This is the first of 5 mini-stories of men with connections to Sheffield who fought in the First World War.
Today the story of Jimmy Revill – the only Sheffield United player killed on the Western Front.
Jimmy Revill was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire on 14th June 1891. He was a good footballer and was playing non-league amateur football for a local side when he was spotted by Sheffield United ex player Ernest Needham. Revill signed for Sheffield United in 1910 aged 18 and made his debut against Arsenal. He was a winger, described as one of the quickest wingers of his generation. Unfortunately Sheffield United had a number of very good players who played in his position and his 5 year career – which ended in a 2-0 win for the Blades against West Brom in 1915 – ended with 68 appearances and four goals.
Like many men of his generation, he felt the pressure to enlist in the army and he enlisted in 1916, joining the Royal Engineers. He was sent to France in August 1916. He was a good soldier with an unblemished record and was promoted to Lance Corporal in March 1917. In April of 1917 his battalion was sent to Vimy, France to take part in the battle of Arras which commenced on 9th April. Unfortunately Jimmy would not see the end of the first morning of the battle. He was killed in action – hit by a bullet which perforated his chest and hit his spine. He died at a casualty clearing station at 8.40am on the morning of the battle.
He was to be the only Sheffield United player killed during the First World War.
He is buried at Bethune Cemetery near where he was killed.