British War Medal

Lance Corporal George Henry Howe

L-Cpl George Henry Howe, 27970, 8th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on September 26th, 1917, the day before his 19th birthday.

His Second Lieut wrote to parents William and Alice Howe at 24 Spring Place, Luton, that theree son had been seen to be wounded on the night of the 26th and it could only be presumed he had succumbed to his wounds as he had not passed through any casualty clearing post.

Private Francis Finch

Pte Francis Finch, 23860, 7th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on October 13th, 1917, having initially been reported missing.

He had joined the Training Reserve Battalion in February 1917 at the age of 18, and was drafted to France at the beginning of August.

Francis was a son of Joseph and Eliza Finch, who lived at Lower Sundon. His father and three older brothers were farm labourers at the time of the 1911 Census, when Francis was still at school. Francis also became a farm worker, employed by farmer Henry Gates, of Sundon.

Sapper Frederick Charles Woodhouse

Sapper Frederick Charles Woodhouse, 99510, 220th Army Troops Company Royal Engineers, died in the No. 17 General Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt, on November 5th, 1917, from malaria.

The husband of Maggie, of 82 Langley Road [now Latimer Road], Luton, he left eight children. He had joined the Army in June 1915 and served in the Mediterranean with a Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers until he contracted the deadly malaria.

Born in Norfolk in 1882, he had married Maggie Pieraccini in Luton in 1904.

Private George Leonard Hawkes

Pte George Leonard Hawkes, 204221, 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, died of wounds in Belgium on November 5th, 1917. He joined the Bedfordshire Regiment (No. 3443) at the outbreak of war and was severely wounded in the jaw and shoulder at Gallipoli, requiring two years of medical treatment. Within a fortnight of later being drafted to France with the Norfolks he was so severely wounded in the head that he died a few hours later.

Private Percy Herbert Moulden

Pte Percy Herbert Moulden, 200847, 1/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on November 3rd, 1917, during the climax to the Third Battle of Gaza.

Hitchin-born Percy Moulden was living at 74 Ivy Road, Luton, when he enlisted in the Beds Regiment in 1915. He had served two years in Egypt.

A letter from one of his comrades gave the news of Percy's death to his widow Eva, then living at 56 Dudley Street, Luton. Percy had married Eva Mary Ann Jackson in Luton in 1909.

Private Hubert William Field

Pte Hubert William Field, 203270, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action on October 30th, 1917, near Passchendaele. He was aged 20.

He was the son of farm bailiff William Field and his wife Emma, who at the time of the 1911 Census were living at Wandon End Farm, near Luton. Hubert had five brothers and two sisters.

He is commemorated on the war memorial attached to Peters Green Baptist Chapel.

Private William Lawson

Pte William 'Sonny' Lawson, 89750, 65th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, died on October 27th, 1917, from gunshot wounds sustained two days previously. The son of Luton Town FC trainer Billy Lawson, he had been serving as a stretcher bearer at the time.

Writing from the No 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in France, the Rev W. L. Archer said: "Your son William was brought to our hospital on the night of the 25th, very severely wounded in the legs. In spite of every care, he lived only to the 27th. I promised to write to you and say that 'Sonny sends his love'.

Lance Corporal Henry Morgan

L-Cpl Henry Morgan, 41476, 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on August 16th, 1917, although for a long period afterwards he was reported only as missing.

He had enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment (No. 3929) in September 1914 and was drafted to Gallipoli in the Dardanelles campaign the following year. He was invalided home with dysentery and septic poisoning, before being transferred to the Irish Rifles in January 1917 and sent to France.

Gunner Thomas Williamson

Gunner Thomas Williamson, 39307, 180th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action on September 21st, 1917. He had first arrived in France on August 20th, 1914.

Capt S. W. Harvey, in a letter to parents Lewin and Ellen Williamson, of 9 Alfred Street, Luton, said: "Our position was so far forward that we could shoot into Boche batteries that no one else could reach. Knowing this, the Boche shelled us heavily. It was while we were moving into another position that you son was killed."

Private Ernest Rodell

Pte Ernest Rodell, 14864, 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, died at Gheluvelt, near Ypres, on October 18th, 1917, from wounds sustained in action. He was aged 23, single and had lived with his parents at 3 Surrey Street, Luton.

One of his chums wrote to Pte Rodell's sister stating that he was wounded on October 17th and died like a hero, happy and conscious to the last. Only a few minutes before he died he asked his chums to shake hands with him. "They did so, and were with him to the last."

Private Bertie Hawkes

Pte Bertie Hawkes, 88018, 3rd Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, died in the No. 14 General Hospital, Wimereux, France, on October 17th, 1917, suffering from the effects of gas poisoning. He was aged 20 and single.

His mother Rosa was living alone at 21 North Street, Luton, after her old soldier husband Alfred and her seven sons - Bertie plus Edward, Arthur, Cyril, Jesse, John and Norman - were serving in the Army either at home or abroad.

Sapper Frederick Jones

Sapper Frederick Jones, 522869, 225th Field Company Royal Engineers, died just after midnight on October 16th, 1917, after being wounded in the neck and thigh by an aerial bomb a short time earlier on the previous day.

He had only recently been discharged from hospital after being wounded by a shell falling on his billet on September 11th. Three men were killed and eight wounded in that incident.

Private Sidney Charles Fensome

Pte Sidney Charles Fensome, 38731, 2/8th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action in Belgium on October 9th, 1917. He had joined the Colours in March 1917 and been in France only since May.

He was the eldest son of the late Mr Sidney Fensome, baker, of Brache Street and Wood Street, Luton, and Kate Fensome. He was with his father in business until his death, when he transferred to baker Mr Fuller and later Messrs Frost and Cooper, of Ash Road.

He left a widow, Rose, and a 10-month-old child, living at 21 Granville Road, Luton.

Private Herbert Gerald Bigmore

Pte Herbert Gerald Bigmore, 203195, 2/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) was killed in action near Ypres in Belgium on September 26th, 1917.

In a letter expressing sympathy to his sister Florence, the Officer Commanding wrote: "Your brother was posted missing after action on the 26th September. On that day the Battalion went into action in an attack, and your brother, I am afraid, was one of those for whom we could not account after the Regiment had come out of the line."


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