Royal Engineers

Sapper Bert Angel

Bert Angel was born in 1896 in Luton.

In 1911 he is living with his family at 168 Park Street. His father is 36 years old & working as a bricklayer, mother Lizzie is 37 & his 12 year old Hedley is at school. Bert is 14 years old & working as an office boy.

On 1st January 1915 Bert attested at Bedford for the 3/1st East Anglian Field Company of the Royal Engineers. He is described as being 5ft 7 1/2 inches tall & gave his address as 6 Beech Road, where is uncle Henry lived & his father as next of kin on his service record.

Driver Joseph Walter Wheeler

Joseph Walter Wheeler was born in Harefield, Middlesex in 1896.

He was 1 of 5 children born to Herbert & Louisa.

His father was a carter for an asbestos works & died in July 1904 in Harefield, Middlesex, leaving a young family.

In 1911 widowed Louisa 40, a domestic servant, was living with her children at 94 Langley Road, Luton.  Joseph is 15 years old & working as a draper, 19 year old Herbert is an ironmonger & Rose 17, is a general servant for a coal merchant. Violet 12 & 9 year old Cissey are at school.

Corporal William Gurney


Cpl William Gurney, 97201, No 8 Depot Company, Royal Engineers, died in the Red Cross Hospital at Newark, Notts, from an acute internal condition. He was taken suddenly ill and died ten hours later.

He had served with the Guards in the South African campaign for which he was awarded two medals and eight bars. He rejoined the Colour at the outbreak of war and became attached to the Royal Engineers at Newark as an instructor.

Sapper William John Long

William John Long was born in Woburn in August 1875. He was 1 of 9 children born into the large Roman Catholic family of Arthur & Mary.

His father & elder brother Samuel were carpenters & joiners, so William followed into the family business.

William married Annie Mary Ann Dewar on 10th August 1898.

In 1901 William & Annie are living at 36 Ashton Road with their young family, Hilda Annie is 2 & Ethel Alice is just 1 month old.

Driver Henry Isaac Pearson

Henry Isaac Pearson was born in Luton in October 1894 to Frederick & Sarah Minnie.

In 1911 he is 16 years old & listed on the census as an inmate at the Reformatory School, Chapmore End near Ware in Hertfordshire. It was a place that provided care & training for boys that were involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour. Henry would have learnt agricultural skills by working on the farm there as well an education by attending school for a few hours each day.

Sapper Nathaniel John Fowler


Sapper Nathaniel John Fowler, 1511, 1st/2nd (North Midland) Field Company, Royal Engineers, died on April 21st, 1915, from abdomens wounds received in action on April 18th. Aged 31 and a native of Harpenden, he lived at Leagrave and left a widow and two children.

Sapper Fowler was the son of the late Mr James Fowler, a bootmaker, of Wheathampstead Road, Harpenden, and his widow, and had three brothers living in Harpenden.

Driver Jesse Bertran Hammett

Jesse Bertran Hammett was born in 1895 in Luton to Walter & Emily.

In 1911 he is 16 years old & living at 169 Park street with his parents, bother Cyril 13, his brother-in-law Frederick Harding & they have a lodger Robert Chivers.

Jesse is working as an order boy in the hat trade. His brother-in-law is a clerk & his mother is a machinist, also in the hat trade. His father & lodger are general labourers in the building trade.

On 20th January 1915 Jesse joined the Royal Engineers as a driver, then was sent to France.


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