Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
9 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 Horace George McDonnell, 31903, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1917. This date was supplied in two contemporary letters received independently from the front by parents Walter and Alice McDonnell, of 29 Malvern Road, Luton, although later records give a date of April 12th.
Second Lieut George Parsons wrote that Pte McDonnell was killed in action on April 9th. "We had just gone 'over' and the platoon which your son was in was passing a tank which the Boche were endeavouring to hit, when a shell fell close to the platoon, killing your son and wounding two others." The wounded included the officer in command of the platoon, who was thus unable to write to Mr and Mrs McDonnell himself.
Pal Pte Harry Taylor wrote: "It is with the deepest regret that I beg to inform you of the death of your son Horace. He was killed in action on Monday, April 9th. It may be a relief to you to know that he suffered no pain, as death was instantaneous. The whole platoon join with me in offering our deepest sympathy...and I, as his friend ever since he joined the Army, give you my deepest sympathy."
Pte McDonnell was only 19 years old and had joined up in October 1916. He was at Felixstowe with the 3rd Bedfords until the first week in January 1917, when he went to France. Prior to the war he was an employee of the Halford Cycle Co, Chapel Street, Luton.