Football in Perspective
By David R. Fasken Recent results have been disappointing, to say the least, but are placed in perspective this weekend as the country marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. On the evening of Saturday 9th May 1914 it was reported that Inverurie was “all excitement” as the town celebrated Locos’ victory over Aberdeen East End in the Final of the Lovie Shield (County Cup). That was the Club’s first-ever trophy, and the players secured it in style in front of 2,000 spectators, recovering a two goal half-time deficit to triumph 4-2. Within a matter of weeks, however, the country was embroiled in a conflict which was to become “the war to end wars”. Tens of thousands answered the call to enlist for the fight which would be over by Christmas, and that included many from the ranks of football. Thirteen players from Heart of Midlothian F. C. led the way by joining Sir George McCrae’s legendary battalion “16th Royal Scots”. Seven of these men did not return from the carnage which ensued. They are remembered every year at the Club’s War Memorial at Haymarket. The players of many Junior teams also answered the call with Locos players joining the Gordon Highlanders. Two from the cup-winning team reflect contrasting fortunes. Striker Charlie Singer, who scored two of the goals against East End, spent nine months as a Prisoner-of-War in Germany, but he returned safely to skipper the Locos in 1919. Midfielder Charles Gault was not so fortunate. He was killed by a sniper on the evening of 3rd June 1915. His commanding officer wrote: “He (Private Charles Gault) was one of the pluckiest men in the company, and I had picked him out for one of the leading men in an attack which we were to make that evening. He was a prominent footballer, and did good work for the Loco. Works Club”. Charles Gault’s family in Inverurie no doubt received that fateful knock on the door which heralded the news of his death. Today it is difficult to appreciate the dreadful circumstances of that time, but he represents the contribution to the Great War by the people of Inverurie. As we reflect in silence with the rest of the country this weekend, we should also remember one of our own. Charles Gault of Inverurie Locomotive Works Football Club made the ultimate sacrifice.