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walter tull bbc east 22.3.18 6.30pm

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Coldstreamer

there is a story about Walter Tull on this evening

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voltaire60

Well, let's hope for balance in all of this stuff-  CWGC records that 19,996 British Army 2 LTs died in the war, to the Armistice. It should mean very congested schedules for the next few decades if the same amount of time is devoted to each of them as is to Tull.

Edited by voltaire60

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voltaire60

And yet more of this stuff.  Perhaps MOD will reconsider the service records of the other 19,995 army 2LTs of the Great War, let alone anyone else. Should take a while. I have a few names I could put forward-I am sure that many GWF members-esp. those doing local names will have men of equal if not greater distinction. There is good reason for the "official" end of the war being in 1921-it stopped the arguing over retrospective awards by imposing a deadline. A century on and the wisdom of this comes through-  how could one retrospectively assess the claim of anyone without inviting re-assessment of the claims of all?  

Walter Tull should get Military Cross, says Tottenham MP David Lammy

_91041039_conway.jpg

By Richard Conway

BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent

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Walter Tull
Walter Tull died on the battlefields of northern France in 1918

Walter Tull - one of England's first black professional footballers - should be awarded a Military Cross 100 years after his death, says Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Tull, who played for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town, died aged 29 when he was shot on the battlefields of France during World War One.

He was Britain's first black Army officer to command white troops.

"His service on behalf of this country was immense," Lammy said.

Tull, who was orphaned at the age of nine, began his football career with Tottenham, and played more than 100 times for Northampton.

After joining the army, he rose to the rank of second lieutenant, despite laws at the time preventing it, and was recommended for a Military Cross - a medal for gallantry.

In the winter of 1917-18, Tull led 26 men across a fast-flowing river on a night raid into enemy territory, and returned them unharmed.

Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Tull's death, and Lammy has written to the prime minster and secretary of state for defence asking for his Military Cross to be awarded to mark the centenary.

Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier - the latest generation of black and mixed-race players to follow in Tull's footsteps for Tottenham and England - back Lammy's call for him to be recognised.

The MP's letter has been signed by more than 120 colleagues from all sides of the House of Commons, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"I think now it is time to give Walter that Military Cross," Lammy told BBC Sport.

"His service on behalf of this country was immense. The records suggest great gallantry, great bravery and a kind of coolness. He saved people's lives, he fought incredibly hard, died young.

"I think he should be remembered, and the only reason he's not remembered is because at that time there was extraordinary prejudice towards even having a black man in our armed forces, and certainly towards that black man being a second lieutenant and leading other men.

"Walter's story can inspire a generation. I think giving him that Military Cross will reach young people all across this country and say a tremendous amount about the United Kingdom at this time."

Rose and his two Spurs and England team-mates learned about the life of Tull at a presentation at St George's Park this week.

Rose said: "It's a shame that, growing up in England, I'd never heard of Walter and what he'd been through.

"It's a pretty emotional, moving story. I'm a bit embarrassed I hadn't heard of him before today. I'm going to do my research and find out as much as I can."

Alli added: "It was strange I hadn't heard about him before. Such an amazing story and all the things he had to overcome. It's an amazing achievement.

Edited by voltaire60

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roughdiamond

Complete and utter revisionist virtue signalling. Ignoring the fact the Army was so "racist" it awarded numerous VC's, DCM's and MM's to Indian Soldiers during WW1.

 

Mr Lammy like others has been fed and swallowed Phil Vasili's skewed version of a reality based on zero documentary evidence other than a letter to a bereaved family member.

Edited by roughdiamond

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Moonraker
3 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

... he rose to the rank of second lieutenant, despite laws at the time preventing it, and was recommended for a Military Cross - a medal for gallantry...

 

It has been some time since we had a post about Walter Tull - I recall that a few years ago we had some 30 threads that mentioned him?  After viewing a repeat of the TV documentary I did search some of these to try to determine the exact basis for the claim that he'd been recommended for an MC, but either my efforts were inconclusive or I can't remember what I concluded at the time.

 

AFAIK, fellow-officers might have implied that the recommendation had been/was being/would be made in their letters of condolence, but no official document has been found to support this.

