Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
20 Oct 1918
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
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.
Sgt Gibbs wrote: “I am very sorry to have to write this terrible letter to you to let young know that Harry has gone to rest. We have been in some hard fighting and Harry was in it right at the centre. We went over the top on the 20th and had got to our final objective. I saw him go down the sunken road when a shell burst right in front of him, and his death was instantaneous. He has been buried in a quiet little village cemetery, and there is a cross to mark his resting place.”
Born in Kilburn, London, in 1892, Harry had been 'adopted' by the Lawsons and was living with them at 25 Brunswick Street at the time of the 1911 Census. Harry had worked at the George Kent Ltd works before the war, and played in local junior football teams.
William Lawson's own son, Pte William 'Sonny' Lawson (RAMC), had died from gunshot wounds in October 1917 and two other sons had been discharged from service.
Harry Turner is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour/War Memorial and in the Book of Life compiled at Luton Parish Church.