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The Boxing Day of 1914 on Wicks Lane in Formby when Formby XI played football with the King's Re

Football match took place at Wicks Lane on Boxing Day

John Phillips remembered the Christmas Formby welcomed soldiers set for the trenches of France in 1914 . A FCS image

Formby Civic Society remembers the winter the community supported soldiers on route to fight in World War 1.

The story, by John Phillips, remembers December in 1914 when soldiers from the 15th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment stayed in the village on route to the trenches of France and Belgium. The men stayed at Freshfield station, Altcar and in billets across the village.

The soldiers shared a Christmas dinner with civilians, which was followed by a football match on Boxing Day. John's article reads: "The Formby Times of January 1915 described how troops and local community came together over Christmas to make the best of what was a particularly unusual time in the story of village and country as a whole. The newspaper reported, “The troops whom duty kept in Formby over Christmas had a right good time.” Christmas.

"Day meals and entertainment were provided throughout the village: “The menu included turkeys and geese, roast pheasants, roast beef, plum pudding, fruit etc. After dinner there were informal sing-songs, and at the various institutes entertainments for the Christmas season were organised.

The Formby Band, which was playing selections in different parts of the township, went in and entertained the men at Victoria Hall. At the Workingmen’s Club (later to be the Con Club) the Tommies were photographed at the dinner tables, and a photograph was also taken of the skilful and artistic decorations in the Dining Hall at Victoria Hall. This was the work of

"Sergeant Griffiths ...(who) certainly deserved the special meed of praise accorded him.”

There were national flags worked in snow and mottoes displayed prominently, such as ‘Success to our Allies and friends’,

‘Colonel Mellor and Officers of the 13th Battalion the King’s’ and ‘Lieutenant Drysdale and Officers of D Company’.

On Boxing Day morning there was a football match at the Wicks Lane Ground between ‘A Formby XI’ and a team from the 15th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment. The local lads enjoyed a 3-2 victory on a cold morning with a gale blowing across the pitch and their team contained men whose names were very familiar in the village of that time including Woodfin, Mawdesley, Nevin and two Beardwood boys."

Many thanks to FCS and John Phillips for the story.

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