 

I also seem to recall that one short-lived member of the GWF claimed elsewhere that those of us who tried to apply some perspective were racist. Let me stress that I for one admire Walter for his role as a footballer at a time when racism was far worse than in modern times and for his becoming an officer.

 

(Ah, just seen Rough Diamond's post, made as I was completing my own.)

 

Moonraker

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Chris_B
47 minutes ago, roughdiamond said:

Complete and utter revisionist virtue signalling. Ignoring the fact the Army was so "racist" it awarded numerous VC's, DCM's and MM's to Indian Soldiers during WW1.

 

Mr Lammy like others has been fed and swallowed Phil Vasili's skewed version of a reality based on zero documentary evidence other than a letter to a berieved family member.

++++++1

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MikeyH

There is a programme on Walter Tull on BBC Radio Northampton at 8.00 pm on Sunday 25th.

 

Mike.

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Moonraker

Lots more versions of this story in the last few hours on the Web.

 

I see that the CWGC is Twittering that Walter was " the first black officer to lead white troops".

 

Incidentally, is it known what proportion of MC recommendations were turned down in 1918?

 

Moonraker

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TGM

I welcome any coverage of those who serviced in WWI, and the role of those of diverse heritage in particular. The interview with Spurs players - Alli and Rose etc on R4 Today reinforced the need to remember such men like Tull as many children still learn very little about the men like Tull, and the imperial nature of WWI.

Edited by TGM

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roughdiamond
2 hours ago, TGM said:

I welcome any coverage of those who serviced in WWI, and role of those of diverse heritage in particular. The interview with Spurs players - Alli and Rose etc on R4 Today reinforced the need to remember such men like Tull as many children still learn very little about the men like Tull, and the imperial nature of WWI.

 

I agree 100%, just as I believe that for children or even adults, researching a relative or even a name on their local War memorial can excite an interest in WW1 rather than presenting bare facts and figures.

 

However the campaign for a MC at the same time using baseless claims of racist with no supporting documentation for him not receiving a MC is as I describe it above IMHO and makes baseless assumptions of his immediate superior Officers motives that are libelous (yes I know you can't libel the dead) and frankly disgusting.

 

I'd like to ask Phil Vasili the following to see if he can justify his assertion: -

 

When did the alleged MC awardable action take place?

 

What official documents exist to show he was recommended and it was refused?

 

Who were Walter Tull's OC, CO Brigade  and Divisional commanders at the time the alleged MC awardable action took place?

 

Are there any letters, documents or recollections from Walter Tull or anyone else that any of these 4 men subjected him to any form of racism or discrimination due to his ethnicity?

 

Is Phil Vasili willing to accuse or make any cogent case that any of these men refused Walter Tull a MC due to racism or discrimination in the presence of their descendents?

 

Sam

Edited by roughdiamond

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MikeMeech
2 hours ago, TGM said:

I welcome any coverage of those who serviced in WWI, and the role of those of diverse heritage in particular. The interview with Spurs players - Alli and Rose etc on R4 Today reinforced the need to remember such men like Tull as many children still learn very little about the men like Tull, and the imperial nature of WWI.

Hi

 

Walter Tull is a very worthy person who deserves to be remembered (like many others), however, he is a person who regularly turns up in the media as being 'forgotten', which is a bit of a contradiction.  He has also been used as an 'example' in publications including for children, such as the 'Never Such Innocence' project's publication (available as a free download on www.neversuchinnocence.com).  This has him on page 67 in the 'Sports at War' section.

It is interesting to note that it was his 'racist' superiors who recommended him for a commission and the 'racist' Army system that agreed, so it was obviously rather more 'flexible' than stated although still probably not easy.

 

Mike

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Moonraker

But he must have encountered some (much?) racism during his time with the army. It may well be that those who recommended him for a commission were not racist, and possibly there may have been some resistance on racist grounds to his being decorated had he been put forward for a medal. But we'll never know if he was. And if he wasn't, that doesn't mean it was because of racism. As has been pointed out in previous threads, many officers involved in fighting did not receive gallantry awards.

