Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
28 Apr 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Frederick George Gurney, 32223, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 28th, 1917. He was aged 22.
His father, Tom Gurney, of 48 Hartley Road, Luton, was given the sad news in a letter from Second Lieut G. Peel, of the Beds Regiment. He said Pte Gurney, the No 1 of his Lewis Gun Team, had suffered no pain as he was killed instantaneously by a shell.
Frederick Gurney joined the Essex Regiment on April 6th, 1915, and was subsequently transferred to the Beds Regiment. He was trained at Halton Camp and went out to France on December 1st, 1916. He fought amongst the coal mines of Lens and came through unhurt.
In February 1917 he came home on leave to attend the funeral of his mother, Emily, but did not arrive in time for the service. He then went back to France.
In a letter written shortly before his death, Frederick wrote: "I was in the great advance from Easter Monday to early on Thursday morning, and we went forward from eight to ten kilometres. We took our objective and held it until we were relieved. That was a blessing for it was snowing and raining all the time.
"We took the Germans on the run, and we had to dig ourselves in as we went on. We cannot beat the Germans in the trenches, but once we get them out they are no fighters. We took over 1,100 prisoners...they came down in droves. There were not so many of our lads killed, but many were wounded. If we can keep the Germans on the run, the war will soon be over."
Before the war Frederick helped in his father's straw hat manufacturing business as a machinist. He was also a keen bird fancier and member of the Luton Fanciers' Association. He had won two of the association's cups.