Volenteering, at the age of 15, in November 1914, he served on important duties at various stations until 1916, when he was drafted to the Western Front. Whilst in this theatre of war he fought on the Somme and was gassed, and after his recovery served at Passchendaele, St Quentin and Villers-Bretonneux, and in subsequent engaguements until the cessation of hostilities. He was demobilised in February 1919 after his return to England.
L-Cpl Archibald George Dexter, 233498, 1/2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action in Belgium on August 16th, 1917. A chum on leave, Pte Smith, of New Town Street, Luton, said he had seen L-Cpl Dexter's party fall and had helped to bring them in and bury them. L-Cpl Dexter was killed instantly when a shell burst among the group of five men - all but one from Luton - whom he was in charge of.
Pte Ernest George Chamberlain, 14553, 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment, was reported missing on October 7th, 1916. But it was not until more than 10 months later that his widow Edith in Luton was informed that he was presumed killed in action on that date.
Pte Charles Joseph Morris, 68395, 17th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died in the 1st Canadian General Hospital in France on August 28th, 1917, from wounds sustained on August 19th. He was admitted to the hospital the following day.
Pte Ernest Currant, 260151, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders by a sniper on August 27th, 1917. He had seen only ten weeks service at the Front.
Sgt R. G. Wager wrote to Mrs Mabel Annie Currant at 18 Dunstable Place, Luton: "The battalion took part in a big attack on the enemy's position, and whilst your husband was going forward with his platoon he was sniped in the head by one of the enemy. Death was instantaneous."
Pte Alfred Scales, 89760, 44th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps, died on August 23rd, 1917, of wounds received in action in Flanders. He was aged 36 and left a widow and six children, the youngest (Cissie) born just five days before his death.
Alfred had joined the R.A.M.C. at the Grove Road depot in Luton in September 1914. He was drafted to France in February 1917. He had been taken to the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, where he died from wounds to the legs and an arm.
Pte George Buggs, 22845, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was captured by the Germans while fighting in the front line at Hulluch in France on June 22nd, 1917, one of nine men taken prisoner in a surprise incursion by the enemy under cover of smoke and darkness.
He was interned at Dulmen in Westphalia but happily survived the war and was repatriated to return to his home at 52 North Street, Luton. He was registered as an absent voter in 1918 but was shown as at home when the electoral roll was compiled in May 1919.
Luton-born Sgt Percy Wells, 4484, 7th Regiment, South African Infantry, died from blackwater fever on August 19th, 1917, while serving in East Africa.
He was a son of Harty James and Elizabeth (Lissie) Wells, of 4 Crawley Road, Luton. He enlisted in the Royal Horse Artillery in 1909 and the following year went to South Africa. He was on his way back to England when war was declared and was sent back to Africa, where he was transferred to the South African Infantry and rose through the ranks.
It was not until August 1917 that the family of Pte Stanley Thomas Warner, G/15027, 11th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, were officially notified that he was presumed to have died on the battlefield on October 21st, 1916.
The 28-year-old had lived with grandparents William and Emma Warner, of 40 Alma Street, Luton for some years before joining the Leicestershire Regiment (5940) in 1915. He was later transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment while in France before being reported wounded and missing on October 21st, 1916.
In August 1917, nearly eleven months after he was first reported wounded and missing, Guardsman Cyril Bernard Bryan, 18447, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was acknowledged as presumed to have died on the battlefield on September 25th 1916.
Cyril Bryan was born in London in 1892 and came to Luton about three years before the outbreak of war to work for outfitter Mr Mares, of George Street. He had been the first member of the firm to join the Army after hostilities broke out, and had been wounded three times before going missing.
Pte Albert King, 87202, 149th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), was killed in action in France on August 3rd, 1917. A letter to widow Louisa Jane said: "Your husband was killed instantaneously by a shell in the early morning, about 2am.
"He with the rest of the team was in a dug-out well behind the front line when their dug-out was hit by a shell. You husband was buried the same day by a padre in a British cemetery, and a cross has been placed over his grave."
Driver Walter Gylee, 184771, 88th Battery, 14th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds in France on August 11th, 1917. He was born and bred in Lincoln but for a time had been a junior assistant with Wootton & Webb pharmacists on Market Hill, Luton.
He had taken his job at Luton after war broke out and was hoping to obtain his full qualifications as a pharmacist. But he joined the R.F.A. in October 1916 and had been in France only a few weeks when he died of wounds received on the battlefield.
Pte Harry Isaac Hurry, 238022, 12th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action on August 7th, 1917, although an officer at the Front gave the date as August 8th.
Along with his brother Archie Oliver Hurry, Harry enlisted March 1917. The brothers not only had consecutive service numbers (Archie was 238021) in the Middlesex Regiment, they also married on the same day - May 21st, 1917, at Christ Church - at the end of nine weeks training and before they were drafted out to France.