Bolton Wanderers Go to War.....

Posted 24/07/15

War is about to be declared and as the story goes………………………

‘In front of a 23,000 strong crowd at Burnden Park, the Bolton Wanderers' captain, Harry Goslin, gives a rousing speech before leading the entire team to the local Territorial Army drill hall where they all sign up. For the next six years, as gunners in the 53rd Field Regiment of the Bolton Artillery, they face some of the heaviest fighting of the Second World War in France, North Africa and Italy and also establish themselves as a formidable regimental football team throughout the theatre of war. Of the full squad only one is killed in action - the remainder return home to their families and to their football careers against Germany is about to be declared.’



All these years later a group of people have decided to re trace the steps of these Gunners. 

David Evans and his team are set to produce a documentary about the 1939 Bolton Wanderers football team who gave up their celebrity life to sign up with the 53rd Bolton Royal Artillery and who fought through six years of war, staying together almost all that time.

Only one was killed, Harry Goslin, who was captain of the club and who rose to become a Lieutenant as the result of his actions during the Dunkirk retreat. Harry's son, Bill was eight when his father was killed in 1943 and he has never been able to visit his father's grave.

He is now 80 and lives in a park home in Barrow-in-Furness. The team are to be joined by 103 Regiment Royal Artillery who are sending a team of people out to Italy in two weeks’ time under the command of Captain Craig Roxby.  





They will visit the Sangro River Cemetery where Harry was buried on 20th July. The Royal Artillery Charitable Fund were approached by the team and asked to assist with the costs of sending Mr Goslin out to the area and grave.  The RA Charitable Fund were happy to cover the costs of Mr Goslins travel and Lt Col IA Vere Nicoll MBE, the General Secretary of the Charitable Fund said:



‘It was very good to chat to you David and I would be delighted to assist funding Bill Goslin and his wife to go to Italy to see his father’s grave.  It sounds an exciting project and, as I said, I am very happy to advertise the documentary on our website/Facebook/twitter when it is due to be shown.

I attach a brief history of our welfare charity, the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund which assists those in need and also a brief history of the Royal Artillery Association which provides comradeship to all Gunners and their dependants.  All the very best.’  



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