Lane, James


War Service:
Lance CorporalF/758 JAMES LANE of 17th (Footballers) battalion Middlesex Regiment died on 28 July 1916 in the fighting for Delville Wood. He went to France on 17 November 1915 and was appointed as lance corporal on 11 April 1916.

He enlisted at Deptford on 15 February 1915 at the age of 33 and gave his occupation as gas meter tester.

The Footballers Battalion was formed in 1915. As early as September 1914 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had written “There is a time for all things in the world, and this is not the time to be chasing around after a ball.” The idea for a battalion of soccer players came from the Rt Hon. W. Joynson Hicks MP and although a significant number of players did enlist, at first they were far outnumbered by the football clubs’ supporters. In fairness it should be said that some clubs were reluctant to release their professional players from their contracts.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

Location of Memorial:
He is also remembered on the Sydenham South Suburban Gas Works war memorial.

He was born in Tralee, County Kerry. He was the husband of Elizabeth Mabel Lane, of 3A, Larkbere Rd., Lower Sydenham. They married on 15 June 1906.

Service record
The Greater Game : Clive Harris & Julian Whippy

Contributed By: Andy Pepper

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