Prior to the game today, on Remembrance Sunday, against Farnborough FC at Champion Hill, club officials & supporters gathered in the Boardroom for a small ceremony to remember those players from Dulwich Hamlet Football Club who made the ultimate sacrifice in the 1914-1918 & 1939-1945 World Wars. Also among the gathering were officials from our Hampshire visitors.
Dulwich Hamlet chairman Jack Payne thanked everyone present for making the time to attend, and pointed to some of our historic artefacts adorning the walls, drawing attention to two old black & white photographs from a century ago, taken in 1914. One of them from the Club 'Coming of Age 21st Anniversary Dinner' and the other a tour party snap from our Easter 1914 tour to Germany. He wondered how many people in those photographs made the ultimate sacrifice, and also paid tribute not just to our players on our official Club Memorial, but also to the many supporters who paid the ultimate price.
He also went on to ask us to reflect on the many players & fans who may have returned from the Wars, but were severely injured, perhaps blinded, or losing a limb. He told of how back then, at our height before the Second World War for example, how all of the players & supporters were as one, travelling to home matches on the same buses and trams, and they were as one as they went off to War.
He spoke further of how many of those who died, gesturing toward our memorial, would have been instrumental in formulating the early days of our Club, in the first couple of decades of our existence, and what a debt of gratitude we owe them a century later.
He passionately and articulately about how our boys all signed up and marched off, with no hesitation and we owe them all our lasting gratitude. Not just this symbolic year, exactly a century after the start of the Great War, but each and every year, when we shall always remember them.
He once more thanked everyone for their attendance, & whilst he explained that the Club Memorial was in the Boardroom, any Dulwich Hamlet fans who were not present today were welcome to come at view it to pay their respects at any time of the year.
The room then fell silent as a two minute pause, with all heads bowed, was held.
Then, to close, the Chairman handed the Club wreath of Poppies, adorned with our Club crest, over to supporter Sue Plain, to place at the bottom of our Memorial.
She close the ceremony by speaking of the sacrifice made, and hoped that in the current climate we would continue with a struggle for peace.