8th Bedfordshire Regiment

Private Thomas Frederick Piggott

Private Thomas Frederick Piggott 17458 was my grandfather’s elder brother. He was born in 1895, the eldest of 4 brothers, and worked as a shop assistant before volunteering October 1914 into the 8th battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He was sent to France in August 1915, and died of wounds  after being injured in the battle of the Somme, on Saturday 21 October 1916, aged 21, almost exactly 2 years after he joined up. He is buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetry Extension in France.

Private Sidney George Higgins


Pte Sidney George Higgins, 19752, 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, died on April 25th, 1916, from wounds sustained in action at Poperinghe that day. He was aged 36 and had enlisted in February 1915.

The son of Elizabeth and the late John Higgins, of Islington, he was born in 1879. In 1907 he married Mabel Richardson, from Dunstable, and in the 1911 Census they were living in Southampton, Sidney as a butcher's shop manager. By then Sidney and Mabel had two children, a girl aged two and a boy (also named Sidney George) aged one.

Private John Alfred Marlow


Pte John Alfred Marlow, 19944, 8th Battalion Beds Regiment, was killed in action near Ypres on April 19th, 1916. Initially he was reported missing and his mother asked for his picture to be published in the Luton News in the hope that comrades who read the newspaper would be able to provide positive news.

Pte Marlow was only 18 years old and lived with parents John and Louisa Marlow at 30 Spring Place, Luton. He had begun working as a nine-year-old as an errand boy for hat manufacturer H. Rosson and Co, of 90-92 Collingdon Street. He later worked in the firm's factory.

Lance Corporal Frederick Horace Goodwin


L-Cpl Frederick Horace Goodwin, 19854, 8th Battalion Beds Regiment, was one of a number of soldiers with Luton connections killed in action in Flanders on April 19th, 1916.

Born in Ampthill in 1893, he was the eldest son of William and Phoebe Goodwin, of Pulloxhill. Before enlistment, Frederick worked in the Great Northern Railway goods shed at Luton. He continued to live in Pulloxhill and cycled to and from his work in Luton each morning and evening. Previously he had been a farm labourer.

Private Charles Ellingham


Pte Charles Ellingham, 22462, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Ypres on April 19th, 1916.

Born in Luton, he was the youngest but one of six sons of James and Susan Ellingham, of 26 Spring Place, Luton. For some years before the war he was employed by J. Custance and Sons, sugar boilers, at 15 Chapel Street.

Pte Ellingham had been at the Front for just nine weeks. On the day of his death there had been a very severe bombardment by the enemy that was one of the worst so far experienced and lasted eight hours.

Lieutenant Edmund Wallis Beck


Lieut Edmund Wallis Beck, Acting Adjutant of the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds in hospital at Boulogne on January 9th, 1916. He had been seriously wounded near Ypres on December 19th, 1915, while giving warning of a gas attack. He was aged 26, born in Poona, India, on July 27th, 1889.

Before leaving England, Lieut Beck represented his regiment while dining with the King and Queen. He was educated at Bracondale School, Norwich, and Wellingborough, where he was captain of the 1st eleven, and he shot at Bisley for his school.

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