Death has removed a well-known and highly-respected figure in the public life of Luton, in the person of Mr Alfred Thomas Loose, the respected keeper of the Town Hall, wrote the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (January 18th, 1919). The sad event occurred on Wednesday, following an illness which had extended over more than a year.
Mr Loose had suffered considerably from internal trouble and had undergone operations, but the relief derived from these proved only temporary, and he died at the age of 57. He leaves a widow [Sarah Elizabeth] and one daughter [Maud].
Edward Sell Payne, a colourful local character known as 'Major' Payne, died at his home at 81 Cromwell Road, Luton, on November 21st, 1918, at the age of 77. His funeral took place at the Church Cemetery on November 28th.
'Major' Payne was never in the Army, but as a young man served in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry under the command of the Earl of Essex. He attained the rank of corporal, but became much better known among his friends as 'Major'.
Pte George Thomas Janes, 79040, 1/7th Durham Light Infantry, died from dysentery in the Crossen prisoner of war camp in Germany on September 6th, 1918. He had been reported captured at Maizy in France on May 27th. Pte Janes had seen two years of military service, but had been in France only since the January before his capture.
For about 20 years before joining up he had been the postman for the Leagrave area. In the 1901 Census he was described as a rural postman living with parents John and Rebecca and family at 127 Russell Street, Luton.
L-Cpl Edward Stanley Davis, 170, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on September 2nd, 1918. The 35-year-old was the only son of aged widowed mother Margaret, who lived at the rear of 23 Duke Street, Luton.
Edward had enlisted when only 16 years old and had gone through the Boer War in South Africa. He was later employed as a general labourer before re-enlisting at the outbreak of war in August 1914, doing 18 months transport service ahead of being placed in the firing line.
Perhaps the oldest member of the local Territorial and Volunteer units, Mr Joseph Theodore Gething, of 4 Henry Street, Luton, died suddenly at home on August 27th, 1918, as the result of a severe attack of pneumonia. He was 67.
He was a sergeant-major with the 2nd Volunteer Brigade Bedfordshire Regiment, and had been a member of the Luton Volunteers since coming to live in the town in 1874, thus having completed 42 years service.
Gunner Fred Gordon West, 881989, 312th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on July 29th, 1918. He was aged 28 and single.
Second son of Charles and Amy Jane West, he was born in Steppingley, Beds, in 1890. By the time of the 1911 Census, Fred was living with his parents and sister Lillian Edith and brother Jack at 47 Ivy Road. He was employed as a stiffener by hat manufacturer Mr Sidney Parker, of 47 Collingdon Street, Luton.
At 5.30 on the evening of July 5th, 1918, one of Luton's prominent businessmen, Mr Walter Thomas Lye, died at his home at Leagrave Hall. The head of the Luton bleaching, dyeing and chemical firm of Messrs T. Lye & Sons, he was aged 61 and left a widow (Nancy), one son (Ernest B. Lye) and one daughter (Gladys).
He and his family had narrowly escaped from Germany at the start of the First World War, catching the last train allowed out of Hamburg to Flushing, in Holland. They had been on a cruise along the Norwegian coast.
Farrier Sgt Thomas Wiseman, 47226, 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars, was killed in action in France on November 21st, 1917. Born in Luton, he was aged 33 and had married, his wife living In Andover, Hampshire.
Sgt Hunt wrote to widow Fanny in Hampshire that her husband had been in charge of horses during very heavy shelling. One shell dropped close to him, killing him instantly.
Following his death on the evening of Saturday, October 27th, 1917, Dunstable, Luton and South Beds mourned the passing of prominent antiquarian, botanist, author and illustrator Worthington George Smith. He was aged 82 and had lived in Dunstable forjust over 30 years..
Pte Ernest Currant, 260151, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders by a sniper on August 27th, 1917. He had seen only ten weeks service at the Front.
Sgt R. G. Wager wrote to Mrs Mabel Annie Currant at 18 Dunstable Place, Luton: "The battalion took part in a big attack on the enemy's position, and whilst your husband was going forward with his platoon he was sniped in the head by one of the enemy. Death was instantaneous."
Pte Archie Oliver death Hurry, 238021, 12th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on July 16th, 1917. His brother Harry, with whom he enlisted, had died on the battlefield just a few days earlier.
There appears to be no record in Luton newspapers of Archie's death, although family announcements in May 1917 seem to indicate that both Archie and Harry married on the same day - May 21st, 1917, at Christ Church - Archie's bride being Lily May Tuffnell.