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Gerrish Remembered on Somme Death Centenary

8 August 2016

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Billy Gerrish was remembered in the Memorial Garden on the centenary of his death. Pte WW Gerrish was one three Chesterfield players who died during the Battle of the Somme.

After a career with Aston Villa and Preston, Billy joined Chesterfield in the 1912 season but broke his leg on debut. He did recover enough to play seven more games but left later that season.

At the outbreak of War he joined the 17th Middlesex Regiment - the famous "Footballers Battalion". He along with 50 other members of the Battalion laid down his life on August 8, 1916 at Guillemont. His legs were shattered by a bomb and he was left smoking a cigarette as he awaited stretcher bearers. 

However, he was never recovered and became one of 72,000 men from the Somme with no known grave.

Billy is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial as well as on our own War memorial.

A wreath was laid in his memory by the Community Trust’s Oli Barnes, who served as a Lance Corporal in the Mercian Regiment.

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