British War Medal

Private Thomas Collier

Thomas Collier was born in Houghton Regis in 1890 and was one of eight children born to Edwin and Elizabeth Collier.  In 1914 he married Margaret Annie Reed in Luton and they had one son, Ralph.

He joined the army in December 1916 as a private in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and, after training, was drafted to Salonika, serving at both Vardar and Monastir principally attending wounded and sick horses.

Private Sidney Turner

Private Turner served with the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment in Gallipoli and was wounded in August 1915. His family donated photographs and papers to Wardown Museum and these will be on display in the WW1 exhibition from 5th August 2014.

Able Seaman James Clarke

James Clarke of Tavistock St, Dunstable served 12 years with the Royal Navy before transferring to the Royal Navy Reserve in 1908. When WW1 commenced the thirty six year old  was called up to  to serve aboard HMS Hogue which was part of a patrol of armoured cruisers in the North Sea. These old slow  ships were very vulnerable to a raid by modern German surface ships and the patrol was nicknamed the "live bait squadron".

Private Joseph Edward Betts

Private Betts of Ashton Road Luton served with the  Mounted Field Ambulance Division of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He arrived at  Gallipoli on 7th October 1915 and died of wounds on 10th October 1915.

Letters from his commanding officer and fellow servicemen and his Memorial Plaque were donated to Wardown Park Museum by his great neice and will be on display at the WW1 Exhibition from 5th August 2014.

Private Herbert John Odell

Herbert John Odell (a nephew of my great-grandfather, and my first cousin twice removed!) was born in 1892, and like his father John (with whom he lived at 25 North Street, Luton) was a plasterer by trade. He was called up for service on 23 March 1916, and was first enrolled in 6th Royal Fusiliers (Army No. 6700), later transferring to 1/7th Middlesex Regt. (Army No. 203962). He was posted to France on 9 June 1916, but on 16 August 1916, while he was cleaning his rifle, the weapon went off, wounding his left arm, resulting in the amputation of the arm below the elbow.

Private Archibald Odell

Archibald (Archie) Odell was an older brother of my paternal grandmother (he was my great-uncle). He was enlisted at St Albans into the 24th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regt. (The Queen's) on 4 September 1914, aged 29. He was posted as a Private (Army No. 2531) with the Expeditionary Force to France on 15 March 1915, but was wounded by a gunshot wound to the throat on 25 May 1915, and sent back to UK on 5 June 1915. He was discharged from the Army on 11 February 1916.

Private Charles Smith Neale

Charles Smith Neale, a hat packer by trade before the War, enlisted into the Army in December 1915, and was posted into the Army Veterinary Corps (Army No. 16205). He was later posted to the RFA (Army No. 155728). He was discharged in May 1918 as "no longer physically fit for war service".

Sapper Sydney Leonard Brown

Having served from 1908 to 1913 in the Territorial Army (Army No. 1554) with 54th Div. RE, Sydney Brown enlisted in the Royal Engineers in November 1914. Between 1914 and 1918 he served with various units (Army No. 524621, including East Anglian Field Coy RE, and in May 1918 he joined 69 Field Coy RE. He was appointed L/Cpl on 8 August 1918. On 29 March 1919 he was transferred to Class "Z", Army Reserve, on demobilisation.

Sapper Robert Wright

My Grandfather, Robert Wright, volunteered to join the army on 12 June 1914 – the day before his 26th birthday. This was clearly before hostilities had been declared, but by this time it was looking more and more certain that a war was approaching. I have a copy of his four year Attestation Papers, and according to these he was first assigned to the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment, but he was discharged in January 1915. I do not know why - the records have presumably been lost.

Private Arthur Walter Aylott

Arthur Walter Aylott, formerly a private in the Bedfordshire Regiment (22450) and later the Machine Gun Corps (5200), died at 67 Dumfries Street, Luton, on February 17, 1919, at the age of 21.

He had enlisted in August 1915 and served in the Army just over a year before being invalided out on September 10, 1916 as a result of being gassed. He never fully recovered and developed consumption.

Born in Luton in 1897, only son of the late Bransom and the late Elizabeth Aylott, he had before joining up worked in the bleaching and dyeing trade for Mr Stewart Hubbard.

Private Alfred Johnstone

On the 9th January 1916 the Luton News reported the death of Alfred Johnstone.  At the outbreak of war, Alfred Johnstone was living with his parents and brother Leonard, at 4 Warwick Road, Luton. He joined the Royal Sussex Regiment and was sent to France, where he died on the 9th September 1916. 

Private Edward Brown


From the Luton News dated 4th January 1917. LUTONIAN KILLED. Mrs A Brown of 2a Essex Street, Luton has received official information that her son, Pte Edward Brown, 19, who enlisted April 1st last year in the Northants Regiment, was killed in action on December 10th.

Prior to joining up he worked in the grocery department of the Bury Park branch of the Luton Co-operative Society and he has only been at the Front three months. Mrs Brown has also received a letter from Sec.Liet. A E Ward of the same regiment, who states


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