thfc under wartime

With the declaration on war in 1914 and 1939, the game was suspended in this country, with regional leagues being played, while some grounds were taken over by the war effort or played with reduced capacities.  Guest players serving in the forces turned out for local sides, thus crowds could see big names play for their teams, even though they might never have the opportunity to sign them permanently.


with the advent of the guest player, some clubs became successful because of their proximity to Army, Navy or Air Force bases.  Aldershot were very strong during the wars with the Army Barracks nearby.

Spurs used about 70 guest players during World War II, while Tottenham players away on duty played for other clubs in the areas where they were stationed.

When League Football resumed in August 1946, some Spurs players were still serving for the forces and only resumed their footballing duties when their military service was over.


In World War I, league football continued until the end of the 1914-15 season, with regional leagues organised, leading to Spurs playing in the London Football Combination. 

Things were slightly different in World War II and Spurs were placed in the Southern Regional League, which they won in 1943-44 and 1944-45. 


White Hart Lane was closed during World War I, as it was taken over by the War Office as a munitions factory and the club played their home games at Millfields Road, Homerton (Clapton Orient) or Highbury (Arsenal) for the next four seasons.

Klingers Manufacturing had been a ladies stocking producer, but were put in charge of making protective clothing at the stadium, such as leather hoods and up to 11 million gas masks.

During the Second World War, White Hart Lane was kept open, as Highbury was closed by the War Office.  Thus Arsenal shared the Lane as their home ground, but not all the stadium was allowed to be used, as there were restrictions on large gatherings and also because parts of the ground had been commandeered to store the belongings of people in the local area who had been evacuated out of Tottenham. 

Highbury was being used as a First Aid Post and an Air Raid Patrol Centre, while the dressing rooms were utilised as a clearing station for casualties.  In the main stand, there was also a Warden's reporting post established.

At times during the Second World War, White Hart Lane was used as a mortuary and as an arms store.


In WWI, the club handed part of the ground to the Tottenham Rifle Club, opened by Sir Robert Baden Powell on 10th October 1914. Inside a month, WHL was being used as a parade ground for the 4th Middlesex Regiment to carry out drill practice.
The 17th (Service) Battalion (1st Football) The Middlesex Regiment became The Footballers Battalion and two Spurs players were among the first recruits – George Bowler (No. 27) and William John Oliver (no. 34) signed up for the unit on 15th December 1914 at Fulham Town Hall.
A few weeks later the club directors held a recruitment rally at the ground to encourage players and fans to join up.
The Battalion contained well-known footballers Frank Buckley, who was to become Major and be a noted manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers in future years and Vivian Woodward, the era's super-star who would attain the rank of captain during the war.

The 1919-20 season handbook contained a piece commemorating those who had lost their lives in the conflict.
“On the combined effort to achieve victory in the great game of war we can look with solemn pride. Naturally, our thoughts revert to those who fought and fell. It is rather a long list, this record of men associated, or who had been previously associated with the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club who made the supreme sacrifice. They were -
J. Fleming, J. Jarvie, Alf Hobday, J. Hebdon, E. J. Lightfoot, W.H.D. Lloyd, A. MacGregor, Finlay Weir, A. Wilson, N.A. Wood and W.D. Tull.
To their memories, we pay humble tribute, knowing full well that if they could send us a message today, it would be just this “Carry on.”

In addition, three players who represented the club during their time in the Southern League were killed in action – Alan Roderick Haig-Brown, Fred Griffiths and George Badenoch.

Corporal William J. Henry Lloyd of the 2nd Grenadier Guards was killed on 7th November 1914.
Born in Wrexham, William had been playing amateur football with Tufnell Park and played occasionally for Spurs, appearing eight times in the 1908-09 South Eastern League team and for the club's reserve side. Lloyd scored in a friendly match at Bedford in his last game for the club.

Alexander MacGregor came from Glasgow junior club Yoker Athletic in June 1914 when still a teenager. The centre forward played in the South Eastern League team and also for the Reserves in the London League until October of that year, when he was dismissed for breach of training regulations with three other players.
On leaving he joined The Gordon Highlanders, but on his first day in France, at Ypres, he was killed.

George Badenoch had previously played for Douglas Highlanders, Heart of Midlothian, Glossop and Watford before he joined Tottenham in May 1906. His first season was blighted by appendicitis, which caused him to miss much of the 1906-07 season, but he managed one South Eastern appearance and six in the South Eastern Reserve team.
Badenoch left to play outside right for Northampton Town in May 1907. He went on to make 47 Southern League appearances under the management of his former team-mate Herbert Chapman. His two seasons brought one goal and a Southern League championship winners medal in 1908-09. Then a knee injury caused him to retire.
He left for Canada and played for the Indian Head club in Saskatchewan.
He was a private in the 1st Battalion of the Western Ontario Regiment, Canadian Infantry and was posted to France and was killed in the trenches at Givenchy on 15th June 1915. His name is listed at the Vichy Memorial in Pas de Calais in France along with thousands of Canadian casualties.

Alfred Hobday signed for Spurs in April 1913 from amateur side Consett Swifts having served for the Northumberland Fusiliers being involved in the attack at Bellewarle in the Ypres Saliant.
Hobday was reported as missing initially and then wounded and missing, before being confirmed as being killed in action on 16th June 1915.

