British War Medal Victory Medal and 15 Star

Lieutenant Ernest Isaac Barrow


Lieut Ernest Isaac Barrow, 3rd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment attached to the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 23rd, 1916. He was aged 27 and before enlistment in at the outbreak of war had been an assistant master at Luton Modern School.

The eldest son of a JP at Westhoughton [near Bolton, Lancs], he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University, where he gained a BSc degree. He was teaching in Penzance, Cornwall, before joining the staff of Luton Modern School in September 1911.

Private Alfred Edward De Fraine (Defraine)


Pte Alfred Edward De Fraine (Defraine), 20615, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 12th, 1916. He was aged 37.

Born in Luton in May 1879, to Joseph De Fraine, from London, and Mary (nee Jellis), from Luton, he is recorded in family history documents as living with grandparents William and Mary Jellis in Luton from a baby and during his childhood. His parents had married as teenagers in Lambeth in London in 1878 and seem to have continued to live there.

Rifleman Frederick Horace Rookwood


Rifleman Frederick Horace Rookwood, 3253, 17th Battalion London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney Rifles), was killed in action on the Somme on October 1st, 1916. He was aged 27.

Widow Kate and parents James and Clara, of 14 Ashton Street [later Gillam Street], Luton, heard the news first from Frederick's brother-in-law, who said he had seen Frederick's grave, "which is very nicely laid out". [The grave was probably lost as Frederick is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial for soldiers with no known grave].

Lance Corporal Bert Holdstock


L-Cpl Bert Holdstock, 2836, 1/24th County of London Regiment (The Queen's), was killed in action on the Somme on September 16th, 1916. His role was as a bomber.

Born around Christmas 1894, he was the youngest of five serving sons of Charles and Annie Holdstock, of 22 South Road (formerly Foundry Lane), Luton. He was single, aged 21 and 6ft 2in tall.

Prior to enlistment in the Londons when war broke out, he worked in the straw trade. He trained at St Albans and was wounded twice while serving for nearly two years in Flanders.

Rifleman William Ernest Ratcliffe


Rifleman William Ernest Ratcliffe, S/11035, 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade, died on the Somme on August 18th, 1916.

He is recorded as having been born in Luton around 1895 and is on the Luton Roll of Honour, but without an address. It is likely that his family had left Luton before the time of his death. The 1911 Census suggests that 16-year-old William was a boarder in a boys' home in London.

The Luton News carried a picture of the late Rifleman Ratcliffe, of Luton, in its October 5th, 1916, edition, but without further details.


Sergeant Henry Ewart Rawlings

Henry Ewart Rawlings was born in 1886 in Cricklewood, Middlesex. 1 of 5 children born to Sarah & George, a railway engine driver.

In 1911 he is living with his family at 106 Chetwynd Road, Highgate, London, he is 25 years old & working as a railway clerk.

His mother Sarah is 55 & widowed, elder brother George is 28 a motor car engine fitter & younger brother Jack is a general clerk for a antiques dealer. They have a lodger living with them, 17 year old Sidney Beck who is working as a boy clerk for the government.

Corporal Percy Bertram Stimson


Cpl Percy Bertram Stimson, 2723, 24th Battalion London Regiment (The Queen's) is recorded as dying of wounds on September 17th, 1916. But a sergeant who wrote to his parents said he had been seen by comrades to be wounded during a charge on September 18th but was not among the men picked up by his regiment's stretcher bearers.

Cpl Stimson, who had celebrated his 22nd birthday six weeks before his death, was the son of Frank and Annie Stimson, of 45 Alma Street, Luton. He had been employed in the warehouse of Messrs Vyse, Sons and Co.

Private William Bavister


Pte William Bavister, 18577, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment died on August 3rd, 1916, in the London General Hospital from wounds sustained on the Somme. He had been in France for around 12 months.

Born in late 1892, he lived most of his life in Westoning, where in 1911 he was a farm labourer living with parents William and Mary (their youngest son) and older sister Ada. The couple had had 10 children of whom only four were still living in 1911.

Private Percy Haydn Day



Pte Percy Haydn Day, 15608, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds sustained in action on the Somme on July 27th, 1916.

Born in the summer of 1895, he was the son of Arthur and Mary Jane Day, of 17 Holly Walk, Luton, where Percy was born and where the family had lived for 23 years. The couple had 11 children, eight of them boys.

Prior to enlisting, Percy was employed in the Bute Street warehouse of hat manufacturers Wright and Giddings. He had been educated at Queen Square School and his father was formerly a straw hat manufacturer.

Private Leonard Stapleton


Pte Leonard Stapleton, 18413, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on July 18th, 1916. He was aged 33.

Born in 1883 in Stondon, Beds, he was the son of Sarah Stapleton, who married George Hyde in Stondon, also that year.

Leonard married Maud Jepps, of Shillington, in 1905, and in 1911 he was a market gardener living with his wife in Marsh Road, Leagrave.

Private Joseph Payne


Pte Joseph Payne, 18510, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on July 16th, 1916, from wounds sustained on the Somme ten days previously.

He was the son of Mrs E. Payne, of 15 Inkerman Street, Luton. He was aged 24 and prior to enlistment was employed at the Gelatine Works in New Bedford Road, Luton.

Sergeant Ronald McCormick


Ronald McCormick, 3142, 1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment, died of enteric fever (typhoid) at the 18th Stationary Hospital, Suez, on July 16th, 1916. He was aged 26.

Military records show him as a lance-corporal or corporal, while on the Luton Roll of Honour he is described as a sergeant. A Luton News report said he was promoted to sergeant in the field while serving at Gallipoli in August 1915.

Born near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in early 1890, he was the son of George and Isabella McCormick, and had five brothers and three sisters.

Private Walter George Bryan


Pte Walter George Bryan, 18238, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action on the Somme on or after July 15th, 1916. He was aged 30.

Pte Bryan is included on the Luton Roll of Honour but without an address. Military records also say he resided in Luton and enlisted at Bedford, but there were no reports in the Luton Press about him or his death around that time.

Private Lionel Ralph Worsley


Pte Lionel Ralph Worsley, 3/7730, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in the Big Advance at the start of the Battle of the Somme on July 1st, 1916. He was aged 33, married and lived at 24 Ash Road, Luton.

He and his comrades had leapt over the parapet, and Lionel, a bomber, was pointing out to his gunner pal a number of enemy troops in a trench when a sniper shot him in the head. He fell back into his comrades arms and died instantly. The Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph said he had been buried in a hero's grave at Carnoy.

Private Horace Marlow

Horace Marlow was born in Sundon, Bedfordshire in 1901. He was 1 of 9 children born to Frederick & Emma.

In 1911 he is aged 10 & living with his family in Sundon. His eldest brother George is 18 years old & working as a chalk digger in a lime works, his 16 year old brother Arthur is a truck driver & 14 year old brother Fred is a farm labourer with his 43 year old father. Ivy Sarah aged 8 is also at school whilst their 44 year old mother is at home looking after 2 year old Doris & 3 week old Evelyn (Cissie).


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