On 11 November 1918 the First World War came to an end. This day is marked at 11:00am every year as we remember all those that lost their lives across many conflicts.
Over 900,000 men from across the British Empire were killed between 1914 and 1918, amongst them were three that had player for Billericay Town.
Corporal 43504 Alfred William Ackers
Essex Regiment, 2nd Battalion.
Alfred Ackers was born during 1890 in Forest Gate, then part of the Essex County Borough of West Ham, to William Hugh and Francis Jane Ackers (nee Leigh).
By 1901 the family had moved to Laindon where they were still living by the time the 1911 census was taken. On 26 November 1910 Billericay hosted Southminster St Leonard for a reply of their Essex Junior Cup match. Alfred scored in Billericay’s 3-1 win. This is his only recorded goal for the club.
Ackers is likely to have been a member of the Billericay squad that won the Chelmsford & District League Division 2 title in 1913, the clubs earliest known honour.
On 18 April 1918 German forces attacked the French town of Béthune. The attack was unsuccessful.
It was four days later, during this battle, that Alfred was killed. He was buried at the Military Cemetery in Chocques, Pas-de-Calais.
Lance Corporal 26675 William Thomas Scott
Essex Regiment, 10th Battalion.
William Thomas Scott was born in Billericay, 1888, to William and Maria Scott. He grew up and lived in Great Burstead.
Scott was probably a member of squad that lifted the Chelmsford & District League Division 2 title in 1913.
On 25 May 1918 the Essex Newsman reported that Mrs Maria Scott, who lived in The Forge, High Street, Billericay, had been informed that one of her sons, Lance Corporal William Thomas Scott of the Essex Regiment, had been killed in France on 26 April 1918. He was just 30 years old.
It is likely that he was killed during the second battle of Villers-Brettoneux in the Somme department of Northern France.
William was described as ‘a prominent member of the Billericay Football Club and was held in great esteem by players and spectators.’ He was buried in Hangard, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France.
Lieutenant Harry George Welham
Royal Sussex Regiment, 3rd Battalion.
Killed 4 November 1918.
Harry Welham was also born in Billericay during 1891 to Frank and Ellen Welham (nee Southgate) who lived on Mountnessing Road.
Welham joined The Royal Fusiliers during August 1914. He was promoted to Sergeant and then to 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment 3rd Battalion in 1916.
Harry was awarded a Military Cross for his actions on 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines. A report in the London Gazette reported that he had shown great leadership supervising the whole line until he nearly passed out through exhaustion before leading men in to shell holes and potentially saving many lives.
Welham returned home on leave during 1918 and married Minnie Booth. He went back to France but was killed in action on 4 November 1918, seven days before Armistice. He was buried at Wargnies-Le-Petit Communal Cemetery in France.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM