Football from the Somme
The local regiment, which many men from across Richmond joined, was the East Surrey Regiment. As the men from the East Surreys advanced across the battlefield of the Somme, they kicked a football between them to encourage one another. The event became famous back home in Britain as the ‘Football Charge‘.
On 22 July, the Richmond & Twickenham Times recorded the arrival of the football used in the charge at the regimental headquarters in Kingston. The depot commander, Colonel HP Treeby, accepted the ball and it was inflated by Private AW Draper of Latham Road, Twickenham. Private Draper had been wounded during the battle. The ball was put on display for the troops and the other wounded soldiers back from the Front.
The first public exhibition of the ball was at the East Surrey Regiment fete in Richmond on August 22.