George Kent's

Sergeant Harry Pestell


Sgt Harry Pestell, 16949, C Company, 7th Bedfords, was killed in action near Fricourt, France, on January 21st, 1916. He was aged 29.

Born in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, in 1887, he had for about 14 years made his home with Ernest and Fanny Barford, who at the time of Harry's death were running a grocery stores at 44 Old Bedford Road, Luton. Harry was working as a grocer's assistant at the shop at the time of the 1911 Census.

Private Arthur Edward Strange


Pte Arthur Edward Strange, 19791, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Bécordel-Bécourt on September 20th, 1915. He was aged 20.

Born and living in Wiltshire most of his life, he had worked in the Air Department at George Kent's in Luton for about a year before enlisting with comrades from the factory at the beginning of 1915. Flags at the Biscot Road factory were flown at half-mast in his memory.

Lance Sergeant Albert Payne


Lance-Sgt Albert Payne, 2289, 1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 15th, 1915 - on the same battlefield and same day that a younger brother, Cpl Nathan Payne, aged 21, also died.

A letter from the Territorial Records Office arrived at 2 Beech Road, Luton, on September 8th informing his widow, Emily Rose, and his mother, Ellen, that he was "missing, believed killed, as reported from Alexandria on 2nd September".

Rifleman Horace Ethelbert Meade


Rifleman Horace Ethelbert Meade, 2264, died on Sunday, May 9th, 1915, two days after being wounded in action. He was the first employee of George Kent Ltd, Biscot Road, to be killed at the front.

A native of Portsmouth, the 23-year-old had worked in the offices at Kent's until he enlisted with the 12th Battalion County of London Regiment at the outbreak of war. He arrived in France on Christmas Day 1914 and had been in the firing line practically ever since.

Miss May Emma Constable

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".

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