1914-15 Star

Rifleman Harry Ernest Hardstaff

Three months after being demobilised, Harry Ernest Hardfast, formerly Pte S/3114, Rifle Brigade, died on June 4th, 1919, in the Northumberland War Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, from poisoning resulting from a shrapnel wound in the chest received in action at Achiet-le-Grand, France, on August 23rd, 1918.

Born in Luton in 1891, Harry was one of 11 children born to William and Annie Hardstaff, of 12 Crawley Green Road.

Rifleman Thomas Wilfred Hall

Rifleman Thomas Wilfred Hall, 5624, 9th King's Royal Rifles, was killed in action at Arras in France on April 9th, 1917, aged 19. He was the second of three brothers to die in the war.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Thomas plus four brothers, two sisters, father Joseph Henry and stepmother Annie were living at Stockton, Warwickshire, where Thomas was born in 1896.

Corporal William Hart

Cpl William Hart, 17369, 6th Battalion Northants Regiment, died in hospital at Rouen in France on October 1st, 1918, after sustaining a wound in the left arm in action on September 22nd. He was aged 34.

William had joined the Army in October 1914. After serving in France for some time he was invalided home and sent to a London hospital, where he remained for a year, From there he was sent to Summerdown Camp, Eastbourne, to convalesce.

Lieutenant Norman Sworder

Lieut Normal Sworder, Royal Air Force, died of wounds sustained in aerial combat over France on April 17th, 1918. His Luton-born wife Emily Murial was living at Burnham, Maidenhead, at the time.

A letter written by his Major to Emily said the aircraft in which Lieut Sworder was an observer was attacked by five enemy machines. The pilot had his right leg fractured by a bullet and lost control of his machine. Her husband was all the time firing at the enemy and got off in all 300 rounds, although himself wounded.

Driver Charles Mayhew

Floral tributes with the words "A Hero of Mons" were borne on the Union flag-covered coffin of Driver Charles Mayhew, 41932, 8th Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery, when he was buried with full military honours at Biscot Churchyard in January 1918.

Born into a Suffolk family, Charles died on January 15th, 1918, at the home of his married brother Alfred ('Dick') at 54 Hampton Road, Luton. He had been discharged from the Army as medically unfit after being invalided home about a year earlier following an illness contracted in service at Mons, Marne, Ypres and La Bassee.

Rifleman Joseph Cogans

Rifleman Joseph Cogans, 5556, 10th Battalion King's Royal Rifles, was reported missing, presumed killed, in Flanders on November 30th, 1917.

It was nearly three months before his widowed mother Elizabeth was informed at 27 Dorset Street, Luton, with the hope that he might have been taken prisoner. She appealed through The Luton News for any further information about her son.

Private William Thomas Loughton

Pte William Thomas Loughton, 200280, 1/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died in Palestine on November 14th, 1917. A Luton News brief report of his death said the cause was heart failure.

William Loughton, son of William and Emily, joined the Bedfords at the outbreak of war after being employed by coal merchants How & Byfield, of King Street, Luton. He had married Edith Edwards in 1908 and his address was given as 80 New Town Street.

Lance Corporal Henry Morgan

L-Cpl Henry Morgan, 41476, 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on August 16th, 1917, although for a long period afterwards he was reported only as missing.

He had enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment (No. 3929) in September 1914 and was drafted to Gallipoli in the Dardanelles campaign the following year. He was invalided home with dysentery and septic poisoning, before being transferred to the Irish Rifles in January 1917 and sent to France.

Private Wilfred John Kibble

Pte Wilfred John Kibble, 118701, Army Service Corps (M.T.), attached to the 92nd Field Ambulance, Royal Army Service Corps, died of wounds at the 36th Casualty Clearing Station in France, on September 22nd, 1917.

It was at the end of a final act of gallantry and devotion to duty that Pte Kibble, who had been a footman to Lady Wernher at Luton Hoo, collapsed and died. Although being badly wounded about the head, he continued to drive his ambulance to the Advanced Dressing Station, where he succumbed to his fate.

Sapper Archibald George Whitelock

Archibald George Whitelock was born in Canning Town, London in 1886, 1 of 9 children born to William & Elizabeth.

On 9th September 1914 whilst living at 91 Ridgeway Road, Luton, Archibald enlisted into the Royal Engineers (523029) as an electrician. He took his electricians' test with the Biscot Road works for Commercial Cars. He later worked for Vauxhall Motors.

In April 1915 he married Helen A Stone in Luton.

2nd Corporal Eli Thomas Wilson


Second Cpl Eli Thomas Wilson, 522361, 486th Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action in Egypt on April 21st, 1917. He was aged 33 and had been in Egypt for nearly two years.

A letter to his widow, Rose Gertrude Wilson, at 14 Maple Road, Luton, said her husband was at work with a small party when a shell dropped among them, killing Cpl Wilson instantly. He was buried by the Brigade Chaplain, the Rev C. F. Johnson, in the evening.

Sergeant David William Buckingham


Sgt David William Buckingham, 2911, 1/5th Bedfords, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 16th, 1915. He was aged 29.

No news had been had been heard of him when his family, who lived at 82 Warwick Road, Luton, learned that his two brothers with him in the Dardanelles had been wounded. Pte Frank Buckingham, aged 21, who was wounded by a piece of shrapnel that broke his arm, wrote from hospital in Alexandria to say that Sgt Buckingham was all right the last time he heard of him.

Corporal William Jarvis


Cpl William Jarvis, 3899, 1/5th Bedfords, died at sea on August 20th on board a hospital ship from a serious wound sustained at Gallipoli. He had written to his wife at 27 Tavistock Street, Luton, to tell her not to worry and that he was on his way to England. He was buried at Pieta Military Cemetery in Malta.

Private Alfred James Ellingham


Pte Alfred James Ellingham, 3915, 1/5th Bedfords, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 16th, 1915, and has no known grave. He was the son of John and Sarah Jane Ellingham, of 39 Hibbert Street, Luton.

His wife and parents were informed in letters from Pte William King, of 6 Tavistock Street, Luton, who was himself wounded on the same day. Pte King wrote that they were fighting side by side at the time of Pte Ellingham's death.


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