Walter Tull was the first black combat officer in Britain. Controversy surrounds his tenure as one who deserved a Military Cross – one of the highest British honors. Although two officers recorded that he was worthy of it, he was not given the medal because he was black.
Tull was born in Folkestone, England in April 1888. His grandfather was a slave and his father was an immigrant of Barbados. After losing his mother at age seven, then his father two years later, Tull was sent to an orphanage in Bethel Green, London.
Tull was an amateur footballer that won several team cups in the 1908-1909 seasons. He became the second black man to be signed to a professional football team, the Tottenham Hotspur – behind Arthur Wharton, who was the first to sign in 1886.
Although major clubs like the Glasgow Rangers was seeking him, Tull dedicated his services to the British Army during WWI in 1914. In 1916, he suffered from trench fever and was sent back home to England to recover. Tull had impressed his senior officers so much while in service, he was recommended for promotion within the ranks. He chose to attend officer training school at Gailes in Scotland.
Although it was a written rule that a person of color was not to receive military training, Tull received his officer commission in 1917.
Tull was first sent to the Italian front lines to lead men in the Battle of Piave. A gallant fighter, Tull soon took on the brutal front line trenches in Germany at Favreuil. When he entered No Man’s Land, a bullet hit him in the head. He was killed on impact in 1918. His men tried to bring his body back across the British line, but were unsuccessful. His body was never found. He was 29 years old.
Writer and Producer Phil Vasili and Director David Thacker plan to bring Tull’s story to the stage in February 2013, then to film.
Michael Morpurgo, author of "War Horse and Private Peaceful," recently published A Medal For Leroy, dedicated to Lieutenant Walter Tull and draws heavily on his story. He is also assisting the effort to get the Military Cross for Tull’s heroism and bravery in the line of fire. The effort is spearheaded by Brian Binley, an MP in Tory.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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