 

Moonraker

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Mark1959

Just to add my fivepennyworth. I agree with the general tone. It is wrong to make unsubstantiated allegations of racism. To single this fine man out for an MC at this stage would be a racist act. Making an exception because of his colour. If making the case on colour one could also make the case on class. One could easily say a working class man who became an officer in WW1 was in the same situation. Do we make an exception for any number of these men?

The important issue is we remember and respect them all irrespective of race, class, religion, etc, etc. Surely that respect is ultimately more important than a gong.

 

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ss002d6252
29 minutes ago, Mark1959 said:

Just to add my fivepennyworth. I agree with the general tone. It is wrong to make unsubstantiated allegations of racism. To single this fine man out for an MC at this stage would be a racist act. Making an exception because of his colour. If making the case on colour one could also make the case on class. One could easily say a working class man who became an officer in WW1 was in the same situation. Do we make an exception for any number of these men?

The important issue is we remember and respect them all irrespective of race, class, religion, etc, etc. Surely that respect is ultimately more important than a gong.

 

I've often wondered where a revisionist medal appeal will draw the line.

Do we go back and give the unsuccessful men who were balloted for the VC a medal just in case  ? Do we go back and give Private Smith a military medal because we find he was once rejected ?

Craig

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stiletto_33853
9 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

 

 

He was Britain's first black Army officer to command white troops.

 

  •  

Not Tull again, sheesh.

 

Can that statement be proved because the Bemand brothers were both killed in action before Tull's act of bravery. There was another thread sometime ago which proved their ethnicity was black.

There was one of these Government petitions raised regarding giving Tull an MC sometime ago which received just over 1000 signatures, about 1200  or 1% of the required number of signatures before it can be raised as a matter in the House, and yet here he raises his head again.

No comment re the Lammy statements, however this has been tried before and failed, hence I can only gather that someone is once again pushing.

I do not believe in retrospective awards, the matter is a non starter in my eyes, been pushed before and failed.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Moonraker
29 minutes ago, stiletto_33853 said:

... Can that statement be proved because the Bemand brothers were both killed in action before Tull's act of bravery. There was another thread sometime ago which proved their ethnicity was black...

 

This one, I think?

 

Moonraker

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taylov

Alas the Tull story has been hijacked to conform with certain political views. Nearly a decade ago it was Walter Tull, the forgotten first non-white/black professional footballer in England. This aspect of his life was given similar press and TV coverage only for the story to collapse as other earlier non-white players were identified.  Now the story is distorted once again.  Why can't his "supporters" just be happy with the story of very brave man who lost his life fighting for his country (he was born in Folkestone).

Edited by taylov

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Knotty

Did I just hear on the 10 o’clock BBC news that a petition signed by 125 MPs is to be presented to the PM requesting that despite being put forward for the MC and it being rejected a retrospective award of the medal be approved for not only his bravery in the field but as the first black officer!

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roughdiamond
1 hour ago, taylov said:

Alas the Tull story has been hijacked to conform with certain political views.

 

And going by Phil Vasili's interview with the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/feb/03/walter-tull-black-football-pioneer-military-cross-tottenham provide Phil with an ongoing income.

 

Some of the stuff he comes out with is truly astounding like:-

“If there is a commitment to a statue for him it should be in Whitehall alongside other soldiers of much less importance and bravery,” Vasili says"

And

"His full recognition will only occur when he is awarded his Military Cross and a full explanation is given as to why he was refused. There are politics behind the decision not to award him his medal and this further compounds the injustice.”

 

WOW!

 

 

 

 

 

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Knotty
15 minutes ago, roughdiamond said:

WOW

 

Exactly that WOW

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Moonraker
14 hours ago, roughdiamond said:

"...His full recognition will only occur when he is awarded his Military Cross and a full explanation is given as to why he was refused. There are politics behind the decision not to award him his medal and this further compounds the injustice.”

As Rough Diamond suggests above, Phil Vasili needs first to explain what Walter did to deserve an MC and how brave he thinks he was. And the use of the present tense ("are") might be taken to suggest there are still political reasons for no medal still being awarded. Or perhaps he meant to say "were", referring to his perceived prejudice of 100 years ago?

