Grieving family loses three sons

A Luton family was mourning the death of a second son killed in France within the first three months of the outbreak of war - and a third son who had died at home.

Mr and Mrs John Weedon, of 53 Wimbourne Road, had learned in October that their son, Private 14903 Horace Weedon, aged 22, serving with No. 1 Company of the 2nd Grenadier Guards, had been killed in action in France on September 14th.

In November news was received from the War Office intimating that a second son, Private Jack Weedon, 21, serving with the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, had died at 8.30am on October 27th following a gunshot wound to the head sustained while in action.

Schoolboy son, Frank Weedon, aged 12, died from diphtheria on October 12.

Private Horace Weedon was a native of Luton who attended Chapel Street School until he was about 12 and then Waller Street. For a time he was employed by Mr Treasure, of the furniture stores at 43 Cheapside, and then went to the Diamond Foundry He left there and joined the Army for three years. He was in the Grenadier Guards and on coming out on reserve in November 1913, he joined the Birmingham police force. When war broke out he was called up and went straight to the front. The last time his parents saw him was Whitsun.

Private Jack Weedon had joined the 1st Beds Regiment more than three years previously and went to the front with the first contingent of the British Expeditionary Force. As far as was known he was in the firing line right from the beginning. Like his brother, he was a native of Luton and attended Chapel Street and Waller Street schools. Between school and enlistment he was employed by Messrs Rogers and Ashby, bleachers and dyers, in Dunstable Road.

In the 1901 Census, John Weedon and his wife Sarah Ann were living at 15 Foundry Lane [later renamed South Street], Luton, with eight children - Florence, 15, Henrietta, 14, Kate, 12, Daisy, 10, Horace, 8, Jack, 6, George, 4, and Fred, 1. John Weedon was described as a general labourer, his wife as a straw hat sewer and Florence and Henrietta as straw hat finishers.

By the time of the 1911 Census Horace and Jack had enlisted and the family had moved to Wimbourne Road . In addition to Henrietta, Kate, Daisy, George and Fred there were Frank, 8, Albert, 7, Sidney, 4, and a grandson Ronald, aged 2.

George was serving in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Powerful at the time of Horace and Jack's deaths.

[The Luton News, October 15th and November 19th, 1914]