John Jarvie was born in Kirkintilloch, Glasgow.
Left back or left half.
Started playing football for Maryhill and signed for Tottenham in May 1912, going on to play 20 South Eastern League matches in 1912-13 before being allowed to leave at the end of that season.
Served in the Princess Louise's (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) 2nd Battalion, being killed in action at Flanders on 2nd January 1916.

John Fleming
Centre-forward who signed from Newcastle United in May 1913 for £300.
Born in Slammanan, Stirlingshire, his football career started at Musselburgh Union and Edinburgh St. Bernards before moving south to Newcastle.
Fleming notched three times in 19 Football League matches, spaced out between October 1913 and April 1915. During the 1913-14 season, John was the top scorer in the South Eastern League side with 15 goals in 23 games.
His younger brother William was a defender who was with Spurs in 1914-15 and played with John in the reserves three times.
Leaving Spurs for Glasgow Rangers in November 1915 for £200 after playing for Armdale Thistle as a guest, John went on to sign up with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 8th Battalion. Unfortunately, he suffered a bout of pneumonia at Richmond Camp, Yorkshire and died on 21st March 1916.

Archibald Wilson was born in Newmilns around 1890 and was with Spurs from December 1909 until March 1911, when he moved east to Southend United. Archie had not got into the first team, but went on to play for the Shrimpers in the Southern League and for Middlesbrough in the Football League.
Wilson did play for Spurs as a guest during the war while serving with the London Scottish Regiment, appearing ten times as a right winger between November 1915 and March 1916.
He was killed ina ction on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Norman Arthur Wood was born in Streatham, South London and played for Bromley, being chosen to represent the London FA four times before he signed for Spurs in 1907.
A left winger who spent two years in our reserves, he went on to join Crystal Palace, Plymouth Argyle, Croydon Common and Chelsea. He made 58 Football League appearances with Stockport County between September 1913 and January 1915.
Killed in action on 28th July 1916, Norman was serving with the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) 17th Battalion.

John Joseph Hebdon
Born to Catherine and Henry Hebdon of 37 Balham Road, Edmonton, local lad John played in the reserves in the London League from January 1915, having started with Silver Street United.
A Lance Corporal in London Regiment 14th (County of London) Battalion (London Scottish) was killed in action on 9th April 1914 and is buried in the London Cemetery in Neuville-Vitasse.

Frederick John Griffiths was a goalkeeper from Wales, who played in the Southern League for a number of sides after starting his career with Blackpool.
Born at Prestaigne, Radnorshire on 13th September 1873, his early days were spent with South Shore and Clitheroe, but in 1899 moved to Blackpool. Won two Welsh caps in the first quarter of 1900 before going on to play for Stalybridge Celtic and Millwall Athletic. Signed for Spurs in October 1901.
Only played nine Southern League matches and three FA Cup ties before leaving to play for Preston North End. Also had spells with West Ham United, New Brompton, Middlesbrough and Moore's Athletic (Shirebrook).
Later coached Shirebrook while working as a miner.
Was serving in the Sherwood Foresters when he was killed in action on 30th October 1917 in France.

Walter Daniel John Tull
Born in Folkestone on 28th April 1888.
Joined from Clapton in 1909, Tull scored twice in 10 First Division games for Spurs before leaving to join Northampton Town as a half back.
Joining the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment in December 1914, Walter became a sergeant and played for Fulham and Rangers as a guest during the war.
Gained a commission as a second lieutenant in the 23rd (2nd Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment on 30th May 1907 and was given commendations in dispatches for his 'gallantry and coolness' at the first Battle of Piave, but in the second battle of the Somme, Walter was killed in action near Favrueil on 25th March 1918.
During his service, Tull was awarded the British War and Victory medal and was recommended for the Military Cross.

Alan Roderick Haig-Brown
Born Godalming, Surrey on 7th September 1877
Attended Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Became an assistant master at Lancing College teaching sport and was also involved with cadet corps and officer training corps.
Played for Corinthians and Old Carthusians, before playing in four Southern League matches for Tottenham between February 1902 and April 1903. Later played for Clapton Orient and clubs close to his work in Sussex – Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Became a Lieutenant Colonel in the 23rd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment.
Awarded Distinguished Service Order for Bravery.
Died at Bapaume in the second Battle of the Somme on 25th March 1918

William Findlay Weir
Half back
Born 18th April 1889 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Started playing with Campvale, Waverley and Maryhill.
1909 joined Sheffield Wednesday
August 1912 signed for Spurs following atrial spell at the club.
Scored two goals in 101 peace-time games for Spurs.
Played four games during war-time for the club.
Died 9th July 1918 in action with the Corps of the Royal Engineers.

Edward John Lightfoot
Half back
Born Litherland, Sefton, Merseyside on 13th November 1889
Played for Harrowby and Southport Central before moving to Tottenham in May 1911.
Made 66 appearances for Spurs in the first team, with two more games played in war-time in November 1917.
Served in the war with the Royal Garrison Artillery and died in action in France on 20th July 1918.
Ran a confectioner's business with Fanny Walden in West Green Road, Tottenham.


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