British War Medal

Lance Corporal John Hayden Healey

L-Cpl John (Jack) Hayden Healey MM, 102086, 15th Sherwood Foresters (Derby & Notts Regiment), was killed in action at Kemmel Hill, near Ypres in Flanders, on July 16, 1918. He was aged 29 and single and had been a journalist, latterly employed by The Luton News.

In a letter dated July 19th, 1918, to parents Arthur and Florence Ann Healey at 31 Court Road, Luton, a chaplain George Smissen informed them that their eldest son was killed in action three days previously.

Private Edwin Frederick Thompson

Pte Eddie (Edwin Frederick) Thompson, 307504, 2/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was reported missing, later presumed killed in action, near St Quentin in France, on March 22nd, 1918.

Born in Luton in 1892, the son of rate collector Mr Fred Thompson and his wife Julia, he had enlisted late in 1915 with three friends from the Union Chapel, Luton. They trained with the 3/1 Signal Co at Bedford. He transferred to the Royal Warwicks in December 1916.

Sergeant Elvin Peggs

Sgt Elvin Peggs, 248092, 2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action in France on April 24th, 1918. He was aged 23 and left a widow and one child residing in East Hyde.

Born in in 1895 in Melton Constable, Norfolk, only son of James and Jane Peggs, Elvin was living with his family in Hyde Mill Cottages, East Hyde, at the time of the 1911 Census. Elvin was a farm labourer.

In 1915 he married Mary E. Salmon and they had a daughter, Elizabeth, the following year.

Private Charles Barker

Pte Charles Barker, 42539, 11th Battalion Essex Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on May 28th, 1918. He was a second son of the last James Barker and Mrs Sarah Barker, of 26 Back Street, Luton, to die on the battlefield. Pte Ernest Barker (Beds Regiment) was killed in the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914.

Charles, aged 19, had joined the Royal Field Artillery at Biscot a year before his death and later transferred to the Essex Regiment. Before joining the Army he had been a coal carter employed by Newbold & Martell in Luton.

Private John Wesley

Sapper John Wesley, 524163, 82nd Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action in France on June 12th, 1918. He left a widow, Lillie, whom he had married in Luton a year earlier, and had been in France for only 11 weeks.

An officer wrote to Lillie: “I have to inform you of the death of your husband, who was killed on the night of the 12th whilst proceeding to work. Death was instantaneous. I am pleased to tell you he was saved the awful pain of a lingering death... He was buried officially, and his grave is kept in Army records.”

Private William Glenister

Pte William Glenister, 25053, 11th Suffolk Regiment, was reported missing, believe killed, on April 9th, 1918. He was the 29-year-old son of William and Ellen Glenister, of 74 Saxon Road, Luton.

A report in the Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph on June 3rd, 1919, said Pte Glenister had in fact been officially reported to have died in a German field hospital on July 5th, 1918.

One of 11 children, William was born at Leagrave in 1888 and in 1911 was working as a milkman for Mr Cartwright, Dunstable Road.

Private Ernest Llewellin Godbehear

Pte Ernest Llewellin Godbehear, 44027, 10th Battalion Essex Regiment, died of wounds in France on May 22nd, 1918. He the third son of Thomas James and Emma Godbehear to die, but the first on the battlefield.

Little detail was given in a report in The Luton News, other than to concentrate on his achievements as a boxer. He held the lightweight championship of the 212th Brigade, and was runner-up in the championship of the Division. His parents had received the watch and medals he had been awarded.

Lance Corporal Archibald Christopher Allwood

L-Cpl Archibald Christopher Allwood, 41386, 13th Battalion Rifle Brigade, had been in France only a month and in the front line trenches just a day or two when he was killed by a shell which dropped into his dug-out on June 2nd, 1918. He and his comrades died instantly.

The former Luton Modern School pupil was the only son of Luton Borough Special Constabulary Inspector Walter Leonard Allwood and his wife Florence Ruth, of 214 Dunstable Road, Luton. Archibald was two months short of his 19th birthday.

Private Frederick Dean

Pte Frederick Dean, 60115, 101st Labour Company (ex-34th Battalion Royal Fusiliers), died in the 5th General Hospital in Rouen, France, on May 18th, 1918, five days after being admitted with gas shell poisoning.

His eldest brother William (Thomas William Dean) had been killed in action in France just weeks earlier, on March 24th, while helping a wounded soldier. Both brothers had been associated with the Clarence Football Club in their younger days.

Private Henry Robert Loosley

Pte Henry Robert Loosley, 43591, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment (ex-202523 Suffolk Regiment, attached 53rd Trench Mortar Battery), died suffering from enteritis and heart weakness on May 18th, 1918, while a prisoner of war in Germany. He was single and aged 20.

With no local newspaper reports of his death, the primary local source is the Book of Life compiled at Luton Parish Church. Red Cross records then show that Henry was captured at Moy-de-l'Aisne in France on March 21st, 1918, the opening day of the German spring offensive.

Private Frederick Archer Marshall

Pte Frederick Archer Marshall, 200315, 1/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of typhoid fever on May 12th, 1918, while serving in Palestine. He left a widow, Charlotte, and three children living at 6 Albert Terrace, New Town Street, Luton.

Frederick had served as a volunteer for 15 years, and was with Col Brighten's forces in the early stages of the war

Private Ballantyne Blake

Pte Ballantyne Blake, 269159, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment, was reported missing, on July 31st, 1917, following the battle of St Julien. It was nearly a year later that widow Ada Blake was officially told the War Office had concluded that he was killed on or soon after that date.

A comrade had said he saw Pte Blake shot through the head by a machine gun bullet, and he had been left for dead. No further information had been obtained.

Sergeant Albert Parish

Sgt Albert Parish, 17766, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on May 8th, 1915. He was a butcher, and his military record says he resided in Luton, without giving further details. He is also commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour, but without an address.

It is known that he was born in Lincolnshire in 1888 and was working as a butcher at Hemel Hempstead at the time of the 1911 Census. He enlisted at Bedford.


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