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Hoe Hearts of Midlothian in 1915 de titel verspeelde

 
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Pegoud
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Mrt 2010 15:25    Onderwerp: Hoe Hearts of Midlothian in 1915 de titel verspeelde Reageer met quote

De Schotse voetbalclub Hearts of Midlothian kende in 1914-1915 een geweldig seizoen. In november 1914 ging de club, een van de grotere clubs van Schotland na de toen al traditionele grote twee, Celtic en Glasgow Rangers, comfortabel en ongeslagen aan kop.

In de samenleving ontstond op dat moment al wat onvrede over het feit dat sporters gewoon hun ding bleven doen terwijl andere gezonde jonge mannen hun leven lieten in de loopgraven in Frankrijk.

Hun plicht beseffend gaven zestien man van de selectie van Hearts zich in november 1914 op als vrijwilliger. Ze werden ingelijfd bij het juist door zakenman en politicus Sir George McCrae opgerichte 16e Royal Scots bataljon, later gekend als McCrae´s Battalion. In dit bataljon zaten trouwens opvallend veel sportlieden, ook leden van andere voetbalclubs.

Vanwege de zware militaire training en moeilijkheden om elke zaterdag een fitte ploeg op het veld te krijgen, verloren de Hearts langzaam terrein en na de Schotse League tot drie speeldagen voor het einde te hebben aangevoerd, werden ze uiteindelijk voorbijgestoken door Celtic, dat net als de Rangers geen vrijwilligers had geleverd. Celtic werd kampioen op de laatste speeldag in het late voorjaar van 1915.

Hearts zou echter meer en andere roem vergaren. Van de zestien spelers die zich als vrijwilliger opgaven, sneuvelden er zeven, de meesten in juli 1916 aan de Somme. Bijzonder en pas laat erkend was dat de 16e Royal Scots de eenheid was die op 1 juli 1916, de eerste dag van de slag aan de Somme, het verste doordrong in vijandelijk gebied, namelijk tot in het dorp Contalmaison. In 2005 werd een monument onthuld in de vorm van een traditionele Schotse cairn om dit wapenfeit en de moed van McCrae´s Battalion te gedenken.

Een paar interessante links:
http://www.heartsgreatwarmemorial.org.uk/contalmaison.html
http://www.heartsfc.co.uk/page/WarMemorial/0,,10289,00.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_George_McCrae
http://www.laurahird.com/newreview/mccraesbattalion.html

Gr P
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Mrt 2010 21:28    Onderwerp: Re: Hoe Hearts of Midlothian in 1915 de titel verspeelde Reageer met quote

Pegoud @ 05 Mrt 2010 15:25 schreef:
Van de zestien spelers die zich als vrijwilliger opgaven,


Dat was het volledige team!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2010 13:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dat dacht ik ook Finnbar, ik heb het alleen nergens letterlijk gelezen, vandaar de behoedzame omschrijving.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2010 15:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hier is mijn bron:

Quote:
At the beginning of the 1914-15 football season, Hearts was Scotland's most successful team, winning eight games in succession. On 26th November, 1914, every member of the team joined the British Army. This event had a major impact on the public and inspired footballers and their fans to enlist. Seven members of the Hearts team never returned to Scotland. Three of the men, Harry Wattie, Duncan Currie and Ernie Ellis, were killed on the first day of the Somme offensive. Another member of the team, 22 year old Paddy Crossan, was so badly injured that his right leg was labeled for amputation. He pleaded with the German surgeon not to operate. He told him: "I need my legs - I'm a footballer." He agreed to his request and managed to save his leg. Crossan survived the war but later died as a result of his lungs being destroyed by poison gas.


http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWfootball.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2010 16:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bedankt voor dit artikel Pegoud!

Ik was me er van bewust dat er bij de Somme één eenheid was die het verste was doorgedrongen van allemaal, maar heb me verder nooit in die eenheid en hun verhaal verdiept.

