Lat. serviens servant to a knight in medieval times. The English borrowed the word sergeant from the French in about the Thirteenth Century. Meaning "non-commissioned military officer" first recorded 1548.  Originally a much more important rank than presently.

Sergeant Albert James Beaumont


Sgt Albert James "Bert" Beaumont, 9/8002, attached to 27th Training Reserve Battalion, died on December 12th, 1916, following several operations for internal complaints, including appendicitis, at hospital in St Albans.

Born in Markyate on July 21st, 1892, he lived his whole life in the village until he enlisted in the Beds Regiment (13391) at Luton in September 1914. He was the son of High Street, Markyate, butcher Frederick Beaumont and had worked in the family business.

Sergeant Peter Pieraccini


Sgt Peter Pieraccini, 19744, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 12th, 1916.

Born in Luton, he was the son of James and Elizabeth Pieraccini, of 19 May Street, Luton. He married Ethel May Dyer in 1906 and lived at 4 Manchester Place, Dunstable, with their six children.

A friend who was with him before they went into action wrote to his widow that Peter had been reported missing but was then found by another battalion to have been killed.

Sergeant William Ginger


Sgt William Ginger, 18144, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 12th, 1916.

The father of three sons and three daughters, he had married Mary Jane Goodge in 1898 and was living in Summer Street, Slip End. The Flamstead-born soldier was a labourer working for builders T. & E. Neville, of Castle Street, Luton, before he joined up on December 7th, 1914.


Sergeant Henry Ewart Rawlings

Henry Ewart Rawlings was born in 1886 in Cricklewood, Middlesex. 1 of 5 children born to Sarah & George, a railway engine driver.

In 1911 he is living with his family at 106 Chetwynd Road, Highgate, London, he is 25 years old & working as a railway clerk.

His mother Sarah is 55 & widowed, elder brother George is 28 a motor car engine fitter & younger brother Jack is a general clerk for a antiques dealer. They have a lodger living with them, 17 year old Sidney Beck who is working as a boy clerk for the government.

Sergeant Arthur Huckle


Sgt Arthur Huckle, 18233, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 15th, 1916.

Born in Clophill in 1882, he married Ellen Richardson in 1901. At the time of the 1911 Census Arthur was a cowman on a farm at Haynes Church End, Beds, and the couple had four children - Emily, aged 8, George, 6, John, 4, and William, 1.

Sergeant William Ellingham


Sgt William Ellingham, one of the first Lutonians to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, was killed in action on the Somme on August 18th, 1916. He was a son of Arthur and Annie Ellingham, of 8 Jubilee Street, Luton, and served in the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers.

In November 1915 Sgt Ellingham, then a lance corporal, came to England on leave and married Mabel Louisa Ward from Castleford in the Yorkshire town on November 5th. He had been stationed at Pontefract, Yorks, in 1911 and it was while there he probably met Mabel.

Sergeant William Henry Bunyan


Sgt William Henry Bunyan, 19010, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on August 9th, 1916. He was a Lutonian who had previously served with the Bedfords and had been living at Ash Vale, Surrey, before rejoining his regiment at the outbreak of war.

Sgt Bunyan had lived at 39 Cobden Street for many years and had a sister-in-law living in Collingdon Street. He was born in Luton in 1873 to Mary Ann and the late William Bunyan (died 1876).

Sergeant William Anthony Phypers


Sgt William Phypers, 2057, 12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, died in a casualty clearing station in France on July 17th, 1916, after being severely wounded on June 29th and lying unattended in No Man's Land between the trenches for a whole day before being picked up. The spell of exposure was reported to be ultimately the cause cause of his death.

Sergeant Ronald McCormick


Ronald McCormick, 3142, 1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment, died of enteric fever (typhoid) at the 18th Stationary Hospital, Suez, on July 16th, 1916. He was aged 26.

Military records show him as a lance-corporal or corporal, while on the Luton Roll of Honour he is described as a sergeant. A Luton News report said he was promoted to sergeant in the field while serving at Gallipoli in August 1915.

Born near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in early 1890, he was the son of George and Isabella McCormick, and had five brothers and three sisters.

Sergeant William Hyde

Sgt William Hyde, 13379, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died in the 21st Casualty Clearing Station in France on July 2nd, 1916, from wounds sustained the previous day at the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Born and living in Toddington, he was the son of George and Mary Ann Hyde. He left a widow, Alice, and one child, Alice Elizabeth, who were later living at 45 Collingdon Street, Luton. He is included on the Luton Roll of Honour.

Sergeant Percy Edward Rickard


Prominent Luton athlete Sgt Percy Edward Rickard, 3/8141, 7th Bedfords, was killed instantly while in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme - July 1st, 1916.

Well before official confirmation was received, parents William and Lucy Rickard, of 45 Crawley Road, Luton, had had letters from comrades who saw him fall.

Sergeant Albert Edward Holdstock

Albert Edward Holdstock was born in Luton in 1896.

In 1911 he is 15 years old & working as a manufacturer's assistant. He is living with his family at No 20 Stanley Street. His father Samuel is 43 & working as a labourer for a timber merchants, his mother Lizzie also 43, is a straw hat machinist & his younger brother Hedley is 13 and at school.

Sergeant Levi Welch Gazeley

Levi Welch Gazeley was born in October 1877 in Round Green, Luton.

In 1891 he is 13 years old. He is working as a tailor & living with his family at 170 North Street. His father Frederick Welch Gazeley is 34 years old & working in the hat trade as a plait collector. Levi's sister, 18 year old Florence Butterfield is also working in the hat trade as a straw hat finisher. Their mother Rose Anna 39 is at home looking after the younger siblings, Benjamin aged 10, 8 year old Charlotte & Alice May who is 5.

Sergeant Colin Campbell Daniels

Colin Campbell Daniels was born in Salford, Lancashire in 1894, the eldest of three children born to William Robert and Lily.

In 1901 he is seven years old and living at 52 Old Lane, Chadderton, Oldham, Lancashire. His father is working as a weighing machine fitter and his mother is at home looking after Colin, his five-year-old sister Edith and his two-year-old brother William.

Sergeant Harry Pestell


Sgt Harry Pestell, 16949, C Company, 7th Bedfords, was killed in action near Fricourt, France, on January 21st, 1916. He was aged 29.

Born in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, in 1887, he had for about 14 years made his home with Ernest and Fanny Barford, who at the time of Harry's death were running a grocery stores at 44 Old Bedford Road, Luton. Harry was working as a grocer's assistant at the shop at the time of the 1911 Census.


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