CLAPTON ORIENT FOOTBALL CLUB MEMORIAL, FLERS
The memorial commemorating the players, staff and supporters of Clapton Orient Football Club who served in the 17th (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment during the First World War, is located in the French village of Flers and was officially unveiled at a ceremony held on 10 July 2011.
More than 200 Orient supporters joined local residents and club officials to witness the unveiling of the 2 metre high granite monument, which was built after a two-year fundraising campaign that totalled £15,000. A piece of turf from Leyton Orient’s home stadium was also planted next to the site.
The memorial has a carved football and football boots at its base, while the club crest features on its front below the cap badge of the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, better known as the “Footballers’ Battalion”.
The front of the memorial also features the names of three Orient players; William Jonas, George Scott and Richard McFadden, who were killed serving in the 17th Middlesex during the Battle of the Somme.
The memorial is located on the Rue Principale (D197), the main road that runs through the village of Flers, and sits to the left hand side of its church.
Jonas was born in Northumberland in 1890 and joined Clapton Orient from local side, Havanna Rovers, in 1912. He would go on to score 23 goals in 74 games for the club before the First World War, when he joined the 17th Middlesex. Jonas was killed on 27 July 1916 at Delville Wood, aged 26. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
Born in Sunderland in 1885, Scott joined Clapton Orient in 1908 and played more than 200 games for the club before enlisting with his teammates during the war. Scott was seriously wounded during the Battle of the Somme and taken prisoner by the Germans, who took him to a military hospital behind the lines. Scott was to succumb to his wound on 16 August 1916 however, and is buried at St Souplet British Cemetery near Le Cateau.
McFadden was born in Cambuslang, Scotland in 1889 and joined Orient in 1911 after a brief spell at Wallsend Park Villa. A talented forward, McFadden scored scored 68 goals in 142 games before enlisting in the 17th Middlesex, where he was to reach the rank of Company Sergeant Major and win the Military Medal. McFadden died of wounds on 23 October 1916, aged 27, and is buried at Couin British Cemetery.