Ik heb de links onderaan je stuk gevolgd en kwam zo bij het boek uit wat Jack Alexander over hen heeft geschreven.
Ik heb het maar meteen besteld Cool
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Mrt 2010 12:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Leuk om te horen Shabu en graag gedaan! Laughing Ik stond eerlijk gezegd ook in de verleiding om hem te bestellen maar heb nog zo'n stapel leesvoer weg te werken...

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Mrt 2010 20:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik ken het, ik heb precies hetzelfde ...
Maar ik kon me niet beheersen. Nou ja, eentje meer of minder op de stapel... Wink

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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2010 17:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Somme memorial site under threat

Date: 16 April 2010, by MARK McLAUGHLIN

A CAMPAIGN is under way to protect a memorial to the famous "McCrae's Battalion" in France from a nearby development.

Contalmaison, in northern France, was on the frontline of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, and the scene of a bloody massacre of several Hearts players and their comrades who signed up under Sir George McCrae in 1914.

A memorial to the battalion – which was formed out of Tynecastle but soon grew to incorporate players from Hibs, Falkirk and Raith Rovers as well as fans who signed up to fight alongside their footballing heroes – was erected in Contalmaison in 2004.

However, a neighbouring landowner has lodged plans to build a house close to the memorial, which campaigners say will overshadow the site.

Patricia Leroy, mayoress of the small community which boasts just 120 residents, travelled to Edinburgh yesterday to reassure city leaders that she would ensure that the plans are vetoed.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mme Leroy said: "The Town Hall can't purchase the land as it is owned by three members of one family. Two of them would probably be happy to sell but one of them is being a stick in the mud, shall we say.

"However, there exists a right of way on the land which means that any attempt to build on the site would be vetoed by the local planning department.

"Although there are only 120 inhabitants of Contalmaison, they all see themselves as the guardians of the Scottish memorial."

The memorial is in the shape of a Scottish cairn featuring a main plaque with the names of Hearts footballers who lost their lives. Other plaques for Hibs, Falkirk and Raith Rovers players who died in the battle are also incorporated into the design. Mme Leroy's visit was organised by the McCrae's Battalion Trust, which fought for many years to see the memorial erected. Jack Alexander, lead member of the trust and author of an eponymous book on the battalion, said:

"It took until 2004 for this memorial to finally be erected. We waited so long and it would be criminal to see the site spoiled."

Lord Provost George Grubb said: "The bond forged between our two nations as our forebears fought and died side by side remains as strong today as it was when the First World War was waged."

SACRIFICE OF McCRAE'S MEN

SIR George McCrae's C Company of 16th Battalion of the Royal Scots was formed in November 1914, and boasted the entire Hearts first-team squad amongst its first recruits.

Their heroism inspired many others to sign up to fight, and subsequently perish during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Seven Hearts players were never to return: Duncan Currie, John Allan, Thomas Gracie, James Speedie, James Boyd, Ernest Ellis and Harry Wattie all made the ultimate sacrifice. Eleven others were wounded or gassed, with Bob Mercer and Paddy Crossan never regaining full health and both dying aged 37.

http://news.scotsman.com/worldwarone/Somme-memorial--site-under.6232285.jp
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jun 2010 22:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor meer info hierover en over voetbalploegen die in bataljons werden ondergebracht een linkje op ons eigen forum: http://forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=15099.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Nov 2012 14:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
On This Weekend In Football History: Hearts Players Sign Up For WWI
On 25 November 1914, even though professional footballers were exempt from enlistment, eleven players from Heart of Midlothian signed up for service in World War I, becoming the first British team to provide players in such large numbers. Two others were to sign up on the following day, bringing the number of Hearts players having enlisted to 16. Two others, George Sinclair and Neil Moreland, had already been called up as army reservists, and another, James Speedie, had already signed up to the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders after they had called for volunteers during the half-time break in a game against Falkirk.

