Thursday, 2 February 2017

Luton Town Footballers at the Front

Arthur Wileman (left) and Arthur Roe (right)

Friday 2nd February 1917: Luton Town footballers Arthur Wileman and Arthur Roe were drafted to France late last year where they are serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment. The Club Secretary has recently received this letter from Corporal Wileman:  

“The conditions out here are very bad. It is too cold to write. We have about six inches of snow, and we are on our 24 days in the line. I shall be very glad when we get out to have a bath – that is if we are lucky enough to get one. I see the Town are winning one or two matches. That was a very good win over Chelsea, and I should have liked to be in at that. We had a football match the other week while we were out of the trenches. ‘A’ Company challenged us, and did not know that Roe and I were footballers, so our chaps took them on. It was up to the neck in slucdg, even worse than the Welsh grounds! Well, we finished, winning by 10 goals to nil. Roe got five and I got five, so the other side began to make inquiries who we were. Now the battalion have challenged our company when we come out again. We must not grumble as long as we keep in good health out here, although it is very, very cold.” [1]

Source: Luton News, 1st February 1917

[1] Arthur Harold Wileman was killed on 28th April 1918 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial. He was awarded the Military Medal in January 1918. 

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