Somme Centenary: Fred Bailey and Evelyn Lintott

A look at the lives of former players Fred Bailey and Evelyn Lintott

Exeter City Football Club will be remembering four former players who died during the Battle of the Somme at a special ceremony to be held at the St James Park war memorial at 2pm today. This is the exact centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme - a day which saw 57,470 British casualties including 19,240 who were killed.

We take a look at the lives of Fred Bailey and Evelyn Lintott:

One was a postal worker from Exmouth, a fine runner, the other a St Luke’s-trained schoolmaster with an illustrious football career behind him. Fred Bailey and Evelyn Lintott had played as amateurs for Exeter City.

On 1st July 1916 both men were on the Western Front. Private Bailey, Wessex RAMC, would work a shift as a stretcher-bearer; Lieutenant Lintott of the Leeds Pals was to lead a platoon out towards German trenches.

By the end of the day, the stories of these two men would be interlinked with those of the more than 19,000 British Expeditionary Force troops who perished. That infamous first day of the Somme offensive resulted in record numbers of casualties. Bailey and Lintott are two of eleven Grecians who are known to have died during WW1.

L-R, Fred Bailey, Evelyn Lintott

One of Bailey’s comrades, fellow runner Tom Gibbins, related in a letter to Bailey’s parents how, 'while helping to convey a wounded man along a trench', a shell had burst over him, killing him instantaneously. He was just 22.

'Particularly gallant' was how Lintott’s death was described by one of the Leeds Pals. 'He led his men with great dash, and when hit the first time declined to take the count. Instead, he drew his revolver and called for a further effort. Again he was hit and still he struggled on, but a third shot finally bowled him over.' Lintott was 33.

Fred Bailey is commemorated at the Ribemont Cemetery  Extension and on memorial plaques in Exeter Cathedral and Exmouth. Evelyn Lintott’s name appears on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Both men are remembered on a plaque at St James Park.

Two other Grecians would be killed on the Somme. The Lancastrian pro Arthur Evans and St Sidwell’s School teacher Percy Worner.

Newspaper coverage reacts to Lintott playing for City