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Forest Green Rovers and WW1

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Forest Green was, as historian Tim Barnard comments:

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 ‘A staunchly Non Conformist village,

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 made up of Baptists and Congregationalists’ –

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Although the club was based at a pub,

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 ‘The Jovial Forester … Lower Forest Green … in those early years’;

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Tim also comments that: ‘Some might argue that FGR are

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 carrying on with that tradition with our new Green ethos!’

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 This is more than interesting,

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 for such non-conformism was often double-edged:

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 For some it meant thrift, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’,

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Sabbatarianism, devoted Bible reading and so on,

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 But for others, the 3 Rs and the Bible meant only one lesson:

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 than it is for a rich man to enter Heaven’;

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 Such people might well have joined the local riots of 1766:

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 ‘On Friday last a Mobb was rais’d in these parts by the blowing of Horns &c

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 consisting entirely of the lowest of the people such as weavers, mecanicks,

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 labourers, prentices and boys &c… cutting open Baggs of Flower

19 Leave a comment on verse 19 0 and giving it & carrying it away’;

20 Leave a comment on verse 20 0 Or the Captain Swing riots in Horsley in the winter of 1830:

21 Leave a comment on verse 21 0 ‘This is to tell you gentlemen that if you don’t pull down them infernall machines then we will you damnd dogs. An yew mus rise the marrid mens wages tow and sixpence a day an the single tow shillins or we will burn your hayricks’;

22 Leave a comment on verse 22 0 Then at the end of the nineteenth century,

23 Leave a comment on verse 23 0 there came agricultural trades unionism,

24 Leave a comment on verse 24 0 With Joseph Banks, the Slad Road chemist, leading meetings,

25 Leave a comment on verse 25 0 Calling for an end to truck and payment in kind,

26 Leave a comment on verse 26 0 And calling for shorter hours and higher wages,

27 Leave a comment on verse 27 0 Labourers should be paid, he said,

28 Leave a comment on verse 28 0 ‘In sterling money, not fat bacon … or a couple of swedes’.

29 Leave a comment on verse 29 0 So this was the background preceding the Great War,

30 Leave a comment on verse 30 0 The background from which men marched out from their football pitch,

31 Leave a comment on verse 31 0 Some never to return:

32 Leave a comment on verse 32 0 ‘There are 3 names with initials on the Nailsworth war memorial

33 Leave a comment on verse 33 0 matching names and initials of pre- war Forest Green Rovers players.

34 Leave a comment on verse 34 0 W Brinkworth, E Beale, S Marmont.

35 Leave a comment on verse 35 0 W Brinkworth is also named on the Woodchester Baptist Chapel memorial plaque, now in Woodchester Parish Church. That all fits because FGR and Forest Green was a staunchly Non Conformist village, made up of Baptists and Congregationalists’, says Tim.

36 Leave a comment on verse 36 0 In conclusion, Tim has sent us the following:

37 Leave a comment on verse 37 0 Stroud Journal, September 1919

38 Leave a comment on verse 38 0 Stroud and District Football Association notes

39 Leave a comment on verse 39 0 When war broke out in August 1914 the above League had made every effort for a record season. Rule books etc had been printed ready for issue to the clubs who had entered and nearly 800 registration forms had been received from players who had “signed on” to take part in league matches.

40 Leave a comment on verse 40 0 Then came the call to arms and by the beginning of September so many of these players had joined the colours that it was impossible for the clubs to carry out their programmes.

41 Leave a comment on verse 41 0 The League Committee at once came to a decision and decided to disband for the duration of the war.

42 Leave a comment on verse 42 0 Many of the boys who at that time were looking forward to their favourite pastime have fallen on the different battlefields that their names will always live in the memory of those interested in the Stroud and District League….

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/forest-green-rovers-and-ww1/