 

I recall glancing  at his book a few years ago, and I think that in it he refers to members of this forum having views that he judges to be inimical?

 

Moonraker

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Dragoon

An interesting read.

My opinion is that Walter Tull should be recognised and people to learn about the fact that he was the first black Officer in the British Army, it was quite a head turner in the day, and the fact that even if one person in those days of predugist, stopped to think that we are just people, despite colour race etc, the fact that a black man has become an Officer and can lead his men, be a gentleman just the same as the white man makes us equal, that is a small victory in itself.

I think that is a terrible thing that members of this Forum were called 'racist' because they had a view and an opinion that Walter didn't get his MC.

I personally agree, there is not enough evidence, and other Officers and men have had more evidence, and been turned down, but no one has jumped up and down about those chaps.

Walter Tull needs to be remembered as a brave 2nd Lt, just like as mentioned above, all the other brave 2nd Lt's who gave their lives for our today, and the fact he was the first black Officer, a turning point for the way the British Army thinks!

Just my thoughts and opinions on this topic chaps, sorry if anyone has taken offence, non intended.

And non of you are being racist on your opinions on this topic, not in my eyes anyway.

 

All the best

 

Chris

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MikeMeech
11 minutes ago, Dragoon said:

An interesting read.

My opinion is that Walter Tull should be recognised and people to learn about the fact that he was the first black Officer in the British Army, it was quite a head turner in the day, and the fact that even if one person in those days of predugist, stopped to think that we are just people, despite colour race etc, the fact that a black man has become an Officer and can lead his men, be a gentleman just the same as the white man makes us equal, that is a small victory in itself.

I think that is a terrible thing that members of this Forum were called 'racist' because they had a view and an opinion that Walter didn't get his MC.

I personally agree, there is not enough evidence, and other Officers and men have had more evidence, and been turned down, but no one has jumped up and down about those chaps.

Walter Tull needs to be remembered as a brave 2nd Lt, just like as mentioned above, all the other brave 2nd Lt's who gave their lives for our today, and the fact he was the first black Officer, a turning point for the way the British Army thinks!

Just my thoughts and opinions on this topic chaps, sorry if anyone has taken offence, non intended.

And non of you are being racist on your opinions on this topic, not in my eyes anyway.

 

All the best

 

Chris

Hi

 

Being 'non-white' didn't prevent 2Lt Indra Lal ROY RFC/RAF being gazetted for the DFC in September 1918, sadly he had been KIA on 22 July 1918 at the age of 19.  He had ten claims (some shared) to his name at the time.

 

Mike

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MikeyH
16 hours ago, roughdiamond said:

 

And going by Phil Vasili's interview with the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/feb/03/walter-tull-black-football-pioneer-military-cross-tottenham provide Phil with an ongoing income.

 

Some of the stuff he comes out with is truly astounding like:-

“If there is a commitment to a statue for him it should be in Whitehall alongside other soldiers of much less importance and bravery,” Vasili says"

And

"His full recognition will only occur when he is awarded his Military Cross and a full explanation is given as to why he was refused. There are politics behind the decision not to award him his medal and this further compounds the injustice.”

 

WOW!

 

A statue of Walter Tull as a footballer already exists at the Guildhall in Northampton.

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MikeyH

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squirrel
On 23/03/2018 at 14:55, roughdiamond said:

When did the alleged MC awardable action take place?

 

What official documents exist to show he was recommended and it was refused?

 

Who were Walter Tull's OC, CO Brigade  and Divisional commanders at the time the alleged MC awardable action took place?

 

Are there any letters, documents or recollections from Walter Tull or anyone else that any of these 4 men subjected him to any form of racism or discrimination due to his ethnicity?

 

Sam

If these questions can be answered and the appropriate documentation found, then there may be a case, although perhaps to state that awards were "refused" is not entirely correct. 

A recommendation for an award is just that, a recommendation, it is not an entitlement.

If the documentation has not survived, then there are no grounds for a posthumous award as there is no evidence to support the award.

Presumably, there are many other such cases where some feel that an award should have been made, but unless there is the required documentary evidence to support the case then there is no case for the award to be made. 

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