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Special coin honours British Army's first black officer

Walter Tull Photo: PA Archive

The first black officer in the British Army will be remembered on a special set of coins released by the Royal Mint as part of commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.

Walter Tull, who played football for Northampton Town, who was promoted to officer rank during the war despite a ban on black officers being given the high status, died in battle in 1918.

Walter Tull died in battle in WW1 in 1918 Credit: PA

The coin, featuring a portrait of the officer with a backdrop of infantry soldiers going "over the top", will be one of a set of six £5 coins to remember the sacrifice made by so many during the war.

Each year until 2018 another set of six coins will be released, covering key battles and the stories of individual heroes of the time, with the final set focusing on the armistice and legacy of the war.

The war years exposed the very best and worst of human nature and our intention is for the collection to evolve over the coming years to reflect that duality, while exploring topics as diverse as propaganda and weaponry, as well as the great bravery of ordinary people who went on to perform extraordinary acts, as represented by figures like Walter Tull.

– DR KEVIN CLANCY, DIRECTOR OF THE ROYAL MINT MUSEUM

In 2012 Author Michael Morpurgo called for Tull to be given a posthumous award for his service during the First World War. See our report here