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Broadwell Woodpeckers AFC 1944

Broadwell Woodpeckers

Broadwell Woodpeckers AFC 1944

Back: 1 P Mollard, 2 Gordon Panting, 3, 4 , 5 George Washington, 6, 7 G. Black .
Front: 1 , 2, 3, 4 Major J. A. Clarke, 5 , 6, 7.

This photo, presumably taken in 1944 is we think a football team made up of men working in the woodlands and Sawmills during the second world war, possibly including men from the Royal Engineers. The men were supporting the war effort and played football at Broadwell. They had sawmills at Cannop and Howbeach. The water tower in the background is the water tower on the Wynnols Hill P.O.W. camp. Note the bird emblems on the players shirts.
In the back row, 2nd from the left is Gordon Panting. Gordon worked for the Forestry Commission all his working life.

Thanks to Ivor Ellis and Royston Pritchard.

Thanks to Chris Warren for the following (Jan 2007): "The team is Broadwell Woodpeckers A.F.C. The cups are probably the Lydney and District Hospital League Cups. Woodpeckers won both Divisions One and Two that year". "Broadwell Woodpeckers played in the Whitecross & District & St Johns League during season 1942-43. But no records exist after the 1943-44 season".
" Berry Hill HG is the Berry Hill Home Guard"..

Mike Jones added (July 2011): "... I'm currently researching the Dean's Forestry Wartime efforts and can offer the following background info. There were two Royal Engineer Forestry Coys in the Dean, the 129th deployed here in 1940 from France following evacuation through St Malo. They were then reinforced by newly formed 131st Coy in summer of same year. 129 Coy transferred to Cirencester during Autumn 1943 and 131st Coy embarked for France in summer of 1944 probably explaining absence of Woodpeckers FC after 1943/4 success. From around mid 1940 both RE Coys were supported by Sections of 220 Coy Auxillary Pioneer Corps and later by Italian POWs. I can vaguely recall the Italian POWs being marched through Berry Hill. Both RE Coys were mostly recruited ready trained from Private Estates P 220 Coy was made up of volunteer Austrian and German Jewish allien internees perhaps the Forests best kept 2nd WW secret despite several of them subsequently settling here and nearby. The unnamed players could quite easily have been either Austrians or Germans from P 220 Coy or Italian Pows. It is known that P 220 Coy were socially active during their stay here e.g they formed a dance band that played frequently at Broadwell Memorial Hall and participated with REs in a dart team of same name Woodpeckers There were also RE sawmills at Brierly Cockshot and Steam Mills the latter continued after the war by James Joiner. At least one Section of P 220 Coy were billited at Lydbrook. Interesting but no link established as yet how many football clubs carry the name Woodpeckers today particularly in the Essex Kent area. The wartime Auxillary Pioneer Corps have been described as the most intelectual Coys ever to have served in the British Military. Sorry I can't help with names but hope this helps in some way Any info to help with my research would be very much appreciated".

If you can help Mike, please click below and we'll pass it on to him.

"Below are the League Tables:"


DIVISION 1.........Pl..W.D.L.F..A..Pts
WOODPECKERS........12 11 0 1 55 14 22
BREAM..............12 .9 2 1 42 19 20
STAG ROVERS........12 .7 1 4 32 21 15
ELLWOOD............12 .4 0 8 23 21 .8
BROADWELL ATH......11 .3 2 6 24 27 .8
BLAKENEY...........10 .2 2 6 20 50 .6
BERRY HILL HG......11 .1 1 9 12 52 .3
RAF XI.............Withdrew

DIVISION 2.........Pl..W.D..L.F..A..Pts
WOODPECKERS........14 12 0 .2 71 14 24
PILLOWELL ATH......14 .8 3 .3 36 16 19
COALWAY............14 .8 1 .5 39 36 17
AYLBURTON ROVERS...14 .5 4 .5 39 32 14
STAG ROVERS RES....14 .3 5 .6 31 31 11
PARKEND UNITED.....14 .5 1 .8 37 45 11
BREAM RESERVES.....14 .5 1 .8 38 51 .9*
LYDNEY BOYS CLUB...14 .2 1 11 12 74 .5

Italian POW foootball team

Laura wrote: "... can someone help me please? In this 1944-45 photo, the players are Italian prisoners of Field 61. Are there any Englishmen with them? In the photo of the team "Picchi 1944" in the background there is the water tower of Field 61. Is this the same field where also the Italian prisoners used to play? What does the badge on the sweaters of the Italians represent? Does someone remember any names?".

If you wish to comment on this photo or can supply names of people please click here

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