Private Ernest Simms

Rank or Title

Date of Birth

1891

War time / or Pre War occupation

Professional Footballer

Employer

Luton Town FC

Service Number

F36

Place of Birth

Easington
County Durham
United Kingdom

World War I Address

31 Kenilworth Road
Luton
Bedfordshire
United Kingdom

Place of Death

United Kingdom

Grave Location

United Kingdom

Soldier or Civilian

  • Soldier

Source

The Luton News , 17th December 1914

Ernest Simms was a professional footballer with Luton Town FC when he enlisted in the Footballers Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment at Kingsway, London on 16th December 1914 with his Luton team mates Wileman, Frith, Roe, Dunn and Wilson.

Simms was the top scorer for Luton Town in the promotion winning season of 1913-14. Members of the Footballers' Battalion were allowed to continue playing for their club whilst on military training. Simms' army service papers in the National Archives suggest that he may have taken football more seriously than his army career as he was charged 3 times in 1915-16 for being absent from Roll Call for periods up to 24 days. On the first occasion he was "admonished" but after the latter two he was sentenced to 14 days of Field Punishment No 2 which involved wearing shackles and hard labour.

Simms was transferred to the 23rd Middlesex Battalion in July 1915 and continued to play for Luton in the 1916-17 Combination league where he scored a record 40 goals. He served in Italy from November 1917 to March 1918 where he was wounded.

He fought his way back to fitness to rejoin Luton from the 1919-20 season where he continued his prolific goal scoring and became the first 3rd Division centre-forward  to play for England in a match against Ireland on 22nd October 1921.

All images are used with kind permission of Roger Wash, Luton Town Football Club Historian

 

Individual Location

Author: HillC

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