Crystal Palace FC will commemorate the Centenary of the First World War with a range of activity across the club, including holding a minute’s silence immediately before the Palace v Tottenham Hotspur game on Saturday, 10 November 2018.
The club has planted eight saplings at its Beckenham Training Ground to create a living legacy to its former players who served and died 100 years ago in the First World War. The tree planting is part of a national campaign called Football Remembers, which is a partnership between the Woodland Trust and National Football Museum’s For Club and Country project, as well as the Premier League, English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association and The Football Association.
There were eight men associated with the club who served their country and died during The Great War, and each has been remembered with a dogwood sapling at the club’s training ground – which were planted by Joel Ward, Connor Wickham and manager Roy Hodgson.
Chairman Steve Parish said: “This is the perfect way to commemorate football’s important role in the First World War. By planting trees in memory of the eight Palace men who bravely fought for their country but sadly fell, we are creating something meaningful and long-lasting for future players and visitors at our club’s training base. Of course, these trees also pay tribute to everyone who served for our country in The Great War, and we remain eternally thankful.”
Wickham, whose father was an Army Warrant Officer, said, "This is a tribute to the eight Palace players who lost their lives in the First World War. It's a tribute to them for the boys and everyone at the club to remind them of the sacrifice they made for us. It's been a massive part of my upbringing, being involved in the military, so I know what it means and the importance it will have to us."
Hodgson said: “Myself and the players are honoured to be part of this special project and to commemorate the eight Palace players who lost their lives during World War One. The trees we have planted today will be a permanent and long-lasting memorial at our training ground and will be a daily reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that they, and many others, made for us.”
In addition to the tree planting, supporters are encouraged to buy a poppy featuring the Palace crest – which are on-sale in the club shop priced £3 – with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.
There will be a minute’s silence before the kick-off of Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on Saturday 10th November. Players will wear shirts featuring a poppy, which will be auctioned to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. Details of the auction will be released on cpfc.co.uk in due course.
Remembering our fallen
There were no footballers actively playing for Crystal Palace FC who lost their lives during the Great War, but there were six former players that sadly did:
Joseph Bulcock, 1908/1909 Season
Private, 63064, Welsh Regiment, 9th Battalion
Died of Wounds, France & Flanders, 20/04/1918
Cemetery - HARINGHE (BANDAGHEM) MILITARY CEMETERY, Grave V. C. 21.
Richard Harker, 1905/1906 Season
Private, 27/1460, Northumberland Fusiliers, 20th (Tyneside Scottish) Battalion
Killed in Action, France & Flanders, 09/04/1917
Memorial - ARRAS MEMORIAL, Bay 2 and 3.
Edwin Bertram Myers, 1908/1909 Season
Corporal, 2259, London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles), 21st Battalion
Killed in action, France & Flanders, 15/09/1916
Cemetery - ADANAC MILITARY CEMETERY, MIRAUMONT, Grave VII. F. 28.
George Thomas Smith, 1906/1907 Season
Guardsman, 11846, Scots Guards, 1st Battalion
Killed in action, France & Flanders, 27/09/1915
Memorial - LOOS MEMORIAL, Panel 8 And 9
John (James) William Williams, 1909/1910 Season
Private, F/57, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment, 17th Battalion
(Seconded to Royal Engineers)
Killed in action, France and Flanders, 05/06/1916
Memorial - ARRAS MEMORIAL, Bay 7
Norman Arthur Wood, 1908/1909 Season
Sergeant, F/663, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment, 17th Battalion
Killed in action, France and Flanders, 28 Jul 1916
Memorial - THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Pier and Face 12 D and 13 B
Two further players on Palace’s playing books were also killed:
Edward Bell (who played for the club’s reserve team)
Donald Bell (was contracted to the club, but there is no record of him playing at any level to date).
How can supporters show their respect?
Supporters can purchase a club poppy at the Selhurst Park club shop (or online here), and match-day attendees are asked to observe a minute’s silence before kick-off on November 10.
The Woodland Trust are also calling on football fans to plant their own trees to create a lasting living legacy across football. Supporters can find out more about their club’s history and football’s involvement in the war by visiting www.forclubandcountry.org.uk, and information about the Woodland Trust at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees.