On 12th December 1914 William Joynson Hicks established the 17th Service (Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. This became known as the Football Battalion. According to Frederick Wall, the secretary of the Football Association, the England international center half, Frank Buckley, was the first person to join the Football Battalion. On 6 February 1914, author Arthur Conan Doyle made a direct appeal for footballers to volunteer for service in the Great War. Many players heeded the calls, and a special Football Battalion was formed, as part of the Middlesex Regiment. The regiment was led by Frank Buckley, who later estimated that over 500 of the battalion's original 600 men had died. There were over 5,000 men playing professional football in Great Britain 1914, and of those, 2,000 joined the military services.Many football players, both amateur and professional, lost their lives.
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