How Armistice Day has been marked at United
Manchester United’s annual tributes to all those who lost their lives in conflicts across the world began last weekend with a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Manchester City.
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We will remember themGallery
The Reds paid their respects to those killed in conflicts around the world.
Perhaps the most famous of those 23 casualties is Sandy Turnbull, an FA Cup winner with both United and City. A war memorial at Gorse Hill on Chester Road, a short walk from Old Trafford, bears his name: ‘Sgt A. Turnbull’. He was better known as Alexander ‘Sandy’ Turnbull to football fans in the early 20th century, being regarded as a brilliant inside-forward. Turnbull won the FA Cup with the Blues in 1904, then scored the only goal when the Reds lifted the Cup by beating Bristol City in 1909. He also won the league championship with United in 1908 and 1911. Sadly, Turnbull was killed in the Battle of Arras, in France, on 3 May 1917.
Football match reports regularly include words like ‘heroic’ and ‘brave’, but efforts on the pitch pale in comparison to the truly heroic actions of those who gave their lives for their country. Their sacrifice is remembered by the wearing of the poppy and in the two-minute silence being observed across the country today (Thursday) at 11:00 GMT.
UNITED FAN AND SOLDIER
In addition to the 23 players who lost their lives serving their country, many thousands more supporters of this football club also perished on battlefields around the world. Last year, Mark Wylie even discovered one fan who died while attending an Old Trafford home match. Private Harold Birley, of West Fleet Street in Salford, died while attending a wartime fixture against Stoke City on 30 March 1918. Birley was shot in the chest at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, but the bullet could not be removed. After lengthy stays in various hospitals, he was deemed unfit for war service and discharged from the 1st Salford Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers on 31 August 1917. He died aged 20 and was laid to rest in Weaste Cemetery, Salford.