|REMEMBERING THE GREAT WAR WANDERERS
(Saturday 2nd August 2014)
Research on the the history of Wanderers players who fought in the 'Great (First World) War' is currently being finalised in order to commerate the centenary of the start of hostilities on 28 July 1914, with Britain declaring war on 4th August 1914. It's understood that at least ten Wanderers players lost their lives in the War and many others were affected during and after the war that eventually ended in November 1918.
Mike Dewey, voluntary contributor to the Bucks Free Press Nostalgia pages, and Dave Finch, co-author of the Official Wycombe Wanderers History 1887-1996, launched an appeal in January 2014 for any surviving descendents, or other people who have knowledge of the players, to make contact and help with the research. It's understood they've had a good response - family relations of both the Buchanan and McDermott family both still regularly watch the Wanderers but if you think you are able to help further please contact Mike at DeweyMiked @ aol.com.
Mike, a Wanderers follower for close to 60 years, will be known to some Wanderers followers for his talk given in 2013 on Frank Adams as part of the 125 year Club history exhibition at Wycombe Museum. Meanwhile, Dave has been an avid following of the Wanderers since the 1960's and will be best known for his statistcal look at the Wanderers via the Club programme during the 1990's and 2000's, as well as the meticulous research, along with fellow author Steve Peart, for the comprehensive Club history book published in late 1996.
This is how the book described events leading up to the outbreak of war, "During the close season the Club's application to join the Spartan League was accepted but membership of the Great Western Suburban League would continue, the intention being to field sides of equal strength in each competition. The Great War, however, broke out before the season started and Wycombe players began to join the two companies of Territorials and the Bucks Battalion, all based in the town. The Club withdrew from the Spartan League and decided not to arrange any fixtures, scratching from the scheduled F.A. Cup game at Maidenhead Norfolkians on 26 September 1914. The Royal Field Artillery was being concentrated in High Wycombe, barracks and stables were built in Daws Hill Park, and it soon became an important centre for training artillarymen to ride the horses which pulled the guns. The Marquess ofLincolnshire requested Wanderers to allow free use of Loakes Park to the Military so the Club ceased to be active for the duration of the war."
A plaque commemerating the Wanderers players lost in the War was also unveiled at Loakes in April 1920 but the current whereabouts is unknown. If you have any information, please send an email with details to history @ chairboys.co.uk
Stories of these players and other Wanderers connections are expected to be published by Mike and Dave over the coming months and Chairboys on the Net will give you any news relating to this.
You Tube - Film produced by students at the Buckinghamshire New University of Wycombe Wanderers visit to the Somme region of France in October 2014.
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