Pte Henry Bunyan MM, 33018, 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action in the battle of the Lys in Flanders on April 26th, 1918, when the Allies were about to halt the German spring offensive of 1918.
He had joined the 5th Bedfords (3666) just before the outbreak of war and was mobilised when hostilities began. After being drafted to France he fought at Ypres, Arras, Messines and on the Somme. He gained his Military Medal for bravery in the field in October 1917.
Spr John Winfield Trussell, 489931, 46th Division Signal Coy, Royal Engineers, died in a casualty clearing station in France on October 7th, 1918, from wounds sustained in action. Poignantly, he was due to receive the Military Medal he had been awarded.
In a letter to his father Harry Trussell, of 15 Vicarage Street, Luton, a chaplain wrote: “You son was wounded at our headquarters, and when he left for hospital we quite hoped he would soon recover. But, alas, our hopes were never realised. He was a skilled telephonist and we shall miss him very much indeed.”
L-Cpl John (Jack) Hayden Healey MM, 102086, 15th Sherwood Foresters (Derby & Notts Regiment), was killed in action at Kemmel Hill, near Ypres in Flanders, on July 16, 1918. He was aged 29 and single and had been a journalist, latterly employed by The Luton News.
In a letter dated July 19th, 1918, to parents Arthur and Florence Ann Healey at 31 Court Road, Luton, a chaplain George Smissen informed them that their eldest son was killed in action three days previously.
L-Cpl William Gentle MM, 13200, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action at Meteren in France on April 14th, 1918, while tending the wounded on the battlefield. He was attached to 11th Field Company Royal Engineers.
Chaplain the Rev Lincoln Dudley wrote to widow Kate that her husband had gone out on an errand of mercy and, on his return, was hit by a splinter of shell and killed instantly.
Pte George William Bone MM, 90015, 137th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1918, along with fellow stretcher-bearer and Lutonian Pte Thomas Ralph Corney. They were carrying a wounded officer from the trenches when all three were killed by a shell. Pte Bone had earned the Military Medal in September 1917 after being wounded while carrying an injured man a distance of 350 yards under shell fire.
Pte Andrew Wood MM, 12951, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, is recorded as having been killed in action in Flanders on November 13th, 1917, although in a letter to his parents an officer said his death occurred on the morning of the 14th.
Second Lieut Vivian E, Farr wrote: "It is with infinite regret I have to inform you of the death of your son, Pte Wood (reserve stretcher-bearer) on the morning on November 14th. The battalion was holding a newly captured position, and was being subjected to heavy machine gun fire.
Driver Horace Gwynn Harding, 810760, 'A' Battery, 232nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, died in the 61st Casualty Clearing Station in Flanders on September 15th, 1917, from the effects of a gas attack the previous day.
Driver Harding had been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. That was presented to his mother Florence Annie, of 87 Saxon Road, by the Mayor of Luton, Councillor Charles Dillingham, in March 1918 at the Winter Assembly Hall in Luton.
Sgt Albert William (Bert) Mead, 22714, 142nd Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died in Flanders on June 16th, 1917, from wounds sustained in action the previous day. The holder of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal, he had been mentioned in despatches on several occasions.
Pte Frederick Harold Wightman MM, 14761, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Arras in France on April 23rd, 1917. He was aged 22.
No report of his death appears to have been published in local newspapers around that time, although he is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour as a recipient of the Military Medal. However, a report in the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (February 1st, 1919)said Pte Wightman had been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry during the Battle of Arras.
Military Medal winner L-Cpl Robert Stokes, 12329, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on August 9th, 1916. He was still listed as "missing" when parents Samuel and Phoebe Stokes, of 10 Alfred Street, Luton, learned that their eldest son, Pte Samuel Stokes, aged 30, had also been killed in France - on October 25th, 1916.
L-Cpl Edwin Granville Harvey, 14925, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme at Longueval on July 24th, 1916. He was aged 21.
He had joined the Colours on September 4th, 1914, and went to France the following April. He was gassed at Hill 60 and blown up by a mine in November 1915, requiring eight weeks of hospital treatment. After 15 months in the trenches he was killed by a shell while serving his Lewis gun.
In 1911 he is living at 6 Hibbert Street with his family. His father William George is 44 & is a self employed straw hat manufacturer working at home, with wife Mary 46, assisting him. Kate Elizabeth is 21 & a straw hat machinist, William 19 is a labourer in a foundry, Olive May 10 & 7 year old George Percy, are at school. Horace is 15 years old & is a boot repairer.