Sunday, 9 November 2008

Walter's War

I have just watched the most amazing programme on BBC4 called Walter's War. It is about a young black man born in Folkestone who after playing for Tottenham Hotspur (during which, as my Spurs encyclopedia tells me, he scored 2 goals in 10 first class games) went on to become the first commissioned black officer in the Army to lead British troops in World War I. He died in the second battle of the Somme. I am ashamed that as someone who was educated in Folkestone and previously took a real interest in the history of the area, and of course as a committed Spurs fan with numerous books on the club, I had never heard of Walter Tull. I hope that someone with influence in Folkestone was watching and maybe generations to come will be less ignorant about Walter Tull and what he achieved.

If you missed it you can watch it on BBC iplayer HERE.


Anonymous said...

Northampton Town has a memorial to our Walter Tull outside the Stadium and every year holds a Rememberance Service to all those who died in conflict. There was a member of the Spurs' Board at last year's Service and there have been campaigns for Spurs to have their own memorial to Walter - maybe at the new stadium if the Spurs supporters will renew their campaign.

Seán O'Donovan

Anonymous said...

I have created an online petition calling on Spurs to erect a memorial to Walter at the redevelopment of White Hart Lane which can be signed up to on

Marilyn Stephenson-Knight said...

In England and Scotland during 2008 there were a number of community events led by City of Westminster Archives commemorating 2nd Lt Walter Tull. One result is an exhibition which has been touring nationally.

The Walter Tull exhibition is on display in Dover library until 26 June 2009 (Dover being his mother's birth place and home of close family). It's free of charge and everyone is very welcome.

More about Walter Tull's local connections is on The Dover War Memorial Project website at

Alasdair Macdougall said...

I notice that "Walter's War" is being re-screened next Saturday (22:20 on 17/04/2010).

Pity they haven't moved it to BBC2 as I guess quite a lot of viewers haven't gone digital yet. It could also be shown at an earlier time as younger viewers could find it interesting.