Alison Pooley of Illogan, Cornwall, has been in touch to tell us that she is the granddaughter of Lesley Rule Pentecost, who played in the three rugby matches on the Front after Camborne Rugby Club sent out a ball. Information about these matches came to light during research for Heart of Conflict.
“Mum had always told us that Grandad had played football on Christmas Day and that he had been a member of St John’s Ambulance Brigade and signed up with Captain Blackwood of Camborne,” she says, but no one had known any further details.
Putting pieces together after hearing a feature on the matches on BBC Cornwall on Remembrance Day 2015, Alison realised that the Pentecost in the team line up was in fact her grandfather. He had lived in Ennis Road, Camborne, and gone to the Front in 1914 with other members of Dolcoath Ambulance Brigade, under Captain Blackwood.
He survived the war, though was taken prisoner by the Germans for the later years of it. He made friends while in France and often wrote home: Alison still has the letters. He also named his daughters Denise and Louise – French names.
On his return, he married Alison’s grandmother, Lily Uren, of Beacon whom he’d met before the War.
Alison does not remember him – as he died in 1957, the year she was born.
Lesley Pentecost survived the war and went on to become honorary secretary of the local Old Contemptibles Association.