TODAY, on the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, we salute three Pilgrims who gave their lives in one of the bloodiest battles in history.
The Somme Offensive was a first world war battle waged by the armies of Britain and French against the German Empire. It took place between July 1-November 18, 1916 on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. More than one million men were wounded or killed – enough people to fill Home Park every Saturday for a year.
Billy Baker, who played 202 times for the Pilgrims from 1909, was killed in action during the later stages of an offensive which has become a byword for futile and indiscriminate slaughter.
A member of the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, which became known as the Footballers Battalion because it contained a plethora of talented footballers, he lost his life on October 22, 1916, in Serre. The 33-year-old Sergeant, who was awarded the Military Medal, he is commemorated in the Sucrerie military cemetery at Colincamps.
Evelyn Henry Lintott, who played twice for the Pilgrims in the 1906-07 season, was one of 19,000 men who died on the first day of the battle. Lintott had attended St Luke’s College and went on to play left-half for England before becoming a lieutenant in the West Yorkshire Regiment’s 15th Battalion.
Sergeant Norman Wood was killed in action at Delville Wood on July 28, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. Wood played 14 times for Argyle between 1910-11 before also enlisting with the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment.
We will remember them.