Private Archie Hurry

Pte Archie Oliver death Hurry, 238021, 12th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on July 16th, 1917. His brother Harry, with whom he enlisted, had died on the battlefield just a few days earlier.

There appears to be no record in Luton newspapers of Archie's death, although family announcements in May 1917 seem to indicate that both Archie and Harry married on the same day - May 21st, 1917, at Christ Church - Archie's bride being Lily May Tuffnell.

Private Arthur William Purser

Pte Arthur William Purser, 13857, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was severely wounded on the Somme on July 1st, 1916. For the next 12 months he underwent operations in hospital. In July 1917 he was sent home on leave to prepare for a further operation. On July 20th he died in uniform at home in Toddington, at the age of 32.

Mr Albert Arthur Oakley

Councillor and former Mayor of Luton Albert Arthur Oakley died on June 24th, 1917, following an accident in which he was thrown from his pony and trap in Ash Road, Luton, three days previously.

He was aged 63, twice married, had five sons and a daughter and lived at Hillcroft, High Town Road, Luton. A Primitive Methodist in religion and a Radical in politics, he had co-founded the well-respected grocery and provisions business of Oakley Bros, of 6 Chapel Street and 85 High Town Road.

Lance Corporal Aubrey Oliver Pryer

L-Cpl Aubrey Oliver Pryer, 23418, 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on May 6th, 1917, from wounds sustained in the Battle of Arras. He was aged 23.

Comrade Pte A. J. White wrote to parents John and Emily Agnes Pryer at 51 Belmont Road, Luton, to inform tham that 'Monty' [L-Cpl Pryer] had died from serious wounds. News came down the line that he was wounded and was being conveyed down later in the day.

Mr Charles Griffin


Charles Griffin, previously head of police at Clitheroe, Lancashire, was appointed Luton's new Chief Constable on April 3rd, 1917, by the unanimous decision of the Town Council. His new job followed the death of previous Luton police chief David Teale on December 13th, 1916. Mr Griffin took up his duties officially on May 8th.

The new police chief was 34 years old and married but with no children. He had 11 years and 29 days approved service in the police, but had 13½ years of practical experience of police duties.

Mr Horace John William Crump


Horace John William Crump was one of two men to die following an accident at the George Kent munition works at Chaul End on January 8th, 1917.

Born and bred in Caddington, he had moved to live at 90 Ash Road, Luton, with wife Ada Elizabeth and their seven children. The bricklayer's labourer was working as a labourer at the Chaul End works at the time of his death.

Mr David Teale


Chief Constable David Teale, the man credited with having built up the Luton Borough Police Force, died at 8.20 on the morning of December 13th, 1916, three weeks after being taken ill suffering from pleurisy and bronchitis.

David Teale, aged 57 and known as "The Chief," had completed 22 years and two months as Chief Constable. He held his Majesty's Police Medal for meritorious service, and was also Chief Officer of the Luton Fire Brigade, a role he took on shortly after arriving in the town.

Mr Charles Arthur Irons

Charles Arthur Irons was appointed Herald of the Manor of Luton, more familiarly referred to as Town Crier, following the death in 1882 of his father, William. He served throughout the Great War and until his death on September 9th, 1941, when his role died with him.

Private Ernest William Furr


Pte Ernest William Furr, 3/7722, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 27th, 1916.

Born in Stopsley in 1897, he was the son of Selina and the late Alfred Furr, who in 1911 were living at Ramridge End with the surviving 12 of their 16 children. Alfred died in 1913, after which Selina and family moved to Hitchin Road, Luton.

In a 1915 street directory Selina is shown as living at 440 Hitchin Road, and on the Luton Roll of Honour commemorating Ernest the address is given as 454 Hitchin Road.


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.

Mr Thomas Edward George Bodell

[Image: Lusitania graves - Wikimedia/Imperial War Museum collection, Q18816]

Luton-born Thomas Edward George Bodell, his wife Florence and toddler son Thomas were lost with the sinking of the liner RMS Lusitania by German submarine U20 on May 7th, 1915.

Mr Bodell, aged 33, was the son of Thomas Bodell Snr, of 59 Clarendon Road, Luton. He was returning to England for the first time since sailing to Canada ten years previously. His father told The Luton News that his son was intending to enlist here.

Miss Elizabeth Oakley

Elizabeth was a Luton munitionette and is shown in a group photograph  from 1916 kindly supplied by a reader of this website. She is the fourth person from the left on the top row.

Elizabeth married William Fisher who served with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry and the couple were residents of Redbourn and Harpenden.



Subscribe to RSS - Civilian