- Second Lieutenant Walter Tull
- Died Age 29 on 25/03/1918
- Arras Memorial
Second Lieutenant Walter Tull was the second person of
Afro-Caribbean heritage to play in top tier English football - and
the first to be commissioned as an infantry officer in the British
His professional football career began after he was spotted
playing for his local amateur club, Clapton FC. He began playing
for Clapton FC in 1908 and within a few months he had won winners'
medals in the FA Amateur Cup, London County Amateur Cup and London
Senior Cup. In March 1909 the Football Star called him 'the catch
of the season'.
Tull was brought up in a National Children's Home orphanage in
Bethnal Green, London, along with his brother, following the death
of their parents.
He joined Tottenham in 1909, and transferred to Northampton Town
in 1911, where he made 111 first-team appearances.
During the First World War, Tull served in the Footballers'
Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and fought in the Battle of
the Somme in 1916. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 30
Tull fought in Italy in 1917-18, and was Mentioned in Despatches
for "gallantry and coolness" while leading his company of 26 men on
a raiding party into enemy territory.
He returned to France in 1918, and was killed in action on 25
March during the Spring Offensive; his body was never
- Captain Maurice William Campbell Sprott
- Died Age Unknown on 21/03/1918
- Arras Memorial
Maurice Sprott was born in London on 10 June 1884. He was the
eldest son of the Right Reverend Thomas Henry Sprott, the Bishop of
Wellington, New Zealand.
He was educated in New Zealand, taking a degree at Victoria
University which he passed with first class honours.
In 1906, he returned to England to continue his education and
entered Peterhouse College Cambridge, graduating in 1910 with a
Second Class in the Classical Tripos and the History Tripos Part
II. He joined the staff of the college in 1910.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, he served in the ranks of the
University Officer Training Corps until he was commissioned in the
9th Norfolks in November.
From early 1916, he served on the Western
He was severely wounded on 15 September 1916 in the Battle of
Shipped home to recover, he re-joined his regiment in early 1917
and in March of that year was awarded the Military Cross. His
citation in the London Gazette read:
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a
raid on the enemy's trenches. He carried out the task allotted to
him with conspicuous success, and showed great pluck in getting
back the wounded under very heavy fire"
He was promoted to Captain shortly after and became regimental
Adjutant and was later mentioned again in Despatches, this time in
connection with the fighting near Cambrai, when he and his orderly
captured ten prisoners.
On 21 March 1918, he was killed by shell fire.
His commanding officer wrote after his death:
"Probably no one knows as well as I do the loss he is to the
regiment and the country. As my adjutant he carried out his work
with the utmost capability and thoroughness. His exceptional brain
power was backed by earnest hard work and his sense of duty was the
Indeed it was that grim sense of duty that led to him taking
command of the front line company in the absence of the company
commander and he met his death like the brave soldier that he was
in the front line trench watching for the German advance. Some
forty minutes before the attack I went round the outpost with him
and he was then more cheery than I had seen him for some
- Second Lieutenant Captain John Harrison
- Died Age 26 on 03/05/1917
- Arras Memorial
Captain John (Jack) Harrison was born in Hull on 12 November
His father was a plater and boilermaker at the nearby Earles
Shipyard. His family worked hard to get John an education and he
left school to become a teacher, first in York and then back in his
native Hull, at the Lime Street Council School.
He returned to his native Hull in September 1912 and married his
childhood sweetheart Lillian two years later.
In 1915, the same year as Lillian gave birth to their first son,
Jack volunteered for officer training.
On completion of his training he was posted to 6 platoon of the
11th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant,
stationed on the western front in the Somme region.
On 25 March 1917, Jack led a patrol into no-man's land, an
action for which he was awarded the Military Cross.
This citation appeared in the London Gazette dated 17th April
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He handled
his platoon with great courage and skill, reached his objective
under the most trying conditions and captured a prisoner. He set a
splendid example throughout."
On 3 May 1917 the Hull brigade were to attack the German lines
at Oppy wood, a well-defended area considered a vital area for the
British to advance.
It was in this attack that Jack lost his life and was
post-humously awarded the Victoria Cross.
The London Gazette of 14 June 1917 carried the following
"For the most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice in an
attack. Owing to darkness and to smoke from the enemy barrage and
from our own, and to the fact that our objective was in a dark
wood, it was impossible to see when our barrage had lifted off the
enemy front line. Nevertheless, 2nd Lieutenant John Harrison led
his company against the enemy trench and under heavy rifle and
machine gun fire, but was repulsed. Re-organising his command as
best he could in no man's land, he again attacked in darkness,
under terrific fire, but with no success. Then turning round, this
gallant officer single-handed made a dash at the machine gun,
hoping to knock out the gun and so save the lives of many of his
company. His self-sacrifice and absolute disregard of danger was an
inspiring example to all. He is reported missing; presumed
Jack's wife Lillian was presented with his Victoria Cross at
Buckingham Palace by King George V in March 1918.
Like thousands of other women, she found herself alone and with
a young son to bring up. A fund was raised in Hull to provide for
his education and he went on to serve as an officer in the Second
He was killed in the defence of Dunkirk and is buried in the
Dunkirk town cemetery.