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.
Pte Cuthbert William Hall, 32392, 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, was reported wounded and missing, and later presumed killed in action in France on March 21st, 1918, at the start of the German spring offensive of that year. He was aged 19 the third of three brothers to die in the war.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Cuthbert plus four brothers, two sisters, father Joseph Henry and stepmother Annie were living at Stockton, Warwickshire, where Cuthbert was born in 1898.
Cpl Walter Albert Alford, A/293888, Army Service Corps (Canteens), died at the No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre, France, on February 23rd, 1919, from pneumonia following influenza. He was aged 27 and had been expected back at 50 Reginald Street, Luton, at the time.
Driver Horace Coles, 524501, 360th Water Coy Royal Engineers, died in the 24th Stationary Hospital, Kantara, Egypt, on January 26th, 1919, from bronchial pneumonia following influenza. He had been admitted to hospital on the 18th.
Born in 1894, a son of Arthur William Coles, he had lived with his brother Sidney at 7 Wenlock Street, Luton, and enlisted in August 1915. After training at Marlow, Essex, he was drafted to Egypt in July 1917.
Prior to enlistment he was employed by dyers T. Lye & Co, New Bedford Road.
Pte Bertram Wood, 41662, 8th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, died as a prisoner of war in the Crossen Camp hospital at Kaehmen in Germany on October 22nd, 1918. The cause of death was influenza – inflammation of the lungs, as his Red Cross report stated. He was aged 29.
Pte James Ernest Linger, 60826, 8th Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was reported missing at Cambrai in France on November 30th, 1917. In January 1919 his widow Elizabeth in Luton was still seeking information about him in the hope returning prisoners of war may have encountered him, but the War Office had by then presumed he had died in action at Cambrai.
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.
Sgt Arthur Ernest Kennedy (Jamieson), 29683, 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment (ex-20841 Devonshire Regiment), died on October 26th, 1918, while being held as a prisoner of war in Germany.
No report of his death appeared at the time, but in an earlier letter from him to Henrietta Jamieson (described as his stepmother) at 2 Edward Street, Luton, he said he was then being held in Cassel (Kassel) and he was going on all right but the chief thing he wanted was “bread and something to spread on it – a small tin of dripping would do fine”.
Pte Henry Bunyan MM, 33018, 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action in the battle of the Lys in Flanders on April 26th, 1918, when the Allies were about to halt the German spring offensive of 1918.
He had joined the 5th Bedfords (3666) just before the outbreak of war and was mobilised when hostilities began. After being drafted to France he fought at Ypres, Arras, Messines and on the Somme. He gained his Military Medal for bravery in the field in October 1917.
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.
Gunner Samuel de Vere Kingham, 285092, 122nd Anti-Aircraft Section Royal Garrison Artillery, died from dysentery in hospital at Alexandria in Egypt on November 18th, 1918. He had been in hospital for eight weeks and had been passed by the medical board to return home after 14 months service in Egypt.
Born in Aylesbury in 1887, Samuel (plus two brothers and four sisters) was living with his widowed mother Mary at 124 Maple Road, Luton, at the time of the 1911 Census. Samuel was then described as a bill poster.
Pte Frederick William Kirby, 18560, 54th Divisional Army Cyclist Corps, died from malaria in the 17th General Hospital at Alexandria, Egypt, on November 16th, 1918. He had been admitted dangerously ill on October 15th, appeared to be out of danger by November 3rd, but relapsed on November 9th, leading to his death a week later.
Pte Stanley Wright, M/314452, Army Service Corps (M.T.), died suffering from smallpox in an isolation hospital at Amara in Mesopotamia (Iraq) on November 7th, 1918. He left a widow and two children living in Luton.
A telegram on November 5th first alerted Beatrice Wright to the gact that her husband was dangerously ill with smallpox. It was hoped that he would recover and that more hopeful news would be forthcoming. But on November 16th she received the new that he had passed away.