2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

August 1914 : in Pretoria in South Africa.
Returned to England and landed at Southampton 19 September 1914.
19 September 1914 : came under orders of 21st Brigade, 7th Division.
19 December 1915 : moved with the Brigade to 30th Division and then transferred to 89th Brigade.
11 February 1918 : transferred to 90th Brigade, in same Division.
22 May 1918 : transferred to 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.

Company Sergeant Major Alec Cook

Company Sgt Major Alec Cook, 9119, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Albert in France on August 20th, 1918, an action in which he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The medal was eventually collected by his younger sister Elsie, of 57 Frederic Street, Luton. Lieut-Col Tighe made the presentation at Biscot Camp on January 26th, 1919.

Private Arthur Samuel Victor Long

Pte Arthur Samuel Victor Long, 22461, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on August 29th, 1918.

Parents Samuel and Martha Long, of 139 North Street, Luton, were informed that their son had been shot through the heart by a sniper at Combles while crossing an open space with his captain, who had just chosen him as orderly. He died in a very few minutes, and was conscious only a few seconds. Pte Long, who was aged 20, had been expecting home leave at the time.

Corporal Frederick Harry Shackleton

Cpl Frederick Harry Shackleton, 25435, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Fricourt in France on August 25th, 1918, two months after first going into action. He was aged 23.

A son of plait merchant Frederick Reeves Shackleton and his wife Ellen, of 27 Clarendon Road, Luton, Cpl Shackleton joined up in January 1916, two days before his 21st birthday.

Lance Sergeant Reginald Charles Goodridge Weeks

Lance-Sgt Reginald Charles Goodridge Weeks, 23070, 2nd Battalion Beds Regiment, died of wounds in a battlefield casualty clearing station in France on August 7th, 1918. He was aged 21 and single.

Parents Goodridge Charles and Rose Harriet Weeks at Upper Sundon were informed in a telegram on August 9th that their son was dangerously wounded, followed quickly by a second with the news that he had died. A chaplain had buried Reginald.

Private Llewelyn Cadwaller Lamb

Pte Llewelyn Cadwaller Lamb, 29669, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was reported missing in France on July 1st, 1918, later assumed to have been killed in action on that date.

Born in Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire, he was working at the Diamond Foundry in Luton before he joined up.

He is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour/War Memorial but without an address. A Luton News report at the time merely referred to his friend - a Miss Taylor residing at 2 Ivy Road, Luton - having received the report that Llewelyn was missing and seeking information about his whereabouts.

Private Ernest William Armitage

Pte Ernest William Armitage, 20432, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on June 25th*, 1918. He was single, and his widowed mother lived at 26 Albert Road, Luton.

In a letter to Mrs Sarah Armitage, Capt P. J. Reiss wrote that her son's death had occurred on June 26th*. Ernest was a member of a Lewis gun team in the front line, and he had been nearby when Pte Armitage was killed instantly by a piece of trench mortar entering his head from behind. His body was carried out the same evening and he had been properly buried in an English cemetery.

Private Albert Ernest Bithrey

Pte Albert Ernest Bithrey, 41546, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on July 1st, 1918, according to military records.

However his lieutenant wrote to Albert's mother in Luton: “On the night of 29th June he was acting as platoon gunner, and sitting next to me when a shell pitched on his packs and killed him instantly. His body was brought down and buried in a cemetery behind the lines, and a proper memorial has been put up to his memory.”

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.

Private Christopher Barton

Pte Christopher Barton, 10716, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was reported missing, later killed in action, in Flanders on May 8th, 1918. He was aged 25 and the son of Martha Jane and the late John Samuel, of 59 Chase Street, Luton.

Christopher married Ellen Riddle under licence at St Paul's Church, Luton, on November 17th, 1915. They had a daughter, Ivy, born the following year, and their home address was 73 Park Road West (now Strathmore Avenue), Luton.

Corporal Arthur Ward

Cpl Arthur Ward, 19139, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on April 2nd, 1918. He is buried in St Thomas' Churchyard at Stopsley, although he is not commemorated on the Stopsley War Memorial.

No newspaper reports of his death or funeral have so far come to light, but to have been buried locally he would have died in England, probably, as historian James Dyer suggests, in an English hospital from wounds sustained abroad.

Private Thomas Carruthers

Pte Thomas Carruthers, 30635, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds in France on March 29th, 1918. It was not until the following December that news reached his widowed mother Julia that her son had died of wounds two days after being captured as a prisoner of war.

His Red Cross report said his death followed the shattering of his left upper arm. He was buried in the cemetery at Damery in France.

Private Walter George Dillingham

Pte Walter George Dillingham, 26572, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action in France on March 28th, 1918.

Although born in Luton, a son of Daniel and Sarah Dillingham, of 4a Essex Street, Luton, he had spent most of his adult life living in Bedford. In the 1901 Census he was working as a fishmonger living in Tavistock Place, Bedford, with two visitors - sisters Fanny and Eliza Stokes. On August 12th, 1906, he married Fanny and they were to have three children. In the 1911 Census he was described as a flower hawker.

Private Frederick William Hoar

Pte Frederick William Hoar, 25528, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds in France on March 27th*, 1918. He was aged 23, single and a member of the Lewis gun section.

He was the son of Alfred and Ellen Hoar, of 37 Cowper Street, Luton. Before the war he was a boot maker employed by Mr Edward Hudson, of Dunstable Road.

Newspaper reports said his family had been informed that Frederick died on March 22nd. A family announcement in The Luton News from his "devoted sweetheart Edith" also carried a date of March 22nd.

Private William James Bass

Pte William James Bass, 29668, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 24th, 1918, early in the German spring offensive.

He had seen 18 months service in France and was previously employed by Mr T. G. Hobbs in Luton.

The 1911 Census shows him living in Limbury Road, Leagrave, one of eight surviving children of James and Clara Jane Bass.

On July 29th, 1912, he married Louisa Scrivener, who also lived in Limbury Road, and records suggest they had two children - Elsie born in 1914 and William in 1916.

Sergeant John Goodson

Sgt John Goodson, 19064, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 23rd, 1918, during the German spring offensive. He was aged 25 and married.

John Goodson was born on the East Coast at Gorleston-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, and by 1911 was working as a baker in the business of his his uncle and aunt, Ernest and Jane Bloomfield, of 22 Hitchin Road, Luton. Before enlisting he was working in the bakery department of the Luton Co-operative Society.


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