He was one of many people from the Teesside area that volunteered for the Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment) and were killed or injured at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

As part of the Premier League’s Passchendaele at Home initiative, our U12 footballers have been using Private 24997 HJ Duckworth as a starting point to investigate the Battle of Passchendaele and to remember those soldiers who suffered horrendous injuries and died from them, having been transported home.

Using their research the youngsters have written poetry and diary entries to describe the battle and last few days of soldiers like Private Duckworth. They have laid a wreath on his grave at Eston Cemetery. 

The three boys who placed the wreath are Ezra Amadi-Emina, Rio Kerr and Jacob Thompson.

This culminated in a small presentation at Rockliffe on Thursday. First team manager Garry Monk attended the presentation, together with staff from the Academy and the rest of the club, alongside two members of the Yorkshire Regiment .

Perhaps most poignantly, however, was the attendance of Eric Taylor, the great nephew of Private Duckworth and who first read about the project in our match programme, #UTB, for the game against Sunderland.

All of the work the boys have done will be submitted to the Premier League and, if recognised as one of the best two nationally, our players will have the opportunity to participate in an international remembrance tournament later in the season.

In commemoration of the sacrifice made by Private Duckworth and thousands more at the Battle Of Passchendaele, our U12s wrote this poem.


My eyes were gazing on the gates of Hell


My senses all on red alert





Into the morning mist we stepped

Into a different dimension




The calm before the storm

Fear enveloped me

The horrific Battlefield of Passchendaele

Death approaching like a wave




Peering through shell smoke

Like a grey wedding veil

Then charging, charging into the inferno ….