Saracens Amateurs RFC pair Tom Weir and Colin Veitch plan to share the life stories & experiences of Saracens players in the 1914-18 era, writes Matthew Hennessey.
On August 4th 2014, as the country comes together to commemorate the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new Saracens Club initiative that will tell, for the first time, the stories of Saracens players experiences between 1914-18.
Led by co-authors and current Saracens Amateur 1st XV vice-captain Club Tom Weir and Coaching Development Manager for the Amateur Section, Colin Veitch, this exciting initiative is painstakingly attempting to uncover the wartime stories of the 250+ young men who represented Saracens between the Club’s foundation in 1876 and the outbreak of war in 1914. For the project to succeed, the authors are extremely keen to locate the descendants of these Saracens players, who can help unlock the untold stories.
“Club records from the pre-war era are very limited” confirmed Tom Weir, whose Great Uncle O.R.G. Williams captained Saracens in the 1920s, and wrote the first official Club History in 1926. “Colin and I are applying ourselves to the task of working through available historic records online, plus in the National Archives and in schools & other archives across London & the South East. But the major breakthroughs occur when we can connect with one of these players’ relatives or descendants. Can you help?!”
Please take the opportunity to get behind this new Saracens Club history project, and visit the website, which is growing in content daily as new research yields further fascinating stories of our Club’s former members. You can also follow the project on Twitter here @SaracensWW1 or reach Colin & Tom via email firstname.lastname@example.org
“We know already that 6 members of the 1913-14 1st XV* lost their lives in the conflict,” added Colin Veitch. “With the help and support of the greater ‘Saracens Family’, we hope that we can ensure that the contributions of all those players who served, fought and fell in the First World War may at last be recognised”.
*1913/14 Saracens 1st XV squad pictured.