The British Army had recognised the value of sport since the 1800s, but the First World War saw football become a key tool in preparing a new army of young civilians for life on the front line.
The nation’s favourite sport was used as an engaging and accessible way to build physical fitness in new recruits.
Football fostered unit solidarity and strengthened relationships between soon-to-be comrades. Loyalty and commitment to a battalion’s objectives would be valuable assets in a soldier.
Long periods of inactivity were part of a soldier’s day to day life. Officers used football to instil positive habits in their men so they used their free time well: better they were running around make-shift pitches than the local taverns.
Mental fitness was as important as physical strength. Following the introduction of conscription and disastrous losses at the Battle of the Somme, playing games like football would help bolster battalion spirits.
Kent in World War One is a website; funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund; dedicated to the Kent Coastal Towns and the role they played in The First World War. Visit www.kentww1.com to discover more about the people and events in Kent and their locations. Ensure your town or family are represented on our site by sharing with us family photographs, service records, or postcards and we will locate them on your town map to be a visual part of the history of Kent in the First World War. Share with us family memories so that we can tell your family’s story and show what life was like for all those who lived in Kent during this time. Please note that this is open to any school or youth organisation project and all submitted content is fully attributed. If your group would like to have a link on our website please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This timeline of events across the county during World War 1 was researched by Time2Give volunteers using the archives at the Kent History and Library Centre. It is part of a series of information and activities we are organising as part of the First World War Centenary to commemorate those who lived, fought and died in the First World War.
Among the 14km of historical documents held in the Kent History and Library Centre, there are many important collections relating to the First World War.
For example, there is a collection of 22 albums of letters sent by the First World servicemen of Great Chart village in reply to correspondence from The Friends of Great Chart. As well as letters, field cards, postcards and photographs, the albums contain memorabilia: There are concert and sports programmes, memorial cards, embroidered cards, Christmas cards, local newspaper cuttings, pressed flowers, bookmarks, and leaflets. There is even a copy of the Baghdad Times!
Local history collections are also available in the main district libraries, including census records, photographs, maps, newspapers, memorabilia and books.
Welcome to Gateways to the First World War. We are an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded centre for public engagement with the First World War centenary. Gateways is managed by the University of Kent in partnership with the Universities of Brighton, Greenwich, Portsmouth, Leeds and Queen Mary, London, and supported by a range of other institutions. The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the conflict through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, providing access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.
The Shorncliffe Trust is currently working towards creating the UK’s first Heritage Park & Education Centre dedicated to the history and legacy of the modern British Army.
Shorncliffe has been on the frontline of this country for over 200 years and has a unique history that is tied into world history events from the Napoleonic wars through to World War II. It is rare to find one military site in the world that has influenced and changed so much about the way today’s soldiers fight and operate on battlefields in the 21st century.
The centre at Shorncliffe will examine its military history and the impact (both social and cultural) the army camp made over the centuries both locally and internationally.
Shorncliffe has welcomed different nationalities from around the world and, in this corner of Kent, hosted royalty and leaders from a variety of nations.
The diaries of Lieutenant Kurt Zehmisch, a German WW1 soldier , were discovered by his son while clearing out the family loft. Rudolf was astonished to find that his father had helped initiate the infamous ceasefire of 1914 . “My father had studied in France. He also visited England. He went on a day trip to […]
Based in Kent we provide interactive Great War & World War II commemorative displays and educational presentations which can be tailored to the needs of your specific audience (Please note all our quotes enable us to make a donation to our chosen charity – The Forces Children’s Trust). For more information please visit ‘Our Services‘ page.