The real match of death


July 11, 1916
The Press Association’s correspondent with the British Army in France says the captain of one of the companies of a battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, which took part in the advance, had provided for footballs for each platoon, urging the men to keep up a dribbling competition all the way over the mile and a quarter of ground that they had to traverse.

As the company formed up on emerging from the trenches the platoon commanders kicked off, and the match against death commenced. The captain and many men were shot down, but still the footballs were booted onwards until the German trenches were reached. After the enemy had been cleared out two of the football were recovered in the captured trenches, and will be sent to the regimental depot as trophies.

One man of the East Surreys killed seventeen Germans in this fight.
(Liverpool Echo: July 11, 1916)

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