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 James Gwilym Tooth

James Gwilym Tooth was a boy of 14 years when he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a trumpeter, following his father's footsteps into Army life.

He was born in Woolwich, Kent in 1891.

In 1901 the family are living at Shoeburyness barracks in Essex. His father James is 38 years old & a Staff Sergeant in the R.G.A, his mother Emily is 34 & at home looking after 10 year old James, Irene 8, Gwendoline 7 & 2 year old Dorothy.

Sergeant Bernard Vincent Webb

Bernard Vincent Webb was the son of George Webb, a dentist of Westbourne Road, Luton, and his wife Elizabeth.

Bernard was just 17 when he enlisted with the Bedfordshire Regiment in September 1914. He told the recruiting officer he was 19!

Whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion Munster Fusiliers he was wounded at Gallipoli, on the Ottoman Peninsula, just over a year later with a gun shot wound to the hand.

Sergeant Matthew Little

Matthew Millar Little was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1889.  At the outbreak of the First World War he was a coal miner but joined the Scottish Rifles (Reserves).  This is a photograph taken in 1914, with Matthew's wife, Elizabeth, and eldest son, Alexander.  Private Little's Great Granddaughter is a Lutonian and has worked for Luton Libraries for the past 12 years.

Sergeant Thomas Worker

Thomas was the son of Clara and Thomas Worker of Barton who had two sons killed and one severely wounded. Thomas was killed in action on April 23rd 1917. His brother Charles lost a leg on 21st March 1918 and their brother Sidney was killed the following day.

The National Roll (mostly submitted by families) describes Thomas's service as follows: He volunteered in October 1915 and in the following July was sent to France. During his service on the Western Front he fought at the battle of Ypres, the Somme, and was unfotunately killed in action at Arras on April 23rd 1917.


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