We Will Remember Them

The Southend programme of 7th February 1959, states that, ‘One of our oldest servants, Assistant- Trainer Jimmy Eggleton, is ill with a touch of Bronchitis. Jimmy was gassed in World War 1, and his present chest condition is a repercussion from this.’ Last year, I mentioned that Dennis Higgins was an amateur defender who played thirty times for the R’s before joining the Sportsmen Battalion and becoming an officer. He was so badly injured at Ypres in Flanders that he never played again.

The following servicemen had at some time played for Queen’s Park Rangers and all tragically lost their lives serving their Country:

Evelyn Henry Lintott – He made thirty five appearances for the R’s and was also our first England International. He died leading his men of the 15th West Yorkshire Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Ron Gould has done some extensive research into 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.

Albert Bonass – He joined QPR in 1939 and later became a reserve policeman before joining the RAF. He was killed just eight weeks or so after VJ Day on a training flight – the Stirling bomber crashed in Yorkshire.

Frank Cannon – Described as a ‘dashing player and good dribbler with a fine shot’, he turned out twenty nine times for QPR before signing for West Ham. After the outbreak of the Great War, he joined the Army and became a Sgt Major in the Essex Regiment. He was killed on the Western Front on 15th February 1916 and was buried at Potijze in Belgium.

Joseph Dines – Apart from winning more than twenty amateur caps for England, he also played in all three matches in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm for the Great Britain team which won him a gold medal. He travelled the country as a schoolmaster and made just one appearance for the Rangers. He was one of three brothers to enlist but he only survived eleven days. He was cut down by machine gun fire on 27th September 1918.

Charles Clarke – He played six times for QPR before moving on to Luton Town in 1938. He lost his life on active service in 1943.

Albert Edwards – Made seventeen appearances for the R’s and also played for Bristol City and Newport County. He lost his life in the Great War.

John H Pennifer – Joined QPR in 1913 and after just three appearances, he enlisted in 1914 and died at the Battle of the Somme.

John Tosswill – He played three times for the R’s before joining the Royal Engineers. He became a dispatch rider and returned home after being wounded but died on the operating table in 1915.

Harry Vernon Thornton – Thirty seven Rangers appearances and scored 10 goals. Like many other players, he joined the ‘Footballer’s Battalion’ and later died in France.

J.Butler – Dennis Signy mentions him in his book ‘as being a victim of the Great War’. Furthermore, Gordon Macey refers to a player with that surname but no initial who made his debut against Arsenal on Boxing Day 1916. He went on to make seven appearances for the R’s.


Steve Russell

(My sources of reference include Reg Hayter’s 1948 history of the club, Dennis Signy’s 1969 book,John Marks’s excellent ‘Heroes In Hoops’ and Gordon Macey of course)

9 thoughts on “We Will Remember Them


    Take my hand and come with me
    to a special place across the sea
    a sacred place in hallowed ground
    its not a church you’ll understand
    just a part of home in another land

    A place where gravestones stand arrayed
    like a phantom army on parade
    stand close to me and patience keep
    and soon you’ll see a brave man weep
    he cries for his comrade beneath the stones
    and I tell you friend he’s not alone

    Scenes like this are commonplace
    in our special meeting place
    so as you stroll down memory lane
    think of us who must remain
    and now its time to say adieu
    but remember friend, we died for you

  2. All wars are planned by older men
    In council rooms apart,
    Who call for greater armament
    And map the battle chart.

    But out along the shattered field
    Where golden dreams turn gray,
    How very young the faces were
    Where all the dead men lay.

    Portly and solemn in their pride,
    The elders cast their vote
    For this or that, or something else,
    That sounds the martial note.

    But where their sightless eyes stare out
    Beyond life’s vanished toys,
    I’ve noticed nearly all the dead
    Were hardly more than boys.

  3. Glad we can show our appreciation to those still serving (at the Coventry home game) when 500 of our finest soldiers will be at Loftus Rd. Really glad the club listened to the many fans who requested this including Pauls Fisher & Finney.As anyone knows who has visited our many war graves abroad , most of the fallen were young men and their lives were cut very short.

  4. Great article Steve. Co-incidentally I am in Belgium today where 11 Nov is a public holiday (same in France). Whilst it is Rememberance Day the locals seem to view it a bit more from the angle of liberation from German rule (which is of course true). I did see a couple of people wearing poppies which I have never seen before outside of the UK. I cycled around the Ypres area in July last year and visited many of the memorials and graveyards. Very moving. My family was lucky in that both my grandfathers were on active service pretty much from 1915 – 18 and survived ok as the sheer numbers of dead is staggering. As you know I was reading some old “QPR Scrapbooks” from the 1946/7/8 era recently and one mentions that one of Jimmy Eggleton’s school teachers was Evelyn Lintott.

  5. Great piece Steve.

    Very easy at times to forget the privileges and lifestyle that we are now fortunate enough to enjoy.
    God bless each and every one of them.

  6. I have just started to do my family tree and am really excited as I have just seen a mention of my Grandmother’s first husband ‘J Butler’. I had always known he played for the ‘Hoops’ until he joined up for WW1 but don’t know what year he was killed. All I know is that he was transferred from Reading F.C. to play for QPR. If anyone has anymore info I would be really grateful.

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