E39 Actor

Lance Corporal Charles Moulster

L-Cpl Charles Moulster, P/14546, Military Foot Police Corps, died from influenza on October 31st, 1918, while serving in Italy. A chaplain wrote to parents James and Sarah Moulster at Kensworth to say that his grave would be cared for and a cross erected.

Born in Kensworth in 1880, Charles had previously been a porter at the Luton Union House in Dunstable Road, Luton. His death was announced at a meeting of the Luton Board of Guardians who ran the workhouse and a vote of sympathy was sent to his relatives.

Private Clarence Blackbourn

Pte Clarence Blackbourn, 40100, 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 27th, 1917. He was single and aged 19.

Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1898, Clarence was living with parents Thomas and Emily Jane plus four brothers and two sisters at Stamford, Lincolnshire, at the time of the 1911 Census.

Sapper George Kendall Silsbey

Spr George Kendal Silsbey (Silsby), 522296, 486th Field Coy, Royal Engineers, died in Egypt on October 31st*, 1918, from pneumonia. Parents Harry and Caroline Annie (Carrie) Silsbey had been hoping to see him on home leave. They had not seen him since 1915, when he went to East.

A telegram received by the parents on November 1st, 1918, said their son was dangerously ill with fever, followed by a second telegram on November 6th to say that he died on October 31st from pneumonia.

Private Charles Barnard Plater

Pte Charles Barnard Plater, 265668. 2nd Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment, was killed in action in Italy on October 29th, 1918. He was aged 22 and single.

The news was received by his twice widowed mother Jane Hawkins, of 27 Newcombe Road, Luton. Charles' father, Thomas Plater, had died in 1906 and Jane remarried in 1910. Her second husband, Frederick Hawkins, was killed in action in France on May 13th, 1915, while serving with the 2nd Essex Regiment (6164).

Lieutenant Sidney Charles Squires

Lieut Sidney Charles Squires, 2/5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action in at Valenciennes in France on October 28th, 1918. He was a holder of the Belgian Croix de Guerre, awarded the previous February for intelligence work while with the Brigade staff.

He was the 22-year-old third son of Harry and Emily Wooler Squires, of Crafnant, Chapel Street (10 Farley Hill), Luton. His father was a director of hat manufacturers Welch & Sons, of Upper George Street.

Private Arthur Kiff

Pte Arthur Kiff, 73413, 23rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was reported missing and then “killed in action or died of wounds received in action, on October 8th, 1918, or shortly after”. He was aged 19 and had joined up in January 1918, but it was not until around a month following the armistice that his presumed death was confirmed to his parents.

Private Albert George Ward

Pte Albert George Ward, 47988, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action in France on October 23rd, 1918, the day he was reported missing by the War Office.

Six weeks later, parents Henry Arthur and Emily Ward, of 10 Moreton Road, Round Green, appealed to his chums through The Luton News for any news they might have of him.

Prior to the war Albert, who was born in Mangrove in 1891, had worked at the Great Northern Railway goods yard in Luton.

Private Reginald Thomas Ashby

Pte Reginald Thomas Ashby, 47056, 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action in France in the advance at Le Cateau on October 15th, 1918. He was aged 20 and single.

Born in Harpenden in 1898, he was one of three sons of Harry and Lizzie Ashby, of 47 Manor Road, Luton. He had joined the Army on May 2nd, 1917, and was stationed at Dover with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry (30544). He went to France six months before his death, transferring to the Inniskillings.

Private William Plater

Pte William Plater, 43459, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on October 23rd, 1918. He was aged 24 and single.

He was a son of Frederick (died 1902) and Annie Plater, of 2 Chase Street, Luton. William had previously served in the Machine Gun Corps (26296).

At the time of the 1911 Census William was living with his widowed mother and two brothers at 12 Langley Place, Luton, and was employed as a general labourer. Before enlisting he had worked for Mr James Pollard, of May Street.

Private Harry Turner

Pte Henry Turner (known as Happy Harry), 32121, 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment, was killed in action in France on October 20th, 1918. He was a nephew of Luton Town FC trainer Billy Lawson, and was due to have been married at the end of November. His fiancee had made all the preparations.

Private Charles Frederick Cole

Pte Charles Cole, 50684, 1/6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, died on October 20th, 1918, from wounds sustained in France. [Some military records give his surnames as Coles.]

He had returned to active service for the third time on September 14th. He had served in the Army for two-and-a-half years. Prior to enlistment he had worked for boot and shoe dealer H. White, of Manchester Street, Luton.

Lance Corporal Sidney Baines

L-Cpl Sidney Baines, 83889, Machine Gun Corps, died in the Middle East from malaria on October 19th, 1918. He was aged about 34 and left a widow Nellie, whom he had not officially married, plus two children living at 14 Windmill Street, High Town.

Nellie Holding informed the military authorities that she and Sidney had lived together for several years and had children Gwendoline Elsie (born 1914) and Sidney John (1916). She said their plans to marry were prevented by Sidney being sent to Egypt.

Private William Fensome

Pte William Fensome, 307015, 16th Battalion Tank Corps, was killed by a shell in action in France on October 17th, 1918. According to his commanding officer, he was buried at the time at Regincourt. [His body was probably later exhumed and reburied.]

Williams had joined up in December 1916 in the Royal Engineers (216487) and was transferred to the Tank Corps in January 1918. He had been in France only six months when he met his death.

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