12th East Yorkshire Regiment (Hull Sportsmen)
Hull loves sport and even formed its own battalion of sportsmen during the First World War. The 12th EYR Battalion was a 'Hull Pals Battalion', formed on the 11th August 1914, by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding Territorial Force. It specifically recruited local sportsmen, with the intention that the camaraderie engenered by sports, would prove an effective fighting force. In December 1915, the 12th EYR, sailed for Alexandria in Egypt to defend the Suez Canal. In March 1916, it transferred to France and operated in the front line trenches, opposite the village of Serre. After suffering heavy losses at the Battles of the Somme in 1916 and at Arras in 1917, the Hull Sportsman's Battalion, had to be disbanded in France, on the 8th February 1918.
During the course of the war, the Hull Sportsman Battalion, lost 366 men, with 138 of them killed on one day, at the Battle of Ancre, on the 13th November 1916. It was here that Jack Cunningham, of the 12th EYR, won Hull's first Victoria Cross. In all, the 12th East Yorkshire's recieved a number of awards for bravery. This included 1 Distinguished Service Order, 9 Military Crosses, 16 Military Medals and 8 Distinguished Conduct Medals. Eight servicemen with the 12th were also mentioned in Dispatches.
Hull Rugby League Players
SECOND LIEUTENANT, FREDERICK LEONARD PERRETT, 17TH WELSH FUSILERS. AN OUTSTANDING WELSH INTERNATIONAL, RUGBY PROP FORWARD, WHO ALSO PLAYED RUGBY LEAGUE FOR HULL FC. FRED WAS BORN IN NEATH, ON THE 9TH MAY 1891. HE LIVED WITH HIS WIFE NORA GLADYS PERRETT, AT 118 ST GEORGES ROAD, HULL, NOT FAR FROM THE RUGBY GROUND. AT THE OUTBREAK OF WAR, HE ENLISTED IN THE WELSH GUARDS AND SERVED IN FRANCE FROM THE THE 19TH FEBRUARY 1916. HE WAS COMMISSIONED AS A SECOND LIEUTENANT AND TRANSFERRED TO THE 17TH ROYAL WELSH FUSILIER'S BATTALION. HE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED AND DIED OF WOUNDS AT THE BOULONGE HOSPITAL, ON THE 1ST DECEMBER 1918, AGED 27. FRED PERRETT WON FIVE CAPS FOR WALES AND WAS ONE OF 13 WELSH INTERNATIONAL RUGBY PLAYERS WHO DIED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
ANOTHER HULL FC PLAYER, LIEUTENANT, JACK HARRISON, VC, MC, OF THE EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT, WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTUMOUSLY, AT OPPY WOOD, ON THE 3RD MAY 1917. JACK HARRISON WAS HULL FC'S RECORD TRY SCORER, SCORING 52 TRIES IN ONE SEASON, AND 106 TRIES IN116 MATCHES. HE WAS ALSO A SCHOOL TEACHER AT LIME STREET SCHOOL, ONE OF 23 HULL TEACHERS, KILLED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR. A MEMORIAL TO JACK HARRISON STANDS OUTSIDE THE KCOM STADIUM, IN MEMORY OF HIS LIFE'S ACHIEVEMNETS. HE IS ALSO RECORDED ON THE WAR MEMORILA AT ST MARY'S CHURCH, LOWGATE. HIS VICTORIA CROSS WAS BEQUEATHED TO HULL CITY COUNCIL AND A BRONZE MEMORIAL PLAQUE WITH HIS MEDAL CITATION, HANGS IN THE GUILDHALL TODAY.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER, HULL KINGSTON ROVERS, ALSO SUFFERED CASUALTIES, WITH PHIL THOMAS, LOSING HIS LIFE DURINGTHE WAR. PHIL THOMAS WAS A WELSH RUGBY UNION PLAYER WHO SIGNED FOR ROVERS IN 1908. HE MADE 104 FIRST TEAM APPEARANCES, BETWEEN THE 16TH JANUARY 1909 AND THE 29TH NOVEMBER 1913, SCORING 28 TRIES. ANOTHER ROVERS' PLAYER, WAS THE COLOURFUL, CHARLIE "SLASHER" BRAIN, CAPTURED AT MONS, ON THE 24TH OCTOBER 1914. HE MANAGED ONE MORE GAME FOR ROVERS AFTER THE WAR. PIERRIE BOLTMAN, A SOUTH AFRICAN FORWARD, MADE 37 FIRST TEAM APPEARANCES FOR ROVERS, BETWEEN THE 30TH NOVEMBER 1911 AND APRIL 1913. HE WAS WOUNDED AT THE BATTLE OF THE AISNE, IN NOVEMBER 1914.
Other Hull Sportsmen
LANCE CORPORAL, ARTHUR GIBSON, 13/1431, 8TH EYR.
THE FOLLOWING HULL RUNNERS WERE KILLED IN THE GREAT WAR:-
PTE, PERCY WRIGHT, 1/4TH EYR, 3/05/1915, YPRES, AGED 18 - 40 MORRILL STREET, HULL.
