British War Medal Victory Medal and 15 Star

Driver Horace Coles

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.

Sergeant Arthur William Groves

Sgt Arthur William Groves, 9643, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in Belgium on August 6th, 1917. He is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour but may not have had much association with the town as no local address is recorded for him.

His death also appears to have gone unrecorded in the Luton Press, but his step-father was born in the town and members of his family lived here after the war.

Private William Flitton

Pte William Flitton, 200760, 1/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds on July 21st, 1917, after seeing action in Palestine. He had previously fought in the Gallipoli campaign in which he was wounded in the arm but quickly recovered to serve in Egypt.

William Flitton was born at Watbridge, East Hyde, the son of David and Jane Flitton, who were living at Letchworth Road, Limbury, at the time of their son's death. In the 1911 Census he is described as a 15-year-old farm labourer. He was employed on Mr Hartop's farm at Biscot before he joined up at the outbreak of war.

Private Cecil Harold Blaydon

Pte Cecil Harold Blaydon, 200712, 1/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed instantly in a raid on enemy lines on July 20th, 1917. The 21-year-old was buried in a cemetery behind British lines.

He was the second son of Sidney and Mary Lily Blaydon, of The Knapps, Toddington Road, Leagrave, to have died in action. Youngest son Albert Edward died at Gallipoli in August 1915.

Cecil served as a stretcher-bearer with the Bedfords from the outbreak of war. Like his younger brother he had served at Gallipoli.

Sergeant John McPheat

Sgt John McPheat, 35986, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Messines on June 7th, 1917. He was aged 36.

Born in Perth, Scotland, he enlisted as a volunteer at Luton at the outbreak of war. He served with the 1/5th Bedfords (No. 2961) at Gallpoli, from the Suvla Bay landing to the evacuation of the peninsular. He was finally invalided home suffering from shell shock and dysentery to recover in England before leaving Halton for France with the 2nd Bedfords in January 1917. He fought at Ypres and Messines.

Lance Corporal John Thomas Longden

L-Cpl John Thomas Longden, 13234, 10th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 28th, 1917. Although he is included on the Luton Roll of Honour, he may not have lived or worked here and his connection appears to be that his mother, Eliza, had moved to live at 6 Church Street, Luton, a short time before his death.

L-Cpl Longden's connections appear to be almost entirely with the Rotherham area of Yorkshire, where both he and his parents were living when the 1911 Census was compiled.

Private Joseph James Beaver


Pte Joseph James Beaver, 32105, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Gavrelle in France on April 28th, 1917. He was aged about 24.

Although he is included on the Luton Roll of Honour but without an address, there appears to be no local Press report of his death at the time and little is known about his life in Luton. Military records say that his parents, James and Elizabeth, were living in London, where Joseph was born, but he was likely to have been living and/or working in Luton before the war.

Lance Corporal George Kidman


L-Cpl George Kidman, 12387, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on April 23rd, 1917, during the Battle of Arras. He was aged 22.

In a letter to widowed mother Mrs Amelia Kidman, living at 16 Ashton Road, Luton, company commanding officer Lieut D. M. Saunders said L-Cpl Kidman and two friends were killed by a shell while sitting in a trench on April 23rd. He died instantly and suffered no pain.

Gunner William Childs


Gunner William Childs, 28795, 86th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, died of enteric fever while a prisoner of war of the Turks on January 19th, 1917. He was aged 27 and had served in the Army in India for eight years prior to the outbreak of war.

Private George Hull

George Hull was 1 of 12 children born to John & Ann. He was born in January 1889 in Sundon, Bedsfordshire.

In 1911 George is 22 years old & working as a general labourer at Forder's cement works. 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. Older brother Henry, 30 is a farm labourer for Mr Hucklesby & younger brother Frank, 15 is a farm labourer for Mr F Ward.

Private George Morgan


Pte George Morgan, 13181, 8th Lincolnshire Regiment, died on November 25th, 1916, from wounds sustained on the Somme.

There seems to have been no report or picture in the Luton press at the time, but the following Roll of Honour death notice appeared in the Luton News of November 30th, 1916: "MORGAN - November 25, died of wounds, 2nd General Hospital, Le Havre, Pte George Morgan, aged 26, of 2 Liverpool Road, Luton."

Private Arthur Eames

Arthur Eames was born in Sundon, Bedfordshire in 1883, 1 of 9 children born to John & Emma.

In 1911 Arthur is 28 years old & working as a farm labourer. He is now head of the household as both his parents have died. Living in Sundon with him are his brother Thomas, 23, also a farm labourer, sister Annie, 30, housekeeper to her brothers & their 4 year old niece Minnie Blackaby.

Arthur enlisted into the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment in December 1914.

Arthur died of wounds received in the Battle of Arras on 29th April 1917.

2nd Lieutenant Charles Frederick Burley


Second Lieut Charles Frederick Burley, 4th Battalion (attached 10th) Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on November 18th, 1916. The younger son of leading Luton hat manufacturer Richard Burley, he would not have been 19 years old until December 1st - and still under military age for service abroad.

Gunner Horace George Dunham


Gunner Horace George Dunham, 2783, 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on November 13th, 1916. He was aged 24.

Horace was the son of baker and confectioner Alfred Dunham and his wife Mary, of 1 North Street, Luton. He and his two brothers had worked in the family bakery.

Officially, Gunner Dunham is recorded as having been killed in action on November 13th. A letter to his parents from the Front from Capt W. S. Green, however, said his death occurred on November 14th. The machine gunner had suffered no pain and had been buried.


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