British War Medal

Private Ernest White


Pte Ernest White, 20201, 23rd Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in France on September 26th, 1915. He was aged 28 and lived at 109 Highbury Road, Luton.

He was in the RAMC when war broke out and was mobilised with his unit. He came home for the last time in September 1914 and went out to France the following month.

He left a wife, Mary, and three young children. Before the war he worked as a painter for Mr Jennings. He was well known among local footballers, being a member of the Silver Star FC.


Corporal George Brown


Cpl George Brown, 9592, 2nd Bedfords, was killed in action in Flanders on October 7th, 1915. He was the 26-year-old son of George and Elizabeth Brown, of 65 Albert Road, Luton.

Born in Offley in 1889, he had worked for hat manufacturer Frank Harden in Bute Street, but became a soldier over five years before his death and went to South Africa with the 2nd Bedfords. He remained there for four years and returned to England on the outbreak of war. He was drafted abroad almost immediately.

Private George Jenkins


Pte George Jenkins, 18252, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, died on September 30th, 1915, from wounds sustained two days earlier in the Battle of Loos. Some military records suggest he resided in Stopsley, but Press reports at the time described him as from Hockliffe.

Born in Newbury, Berks, on November 5th, 1893, Pte Jenkins married Florence Rose Bleaney, the daughter of Walter and Annie Bleaney, from High Street, Upper Houghton Regis [now High Street North, Dunstable], in early 1914. Their daughter, Florence May, was born in July of that year.

Private Herbert Victor Smith


Pte Herbert Victor Smith, 17938, D Company, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, was killed in action in the Battle of Loos on September 25th, 1915.

Born in Luton on June 6th, 1898, he spent most of his life in Flitwick, living with his family in Church End as a three-year-old at the time of the 1901 Census. The family later lived in Chapel Road.

He was the son of straw hat goods factory manager/manufacturer Arthur Smith and the late Mrs Rebecca Swales Smith.

Private Albert Hawkes


Pte Albert Hawkes, 13777, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died as a result of wounds received in action on his 30th birthday - September 29th, 1915.

He was the husband of Louisa Elizabeth Hawkes, then living at 8 Tavistock Street, Luton, with two young children - Lily aged four and two-year-old Albert.

Official notification of Pte Hawkes' death arrived in October 1915, saying he had died from gunshot wounds to the abdomen. He had enlisted on September 5th, 1914, and had been in the firing line for six months.

Private Arthur Edward Strange


Pte Arthur Edward Strange, 19791, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Bécordel-Bécourt on September 20th, 1915. He was aged 20.

Born and living in Wiltshire most of his life, he had worked in the Air Department at George Kent's in Luton for about a year before enlisting with comrades from the factory at the beginning of 1915. Flags at the Biscot Road factory were flown at half-mast in his memory.

Private Harry Gillman


Pte Harry Gillman, 19065, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, was killed in action at the battle of Loos in France on September 27th*, 1915. He was aged 25.

That, at least, was the eyewitness account of "a great friend" who wrote that he saw him killed instantly by a bullet through his head shortly after 9 am on September 27th. He added that Pte Gillman was buried that night in a nice little grave with a wooden cross on it.

Rifleman Albert Edgar Saunders

Pte Albert Edgar Saunders, 235327, 18th Battalion The King's (Liverpool Regiment), died in King George's Hospital, London, on November 24th, 1918, as a result of wounds sustained at Ypres on April 29th, 1918. A gunshot wound in the neck had caused paralysis of his body and legs, and he had been in the London hospital since early May. He was discharged as unfit for service in August 1918.

Private Horace Hammett


Pte Horace Hammett, 3/7435, 1st Bedfords, was killed in action at Hill 60 in France on May 5th, 1915. He was posted "missing and wounded" on June 9th but it was not until September that his parents received official notification of his death.

Sapper Richard Worker


Sapper Richard Worker, 807, 1/2nd Field Company, East Anglian Royal Engineers, was killed in action at Gallipoli on September 21st, 1915. It would have been his 20th birthday on October 6th.

Parents George and Isabella Worker, of 87 Warwick Road, Luton, were officially notified of his death on October 8th, after reference had been made to their son's death in letters from his comrades, who said a shell dropped into the workshop in which a party of the Engineers were working. Sapper Worker was struck and killed.

Private Ralph Stanley Lewin


Pte Ralph Stanley Lewin, 3875, 1/5th Bedfords, was killed in at action at Gallipoli on September 15th, 1915. He was aged 30 and left a widow, May, and one child, Hilda, aged six.

Mrs Lewin, of 54 Grange Road [now St Peter's Road], Luton, received official notification of his death in early October. Her husband was serving with the Machine Gun Section and was called into the first line after the fierce fighting in Gallipoli of August 15th. He had been an employee of Luton Corporation and was described as a bricklayer's labourer in the 1911 Census.

Private Frank Wilson


Pte Frank Wilson, 8940, 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, died in the Military Hospital at South Tidworth, Hants, on September 15th, 1915, following wounds sustained while fighting at Neuve Chapelle. He was aged 21.


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