British War Medal and Victory Medal

Private Edgar Frederick Ambridge


Pte Edgar Frederick Ambridge, 40000, 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on February 25th, 1917. He was aged 27 and single.

His platoon officer wrote to parents William and Amelia Ambridge at 5 Clifton Road, Luton, that their son was killed on the night of February 25th during a heavy bombardment. He and five others gallantly held their post until a shell landed among them, instantly killing Edgar and two others..

A Chaplain later wrote that Edgar was buried on February 27th in a cemetery behind the firing line.

Private Bert Lathwell


Pte Bert Lathwell, 43154, 6th Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 24.

Chum Pte Hanby wrote to parents John and Clara Lathwell at 3 Clifton Road, Luton, saying their son was killed by a sniper's bullet that struck him just above the heart. He lived for only four minutes, but "died a hero".

Bert Lathwell had been employed in the straw trade since leaving school, having worked for his brother.

Private George Gatward


Pte George John Gatward, 11054, 11th Royal Fusiliers (City of London), was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 36 and married with three children, one aged 15 months old.

News was received by his widow, Clara Alice, at their home at 16 Dorset Street, from Captain H. H. Mundy, Royal Fusiliers. He wrote that before the death of her husband was confirmed he had been reported missing "but has since been found killed outright and was buried where he fell".

Private George Flitton


Pte George Flitton, 48085, 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 26.

Familiarly known as Jack, he lived at Slip End, one of 11 children of Thomas and Lizzie Flitton. Prior to joining up under the Derby scheme in February 1916 (he at first served with the Beds Regiment [26066]), he had worked for dyers Messrs E. W. Hart and Sons, of Windmill Road, Luton.

Hed was trained at Landguard and then went to France. He had been in the trenches eight months and three weeks when he was killed.


Private Stanley George Halfhead


Pte Stanley George Halfhead, 18925, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 11th, 1917. He was aged 21.

He was the son of widow Mrs Kate Halfhead, of 20 Wood Street, Luton - his father, school caretaker George, had died in 1906. Prior to enlistment in February 1915, Stanley had worked at hat manufacturers Haye & Co, George Street. He was an old boy of Waller Street School, and was Assistant Scoutmaster in the local battalion of Boy Scouts.

Sergeant William John Arthur Saxty


Sgt William John Arthur Saxty, 4749, 60th Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died at a dressing station in France on February 9th, 1917, from wounds sustained on the battlefield.

Born in Bath in 1881, he was aged 36 and married to Geraldine with four children (John, Hubert, Albert and Beatrice), aged 14 years to five months, living at 40 High Town Road, Luton.

Major Godson, of his regiment, wrote: "He came to me as a private at Grantham and his rapid promotion has been entirely due to his devotion to duty, and I feel very keenly his loss."

Sapper Harry Rosson

Harry Rosson was born on 24th November 1886 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, 1 of 5 children born to Richard & Laura.

In 1891 the family are living on Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard. Richard is 64 & a carpenter, Laura is 44. Frank the eldest son is 14 years old & working as a parchment maker's boy, 10 year old Lily & 8 year old George are at school, whilst 5 year old Harry & 2 year old Laura are at home.

Corporal Alec Walter Harris


Cpl Alec Walter Harris, 23642, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in the valley of the River Ancre on the Somme on February 4th, 1917. He was just 25 and single.

Born in Luton in 1892, he was the son of labourer Albert and straw hat machinist Selina Harris, of 23 Jubilee Street, Luton. Alec (Alic on his birth registration) was the couple's four son.

Private Percy James Osborn

Percy James Osborn was born in January 1890 in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire. He was the only son of 3 children born to Abel & Annie.

In 1911 Percy is 21 years old & working as a skating rink floor manager & living with his family at 195 Dunstable Road above the shop that his 48 year old father runs selling fruit & confectionary. His mother Annie is 49, older sister Kate is 23 & working as a straw hat finisher & younger sister Hilda is 14 & at school.

Private Stanley Squires Cawdell


Pte Stanley Squires Cawdell, 5329, 15th County of London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), was killed in action near Ypres on January 11th, 1917. He was 30 years old and the son of Sarah Ann (nee Squires) and the late William George Cawdell (died 1906), of 244 High Town Road, Luton.

Stanley Cawdell was an old boy of St Matthew's School and had been employed as a clerk by the Midland Railway Co. He was also secretary of the local Midland Railway Football Club. He had tried five times to enlist before joining the Civil Service Rifles in December 1915.

Private Herbert Ward Saunders

Herbert Ward Saunders was born in 1898 in Sundon, Bedfordshire.

In 1915 he was a patient at Wardown V.A.D Hospital.

His service record tells us that on 5th June 1916 Herbert enlisted into the 22nd Manchester Regiment. At the time of enlistment he was living at the Red Lion Inn, Harlington Road, Sundon & his next of kin was his mother Charlotte. He was working as a carter for Mr W Smith in Limbury Green Lane.

On 25th November 1916 he was transferred to the 11th Infantry Reserve Brigade located at Prees Heath Camp, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Corporal William George Muckleston

William George Muckleston was born in 1884 in Sundon, Bedfordshire.

In June 1907 William married Annie Jane Brown.

In 1911 William is 27 years old, working as a labourer in Forder's Cement Works & living with his young family in Sundon. Annie is 23 & at home looking after their 3 year old son Arthur William & 1 year old daughter Ida Mabel.

Daughter Vera Nellie was born in 1915.

Private Frank Hull

Frank Hull was born in Sundon on October 23rd, 1895. He was 1 of 12 children born to John & Ann.

In 1911 Frank is 15 & working as a farm labourer for Mr F Ward. He is living in Upper Sundon with his parents & 2 brothers. His father John is 67 years old & a farm labourer for Mr W Cooper, his mother Ann is 58 & a straw worker. George is 22 years old & working as a general labourer at Forder's cement works & Henry, 30 is a farm labourer for Mr Hucklesby.

Private Thomas Fleckney


Pte Thomas Fleckney, 31848, 6th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, died on December 6th, 1916, from wounds sustained on the Somme. He was aged 32 and the father of five children.

A letter from Sister Knight, of the Casualty Clearing Station where he was being treated, said Pte Fleckney had been admitted into hospital early in the morning with severe wounds to both legs and the necessity to amputate the right leg. He died at midday on December 6th.


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