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Archway School

Walter Tull - No Barriers Medal Challenge

So, who is Walter Tull? Well, Walter Tull was and still is an inspirational figure. He was a famous footballer who played for Tottenham and Northampton Town before the First World War.

     When War broke out in 1914, he volunteered as an ordinary soldier . After showing his brilliance he was promoted to be an officer. Officers in the army then were usually upper class and had to be white. However, Walter was working class and was not white. This shows how special and brilliant he was! Walter was the first front-line officer in the British army to be of mixed–heritage. Unfortunately, he was killed in action a few months before the war ended in 1918. Walter was so admired by the men he led that they risked their own lives to try and bring his body back to the trenches for a proper burial, although sadly his body was never found.

     During his life Walter overcame so many barriers: shell–shock in war, racism, snobbery, loneliness, the death of his parents, being placed in an orphanage and being separated from his brothers and sisters. This really does go to show how much of an inspiration he actually was, and is, to people.


The No Barriers Medal Challenge

     The No Barriers medal challenge is a project to help recognise Tull’s unprecedented achievements in becoming an officer despite the explicit barrier to his promotion at the time. This project will award medals to those who make their communities more inclusive.

     The project’s central message to all is the ‘No Barriers’ part. This works to counter discrimination by promoting equality and inclusion, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or age. This challenge was launched on the 26th March 2018: the day after the centenary of Walter’s death, and will promote innovative projects through football teams, youth groups, schools and community networks across the country.


Archway’s Involvement

     We have already teamed up twice with Forest Green Rovers and we have also run a No Barriers writing challenge. We have already been awarded a number of medals by the Tull100 Big Ideas organisation. Schools usually receive just one medal for their involvement. We have received far more than that!

By Oli, Sixth Form Student