PTE, GEORGE HENRY TAYLOR, 10TH WYR, 31/10/1916, AGED 22 - 16 CHESTNUT AVENUE, BUCKINGHAM STREET, HULL.
PTE, FRED SNOWDEN, 13TH EYR, 13/11/1916, AGED 22 - 13 WINNIE'S PLACE ST LUKES STREET
CPL, FRANK SIMPKINS, RFA, 21/04/1917, AGED 24 - 16 CURZON STREET, HULL.
PTE, WALTER BARNES, 13TH EYR, 4/05/1917, AGED 34 - 34 BRECON STREET, HULL.
PTE, SYDNEY WILBURN, 1/7TH MIDDLESEX REGIMENT, 30/08/1918, AGED 30 - 1 HAWTHORNE AVENUE, PULMAN STREET.
THE GREAT WAR TOOK A HEAVY TOLL ON HULL HARRIERS ATHLETIC CLIB. IT'S SPORT'S PAVILION WAS DESTROYED IN A ZEPPELIN RAID (AND AGAIN IN WORLD WAR 2). SEVEN OF THE NINETEEN HULL HARRIERS, THAT RAN TOGETHER IN THE 8 MILE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE ON 21/02/1914, DIED IN THE GREAT WAR. OTHERS WERE WOUNDED. IT TOOK A LONG TIME FOR THE HARRIERS CLUB TO RECOVER. ONLY EIGHT RUNNERS TURNED OUT, FOR THE FIRST, 'EIGHT MILE HANDICAP' RACE, HELD AFTER THE WAR, ON THE 14TH FEBRUARY 1920.
PTE, THOMAS ERNEST HUDSON, 9TH WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT. BORN HULL, ON 13/05/1894. SON OF THOMAS WILLIAM HUDSON & ANNIE PARKER, OF 9 ALBERT SQUARE, ELLAS STREET. LIKE HIS BROTHER FRANCIS, HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE ST JUDES FOOTBALL TEAM, THE HULL CITY SWIMMING CLUB AND THE HULL HARRIERS RUNNING CLUB. HE ENLISTED IN HULL, ON 25TH AUGUST 1914. HE LEFT FOR THE DARDENELLES, ON THE 3RD JULY 1915, AND WAS KILLED IN ACTION, AT SULVA BAY, ON 7TH AUGUST 1915, AGED 21. HIS BROTHER, PTE, FRANCIS PARKER HUDSON, 20847, RAMC, DIED AS A PRISONER OF WAR, IN GERMANY, ON THE 20TH OCTOBER 1918, AGED 23.
SGT, JAMES GUEST, 3RD EYR. BORN HULL, 1889. AN ORIGINAL HULL PAL. HIS WIFE FLORENCE LIVED AT 25 FALMOUTH STREET. HE WAS WELL KNOWN IN FOOTBALL CIRCLES AND ACTED AS GOAL KEEPER FOR HULL CITY JUNIORS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, VISITING HOLLAND TO PLAY AGAINST A DUTCH FOOTBALL TEAM. HE ALSO PLAYED FOR LAMBERT STREET CRICKET CLUB. IN CIVIL LIFE, HE WORKED AS A CLERK FOR MR E T CLARKSON, PRINCES DOCK SIDE. HE ENLISTED IN SEPTEMBER 1914 AND WAS DISCHARGED ON THE 21ST JANUARY 1919. HE SERVED FOUR YEARS AND 105 DAYS, OF WHICH TWO AND HALF YEARS WERE SPENT IN FRANCE. HE DIED OF PHEUMONIA AT HOME, LEAVING A WIDOW AND ONE CHILD. HE WAS 30 YEARS OLD. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL ON 25TH FEBRUARY 1919, WITH HIS PHOTOGRAPH.
PTE, FREDERICK CHARLES CLARK, 7TH LEICESTER REGIMENT. BORN BRISTOL 1899. SON OF WALTER WILLER AND BENA CLARK, HEDON. FRED CLARK WAS A HULL CITY FOOTBALLER, WHO PLAYED CENTRE FORWARD AND SCORED BOTH GOALS IN THE THAMESMOUTH CUP. HE ENLISTED IN HULL AND TRANSFERRED TO THE LECIESTER REGIMENT. HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON THE 27/05/1918, AGED 19. HE IS LISTED ON THE SOISSONS MEMORIAL WHICH REMEMBERS ALMOST 4,000 BRITISH SOLDIERS WHO DIED IN THE BATTLES OF THE AISNE AND MARNE IN 1918, WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE.
