At the end of February 1915, whilst stationed at Worcester, Private W.C. Bailey of the 2/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment appealed via the Evesham Journal newspaper for funds to purchase a football for the Evesham lads in the battalion.
By the first post the following day, the Evesham Journal had received a cheque in the sum of 8s 6d from John Jacques Jnr of Broadway and a football was immediately purchased. A couple of days later, Pte Bailey wrote the following letter of thanks:
“I beg you to accept on behalf of the Evesham and district lads in the 2nd 8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment our most hearty thanks for the part you have played in helping us to get a football. The ball arrived tonight and my mates and myself are very pleased with it. I have written to Mr Jacques by this post to thank him for his kindness though I am afraid I did not it very well for I am a very poor one at letter writing.”
Mrs Lee of Evesham who was staying in Llandudno at the time, sent in a cheque for 10s which was returned by the Evesham Journal with a thank you note stating if they received a further request for a football they would at once contact her.
The 2/8th Battalion moved to Chelmsford in April 1915 and then on to Salisbury Plain in February 1916. The battalion arrived in France on 24th May 1916 and served on the Western Front during the First World War with the183rd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division until 6th February 1918 when the battalion transferred to the 182nd Brigade.