Originally Captain-Lieutenant, becoming Captain in 1772. Lat. capitaneus "chieftain", from Lat. caput "head". Chieftain or head of a unit. As armies evolved his post came to be at the head of a company, which by the Sixteenth Century was usually 100 to 200 men. That seemed to be the number one man could manage in battle.

Captain William Henry Coate

Capt William Henry Coate, Munster Fusiliers*, was killed in action at Kakaraska on October 25th, 1917. He was the eldest son of the Rev Harry Coate, Vicar of St Matthew's Church, Luton, since 1894.

An architect by profession, he was born in London in 1889. In his younger days he had played a prominent role in the Church Lads' Brigade at his father's church and became a skilful bugler. as a cadet he had been chosen to play the calls at a review of troops.

Captain Harry Cunvin Horsford


Captain Harry Cunvin Horsford, 5th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 8th, 1917. He was aged 29.

Born in Stoke Newington, London, he moved as a baby with parents Frank and Annie Horsford and family to Luton. By 1911 and at the time of Harry's death, the family were living in Hendon.

Captain Gwynne Evan Owen Williams

Gwynne Evan Owen Williams was born in Luton in April 1881. He was the eldest son of 6 children born to Alderman Herbert Owen & Edith Jane.

He was a pupil at Bedford Grammar School & in 1911 a medical student living away from home in a student's house in St Pancras whilst studying at University College Hospital in London.

He served as assistant medical officer at Lewisham Infirmary and surgical registrar at the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, Greenwich.

Captain Edward Emil Simeons


Captain Edward Emil Simeons, 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, died on February 17th, 1916, from shell wounds sustained in action near Ypres the previous day. He was aged 22.

Although the second son of Carl and Edith Simeons, of Blyth Road, Bromley, Kent, he had since 1910 lived with his uncle, Thomas Arthur Cawley, principal of the British Gelatine Works in New Bedford Road, Luton, and lived at Lea Dale, New Bedford Road. Edward was an apprentice at the Gelatine Works and there seems to have been a a further family link in that his father was a gelatine merchant.

Captain Walter William Brown

The award of the Military Cross to Luton-born Sec Lieut Walter William (Bill) Brown (Royal Field Artillery), who had originally enlisted in the Canadian Infantry when in North America in October 1914, was reported in the Tuesday Telegraph of January 14th, 1919. He was son of hat manufacturer Walter E. Brown and his wife Georgina, of 6 Dunstable Road, Luton.

Captain Bernard Arthur Smart

Bernard Arthur was born 24th December 1891 in Luton to Charles & Kate Smart.

Bernard was working as a straw hat manufacturer in 1911 & living at Charlton House, 183 Castle Street  with his mother & father, who was a straw plait merchant & his sisters Muriel & Margery.

Bernard qualified as a pilot 24 July 1916 aged 24  becoming a Captain in the Royal Naval Air Service and was noted as a celebrated pilot in WW1.

Captain Brian Clarke Cumberland

Brian was born 11th March 1889, the only son of Hugh Cumberland J.P Land Agent & Auctioneer & Jeanie nee Clarke. In 1901 he was at a boys boarding school in Harpenden, but in the 1911 census he is home with his sisters, mother & father at The Lynchets, Hart Hill.

Before joining the Bedfordshire regiment, he passed his exams to become a member of the Auctioneers & Surveyors Institute so he could join the family business who's offices were in Castle Street.


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