Cult hero 65: Jack Yuil

Jack Yuill’s wartime service deserved to be remembered even if his time as a Port Vale player was a brief one.

This is something of an unusual Cult Hero feature as rather than celebrate a contribution on the pitch, we’d like to remember Jack Yuill for his sacrifice for King and country.

His time at Port Vale may have been brief but his contribution and ultimate sacrifice during World War One should never be forgotten…

Yuill was born in Hendon and after finding work with a Manchester-based printing firm, he started his football career with spells at Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Wigan and Stockport County.

He was signed by Port Vale in 1911 and played for the club in the Central League until 1912.

Yuill enlisted in the army in September 1914, a month after Germany invaded Belgium. Yuill joined the Manchester Regiment and after three days training on Salisbury Plan, Yuill was promoted to lance corporal. The unit left for France on the 7th November 2015 and they entered the trenches on the 9th December 1915.

By June 2016, Yuill had been promoted to corporal and was part of a Lewis Gun machine gun section. On July 1, the unit was part of a British attack on the Somme and as a result of his actions, Yuill was promoted again – this time to lance sergeant.

On the 7th July, Yuill’s unit was despatched to Trones Wood – one of the most notorious battles of the Somme. Over the course of eight days, the British forces suffered a staggering 10,000 casualties. Due to heavy bombardments, many bodies of the dead were lost.

Yuill’s battalion has lost sixty men and tragically Jack was one of those to lose his life. He died aged 31 years of age and sadly his body was never recovered.

We would like to remember and celebrate Jack’s life through this article. His time at Port Vale may have been brief but his contribution and ultimate sacrifice during World War One should never be forgotten.

Jack Yuill

Cult credentials: Paid the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of the Somme.

Games: 4

Goals: 1