Private WILLIAM HENRY SHORT, VC
August 7, 2016
Sgt Francis Bark of Calver, Derbyshire
August 8, 2016

Service No:                                         F/1723

Regiment/Service:                          17th Middlesex Regiment

Memorial:                                           THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

 

Linkson was born in New Barnet, Hertfordshire. His father was Robert Linkson, a house painter; his mother, Rebecca Bartram, ran a business selling wardrobes made by her father and brothers. Linkson was the youngest of five boys in a family that also included four sisters. His three eldest brothers, William, Robert and Alfred, and his sister Margaret all died in infancy before he was born. His one remaining brother, Sidney died in 1901 as a result of a disease caught during active service in the Second Boer War.

Linkson started his career with Barnet Alston (later Barnet F.C.) in 1907. He was spotted playing for an amateur team, Pirates FC, on a continental tour by scouts from Manchester United, who were also touring in the same area, and he signed for the club in 1908. He made his first team debut on 24 October 1908 in a match against Nottingham Forest. In total, Linkson played in 55 league games and four FA Cup games, and helped the club win the 1909 FA Cup and 1911 league title. In 1913, he transferred to Shelbourne in Dublin.

At the outbreak of the First World War, he returned to England, where he enrolled with the 1st Football Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, who were formed under the Pals battalion scheme and made up entirely of sportsmen; he fought alongside other footballers, such as Walter Tull, Evelyn Lintott and Vivian Woodward.

On 8 August 1916, Private Linkson went missing in the battle to seize Guillemont Station during the Somme Offensive. His body was never recovered and he was recorded as missing presumed dead

 

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