Victory Medal

Private William Thomas Clark

Pte William Thomas Clark, 20882, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Gentelles on the Somme in France on April 5th, 1918.

He had joined the Army on June 7th, 1915, and went out to France for the first time in the following February. He was wounded in April 1917 but recovered in England and returned to the Front. Prior to enlistment he was employed as a plait dyer by E. W. Hart & Co, Windmill Road.

Lance Corporal Ernest David Rattle

L-Cpl Ernest David Rattle, 40902, 1st Herts Regiment, was killed in action in France on March 23rd, 1918. His widow, in ill health and with five small children under the age of seven to care for in Luton, had heard nothing from him since March 18th.

Ernest had been promised home leave, and widow Alice at 12 Naseby Road, Luton, was daily expecting a telegram to say he was on his way. But it was not until August 1919 that the War Office concluded that he had been killed in action or died of wounds on March 23rd, 1918.

Private George William Draper

Pte George William Draper, 82855, 3rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps, was killed in action in France on March 28th, 1918. He was aged 35 and married with one child.

He had joined the Bedfordshire Regiment (8373) on October 27th, 1916, and was trained at Halton. He first got to France on March 1st, 1917, and after a period of service there was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, undergoing further training at Mansfield.

Before joining up, George was employed as a straw plait buncher at the bleaching and dyeing works of Rogers & Ashby in Dunstable Road.

Sapper Frank Percy King

Sapper Frank Percy King, 522158, 483rd Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action on the Somme on April 2nd, 1918. He was aged 22 and single.

A comrade wrote to parents Frederick and Martha King at 127 Park Street, Luton: "I have some sad news to tell you. we lost an old Park Street boy, killed the last day we were in the line - Easter Tuesday. He was a jolly nice fellow, a little older than myself, and we had some very nice talks together about Park Street, for he and I were the only two Park Street boys in the Company."

Private Percy Young

Pte Percy Young, 33150, 9th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, was reported missing, presumed killed, on May 3rd, 1917. It was nearly a year later that parents William and Louisa Young, of Breachwood Green, received confirmation of his death on that date.

Percy was the youngest of the couple's four serving sons. He initially joined the Bedfordshire Regiment (5513) in October 1915 and was trained at Halton Park. He went to France and was transferred to the 8th Leicesters in January 1917.

Private Thomas Carruthers

Pte Thomas Carruthers, 30635, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds in France on March 29th, 1918. It was not until the following December that news reached his widowed mother Julia that her son had died of wounds two days after being captured as a prisoner of war.

His Red Cross report said his death followed the shattering of his left upper arm. He was buried in the cemetery at Damery in France.

Private Walter George Dillingham

Pte Walter George Dillingham, 26572, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action in France on March 28th, 1918.

Although born in Luton, a son of Daniel and Sarah Dillingham, of 4a Essex Street, Luton, he had spent most of his adult life living in Bedford. In the 1901 Census he was working as a fishmonger living in Tavistock Place, Bedford, with two visitors - sisters Fanny and Eliza Stokes. On August 12th, 1906, he married Fanny and they were to have three children. In the 1911 Census he was described as a flower hawker.

Lance Corporal Percy John Cobb

L-Cpl Percy John Cobb, 42279, 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment, was killed in action in France on March 28th, 1918. He was aged 19 and single.

An old boy of Queen Square School, he was the son of John and Alma Cobb, of 126 New Town Street, Luton, he worked as a blockmaker for Mr Edward Mouse, of Gordon Street.

He joined the Bedfordshire Regiment on reaching his 18th birthday, and was transferred to the Essex Regiment on crossing the Channel in January 1918. He had been in France for three months.

Private William Arthur Smith

Pte William Arthur Smith, 13302, 6th Battalion East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), was killed in action on March 28th, 1918. At the time his widow Nellie was making desperate attempts to contact her husband in the hope he could get leave, as his father was dangerously ill. But it was a year later before her husband's death was confirmed.

Private John Wood

Pte John Wood, 30700, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on March 27th, 1918. He had joined the Beds Regiment in July 1916 and was wounded about a year before his death.

Born in Luton in 1882, a son of George and Louisa Wood, he married Annie Louisa Young at St Matthew's Church, Luton, on October 7th, 1908. The couple had one child, Percy John, born in late 1909.

Private Frederick William Hoar

Pte Frederick William Hoar, 25528, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds in France on March 27th*, 1918. He was aged 23, single and a member of the Lewis gun section.

He was the son of Alfred and Ellen Hoar, of 37 Cowper Street, Luton. Before the war he was a boot maker employed by Mr Edward Hudson, of Dunstable Road.

Newspaper reports said his family had been informed that Frederick died on March 22nd. A family announcement in The Luton News from his "devoted sweetheart Edith" also carried a date of March 22nd.

Private Albert Joseph Tomlinson

Pte Albert Joseph Tomlinson, 41419, 11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, was killed in action on March 21st, 1918, the opening day of the German spring offensive.

He was the only son of Alfred Joseph and Harriet Ann Tomlinson, of Sundon, and had worked for Luton butcher Mr William Panter in Park Street before enlistment. [Mr Panter died soon afterwards, on April 16th, after a long illness.]

Albert had joined a Training Reserve in February 1917 at the age of 19, and was transferred to the Suffolk Regiment in the following September.

Private Walter Henry Halsey

Pte Walter Henry Halsey, 37787, 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, was killed in action in France on March 26th*, 1918, during the German spring offensive. He was aged 37 and been married a little over a year.

He had married Alice Maud Womwell by special licence at Christ Church, Luton, on January 24th, 1917. In a letter to Alice at 20 Ivy Road, Luton, her husband's captain wrote: "Your husband was unfortunately killed on the evening of the 26th. It will console you to know that he suffered no pain, as he was killed instantly by a machine gun bullet."

Private William James Bass

Pte William James Bass, 29668, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 24th, 1918, early in the German spring offensive.

He had seen 18 months service in France and was previously employed by Mr T. G. Hobbs in Luton.

The 1911 Census shows him living in Limbury Road, Leagrave, one of eight surviving children of James and Clara Jane Bass.

On July 29th, 1912, he married Louisa Scrivener, who also lived in Limbury Road, and records suggest they had two children - Elsie born in 1914 and William in 1916.

Private Albert Claude Woodward

Pte Albert Claude Woodward, 41541, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on March 22nd, 1918, during the German spring offensive on the Somme. He was aged 19 and single.

At the time of enlistment at the age of 18 in February 1917, Albert was employed by cycle dealer Ernest Starke, of 44 Castle Street.

He was one of ten surviving children of Thomas Robert and Emma Woodward, of 132 Dallow Road, Luton. He was an old boy of Waller Street School, attended King Street Congregational Sunday School and had been an amateur footballer.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Victory Medal