Rank or Title
Date of Birth
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Robert Frith was a professional footballer at Luton Town FC when he enlisted in the Footballer's Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment in London on 16th December 1914 with his Luton team mates Wileman, Roe, Simms, Dunn and Wilson.
Although he was a married man with two children, the 22 year old half-back decided to follow the example of two other Luton players, Roberts and Lindley, who had signed up the day before. Frith was part of the 1913-14 promotion-winning Luton team and continued to play for Luton in the 1914-15 season whilst in training with his battalion.
In November 1915 he was transferred from the 17th (Football) Battalion to the 27th (Reserve) Battalion from where he was released to assist with munitions work at the Clyde Steel Works of Messrs Osborne & Co in Sheffield on 31st December 1915. He had worked as a furnace man in Sheffield prior to becoming a professional footballer and his wife and children were living in Sheffield during the war.
In March 1916, Frith was posted to the Regiment Depot in Aldershot and seems to have remained there until being discharged in January 1919. He did not return to play for Luton after the war. A letter filed with his service records shows that in 1927 he applied to the Regimental Association of the Middlesex Regiment for "assistance".
Frith's Service Records are online in the National Archives digital records. There is no Medal Index card which supports the assumption that he did not serve overseas.
All images are used with kind permission of Roger Wash, Luton Town Football Club Historian