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In memory of those who fell during the two World Wars

11 November 2020

In memory of those who fell during the two World Wars.

First World War

Frank Cannon

   Inside right who made 66 appearances and scored 28 goals between 1911- 1913. He also played for Hitchin Town, QPR (for whom he scored in the first ever Charity Shield in 1908) and New Brompton (now called Gillingham). When war was declared in 1914 he joined the Bedfordshire regiment before being transferred to the Essex regiment where he rose to the rank of Sergeant Major. He was killed at Ypres on 15th February 1916. He is buried at the Potijze Burial Ground in Ypres where his headstone bears the inscription “Always Remembered By Those At Home”

Joseph ‘Tommy’ Regan

  Left winger who joined the Vale in 1913, making 5 appearances. When war broke out he joined the 7th North Staffs regiment but was killed on 25th January 1917 in Mesopotamia. He was buried at the Amara War cemetery in Iraq.

Leigh Richmond ‘Dickie’ Roose

  Goalkeeper who won 24 caps for Wales before his one appearance for the Vale in 1910. He also played for Aberystwyth, Stoke, Everton, Sunderland and Celtic. Roose joined the British Army on the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and Gallipoli. He then enlisted as a private of the Royal Fusiliers in 1916 and then served in the First World War on the Western Front, where his goalkeeping abilities resulted in his becoming a noted grenade thrower.

He was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery on the first occasion he saw action, the regimental history recording:

"Private Leigh Roose, who had never visited the trenches before, was in trouble when the flammenwerfer (flame thrower) attack began. He managed to get back along the trench and, though nearly choked with fumes with his clothes burnt, he refused to go to the dressing station. He continued to throw bombs until his arm gave out, and then, joining the covering party, used his rifle with great effect.”

His Military Medal award was announced on 21 September 1916.

Promoted to the rank of lance corporal, Roose was killed, aged 38, towards the end of the Battle of the Somme on 7th October 1916. The exact location and manner of his death remain a matter of dispute.

His body was never recovered, and his name appears on the war memorial to missing soldiers at Thiepval in France.

John Shelton

  Right half who joined the Vale in 1911 having helped Wolves to win the FA Cup in 1908. He scored 8 goals in 224 appearances and enlisted in the 2nd Lincolnshire regiment. He was killed in September 1918 whilst breaking the Hindenburg line and is buried in Epehy Wood Cemetery in France.

Robert Suart

   Half back who joined Vale in 1911 and made 175 appearances, scoring 13 goals. He also played for Stockport County and Fulham. He enlisted in the war with the 8th South Lancashire regiment, later moving to the 14th Royal Warwickshire regiment. He was killed in action on 27th September 1918 in Gouzeaucourt in France, only five weeks before the conflict ended. He is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois memorial near Arras, France.

Jack George Yuill

   Right winger who scored 1 goal in 4 appearances after joining the Vale in 1911. He also played for Manchester City, Oldham and Stockport County. When war broke out he joined the 19th Manchester Regiment and rose to the rank of Lance Sergeant. He was killed at the Battle of the Somme in early July 1916 but his body was never recovered. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.


Second World War

Tom Cooper

   Fenton born right back who joined Vale in 1924 and made 33 appearances before being sold to Derby County for £2,500 in March 1926. He also played for Liverpool and won 15 caps for England between 1928-1935. When the Second World War broke out he joined the military police but was killed in a motorcycle accident in June 1940 whilst on despatch rider duty. An inquiry into his death had the outcome that despatch riders were no longer allowed to ride without a helmet.

Haydn Dackins

  Forward who played for Swansea Town before joining the Vale in 1935, scoring 1 goal in 9 appearances. He only stayed for a year before moving on to Northwich Victoria and then Macclesfield Town. When war was declared he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers but was killed on 2nd August 1943 during the allied invasion of Sicily. He is buried in the Catania War cemetery in Catania, Sicily.

Sam Jennings

  Striker who played for Middlesbrough, Reading, West Ham, Brighton and Nottm Forest before joining the Vale in 1929. He was top scorer for the two season he was at the club, totalling 45 goals in 66 games before moving on to Burnley. He fought in the war but contracted pneumonia twice and had to return to England where he died aged 45 on 21st August 1944 at Robertsbridge in Sussex. He is buried at Hastings Crematorium.

Freddie Mills

  Hanley born Freddie was an inside right who joined the Vale in 1932. He scored 5 goals in 75 appearances before being sold to Leeds United two years later. During the war he served with the 6th King’s Shropshire Light infantry which became the 181st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery where he was a gunner. On 5th December after fighting in Blerick, in the Netherlands, he jumped out of his lorry on spying a German machine gun and was instantly killed by a mine aged 34. He is buried in Venray War Cemetery in Holland. 



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