Pte Herbert Harold Howkins, 11888, 11th Royal Fusiliers, was reported to have been killed in action on the Somme on September 25th, 1916. He was aged 31.
He was the son of the late John Howkins (died 1892), who had been licensee of the Fox pub in Dunstable Road. His mother, Harriet, remarried in 1895 and lived under her new married name of Seabrook at 134 Dallow Road, Luton.
Capt G. W. Morgan wrote to Mrs Seabrook: "Pte Howkins was a machine gunner, and was hit by a shell and died instantly. The same shell killed four and wounded other men of the same section.
Many men of the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road enlisted at the outbreak of war, and a significant number were to lay down their lives for their country. Like other large Luton firms, it concentrated on Government work during the duration of the war, and offered help in other ways too.
In November 1914, managing director Mr H. Newsome Davis, backed by employees, offered to adapt their social club, the Davis Institute, for use as a 20-bed Red Cross hospital. Lady Alice Wernher offered to meet the expense of medical equipment and furnishings.