E39 Actor

Private Percy Mead

Pte Percy Mead, 46998, 12th Battalion King's Royal Rifles, died of wounds in the 17th Casualty Clearing Station in France on October 17th, 1918. He was aged 19 and had previously served in the Beds Regiment (11038).

Born in December 1899, he was a son of Lucy and the late Thomas Mead, of Kings Road, Luton. He had married Elizabeth Read in Kent in 1917 and his widow was living at Sittingbourne at the time of Percy's death.

Before joining up, Percy, along with three brothers, had worked at the Brown & Green Foundry in Windsor Street/South Road, Luton.

Lance Corporal Horace Frederick Alfred Hudson

L-Cpl Horace Frederick Alfred Hudson, 023764, 93rd Coy, Army Ordnance Corps, died from influenza in a stationary hospital in Italy on October 16th, 1918. He was aged 26.

In a letter to parents Alfred and Alice Hudson at 9 Stanley Street, Luton, Horace said he had fallen victim to the influenza epidemic but was quite comfortable and going on well. That was followed by a telegram saying he was dangerously ill, and later a letter stating that he had died, the date given being October 23rd.

Driver Bertie Frederick Eales

Driver Bertie Frederick Eales, 797123, 246th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on October 14th, 1918. In a letter of sympathy widow Ellen Emma Eales, Sgt W. H. Senior wrote: “It was caused by hard luck, just a chance shell that happened to be fatal for that team. I was not present when it happened, being at the guns for which your husband was fetching ammunition.”

Driver Frederick Leslie George Braybrook

Driver Frederick Leslie George Braybrook, 528055, 54th Division Signals Coy Royal Engineers, died from typhoid fever in the 48th Stationary Hospital in Egypt. He was aged 25 and single.

He had volunteered in January 1915 and was drafted to the Dardanelles and later Egypt and General Allenby's Palestine Campaign, taking part in the Battle of Gaza.

Born in Clophill in 1893, he was the eldest son of Frederick and Emma Elizabeth Braybrook, of 3 Park Road West (now Strathmore Avenue), Luton. He had worked as an iron moulder at the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road.

Sapper John Winfield Trussell MM

Spr John Winfield Trussell, 489931, 46th Division Signal Coy, Royal Engineers, died in a casualty clearing station in France on October 7th, 1918, from wounds sustained in action. Poignantly, he was due to receive the Military Medal he had been awarded.

In a letter to his father Harry Trussell, of 15 Vicarage Street, Luton, a chaplain wrote: “You son was wounded at our headquarters, and when he left for hospital we quite hoped he would soon recover. But, alas, our hopes were never realised. He was a skilled telephonist and we shall miss him very much indeed.”

Lance Corporal Sidney William Farr

L-Cpl Sidney William Farr, 31137, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on September 29th, 1918. He died instantly from a gunshot in the head.

He had joined the Territorials in 1911 and was called up at the commencement of war. The 27-year-old had previously been invalided home with trench fever.

Rifleman Wilfred Cyril Bywater

Rifleman Wilfred Cyril Bywater, 44378, 13th King's Royal Rifles, was killed in action in France on August 24th, 1918. He had been reported missing on that date and it was not until after the Armistice that family at 103 Ash Road, Luton, received official confirmation of his death at the age of 19.

A report of his death in The Saturday Telegraph said that he had been in France since Easter 1918 and previously worked for Mr Hubbard, Princess Street. His military record described him as a dyeworks labourer.

Private Percy James Costin

Pte Percy James Costin, 52084, 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, died of wounds sustained in action in France on October 10th, 1918. He was aged 20 and single.

In a letter to parents James and Annie Costin at 78 Queen Street, Luton, an officer in the Middlesex Regiment said: “He was a runner, and was killed whilst showing great devotion to duty. He suffered no pain.”

Pte Costin joined up in July 1916 and saw considerable service. He was wounded in the arm in October 1917 and went to France again in March 1918 after recovery.

Private George Butterfield

Pte George Butterfield, 17000, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on September 27th, 1918. He was born in Luton and had been married for almost two years.

A chum wrote to widow May: “He was going back from the battalion to brigade headquarters after delivering a message and was hit by a machine gun bullet. His death must have been instantaneous.

“He was sent back behind the firing line and buried in a British cemetery in a little village.”

Private John Walker Langford

Pte John Walker Langford, 27657, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on October 8th, 1918. He was aged 38.

He was a son of Henry and Bessie Maud Langford, both of whom had died, and John was living at the home of Arthur and Lottie Taylor, of 58 Cambridge Street, Luton.

At the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his widowed mother and sister Emily at 23 Alma Street. John was described as a buncher at a straw plait dyeworks. Before enlistment he had been employed by bleachers and dyers A. J. Godfrey & Son, of Langley Street.

Lieutenant Colonel Bernard William Vann

Acting Lieut-Colonel (Rev) Bernard William Vann VC, MC, DSO, 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment), was killed in action in France on October 3rd, 1918.

Although born in Rushden, Northants, in 1887 and with a family living in Cirencester at the time of his death, he had been at one time an assistant master at St Gregory's School in Downs Road, Luton.

Gunner Wallace Cooke

Gunner Wallace Cooke, 43618, 187th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on October 2nd, 1918. He was one of five men killed in the 8pm attack, with many more injured, including Sgt W. Evans, a wounded chum in hospital who wrote to widow Florence Maud Cooke at 47 Rothesay Road, Luton.

Wallace had been looking forward to coming home on leave, having been at the front for about a year since his last leave.

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