Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remember the 37,404 West Ham Pals killed in the first world war

This Remembrance Sunday at 11am please remember the 37,404 West Ham Pals killed in the first world war.

One of the reasons why the First World War was so traumatic an event to British society was that so many of the new infantry Battalions formed to fight in the trenches were the so called "Pals Battalions". Where men could serve with local friends, neighbours or workers.

The West Ham Pals were officially called the 13th Battalion of the Essex Regiment.

Unofficially they were West Ham football team supporters who joined on mass with their mates and whose battle cry (and bayonet charge) was “Up the Irons”.

The Battalion fought in some of the worse battles in the War and suffered in total 37,404 causalities killed, wounded or missing. The impact of all these deaths and casualties in battle on the local community was therefore immense.

When you imagine more than a packed out Boleyn ground home crowd being slaughtered you begin to understand the enormity of the whole thing and how many West Ham fans lost their lifes.

The West Ham Pals website can be found here

Two years ago Sir Trevor Brooking unveiled a plague at the Boleyn ground to remember the Pals.

West Ham players took time out from their morning session on 11/11/11 at 11am to take part in a a nationwide silence for Armistice Day.

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