Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
20 Sep 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
L-Cpl Horace Charles Mayles, 45373, Machine Gun Corps, was killed in action in Flanders on September 20th, 1917. He was aged 24, married with one child and a home address of 14 Wood Street, Luton. He was also a bandsman in the Park Street Salvation Army Temple Band.
In a letter to widow Elsie, comrade Pte G. Toyer, of 134 Chapel Street, Luton, said they had had to attack the enemy trenches at about 5.45am on September 20th and they had not got far over the top when her husband was hit in the head by a sniper's bullet. He died in a few seconds and did not suffer paid.
Pte Toyer added: "He was always my pal from the time of enlistment, and we both ca,e from the same town. Horace was always a straight and good soldier on or off the battlefield, which he proved when he met his death for he was helping our section officer to a shell hole for cover, the officer being wounded."
Born in Leagrave in 1893, Horace was the son of Harriet and the late Charles Mayles, a local preacher in Leagrave. The family were living in Midland [Mostyn] Road, Leagrave, in 1901.
By 1911 Horace, his widowed mother and older brother Cyril had moved to Luton, living at 28 Maple Road, Luton. Horace was employed as a straw hat blocker.
On January 26th, 1914, he married Elsie May Odell, also a member of the Salvation Army Temple, and they had a daughter, Constance Elsie Lilian, born later that year.
Since his arrival in Luton to work, Horace attended the Salvation Army Temple and for five years had been a Bandsman and Songster. When war broke out he felt it his duty to enlist.
He had been home on leave three times, on each occasion taking part in Corps meetings. A memorial service for Horace was held at the Park Street Temple during which the band of which he had been a part played the Dead March.