Saturday 29th April 1916: Private W. J. Berry of Wootton, who is serving in France with the 11th Battalion of the Essex Regiment, has send a sporting take on the war to the Bedfordshire Times in an effort to encourage new recruits:
You may think we have no football matches out here, but we have the finest team in the world. If you don’t mind I will tell you our team.
George Ground is our goalkeeper, and he stops some very hard shots. Then come our backs, Sam Sandbag, who never gives an inch of ground, and Bob Barbwire, a player you can always get entangled with.
Then we have our half-backs, a fine trio; Jack Starlight, a fine illuminating player who enlightens all the spectators; Jack Sniper, a very good shot, who is always popping at goal and seldom fails to score, and Pip Squeak, who puts in some useful work.
Then come the forwards. We have Harry Rifle, a very good player indeed, and Walter Bayonet, a very dangerous chap at close quarters; Joe Whizz-Bang, who comes in with a crash; jack Shrapnel, who is up and down the field in grand style; and Jack Grenade, who does some very clever work in the open.
Now if anyone wishes to see this game he has only to call at the nearest Recruiting Office; and I can assure you there are a few empty dug-outs left. He will see the grand final shortly, Krupps versus Munition Works. I know there used to be some good teams in Bedfordshire. Try and pick a team to compete with this one and send them along. We have special accommodation for class teams.
Source: Bedfordshire Times, 28th April 1916