barnfather (Croydon Common), Private John Nuttall (Millwall), Sergeant Charles Stewart (Croydon Common).