The Luton Reporter

Luton Conservative Club War Memorial

A war memorial at Luton Conservative and Unionist Club, Market Hill, was unveiled on May 3rd, 1922, by the Duke of Bedford. It had cost 66 guineas and contained the names of 27 members who had given their lives during World War One.

The memorial was on the wall of the main hall at the foot of a staircase. It was fashioned in English oak with richly carved panels on either side of a representative of a rose, shamrock and thistle, with a centre panel of repousse bronze copper.

Mr Walter Thomas Lye

At 5.30 on the evening of July 5th, 1918, one of Luton's prominent businessmen, Mr Walter Thomas Lye, died at his home at Leagrave Hall. The head of the Luton bleaching, dyeing and chemical firm of Messrs T. Lye & Sons, he was aged 61 and left a widow (Nancy), one son (Ernest B. Lye) and one daughter (Gladys).

He and his family had narrowly escaped from Germany at the start of the First World War, catching the last train allowed out of Hamburg to Flushing, in Holland. They had been on a cruise along the Norwegian coast.

Sapper Frank Percy King

Sapper Frank Percy King, 522158, 483rd Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action on the Somme on April 2nd, 1918. He was aged 22 and single.

A comrade wrote to parents Frederick and Martha King at 127 Park Street, Luton: "I have some sad news to tell you. we lost an old Park Street boy, killed the last day we were in the line - Easter Tuesday. He was a jolly nice fellow, a little older than myself, and we had some very nice talks together about Park Street, for he and I were the only two Park Street boys in the Company."

Driver Harry Tompkins

Driver Harry Tompkins, 90111, 78th Field Company Royal Engineers, died in Abbeville Hospital, France, on Good Friday, March 29th, 1918, from wounds received at Mons.

He was aged 42 and, although born in Luton, Bedfordshire, he was living with his wife and six children in Luton, Chatham, Kent, when he enlisted.

Lance Corporal Archibald George Dexter

L-Cpl Archibald George Dexter, 233498, 1/2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action in Belgium on August 16th, 1917. A chum on leave, Pte Smith, of New Town Street, Luton, said he had seen L-Cpl Dexter's party fall and had helped to bring them in and bury them. L-Cpl Dexter was killed instantly when a shell burst among the group of five men - all but one from Luton - whom he was in charge of.

Private Horace John Sanders

Pte Horace John Sanders, 27416, 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, was killed in action in France on August 2nd*, 1917, about three months after going to the Front. He had been slightly wounded a few days previously but returned to duty almost immediately.

Horace, aged 29, was the elder son of grocer, farm owner and member of the Luton Board of Guardians John Sanders and his wife Sarah Agnes, of 54 Hastings Street, Luton.

Private Frederick Alfred Bunker


Pte Frederick Alfred Bunker, 16769, 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action in Mesopotamia on January 25th, 1917. He had recently spent his 25th birthday and Christmas in the trenches.

The second son of Walter and Louisa Kate Bunker, of 75 Albert Road, Luton, he had spent eight or nine years working for Vauxhall Motors Ltd. About 12 months after war broke out he left Luton to do war work at Coventry, and after being there about seven months he was 'combed out' on February 1916 and placed in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Lieutenant Ernest Isaac Barrow


Lieut Ernest Isaac Barrow, 3rd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment attached to the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 23rd, 1916. He was aged 27 and before enlistment in at the outbreak of war had been an assistant master at Luton Modern School.

The eldest son of a JP at Westhoughton [near Bolton, Lancs], he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University, where he gained a BSc degree. He was teaching in Penzance, Cornwall, before joining the staff of Luton Modern School in September 1911.

Private Percy John Clark


Pte Percy John Clark, 2872, 5th London Regiment (London Rifles), died in the Military Hospital, Le Tréport, France, on July 7th, 1916, from wounds received on July 1st, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He had been in the fighting line for two or three months.

Born in Surrey in 1895, he was the son of Mr John Clark, of 243 Dunstable Road, Luton, who was formerly manager of the Luton Labour Exchange but had since moved to take up important munition work at Woolwich Arsenal.

Private Albert James William Day


Pte Albert James William Day, T4/141062, 1st Field Supply Coy, Army Service Corps, died on June 23rd, 1916. His parents lived in Luton, but his death does not appear to have been reported in the local press.

The one reference appeared in a casualty list of Bedfordshire soldiers issued by the War Office that was published in The Luton Reporter on Monday, July 24th, 1916. That simply read, "Died - A.S.C. - 4141062 A. Day (Luton)".


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