We have been looking back through the Guardian Series' archives and this story was making our headlines ten years ago this week.

A momentous chapter in Leyton Orient FC's history has been immortalised with the unveiling of a memorial to footballers who fought and died in the First World War.

The 1.75-metre high stone plaque has been erected by the Football League near the Somme in France to commemorate the men who fought in the conflict's 'Football Battalions', which were comprised entirely of players, staff and fans from clubs up and down the country.

Clapton Orient – as the O's were known until the 1940s – played a key part in these unique fighting forces, as it was the first team to sign up its entire squad.

Among those were three of the O's star players - Company Sergeant Major Richard McFadden, Private William Jonas and Private George Scott – who were all killed during the battle of the Somme in 1916.

The first battalion – the 17th Middlesex Regiment – was established in 1914 in response to a furious public outcry that professional football stars were continuing to play on while other men were being sent off to die in the trenches.

At its peak the regiment boasted 300 professional footballers among its fighters, and became so popular that a second one, the 23rd Middlesex, was later established.

Among those at the ceremony to mark the unveiling was Steve Jenkins, deputy chairman of Leyton Orient Supporters Club.

He has spent years researching the battalions' history and is currently raising funds to erect a memorial solely for the O's players who were killed and injured in the war, which is set to be unveiled next summer in Fluers.

He said: “Many people just see us as a small club but we've got a proud history.

“We should never forget the sacrifice of all those who were killed or injured.

“The story of the football battalions was forgotten about for a long time but now it's getting the recognition it deserves.”

Mr Jenkins, who is planning to soon republish his 'They Took The Lead' book about Clapton Orient's involvement in the war, is currently organising a trip to the region next summer for fans and players to witness the unveiling of the memorial.