On the 25th of March 1918, just months from the end of World War One, a professional footballer was shot in the second assault on the Somme. His fellow soldiers risked death to get to him, his body was never found.
The story is far from unique, but the solider was. His name was Walter Tull.
Tull had it harder than most, an orphan from the age of nine, his stepmother could not manage all six of her husband's children. Walter and his older brother Edward were sent to an orphanage in Bethnal Green, London.
The Methodist teachings of the orphanage were strict, disciplined and arguably stood Walter in good stead for his later life in football and the army.
He started playing football early and soon excelled. Spotted playing for the orphanage team he was invited to join amateur site Clapton in 1908. He helped them win the FA Amateur Cup, the London Senior Cup and the London County Amateur Cup.
He was signed for Spurs in 1909, he toured Argentina and Uruguay with the team as an amateur, signing professional forms on his return to England.
But despite all the early promise, rave reviews against Manchester United and a goal against Bradford, seven games into his first season he was dropped. There was a problem - Walter Tull was black.
Playing at Bristol City he was racially abused with "language lower than Billingsgate [a notoriously coarse London fish market]" by "hooligans" in the crowd - the actions of fans and the press reports describing them eerily reminiscent of what was to follow on terraces across the land over 50 years later.
Tull was sold to Northampton Town and excelled, playing more than 100 games, scoring four goals in one match (he wasn't a striker) and looking set to sign for Rangers in 1914. Then the war came.
He signed up to fight for the British army as a volunteer immediately, effectively ending his football career (although he did make a guest appearance for Fulham in 1915).
Tull was the second professional black footballer in England and the first outfield player, goalscorer and to play in the top flight.
What he did in uniform was more impressive.
Quickly promoted to sergeant Tull survived the Somme in 1916, but was struck down by fever in December 1916. After recovery he did not return to the trenches immediately, instead he went to officer training school in Gailes, Scotland.
Walter Tull became the first ever black British army officer and the first man of colour to lead white troops in battle, at a time when it was illegal for him to take on either role.
He was mentioned in despatches for coolness under fire and recommended for the Military Cross after bringing his men back unharmed from a sortie.
An orphan whose grandfather was a slave and father was a joiner had broken down barriers to become a professional footballer and an officer. On his death, his commanding officer breached protocol one last time, writing this while informing his family of his death: "He was popular throughout the battalion. He was brave and conscientious. The battalion and company had lost a faithful officer, and personally I have lost a friend." British army officers didn't do emotion back then.
But after his death he was forgotten by the nation.
It was not until the mid-1990s that Walter's story re-emerged, when Phil Vasili saw his name mentioned in passing while researching a book on Britain's earliest black footballers in 1992. He published an article on Tull in 1996 that was read by Trevor McDonald. The newsreader gave a radio talk based on this research - one heard by Northampton Town fan Sean O'Donovan.
O'Donovan started campaigning, and soon everyone from Spurs (who dropped him) to Bristol City (whose fans abused him) were honouring Tull's role in the early days of the game.
Today, almost 90 years after his death, visitors to Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium can see an odd memorial - one in a mosaic of black, white, and grey stone.
It reads: "Through his actions, WDJ Tull ridiculed the barriers of ignorance that tried to deny people of colour equality with their contemporaries.
"His life stands testament to a determination to confront those people and those obstacles that sought to diminish him and the world in which he lived.
"It reveals a man, though rendered breathless in his prime, whose strong heart still beats loudly."