Evelyn Henry Lintott was the most famous player associated with the R’s to sadly lose his life during the Great War. He was a Schoolmaster and was also the first Rangers player to play a full international for England. Lintott made 35 appearances for QPR including two Charity Shield games against Manchester United after the R’s had won the Southern League. He died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. A letter in the Yorkshire Post described his last moments. ”Lt Lintott’s end was particularly gallant. Tragically, he was killed leading his platoon of the 15th West Yorkshire Regiment, ‘The Leeds Pals’, over the top. He led his men with great dash and when hit the first time declined to take the count. Instead, he drew his revolver and called for further effort. Again he was hit but struggled on but a third shot finally bowled him over.” Ron Gould has done some extensive research on his life and has even visited the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in Northern France. There is a major ceremony at the Memorial each year on 1st July.
Reading through John Marks’s excellent book, ‘Heroes In Hoops’, I noted that the following players were also killed serving their Country:-
Albert Bonass…He joined the R’s from Chesterfield in 1939 and after being a reserve policeman he later joined the RAF. He was killed just 8 weeks or so after VJ Day when on a training flight, the Stirling bomber crashed in Yorkshire.
Frank Cannon… After 29 appearances for the R’s, he moved on to West Ham in 1909. He was killed in France in 1916
Charles Clarke…He only made 6 appearances for Rangers before moving on to Luton Town in 1938 and was killed on active service in 1943.
Joseph Dines….The records show that he made just 1 appearance for the R’s and travelled the country as a schoolmaster. Therefore, his appearances for Kings Lynn, Ilford, Liverpool and Millwall were very limited. He was killed on the Western Front in 1918.
Albert Edwards….Albert turned out for the R’s on 17 occasions and also played for Bristol City and Newport County before losing his life in the Great War.
H.J. Pennifer….He joined QPR in 1913 and after just 3 appearances, he enlisted in 1914 and died at the Battle of the Somme
H.V.Thornton….He appeared 37 times for the R’s and scored ten goals. Like many other footballers, he joined the ‘Footballers Battalion’ and was killed in France in the Great War. The Battalion was actually the 17th Middlesex Regiment and its second-in-command was Major Frank Buckley who was later the very successful Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
John Tosswill….John played 3 times for the R’s and joined the Royal Engineers and then became a dispatch rider. He returned home after being wounded but died on the operating table in 1915.
Apparently around forty players and staff of Clapton Orient (now known as Leyton Orient) enlisted together and joined the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment which famously became known as the ‘Footballers Battalion’. Ian Maxwell, based on his articles published in ‘Family History Monthly’ wrote about Orient’s two leading goal scorers, Richard McFadden and William Jonas, both killed at the Battle of the Somme. Shortly before his own death, life long friend and team mate, McFadden witnessed Jonas’s death on the battlefield. He wrote to tell fans of the news before his own death. “Both Willie and I were trapped in a trench near the front in Somme, France. Willie turned to me and said, ‘Goodbye Mac, best of luck, special love to my sweetheart Mary Jane and best regards to the lads at Orient.’ Before I could reply to him, he was up and over. No sooner had he jumped out of the trench, my best friend of nearly 20 years was killed before my eyes.”
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
(The image of E.H.Lintott is from a Smith’s Cup Tie cigarette card and says on the reverse side, ‘An artistic left half, who plays amateur, Caps: Scotland, Ireland, Wales, 1908. The other image is of Frank Cannon and is an Imperial Tobacco card by Taddy & Co. in the Prominent Footballers series and issued with ‘Myrtle Grove’ Medium cigarettes)