OXFORD City Football Club lost 10 players in the First World War, including two who played in the club’s famous triumph in the FA Amateur Cup.

Harold Tabernacle and Guy Dickinson were in the team that beat Bishop Auckland 3-0 to secure the trophy for the first and only time, in wintry conditions at Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, on March 24, 1906.

More than 300 City fans made the 230-mile trip north in a special train, decked in blue and white flags, the team’s colours.

The players returned to Oxford to a heroes’ welcome.

Tabernacle, born at Margate, Kent, in 1882, worked as an estate agent and later as a salesman, possibly of food and drink.

He played 59 games for the City’s first team between 1905 and 1910 and scored 57 goals, including two in the cup final victory.

He was serving as a corporal with the Military Mounted Police in Egypt when he died of malaria as the war ended in November 1918. He is buried in Alexandria.

Dickinson, born in Yorkshire in 1877, moved to Oxfordshire when his father was appointed headmaster of the village school in Beckley, near Oxford.


Guy Dickinson

He scored 133 goals for City in 197 games between 1895 and 1907 and provided the cross from which Herbert Hodges scored the first goal in the 1906 final.

He served with the 54th Canadian Infantry and was killed on November 6, 1917, the last day of the third battle of Ypres.

His name is recorded on the Menin Gate and in the Canadian Book of Remembrance.

The list of war victims has been compiled by the club’s historian, Chris Byrne.

The other City players who died in the war were:

  • Cyril Benson: Born in 1891, the son of J R Benson, one of the club’s founders, he studied at the City of Oxford High School and Pembroke College. He played regularly for the City Reserves. He was killed at Trescault, France, in April 1917 while serving with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He is buried at Neuville-Bourjonval.
  • Bertram Honeysett: He joined the Royal Engineers and was with a signals company when he was killed in September 1918. He is buried at Charmes Military Cemetery, Essegney.
  • Charles Lakin: He attended Oxford High School and played for the City Reserves for three seasons from 1908. He died of wounds while serving with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He is buried in the Puchevillers British Cemetery.
  • Bertram Packer: He played in eight games for the City and scored eight goals, including six in the FA Amateur Cup rout of Slough in January 1915. He served with the Suffolk Regiment and was killed in action in October 1917. He is buried in Loos Military cemetery.
  • Heber Slatter: He played 72 matches for the City between 1910 and 1914, scoring seven goals. He was killed in action in May 1918 while serving with the Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Couin New British Cemetery.
  • Walter Wicks: He played regularly for the City Reserves. He served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and died in Nigeria in August 1918. He is buried in Baro cemetery, Abuja.
  • HG Smith: He played nearly 100 games for City between 1909 and 1913 and appeared on the left wing in the 1913 FA Amateur Cup final against South Bank at Bishop Auckland, which City lost 1-0 in a replay after the teams had earlier drawn 1-1.
  • HW Stevens: He played more than 60 games in goal for City between 1910 and 1913. He died in the war, but no details are known.

Among other war victims was Leigh Roose, the famous Welsh international goalkeeper, who played twice in goal for City at the White House ground in friendlies. He was listed missing presumed killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.