Walter Tull

Walter Tull Lt Walter Tull

 Britains first black professional footballer ( ex Tottenham and Northampton) Tull abandoned football on the outbreak of war and joined the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regt.

Gaining the rank of Sergeant, Tull fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and in recognition of his courage and abilities he was promoted to Lieutenant. This was despite military laws  forbidding "any negro or person of colour" being commissioned as an officer. He was the first black officer in the British Army and the first black officer to lead white men into battle.

After fighting in Italy Tull eventually ended up back on the Somme where he was killed on the 25th March 1918. Held in such high regard by his men several risked their lives to try and recover his body but to no avail. He was posted as missing and has no known grave.