Arras Memorial

Private Stanley George Maskell

Pte Stanley George Maskell, 29209, Essex Regiment, was killed in action on April 28th, 1917. He was aged 30.

A letter to his widow, Bertha, at the couple's home at 168 Dallow Road, Luton, from Lieut Jessop said Pte Maskell was missing after an engagement in France on April 28th and there was no further information about him. Her husband's last letter home was written on April 24th.

Private William Charles Griffiths

Pte William Charles Griffiths, 29183, 9th Battalion Essex Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 30th, 1917. He was 30 years old.

His married sister Emma Mary received notification that her brother went into action on April 30th and was missing from that date. Worcester-born William was lodging at 2 Arthur Street, Houghton Regis, with his sister at the time of the 1911 Census and was working as a miller for her husband, Arthur James Smith.

Private Albert Dawson

Pte Albert Dawson, G/61108, 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on May 28th, 1917. He was aged 40.

Born in Lilley in 1876, he was living in Marson Place, Stopsley, with Lizzie and their five children and had worked as a bricklayer's labourer. He had married Lizzie Crick in 1900 and children Frederick Albert, Gladys May, Florence Mabel, Hubert Frank and Marjorie were born between 1901 and 1911.

Albert is commemorated on the Stopsley War Memorial.

Private Harry Edgar Silsby

Pte Harry Edgar Silsby (Silsbey), 25437, 6th Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action on May 3rd, 1917, although it was nearly a year before official confirmation arrived with his family.

A letter from a sergeant in the Northants Regiment was the first indication widow Annie Silsby, of 96 Spencer Road, Luton, received that her husband was seriously wounded on May 3rd, when he was left in a shell hole to await help.

Private Frederick Herbert Smith

Pte Frederick Herbert Smith, 228139, 1st Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action, having been reported missing on April 28th, 1917.

The 19-year-old was the eldest son of Henry William (Harry) and Harriett Smith, of 109 New Town Street, Luton. He enlisted in the Cambridge Regiment as an 18-year-old and, after training at Halton, went to France on March 24th, 1917. In April he was transferred to the Royal Fusiliers.

Frederick Smith was an old boy of Surrey Street School and a member of Park Street Baptist Church.

Private Sidney George Burnage

Pte Sidney George Burnage, 50638, 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, was killed in action in France on May 8th, 1917. He was aged 28 and had been married for just under a year.

The news was sent by a chaplain to his widow, Florence, whom he had married in June 1916. Florence was living with Sidney's parents, Walter John and Agnes Burnage, at 108 Tennyson Road, Luton. Sidney was their second son, who was educated at Waller Street School, Luton.

Private George Davis

Pte George Davis, 202772, 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 28th, 1917. He was the son of William and Lizzie (Elizabeth) Davis, of Stopsley Green.

Aged 23, he worked at the Hayward Tyler Foundry and was engaged to Stopsley girl Edith Jarvis. He is commemorated on the Stopsley War Memorial.

Private Arthur Thomas Cain

Pte Arthur Thomas Cain, 29204, 13th Battalion Essex Regiment, was killed in action on April 28th, 1917. The 36-year-old had initially been reported missing.

Born and bred in Stopsley, he was the son of Cyrus and Selina Cain, who lived in the village. He had married Minnie Winifred Buckingham in 1902 and the couple had seven children. At the time of Arthur's death the family lived at Ramridge End, Stopsley. He is commemorated on the Stopsley War Memorial.

Minnie remarried in 1919, her new husband being Albert Pratt.

Private Sidney Soper

Pte Sidney Soper, G/42342 (G/5152 in some records), 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action near Arras on April 23rd, 1917.

A letter from Capt Pollard, a Lutonian in his regiment, wrote to parents Walter and Elizabeth Soper at 241 High Town Road to say their son was missing after going over the top with his company in an attack on the morning of April 23rd. He was not present when the roll was called the next day.

Private Albert Charles Smith

Pte Albert Charles Smith, 3/6620, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on or soon after May 14th, 1917. He was aged 22 and left a widow, Daisy, living at 3 Surrey Street, Luton.

The eldest son of Albert and Elizabeth Smith, of 25 Buxton Road, Luton, he enlisted in the Beds Regiment at the outbreak of war. He was drafted to France in October 1914 and received a bayonet wound just below the heart three weeks after his arrival. In August 1916 he was again wounded, by a shotgun wound to the leg.

Private Sidney Cleaver

Pte Sidney Cleaver, 3433, 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action on or shortly after April 28th, 1917. He left a widow, Florence Kate, and a baby daughter, Phyllis Ellen.

Sidney had written three or four letters a week to Florence before they suddenly ceased. It was then that a lady church worker at St Saviour's gave the first intimation of Sidney's fate. As he was on the church roll of honour, Sidney was sent a monthly letter from the church. The last one sent had been returned with "wounded" written on the envelope.

Private Arthur George White

Pte Arthur George White, 266358, 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action on or soon after May 3rd, 1917. After not hearing from her son, Mrs Minnie White, sent a food parcel addressed to him that was received by her son's friend, Pte Rolfe.

It was he who wrote to say that Pte White was last seen on May 3rd by a comrade who saw him lying in a shell hole. Official notification that he was missing arrived shortly afterwards.

Private Frederick John Moorhead

Pte Frederick John Moorhead, 50151, 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action near Arras on May 4th, 1917.

Second Lieut Guy Chipperfield, in charge of his her husband's platoon, wrote in a letter to widow Eleanor that Pte Moorhead was killed by a shell while on a night carrying party. "He was unfortunately buried by the shell, and will probably be reported 'Missing, believe killed' but there is, I fear, no doubt as to his fate."

Private Charles William Peet

Pte Charles William Peet, 22170, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was reported missing, believed killed, near Arras on May 3rd, 1917.

War Office notification that he was missing was received by his sister at 64 Warwick Road, Luton.

The son of Johnathan and Ellen Peet, he was born at Greenfield in Bedfordshire in 1878, Charles Peet was an employee of George Kent Ltd before enlisting in October 1916. He proceeded to the Front in March 1917 after a short period of training.

Sergeant William Cyril Frederick Charles Meakins

Sgt William Cyril Frederick Charles Meakins, 3635, 51st Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), was killed in action on April 23rd, 1917. He had been badly wounded in the abdomen and was unable to move from right up against the German wire. A comrade who tried to help him placed him in a shell hole, but was unable to find him when he returned for him later that night.

Sgt Meakins, known as Cyril, was initially reported missing, believed killed, before parents William and Ada at 12a Cardigan Street, Luton, were officially informed on May 28th.


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