Tull100 – Football Remembers

Tull100 – Football Remembers

One hundred years after his death, the achievements of Walter Tull, the first man of black heritage to become an officer in the regular British Army and lead his men in battle, will be commemorated through an engagement project celebrating inclusive community action today.

Walter Tull’s life was extraordinary, and there have been many calls over the years to acknowledge his unique story.

Born in Kent to a Barbadian father and local British mother, Tull spent his formative years in an east London children’s home. He went on to become one of Britain’s first black professional footballers and a First World War hero rising through the ranks to become an officer despite the explicit restrictions to promotion at the time. He was killed in action at the second battle of the Somme in March 1918.

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No Barriers: medals for Tull

In recognition of Tull’s unprecedented achievement in becoming an officer despite the explicit barrier to his promotion at the time, the Tull100 project will award medals to those who make their communities more inclusive.

Tull100 has “No Barriers” as its central message and will counter discrimination promoting equality and inclusion irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, age or any other discrimination.

The Walter Tull challenge launches on the centenary of his death, 25 March 2018, and will activate through football teams, youth groups, schools and community networks across the country to undertake innovative projects.  

Small-scale funding will be available to support activity.

Register interest and request a unique Tull100 poster by emailing tull100@big-ideas.org.


How you can get involved in Tull100

Community groups are invited to get involved by taking part in the Medals for Tull challenge, using our free resources or joining the conversation online.

Request funding for your Tull100 project

Apply for funding to hold your own community activity and receive a Medal for Tull. Get inspired by suggestions in our free resources, and keep up to date on funding by:

Free resources

Email us at tull100@big-ideas.org to find out more about our free resources.


Join the Tull100 campaign

Share your stories with us on social media using #Tull100 #FootballRemembers #NoBarriers.

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Email us at tull100@big-ideas.org

About Walter Tull

Bruce Castle Museum (Haringey Archive and Museum Service)

Courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum (Haringey Archive and Museum Service).

Walter Tull was born in Folkestone in 1888 to a local woman and a Barbadian carpenter. He was just nine years old when he was orphaned and placed in a Bethnal Green children’s home. A great success story, Tull thrived in the world of football playing for Clapton FC and then in 1909 signing to Tottenham Hotspur. He was making history.

By 1911, Tull had moved on to play for Northampton, and when war broke out, Tull he enlisted in the Football Battalion in the autumn of 1914. He made history again in May 1917 when he was commissioned as an officer in the regular British Army, in direct contravention of the Manual of Military Law which stated officers must be of ‘pure European descent’. He was the first person of black heritage to become an officer in the regular British Army and lead his men to battle. On 25 March 1918, Walter Tull was killed in action. His body was not recovered from the battlefield. He is commemorated on the Arras memorial.

Tull100 – Football Remembers is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.


Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government




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Posted on

January 20, 2018