7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

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.

Lance Corporal John Walter Odell

L-Cpl John Walter Odell, 32944, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 24th, 1918. His death seems not to have been reported in the local Press.

Born in Hemel Hempstead in 1883, he had married Lizzie Impey in Luton in 1902 and lived at 14 Wimbourne Road, Luton. Records suggest the couple had six children.

At the time of the 1911 Census he was a general labourer at the Luton Gas Works in Dunstable Road.

Corporal George Thomas Hunt

Cpl George Thomas Hunt, 14574, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on April 24th, 1918. He was aged 28 and single.

The news was contained in a letter to his widowed mother Elizabeth at 13 May Street from Sgt Walby in Cpl Hunt's company. He wrote that her son was hit by a machine gun bullet while they were going over the top on the night of April 24th, and he died a few minutes afterwards.

Private William Thomas Clark

Pte William Thomas Clark, 20882, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Gentelles on the Somme in France on April 5th, 1918.

He had joined the Army on June 7th, 1915, and went out to France for the first time in the following February. He was wounded in April 1917 but recovered in England and returned to the Front. Prior to enlistment he was employed as a plait dyer by E. W. Hart & Co, Windmill Road.

Sergeant William Buckingham

Sgt William Buckingham, 33776, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on March 23rd, 1918, during the German spring offensive on the Somme. He was aged 28 and single.

A son of Charles and Annie Buckingham, of 29 Buxton Road, Luton, he had before enlistment been a straw hat blocker in the family business.

Private Albert Claude Woodward

Pte Albert Claude Woodward, 41541, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on March 22nd, 1918, during the German spring offensive on the Somme. He was aged 19 and single.

At the time of enlistment at the age of 18 in February 1917, Albert was employed by cycle dealer Ernest Starke, of 44 Castle Street.

He was one of ten surviving children of Thomas Robert and Emma Woodward, of 132 Dallow Road, Luton. He was an old boy of Waller Street School, attended King Street Congregational Sunday School and had been an amateur footballer.

Sergeant Sidney Fensome

Sgt Sidney Fensome, 19789, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 22nd, at the start of the German spring offensive of 1918. He was aged 28.

The son of Samuel and Ellen Fensome, of Ramridge End Lane, Stopsley, he was the third of the couple's sons to die in battle. Sidney is commemorated on both the Stopsley and Luton War Memorials.

Pte Horace Fensome, of the Beds Regiment, had died on the Somme in September 1916, just days before the loss of his brother, Arthur William (Machine Gun Corps).

Private Gerald Edward Hills

Pte Gerald Edward Hills, 30799, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was reported missing in action in Belgium on July 20th, 1917. It was not until the following October that his widow, Edith, at Breachwood Green was officially notified that he was killed on that date, but there was no further information about how he met his death.

Sergeant Carl Hill

Sgt Carl Hill, 3/7592, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in the Third Battle of Ypres on August 16th, 1917. There was no report or family announcement of his death in the local Press, but he is included on the Luton Roll of Honour.

Carl was born in Sandridge, near St Albans, in 1883, the son of James and Eliza Hill. In 1901 he was a boarder in London before moving to Lancashire, where he married Sarah Alice Friar at Prescot, St Helens, in 1910.

Private Arthur William Purser

Pte Arthur William Purser, 13857, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was severely wounded on the Somme on July 1st, 1916. For the next 12 months he underwent operations in hospital. In July 1917 he was sent home on leave to prepare for a further operation. On July 20th he died in uniform at home in Toddington, at the age of 32.

Private Samuel George Whittington

Pte Samuel George Whittington, 200564, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action under shell fire near Ypres on July 18th, 1917. He was aged 34, married and had a daughter.

Capt S. Tabor sent the news to widow Nellie at 79 Hastings Street, Luton. Pte Whittington had seen only eight weeks service with the battalion in France, although he had joined the Beds Regiment in another battalion at the outbreak of war.

Private William Francis Daniel Everett

Pte William Francis Daniel Everett, 202664, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, had been in France only nine weeks when he died on June 14th, 1917, from wounds sustained in action. He was aged 25.

Writing to widow Ethel Mabel Everett at 28 Ashton Street, Luton, chaplain the Rev C. O. R. Wormald said Pte Everett was brought into the 49th Casualty Clearing Station seriously wounded. Everything possible was done to save his life, but he passed away on June 14th. The writer had ministered to him in his last hours and he thought there was not much suffering.

Private Edward Anstee

Pte Edward Anstee, 30849, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Arras on May 3rd, 1917. He was aged 35.

No report of his death appears to have been published in the local Press at the time. He was born around 1881 and married Louisa Fox in Luton in 1900.

At the time of the 1911 Census the couple were living at 17 Cowper Street, Luton, Edward working as a straw hat blocker. Their only child had died.


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