British War Medal

Private Percy Field

From the Luton News 22nd February 1917. SOLDIER'S WIFE'S SUICIDE. Young Mother Attempts to Strangle her Child. Sad Tragedy at Pepperstock. A particularly sad case of suicide following an attempt by a young mother - a soldier's wife - to strangle one of her two children, occurred at Pepperstock, within a couple of miles or so of Luton, during the weekend.  The unfortunate woman who took her own life was the wife of a soldier by name Ethel Margaret Field, 29 years of age, whose husband is a private in the R.A.M.C. and is stationed at Clacton.

Private Joseph Payne

From The Luton News 27th July 1916.  ANOTHER HERO GONE.  Well known both in his native Luton and in Ampthill and district, Pte Joseph Payne, son of Mrs E Payne of 15 Inkerman Street, Luton, has met his death in France after being nearly twelve months in the fighting line, joining the Army soon after war broke out.  He trained at Ampthill, where he made many friends and was drafted to a battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment.  On July 1st, just after the commencement of the big advance, he was wounded and a notification has now been received that he died from his wounds on July 16th.  Privat

Private Horace George Preece

From The Luton News 13.7.1916.  SAVED BY HIS HELMET. Well known Luton Footballer's Experience. How the British Soldier Goes into Action.  Despite his wounds, Pte H C Preece, 2nd Battalion, Beds Regt., writes us a very cheery letter from a V.A.D. hospital at Broadstairs. Before joining the colours, Pte Preece was well known among footballers in Luton as secretary of the Ivydale F.C his home being at 207 North Street.

2nd Lieutenant Hubert Douglas Stratford

Hubert Douglas Stratford was born in Luton in 1889, the son of Edward Douglas and Kate Stratford. His father was an auctioneer and land agent living at 33 Downs Road, Luton.

He first enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers (36056), being promoted to lance-corporal before gaining a commission with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in February 1917. He went to France the following August and returned to England in October 1917 after being wounded. He went back to France on Easter Sunday 1918, a fortnight before his death.

2nd Lieutenant Frank Gilbert Hurrell Small MM

Second Lieut Frank Gilbert Hurrell Small, 47th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, died in hospital on June 9th, 1918, from blood poisoning following the amputation of his left leg in the Cassel internment camp in Germany. He had been taken prisoner on March 24th at Ypres in Belgium and was buried in the camp cemetery.

Following release as a prisoner of war at Mainz in 1919, Lieut Ernest Henry Taylor (Machine Gun Corps) sent a letter to widow Grace Short and told of the events of March 1918 that eventually led to her husband's death, also as a prisoner of war.

Acting Sergeant Leonard Euinton

Acting Sergeant 1st Bedfordshire Regiment.

Leonard Euinton was born on the 12 September 1888 at 2 Bolton Road, Luton and following school was employed as a Moulder by trade. He married Edith May Elston at St. Mathews Church, Hightown on the 29 October 1910 and resided at 57 Boyle Street, they had one child Ruby Olive who was born 1 February 1913.

Sergeant Thomas Worker

Thomas was the son of Clara and Thomas Worker of Barton who had two sons killed and one severely wounded. Thomas was killed in action on April 23rd 1917. His brother Charles lost a leg on 21st March 1918 and their brother Sidney was killed the following day.

The National Roll (mostly submitted by families) describes Thomas's service as follows: He volunteered in October 1915 and in the following July was sent to France. During his service on the Western Front he fought at the battle of Ypres, the Somme, and was unfotunately killed in action at Arras on April 23rd 1917.

Lieutenant Frank Stuart Shoosmith

Lieutenant Shoosmith was the son of Francis Shoosmith a Straw Hat Manufacturer of Hart Hill, Luton. He was killed on 21st August 1915, aged 21.

Lieutenant Shoosmith  arrived in Gallipoli with the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment on 29th July 1915 and survived the initial attack on 15th August at which his conduct was noted as being exceptional. 

Lance Corporal George Wells MM

Lance Corporal George Wells, 725730, 24th Battalion London Regiment, is named on the Hitchin Road Boys School War Memorial as an Assistant Master who "fell in the First World War". He went to France in March 1915 with the London Regiment and early in 1917 had the distinction of being the first Luton Teacher to win a war decoration - the Military Medal. He was killed in action on July 16th, 1917, at the age of 29.

2nd Lieutenant Maurice Henry Steff

Details imported from Luton Absent Voters list 1918. Also included in National Roll of the Great War Section V (Luton).

The National Roll details (usually submitted by the family) describe Lieut Steff as "Volunteering in Sept 1914 with the RNAS, he was engaged on important patrol duties and served in the battle of Jutland in HMS Inflexible. Later he was transferred to the Mediterranean and patrolled the region of the Aegean Islands and was sent to Constantinople with the Army of Occupation. He was still serving in 1920."

Able Seaman Arthur John Walker

Details imported from Luton Absent Voters list and the National Roll of the Great War (Section V)

The National Roll (mostly submitted by families) describes his service as follows: he joined the service prior to the war and was posted to HMS Commonwealth in which ship he served in the Dardanelles in 1915 and with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. He was serving on HMS Russell when she was blown up by a mine on April 17th 1916 but he was fortunately saved. He was still serving in 1920 and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General service and Victory Medals.


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