PTE, JOHN SEYMOUR LEE, EYR. BORN IN HULL 1897, & JOINED THE HULL PALS. HE WAS THE SON OF JOHN & MARY ALICE LEE, 52 GREAT THORNTON STREET. EDUCATED AT CONSTABLE STREET SCHOOL, WHERE HE WON A SCHOLARSHIP TO BOULEVARD SECONDARY SCHOOL. WHILE THERE HE RECEIVED TWO MORE BURSARIES AND FINISHED WITH A FIRST CLASS CERTIFICATE. HE LEFT SCHOOL AT 16 TO WORK FOR MESSRS BRUNT, BUCKNALL & CO. HE ENLISTED THE DAY AFTER THE FIRST ZEPPELIN RAID ON HULL, AGED 18. HE WENT TO FRANCE IN APRIL 1916 AND KILLED IN ACTION ON 13TH NOVEMBER 1916, AGED 19. HE WAS A KEEN LOVER OF SPORT AND FOLLOWED HULL FC TO EVERY NORTHERN UNION GROUND. WHEN HE WENT TO FRANCE HE SAID "WHATEVER HAPPENS, I HAVE SEEN HULL WIN THE NORTHERN UNION CUP." HE ALSO PLAYED TWO YEARS FOR THE STUDLEY CRICKET TEAM. PLAYED IN THE FIRST DIVISION OF THE HULL WHIST LEAGUE WHERE HE WAS KNOWN AS THE 'YOUNGEN'. HIS FRIENDS REMEMBERED HIM AS "ALWAYS MERRY AND BRIGHT." HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, ON THE 14TH JULY 1917.
L/CPL, CHARLES FREDERICK ROWE, RE'S. BORN HULL 1892. ENLISTED HULL. SON OF DANIEL & MARY ROWE, 16 DIVISION ROAD, HESSLE ROAD. LIKE HIS LATE FATHER HEWORKED AS A SHIP RIGGER AND WAS WELL KNOWN AT ST ANDREW'S DOCK. A FORMER MEMBER OF HULL THURSDAY CYCLING ROAD CLUB. HE WAS WELL KNOWN IN CYCLING CIRCLES AND HELD THE 50 MILE AND 25 MILE CLUB RECORD. HE HAD BEEN IN FRANCE FOR ELEVEN MONTHS, WHEN HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED, WITH HIS PHOTOGRAPH, IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL ON 25TH MAY 1917. HIS TWO BROTHERS ALSO SERVED IN THE ARMY.
SGT, ARTHUR ERNEST SANDERSON, 4th EYR. BORN HULL 1897. THE ONLY SON OF WILLIAM AND ANNIE SANDERSON, 41 BRUNSWICK STREET. DIED OF WOUNDS ON 11/9/17, AGED 20. HE WAS A MEMBER OF CRANBROOK AFC AND REMEMBERED ON THE HULL TECHNICAL COLLEGE MEMORIAL, PARK STREET HULL.
SAPPER, JOSEPH CHARLES MCDONALD, RE'S. BORN HULL 1896. SON OF DANIEL & SARAH MCDONALD. 4 MASON STREET, HULL. DIED OF GAS POISONING RECEIVED IN FRANCE. HE RETURNED HOME WHERE HE DIED ON THE 25/10/18, AGED 22. JOE HAD WON THE 9 STONE BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP OF HULL, FOUR YEARS BEFORE. BEFORE ENLISTING IN MAY 1915, HE WORKED AS A MILL HAND, FOR MR VOKES, BUILDING CONTRACTORS. HE HAD SERVED IN FRANCE FOR NEARLY THREE YEARS. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL ON 6TH NOVEMBER 1918, WITH HIS PHOTOGRAPH. JOE MCDONALD IS LISTED ON THE ST CHARLES' CHURCH MEMORIAL HIS BROTHER SAPPER JAMES MCDONALD, RE'S, DIED 23/5/16. ANOTHER BROTHER, DAVID MCDONALD WHO WAS DUE TO ENLIST, WAS FOUND DROWNED IN BEVERLEY BECK, IN 1917, AGED 17 . IN ADDITION TO THESE THREE SONS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES. ANOTHER, WILLIAM MCDONALD LOST ONE OF HIS LEGS IN AN ACCIDENT AT THE EAGLE OILS MILLS. TWO MORE BROTHERS, SAPPER, DANIEL MCDONALD WAS WOUNDED AND CHIEF OFFICER, JOHN MACDONALD, WAS TORPEDOED TWICE. THE MCDONALD FAMILY HAD EXPERIENCED THIS EXTRAORDINARY BAD LUCK IN THE SHORT SPACE OF TWO YEARS.
Jack Harrison VC, MC
Another Hull FC Rugby player, Lieutenant, Jack Harrison, VC, MC, of the East Yorkshire Regiment, was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, at Oppy Wood, on the 3rd May 1917. Jack Harrison was a record try scorer for Hull, scoring 52 tries in one season and 106 tries in 116 matches up to 1916. He was also a school Teacher at Lime Street school, one of 23 Hull Teachers killed in the First World War. Jack was the only rugby league player to receive the Victoria Cross during the war. He had previously won the Military Cross for bravery. A memorial to Jack Harrison stands outside the KCOM Stadium, today, in memory of his life’s achievements.
Jack and his wife Lillian Harrison lived at 75 Wharncliffe Street with their only child. Their son John later became a Captain in the West Yorkshire Regiment and was killed at Dunkirk in 1940.
Jack Harrison VC, MC, is listed on the memorial at St Mary’s Church, Lowgate. His Victoria Cross was bequeathed to Hull City Council and a bronze memorial plaque with his medal citation hangs in the Guildhall today.
'One of Hull's True Heroes' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-28405119