Victory Medal

Private Bert Clarke

Pte Bert (Bertie) Clarke, 96779, 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was reported missing, later killed in action, in France on May 27th, 1918. He was one of three sons of widow Mary Ann Clarke, of 338 Hitchin Road, Luton to have served and the second to die.

Born in Slip End in 1899, Bert was described as a chemical labourer in the 1911 Census. He enlisted in August 1917 and was drafted to France in April 1918.

Private Herbert Abrams

Pte Herbert Abrams, 14839, 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action in France on September 18th, 1918.

Forces Chaplain, the Rev L. Walters, wrote to his mother Sarah at 99 Oak Road, Luton, informing her that her son was wounded in the abdomen by a sniper's bullet, and died immediately or soon after being hit.

Herbert was born in Harpenden on January 5th, 1897, a son of Samuel and Sarah Abrams. The family had moved to Luton by the time of the 1911 Census, when they were living at 20 Maple Road.

Private George Jack Bacchus

Pte George Jack Bacchus, 57178, 12th North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales) Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on September 12th, 1918. He left a widow and four children at 3 Burr Street, Luton.

Pte Bacchus had been in hospital for six months prior to his death, suffering from shell shock. He underwent an operation, and was subsequently discharged from hospital and went again up to the line. He had been serving for only a day or two when he met his death.

Sergeant Frederick William Dawzie Rowley

Sgt Frederick William Dawzie Rowley MM, 6535, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action during the advance on Bapaume on August 21st, 1918. Born in Luton in 1880, he had lived in the Middlesex area since serving in the Boer War and had completed almost 21 years in the Army.

Frederick had won the Military Medal for his devotion to duty at Vimy Ridge, and had been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Private James Barnard Watkins

Pte James Barnard Watkins, 11021, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on September 3rd, 1918, from wounds sustained in action at Gezaincourt in France. He had returned from home leave only a week earlier, and had crossed over from Dover on August 29th.

A letter of sympathy from a Chaplain informed parents James Barnard and Alice Maud Watkins, of 125a North Street, Luton, that he had would be burying their eldest son on September 4th at a military cemetery. In due course a cross would be erected over his grave.

Private Aubrey Chance

Pte Aubrey Chance, 49556, 1/1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment, was killed instantly in action when hit by a shell during fighting in France on August 26th, 1918. He was aged 19 and single.

Born in 1899, Aubrey was a son of William and Jemima Chance, of 20 Vicarage Street, Luton. He was still at school at the time of the 1911 Census.

Before joining the Colours he was employed as a carter by Mr Stanley Tilcock, of Castle Street.

Lance Corporal Hubert Edley Carrington

L-Cpl Hubert Edley Carrington, 60126, 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on September 20th, 1917. But it was a year before the War Office confirmed his death on the Menin Road, near Ypres, to widow Ethel at 98 Cambridge Street, Luton.

Hubert had been a bandsman in the 5th Beds Volunteers. He was in camp with the regiment when war broke out, and he was mobilised with the Territorial Force (no. 40412).

Private Frederick Leslie Bland

Pte Frederick Leslie Bland, 77681, 13th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (County of London Regiment), was killed in action in France on August 23rd, 1918. He was the youngest son of Martha Elizabeth and George William Bland, stationmaster at Chiltern Green [station pictured just before closure in 1952].

Frederick had been called up on December 28th, 1917, and underwent training at Brocton Camp. He was placed in the Royal Fusiliers and sent out to France at the end of March 1918. He was 18 on October 14th, 1917.

Gunner Charles Richard Mellor

Gunner Charles Richard Mellor, 656450, 82nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, died on August 19th, 1918, in the 12th General Hospital, Rouen, in France, as a result of having been gassed in action. He had been married only four months.

Born in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on March 12th, 1899, he had joined the Staffordshire R.F.A. when aged only 16½. He was stationed at Biscot for eight months and met his future wife, Luton girl Daisy Holton, while there.

Private Fred Clark

Pte Fred Clark, 103495, 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment), died in the 2nd Canadian Hospital in France on August 19th, 1918, as a result of gas shell poisoning while in action. He was aged 38 and married.

Fred had joined the Beds Regiment (No 30811) in July 1916 and went to France the following November. In May 1917 he was wounded by a bullet in the chest, but recovered to go to France again in March 1918, when he was transferred to the Notts & Derby Regiment.

Private Edward Gatward

Pte Edward Gatward, 19785, 1st Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on or soon after November 15th, 1917. Ten months later, parents George and Sarah Ann Gatward, of 61 Hartley Road, Luton, had heard no news of him but were still hopeful that he was alive.

Widow Rose and her four children Violet, George, Winifred and Phyllis, of 27 Cumberland Street, Luton, had previously received notification that her husband had been wounded earlier in France, on February 17th, 1917.

Private William Henry Wilson

Pte William Henry Wilson, 88025, 3rd Cavalry Division Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in France on August 9th, 1918. He was aged 25 and single.

His chaplain wrote to widowed mother Lizzie Ann Wilson at 10 South Road, Luton, that on the night of the 9th a bomb was dropped on the dressing station where William was working, killing him instantly.

Lance Corporal John Hayden Healey

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.

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