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A brief history of Ayr United players who served during the Great War 

Corporal John Bellringer. 1326. 'C'Coy. 1st/5th Bn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.  A reserve player who died on Monday 12th July 1915, aged 23 years.  Son of Edward & Jane Bellringer 'Clovelly' Clune Brae, Port Glasgow. Helles Memorial, This memorial stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.  20,000 men are named here as falling in the Dardenelles campaign 

Pte. Robert Capperauld. 7704. 5th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. Played many reserve games for Ayr. Died of wounds on Wednesday 14th July 1915.  Lies in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery which overlooks 'W' beach, Turkey. 

Pte Samuel Herbertson. 7343 1st/4th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. Goalkeeper.  Died 12th July 1915, aged 26. Sone Jane Herbertson, 24 Louden St, Irvine, Ayrshire. And of the late James Herbertson.  Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey 

Helles Memorial

Archie Campbell. Several such named on CWGC website.  More info required to be sure of right man. In 1910 he scored Ayr United's first ever league goal!  Went on to play for Abercorn and Albion Rovers.  Reported as dying of war wounds. 

Limited information available regarding the following.

Harry Simpson  Forward.  Wounded at Dardenelles August 1915.

Hugh McBride. Reported wounded and in hospital in Malta, August 1915.  Usual place for Gallipoli wounded.

Harry Murray. Ex Ayr Secretary.  Reported home from Dardenelles recuperating from illness, November 1915.  More died from disease than bullets at Gallipoli some say. 

Billy Middleton. Joined the Ayrshire Yeomanry November 1915.  By April 1918 had a badly shot left hand.

George Getgood.   Reported, November 1915, that he was an ex Royal Scots Fusilier. April 1916 joined the R.A.M.C.

Johnny Crosbie. Forward.  A teenager from Glenbuck, he enlisted in the Lanarkshire Yeomanry in opening weeks of the war. The club paid him half wages while on military service.  Moved to the 12th Batt Royal Scots Fusiliers.  Served in Egypt in 1917.  Played against Wales in 1920 at Birmingham and against England in 1922.  Part of Birmingham City team which lost the 1931 English cup final 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion.  Visited  Ayr's ground Somerset Park in 1979 aged 83 and lived out his life in Ayr.

Jimmy Richardson. Forward.  Went to France in summer of 1916.  Discharged from army in October 1918 with stomach trouble.  Returned to the first team on 2nd November 1918 and scoring a hat trick against Hibernian in a 5-0 victory!  He had played in the Sunderland team that lost the  cup final 1-0 to Aston Villa in 1913.

Alec Troup. Played for Ayr when stationed in the area prior to going overseas on military service.  Played for Dundee and Everton, gaining 5 caps. v England 1920, v Wales & Northern Ireland in 1921, v Northern Ireland 1922 and against England in 1926. 

Jimmy Hay. Became known as 'Gunner' after being called up in 1917.  Once of Celtic, Newcastle United and Scotland.  Played v Northern Ireland in 1905, 1909.  Wales, Northern Ireland & England in 1910, Northern Ireland & England 1911, England & Wales 1912, England & Northern Ireland 1914.

John Cameron. Appointed manager in September 1918.  Had been placed in internment in Germany where he had been coaching at Dresden when the war broke out.  In the same camp as Steve Bloomer. The camp had its own football league!   Cameron had played for Spurs when they beat Sheffield United to win the replayed cup final  by three goals to one.

Gordon Kerr. Goalkeeper.  Joined from Queens Park during the war and then enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders.

Neil McBain. Signed in May 1914. Served in the Black Watch transferred to Royal Navy and served in the Submarine Service! Later played for Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool.  Capped v England in 1922, Northern Ireland in 1923 & Wales in 1924.

Ex player, Pte. Thomas Clifford. 34893. 6th/7th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. Died Fri 19th Jan 1917. Age 42. Husband of Jane Young Clifford, 218 Rankinston, Ayr. Thiepval Memorial Somme.  Half Back. Had played for Glossop, Celtic, Luton Town, Notts Forest, Motherwell as well as Ayr United. 42 was old for a soldier.  

                                  P         F      A       P                      

                 14/15           38 - 55 - 40 - 48  - 5th

                 15/16 S/L     38   72    45   48    4th

                 16/17  "        38   46    59   31    15th 

                 17/18  "        34   32    61   19    18th

                 18/19  "        34    57   53   37    7th


Thanks to Ayr United Historian Duncan Carmichael for his help

Duncan has authored several books including 'TheHistory of Ayr United Football Club'       

Ayr United Club History