THE ultimate sacrifice paid by Heart of Midlothian Football Club in World War 1 has been remembered by Loretto Junior pupils.
Loretto Junior School pupils, Harry Sangster and Kyle O’Brien, both aged 11 from Musselburgh, designed a memorial flag to remember the profound impact World War 1 had upon Heart of Midlothian Football Club. So impressed was Heart of Midlothian Football Club that the two youngsters work was rewarded by a visit from Scot Gardiner, Hearts Managing Director, and Hearts legend, John Robertson.
In the early stages of the War the entire Heart of Midlothian first team volunteered for Service – the only club in Britain at which this occurred. Their example inspired hundreds of others – shareholders and supporters – not only of Hearts but of other Scottish clubs – to sign up for Service in the 16th Battalion of The Royal Scots. This was raised by Sir George McCrae and became known as McCrae’s Battalion.
Sadly of the original 13 Hearts players who left Scotland, seven were killed in action – three of them on 1st July 1916, the infamous First Day of the Somme when the Battalion suffered 75% casualties.
Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs at Loretto, said, “Harry and Kyle’s flag is most striking and a fitting tribute to the sacrifice made by the Hearts players. Both Scot Gardiner and John Robertson were most impressed by their work and found the boys’ tribute most moving. The flag is one of 100 designed by children to commemorate the centenary of World War 1 and these flags are all soon to go on tour in Europe.”