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Club honours Wilf Toman

by | 23/10/2014  Comments (6)  jump
A delegation from Everton FC and the Everton Heritage Society laid tributes at the grave of former player Wilf Toman who was killed in action near Lille during the First World War.

Club chaplain Harry Ross was also in attendance at the intimate ceremony in honour of Toman who played 29 times for the Blues over two spells between 1899 and 1901, scoring 10 goals.

His footballing career was cut short by injury and he became a ship steward and Lance Corporal of the Liverpool King's Regimen. He was one of the many who fell during the Battle of the Somme in northern France.

The club's Chief Executive laid a wreath by Toman's gravestone and Reverend Ross said in a reading: "It's important that we remember those who died in the war, including Everton players and fans. We came here to Lille to remember Wilf Toman and at the same time we remember those who were killed in the Battle of the Somme.

"Our club has a heart to think of these things and it was a wonderful tribute."

Quotes sourced from

Reader Comments (6)

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Brian Foley
1 Posted 23/10/2014 at 21:50:10
Too brave to comprehend... well done Everton and all those representing very proud 'never forget...'
John Audsley
2 Posted 24/10/2014 at 07:47:34
Its things like this that show what a strong family Everton fans are. Wonderful gesture to a man who gave his life so we can be here today.
Peter Mills
3 Posted 24/10/2014 at 12:49:30
We managed to get to the cemetery just as the ceremony had finished. However, Robert Elstone came over to introduce himself and Paul Wharton took us to the grave and told us a little about the work done by the Heritage Society.

We had a chat with the French dignitaries who attended, they were really impressed by the interest and gesture made by Everton and the Society.

Trevor Lynes
4 Posted 24/10/2014 at 14:22:50
My father, who was over 50 when I was born, was a volunteer for the Liverpool Pals. He was wounded losing all the knuckles of his left hand together with head and thigh injuries. He was taken prisoner and treated by the German medical staff then exchanged during 1917 through Switzerland.

This exchange was quite common between French and British wounded prisoners and German wounded prisoners. Luckily he survived the war but many of his fellow pals were not so lucky. I will be visiting Lille during 2015 to pay my respects.

Sam Barrett
5 Posted 25/10/2014 at 10:06:21
Absolute class, like 99.9% of Evertonians in Lille on Thursday.
Martin Guy Nicholls
6 Posted 25/10/2014 at 17:32:26
My visit to Lille was twofold – to go to the game and also to visit some war graves including that of my grandfather who is buried at the Boulogne East cemetery. This brave man (along with many thousands of others) signed up early in WW1 and was quickly posted to France to help protect that country and its citizens from the German threat.

He fell victim to a German gas attack and died on 18 October 1917 at the age of 23. How ironic that representatives of the people he went to help should feel it justified to launch an indiscriminate gas attack on English football supporters!

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