Horace John William Crump was one of two men to die following an accident at the George Kent munition works at Chaul End on January 8th, 1917.
Born and bred in Caddington, he had moved to live at 90 Ash Road, Luton, with wife Ada Elizabeth and their seven children. The bricklayer's labourer was working as a labourer at the Chaul End works at the time of his death.
George Kent Ltd, based in Biscot Road, Luton, was one of several firms in the town to gear its production to the war effort between 1914 and 1919.
The firm had been founded in London in 1838 by farmer's son George Kent (born 1806). A move to Luton came in 1908, when the George Kent factory in Biscot Road was opened in June of that year (picture above).
In late August 1917, munitions worker Violet Golding, aged “sweet 17,” became one of the youngest people named to receive the newly constituted Medal of the Order of the British Empire. The award followed an accident at George Kent's Chaul End munitions factory the previous June.
The accident, caused by a detonator exploding as the then 16-year-old leaned over to take it out of a press, resulted in a finger and thumb of her left hand having to be amputated and extensive burning to her arm.
May Constable was born in Fenny Stratford in 1896 and during WWI was one of the many female workers, known as munitionettes, who worked in George Kent's fuse-filling factory at Chaul End. She died on 7 March 1918 from burns caused by an explosion at the factory. She is named on the George Kent Roll of Honour along with 3 other women and 6 men as "lives lost through explosions in the manufacture of armaments".