Four Lutonians killed in Ypres bombardment


Fifty-seven men of the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, including four from Luton and one from Sundon, were killed when the Germans made a successful attack on British front line trenches near Ypres on April 19th, 1916.

However, after paying a visit of the Battalion Headquarters at the Front, the Divisional General congratulated the Commanding Officer on the battalion's coolness and steadiness in action under a most fierce bombardment lasting eight hours. From information obtained from German prisoners, it had been discovered that 1,000 enemy troops were launched to attack immediately after the bombardment. The Germans stated that they had taken about 37 prisoners.

The General Officer left a message to the effect that he wished all ranks "to be informed that the Division are proud to have such a splendid Battalion serving with them as the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment has proved itself during the operations of the past few days, in withstanding after heavy artillery bombardment an attack with the odds against them".

The Luton men killed were Pte Charles Ellingham, Pte William Ernest Gore, Pte Frederick Thomas Sharp and Pte John Alfred Marlow, who was listed as missing at the time with the possibility that he had been taken prisoner.

From Sundon, Pte Albert George Cox was among those listed killed in action. And L-Cpl Frederick Horace Goodwin, who worked for the Great Northern Railway in Luton but lived at Pulloxhill, was also killed.