According to Jack Alexander, author of McCrae’s Battalion: The Story of the 16th Royal Scots, and many others, the team of 1914 was the best in Heart’s history, and they were on the verge of becoming a side strong enough to dominate Scottish football for the rest of the decade. In fact, if there had there been no war, there are those who argue that the team was good enough to have established a dynasty in Scottish football to match the might of Rangers and Celtic.

Hearts began the 1914-15 season in fine style winning their first eight successive matches, including an opening day 2-0 victory over reigning champions Celtic. By the end of November they had only lost once, to Dumbarton, in 16 games. At the same time, however, as Hearts were flying high there was an increasing concern in Britain at large that the numbers volunteering to fight was not great enough. In response to this Edinburgh politician Sir George McCrae decided to raise his own battalion of volunteers, the 16th Royal Scots and he convinced the 13 hearts’ players to join him. Another 5 who attempted to enlist were rejected on medical grounds.

This was a great publicity coup for McCrae, and, 600 supporters followed suit with the encouragement of the Heart’s manager John McCartney who proclaimed, “Now then, young men, as you have followed the old club through adverse and pleasant times, through sunshine and rain, roll up in your hundreds for King and Country, for right and freedom. Don’t let it be said that footballers are shirkers and cowards. As the club has borne an honoured name on the football field, let it go down in history that it also won its spurs on the field of battle.”

The battalion became known as the footballers’ battalion, and soon fans and players from Hibs, Raith, Falkirk, and Dunfermiline quickly joined up too, allowing McCrae to meet his boast that he would be able to raise a battalion within a month. The members of one local junior team, Mossend Burnvale, marched into the recruiting office to join en masse. Sadly, at the end of the war only one of their number was to return.

The disruption for Hearts at first proved minimal and they remained undefeated until February 1915. However, military demands, including 10 mile night marches just hours before games, began to take its toll, and, with players also regularly missing games due to military duties, Heart’s form suffered. Having led the League for 35 weeks out of 37 they fell away and ended up finishing in second place, four points behind Celtic. The Evening News cried foul stating that, “Between them the two leading Glasgow clubs have not sent a single prominent player to the Army. There is only one football champion in Scotland, and its colours are maroon and khaki.”

Having completed their military training the 16th Royal Scots were deployed to France on 8 January 1916 and saw their first action on 1 July, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, near a French village called Contalmaison. On this day the British army lost nearly 20,000 men with a further 40,000 wounded. The 16th Royal Scots itself saw 347 of its men wounded on this one day, and a further 229 men killed, including 3 of the Hearts’ players. It was possibly some small consolation to the families of those who lost their lives that the battalion was recorded has having made the greatest advance against enemy lines of all the battalions in action on that first day of the Battle of the Somme.

By the end of the war in 1918 Hearts were to lose a total of seven players, including five from McRae’s battalion. These five were:

Tom Gracie who Hearts had bought from Liverpool in 1912 for £400. He had scored a club record 29 goals in his first season and had been selected for a Scottish League XI against the Irish League in 1915. He died of Leukemia at the age of 26 while in hospital before he could see any military action, and is the only one of the Heart’s war dead to have a known grave.

Henry Wattie died at the Somme on 1 July 1916, aged 23. He had been predicted to become a footballing great.

Duncan Currie died at the Somme 1 July 1916, aged 23 after being shot in the shoulder. He played for Kilwinning Rangers before moving to Heart of Midlothian FC for a transfer fee of two guineas. His officer wrote to his father: “he was universally popular and admired for his skill at football.”

Ernest Ellis also was killed on that first day at the Somme. Aged 30, he was hit by machine gun fire just in front of the German’s barbed wire fortifications.

James Boyd died 3 August 1916, aged 21. He was the last Heart’s man to die on the Somme. He had been transferred to hospital after being wounded, but the hospital was hit by artillery fire killing all inside

The two other Heart’s players who died in action were,

James Speedie, who died 25 September 1915, aged 21. He sadly was the first to volunteer and was the first Heart’s player to be killed in action.

John Allan, died 22 April 1917, aged 30, after being shot while carrying out orders to reconnoiter a wood. He was the last Heart’s player to be killed.

