The PeaceGame: A Football Centenary Celebration of Armistice and the end of the First World War

27 October 2018 | Chloe Bowerbank

One hundred years ago, around the city of Ypres in Belgium, British troops often filled with anxiety, many with fear, would await a signal, to climb from their trenches, to charge together across the barbed wire of no-mans-land and towards German lines to engage with their then enemy. That signal given by their Officers was the sound of a whistle been blown. One hundred years to the very hour of the end of that horrific conflict, another sharp loud whistle, will again be heard by young men of Germany and England positioned opposite each other in Ypres but on this occasion that whistle will not signify conflict but the start of a game loved by both nations, a game of football, commemorating the end of that Great War, peace and the need for reconciliation.

He was very fond of football and played occasionally for Newark Town, taking the outside left position
Newark Herald, October 1916

After two minutes silence remembering those who died in the First War, at 1102 on the 11th November 2018 in a football stadium in Ypres, Belgium, a game of football is to kick-off between the twinning towns of Emmendingen, Germany and Newark, England, is to kick-off. That game will remember the loss of lives on both sides in that terrible conflict and will celebrate the end of that war and peace.

At this event both officials and players from both Clubs will remember those killed in that Great War in particular our town representatives will remember those from Newark that had a direct association with the Club. One such gentleman whose death was reported in the Newark Herald in October 1916 was William Grocock ‘’Another Newark born son has laid down his life in the great cause. He is Pte. William T Grocock whose family is well known … enlisting in the 8th Duke of Wellingtons, about January 1914. He went through the Dardanelles and was in the Sulva Bay retirement, after which he was sent to Egypt, leaving there for France in June 1915 and was killed on 14th September this year. He was very fond of football and played occasionally for Newark Town, taking the outside left position ……… he played most of the season 1894-95 and took part in the preliminary rounds and the semi-final of the Notts Senior Cup… in that year, Newark won the cup for the first time in their history. Pte. Grocock would have been 40 next December and leaves a widow and one boy to morn their loss.’’