Soldier – Haggar, Robert – Describes the Loos “Match”

November 1915

Mexborough Times, November 13, 1915

A Conisbrough Footballer
Describes The Loos “Match”

Private Robert Haggar, one of the four fighting sons of Cllr T.N.Haggar of Conisbrough and formally outside right for Conisbrough St Peter’s, writing to an old football associate at Conisbrough says:

“Our Battalion are in the trenches, and I am a brigade orderly and have to run messages. I have plenty of work to do, but I don’t mind that, so long as I keep all right.

I went into the battle of Loos just like going to play a very exciting game of football, wondering if we should win, and if I shall play well. Then I thought: shall I ever play again? For we stepped over the bodies of dead and wounded players galore, and the prospect was not very encouraging, I must say.

We kicked off at 10 p.m., the whistle didn’t blow, but the order was fixed bayonets! And that’s how the game started.

Unhappily one of our rifles went off accidentally, and that gave the game away. Up went the German star shells, and we got a hail of German souvenirs. Things quietened down until morning, and then we were at it again. They had a stronger team than we did, but we held our own. Lots of our fellows got laid out, our company be reduced to half the team when the roll was called.

As luck would have it, I am ready for playing again, but we must have some reserves. If we can’t get them the first team will never have a rest. I am not speaking for myself, but some of these chaps have had no rest since they came out, and I am sure there are plenty of eligible young men at home who, if they saw these poor devils, would willingly come and help.

The sooner they come, the sooner the game will be over.”

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