Over 50 footballers who had represented Reading Football Club went on to fight in the First World War. 15 of them did not make it home.
Like so many of their generation, they made the ultimate sacrifice. They served, sacrificed, changed our world. A century on from the Armistice, which brought an end to four years of war on 11th November 1918, we pay our tributes to those individuals.
It is with thanks to the initial research of war historian Jon Cooksey and further diligence diligence and research of Alan Sedunary and the Supporters’ Trust at Reading that we have identified these 15 individuals and have been able to chronicle their lives – their early years, their time spent at Elm Park, and the involvement in the First World War.
Their stories are fascinating and powerfully poignant. Individuals who grew up across the road from Elm Park; representatives in the Football Battalion; memoirs of the war in the form of letters to their loved ones; children that were never met.
Millions died in the Great War, but the personal stories of these individuals bring these stories of sacrifice into stark focus.
Some were on the Royals books for long periods, some only fleetingly represented the club before battle begun. But all are now considered Royals heroes. Each of the 15 are profiled below in our new ‘Royals Remembered’ page in the History section of our website - click the banner to navigate to the page.
Reading supporters are reminded that we will be hosting our Remembrance Weekend activities this Saturday when we host Ipswich Town at Madejski Stadium; more information about our planned events are listed below.
Remembrance Activities – Reading vs Ipswich Town, Saturday 10th November 2018
- 12.30pm Volunteers from The Royal British Legion selling poppies and collecting donations around the ground
- 1.30pm Supporters invited to gather at the Remembrance Wall next to Gate 1; Reading Scottish Pipe Band performing in advance of the service
- 1.45pm The Act of Remembrance will begin, led by Rev. Barry Kirk
- 1.50pm Following 'The Last Post', wreaths will be laid
- 2pm Individual tributes will be laid for the 15 former Reading players killed in the First World War
- 2.40pm A 'Royals Remembered' video will be shown on the big screen inside Madejski Stadium
- 2.47pm The Reading Scottish Pipe Band march onto the pitch, playing in front of the East Stand
- 2.55pm Players emerge from the tunnel with poppies on their shirts (to be auctioned for Royal British Legion)
- 2.56pm Coin toss with bespoke commemorative coin
- 2.57pm Turnstiles around Madejski Stadium temporarily halted for Remembrance activity
- 2.58pm Supporters will be asked to fall silent as bugler Mark Dallas perform the Last Post
- 2.59pm Madejski Stadium observes a minute's silence
- 3pm Kick-off; turnstiles will re-open upon the conclusion of the minute's silence