Leyton Orient announced that the first-team shirts for the remainder of the season will carry the Clapton Orient Somme badge for the remainder of the 2014-15 Sky Bet League One season.
41 players and staff of Clapton Orient served for their country as part of the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment (the Football Battalion), and three of those Richard McFadden, William Jonas and George Scott lost their lives.
The 17th Service Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was a First World War Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, part of the British Army, which was formed as a Pals battalion. The core of the battalion was a group of professional footballers, which was the reason for its most commonly used name, The Football Battalion. The Battalion fought in the Battle of the Somme amongst others, and soldiers who fought for the 17th included Second Lt. Walter Tull, who was the first black Infantry Officer in the British Army.
Tom Jeffes, Head of Commercial, said: “Leyton Orient Football Club is steeped in history and I am absolutely delighted to be able to incorporate the Somme badge on the first team and replica shirts for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
“As the first Football Club to sign up en masse in the Footballers’ Battalion it is very important that we remember our past and those that lost their lives.
“Supporters will be very excited that they have the chance to purchase these replica shirts via the Club Store where a select number will be on sale between now and the end of the season.”
Steve Jenkins, Chairman of the O's Somme Memorial Fund, said: “As the country continues to commemorate the centenary of the Great War, so many supporters have been asking me over the past 12 months or so if the badge was going to be included on the kit.
“Consequently it makes me feel so proud to see the O's Somme Badge now emblazoned on Leyton Orient's shirt, particularly as we are fast approaching the 100th anniversary of Clapton Orient's last game before going on to serve en masse in the Footballers' Battalion.
“Three O's players were to lose their lives during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and their names are included on the badge.”
A limited number of replica shirts will be available from the Club Store.