1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Walter Tull was born in Folkestone in 1888,
to a Barbadian father and an English mother.
At the age of nine, his parents had both died,
leaving Walter and a somewhat older brother.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 At the age of ten, with his brother he went,
to an orphanage in Bethnal Green.
His brother left after just two years,
and became a Dentist, a man of means.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Walter stayed on at the orphanage
and played for their football team.
In 1908 joining Clapton FC.
The beginning of a young mans dream.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Within a few months he’d won medals,
in the FA amateur cup.
Then came county amateur and senior cup,
his football career looking up.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 He signed for Tottenham Hotspurs in 1909
and was reportedly “Catch of the season”.
During the game against Bristol City,
he suffered racism without any reason.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 It was reported that “Bristol Hooligans”,
used foul language in a cowardly attack.
Shouting abuse, the like not heard of,
referring to the colour black.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 October 1911 Walter moved to Northampton Town,
9 goals in 110 appearances his final score.
For he now joined the Middlesex Regiment,
to fight in the first world war.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 The Battalion known as the Seventeenth,
“First Football” was their nickname.
Whenever they could spare some time,
out came footballs and a very quick game.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Recognising leadership qualities,
to the rank of Sergeant he soon rose.
Taking part in the Somme offensive,
the Trench Fever he caught, sent him home.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Impressing his senior officers,
he was given a splendid chance.
Sent to Officer Training School, Scotland,
instead of the front line in France.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Against odds, he received a commission,
in the month of May, 1917.
It was an historic occasion,
the first black officer the British Army had seen.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Lieutenant Tull was sent to Italy,
and at the battle of Piave led his men.
He was mentioned for “Gallantry and Coolness”,
after that 1918 to France again.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 His task was to break through German lines,
on the Western Front, with haste.
Then to attack the trenches at Favreuil,
no time were they to waste.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Soon after entering no mans land,
Walters life was brought to an end.
He was hit by a German bullet,
and died on the land he was sent to defend.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 His faithful men made great effort,
to get his body back to their lines,
but under great fire it was useless,
they still tried for a considerable time.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 Awarded the British War and Victory Medal,
and recommended for the Military Cross.
All the men that served under him,
were all too aware of their loss.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 Walter Tull, the first black officer,
in the Army ,we will all remember,
when the poppies are laid at the Cenotaph,
on the eleventh day of November.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 .


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/walter-tull-2/