1914 Star

Also known as The Mons Star

Company Sergeant Major Alec Cook

Company Sgt Major Alec Cook, 9119, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Albert in France on August 20th, 1918, an action in which he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The medal was eventually collected by his younger sister Elsie, of 57 Frederic Street, Luton. Lieut-Col Tighe made the presentation at Biscot Camp on January 26th, 1919.

Driver Walter Shane

Sapper Walter ('Dick') Shane, 522394, 486th Field Company Royal Engineers, died from bronchitis and pneumonia in hospital in Egypt on November 22nd, 1918. He was aged 21 and single.

Born in Luton in April 1897, Walter had had joined the Bedfordshire Regiment in August 1914 but was later transferred to the Royal Engineers, with whom he served in the East for over three years until being invalided to hospital in Cairo.

Sergeant Arthur Foster

Sgt Arthur Foster, 16999, 2nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died of influenza on November 2nd, 1918, in the No 6 General Hospital, Rouen, France.

He had joined the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1913 and was in action from the start of the war. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in 1917 and was promoted to sergeant about six months before his death. His father, Alfred, was a lance-corporal in the Army Service Corps serving in France.

Lance Corporal Charles Moulster

L-Cpl Charles Moulster, P/14546, Military Foot Police Corps, died from influenza on October 31st, 1918, while serving in Italy. A chaplain wrote to parents James and Sarah Moulster at Kensworth to say that his grave would be cared for and a cross erected.

Born in Kensworth in 1880, Charles had previously been a porter at the Luton Union House in Dunstable Road, Luton. His death was announced at a meeting of the Luton Board of Guardians who ran the workhouse and a vote of sympathy was sent to his relatives.

Sergeant Thomas Wiseman

Farrier Sgt Thomas Wiseman, 47226, 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars, was killed in action in France on November 21st, 1917. Born in Luton, he was aged 33 and had married, his wife living In Andover, Hampshire.

Sgt Hunt wrote to widow Fanny in Hampshire that her husband had been in charge of horses during very heavy shelling. One shell dropped close to him, killing him instantly.

Gunner Thomas Williamson

Gunner Thomas Williamson, 39307, 180th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action on September 21st, 1917. He had first arrived in France on August 20th, 1914.

Capt S. W. Harvey, in a letter to parents Lewin and Ellen Williamson, of 9 Alfred Street, Luton, said: "Our position was so far forward that we could shoot into Boche batteries that no one else could reach. Knowing this, the Boche shelled us heavily. It was while we were moving into another position that you son was killed."

Company Quartermaster Sergeant Douglas Ritchie


Company Quartermaster-Sgt Douglas Ritchie, Army Service Corps, died in the Fulham Military Hospital on January 15th, 1916, from double pneumonia.

The 30-year-old Scotsman was the brother-in-law of Charles Cameron, of 51 Belmont Road, Luton, proprietor of Camerons (Luton) Ltd, a printing company based in Cheapside. Douglas Ritchie had been a co-director of the firm until he gave up his business interests to take up aviation. He had gained his pilot's licence before suffering an unfortunate breakdown in health.

Private Stephen George Hare


Pte Stephen George Hare, 8426, 1st Battalion, Beds Regt, was killed in action near Fricourt in France on January 6th, 1916. He was aged 29.

Born in July 1886 at Shillington, he was the son of William (died January 1911) and Emma Hare (nee Redman), who were married in 1872. He had not long finished seven years with the 1st Bedfords in South Africa and other parts of the world when war broke out. He was then working at Skefko and was called up as a reservist in August 1914.

Private Oswald Simmonds


Pte Oswald Simmonds, 7948, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regt, was presumed killed in action on October 31st, 1914. But it was 15 months later before his wife Rose Lilian received official notification of his death.

Pte Simmonds, who was aged about 30, was included in the lists of men who had joined the colours that were printed in the Luton News in 1914. His address was given as 56 May Street, Luton, the address also included on the Luton Roll of Honour.

Private Archer Godfrey

Private Archer (Archie) Godfrey, 3/6526, 1st Battalion, Beds Regt, was killed in action on November 9th, 1914. He was aged 23.

Born in Caddington the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Godfrey, of The Green, he was listed in the 1911 Census as a bricklayer. At the time of his death his family had lived at 32 St Saviour's Crescent, Luton, for two years.

Private Frederick Russell

From the Luton News 9th January 1917. A WHEATHAMPSTEAD SOLDIER. Reported Missing. We are requested to publish the fact that Pte Frederick Russell of the Beds Regiment (whose sister lives at 152 North Street, Luton) has been "reported missing" since November 16th and his mother, Mrs W Russell who lives at Gustard Wood Common, Wheathampstead, would be very grateful for any news of him.  Pte Russell, who is aged 22, was employed as a groom at Welwyn prior to enlistment.  He joined the Army in August 1914 and went to France in July 1915.

2nd Lieutenant Frederick Lewis Pedley

From The Luton News 9th January 1917. FROM THE RANKS.  Another Brave Lutonian Receives a Commission. We are  pleased to announce that Pte Frederick Lewis Pedley, son of Mrs Pedley of 73 Conway Road Luton, has been gazetted to a commission. Pte Pedley, it may be remembered was one of a number of young Lutonians, many of them well known in sporting, social and religious life in Luton, who enlisted in the 24th County of London Regiment (The Queen's) on September 5th 1914. They joined the British Expeditionary Force in March 1915 and have since figured conspicuously in very severe fighting.

Private Horace George Preece

From The Luton News 13.7.1916.  SAVED BY HIS HELMET. Well known Luton Footballer's Experience. How the British Soldier Goes into Action.  Despite his wounds, Pte H C Preece, 2nd Battalion, Beds Regt., writes us a very cheery letter from a V.A.D. hospital at Broadstairs. Before joining the colours, Pte Preece was well known among footballers in Luton as secretary of the Ivydale F.C his home being at 207 North Street.


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