Of the other 8 players who signed up-to the 16th battalion two returned to play again for Hearts. Pat Crossnan, who was nicknamed the ‘most handsome man in football’ and of whom it was said that he could pass a ball, but not a mirror, played a few more seasons for Hearts. However having been wounded twice and gassed he never truly recovered his health and died prematurely in 1933 before his fortieth birthday. The other was Willie Wilson, he too had been wounded in action and was consistently troubled with an injured shoulder. Two other players picked up their careers with English teams, Jimmy Frew signed for Leeds, and Jamie Low, having been turned down by Hearts, went on to be successful at Newcastle.

Of the remaining four only Norman Findlay escaped injury having been discharged early to work in the shipyards. Annan Ness, Bob Preston and Alfie Briggs all received injuries that effected them throughout the rest of their lives, with Briggs still having two machine gun bullets lodged in his back when he died in 1950.

In recognition of the war effort Hearts received many plaudits including a letter from the King of Belgium. On 9 April 1922 the club’s war memorial at Haymarket, near where the offices where the players would have enlisted would have been, was unveiled in tribute to those player’s who had lost their lives. It is still an integral part of the Hearts football club that on every Remembrance Sunday players, officials and supporters of the club gather at the monument to pay their respects. An annual pilgrimage is also held by the club’s supporters to Contalmaison every year where, in 2004 a monument made from Scottish stone was erected in remembrance to McRae’s battalion, with a special plaque recognising the contribution of Heart of Midlothian.


http://www.thedaisycutter.co.uk/2012/11/on-this-weekend-in-football-history-hearts-players-sign-up-for-wwi/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jan 2013 23:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:

By TOM PETERKIN
Published on Saturday 29 December 2012 00:00

A LABOUR peer has launched a bid to put the Hearts XI, which was the only British football team to sign up en masse for the Great War, in the forefront of the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ­outbreak of the conflict.

Former Hearts chairman Lord Foulkes has written to the politicians in charge of the 2014 commemorations asking that the sacrifice made by the famous Hearts team should be remembered as part of the ­series of events planned by Prime ­Minister David ­Cameron.

The team was regarded as one of the Edinburgh club’s greatest ever and was top of the league in the 1914-15 season. But the team set aside championship glory when it answered General Kitchener’s call for volunteers to fight the Germans. The players’ gallantry was to come at a heavy price with more than half the team dying in the Battle of the Somme.

The players joined the 16th Battalion the Royal Scots, a unit that became known as “McCrae’s Own” after its leader Sir George McCrae. In the end, many footballers joined McCrae’s Own, which also became known as the “Sportsmen’s Battalion”, including players from other clubs.

Yesterday, Lord Foulkes said he had written to the Conservative defence minister Andrew Murrison and the Lib Dem peer Lord Wallace of Saltaire, the ­politicians looking after the commemorations. “I have asked for a special commemoration in Edinburgh involving Heart of Midlothian Football Club and others,” Lord Foulkes said. “It is an astonishing story. They were top of the league before they signed up and I think this has to be recognised. It was not just Hearts: there were players from other clubs, including Hibs.”

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister said £50 million would be spent on a “truly national commemoration” to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Mr Cameron said there would be events in 2014 to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the war, in 2018 for the centenary of Armistice Day, and also on the dates of major battles in between. There will also be a £5m educational programme for schoolchildren, including trips to the battlefields.

Lord Foulkes hopes that part of that will be devoted to remembering the Hearts players who signed up one fateful Saturday night in November, after a hard-fought battle at Tynecastle. After the game, the players duly presented themselves to a recruiting office at Haymarket.


http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/lord-foulkes-wants-hearts-ww1-heroes-to-be-remembered-1-2710767

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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jan 2013 23:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi iniatief!
Het zou mooi zijn als de hooligans van vandaag er een voorbeeld aan zouden nemen en meer respect voor anderen zouden tonen, maar dat zal wel een utopie zijn om dat te denken Embarassed
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