Lieutenant Arthur Hugh Johns


Lieut Arthur Hugh Johns, Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 1st, 1916. Although born in Pembrokeshire, he was the son of the Rev Roger Owen Johns, who had been Pastor at Park Street Baptist Church, Luton, for about five years until shortly before World War One.

Arthur Johns, born on May 3rd, 1893, was employed by hat manufacturers Messrs J. C. Kershaw & Co until he joined the London Regiment in August1914. He was given a commission about 18 months before his death and had been in training until six months before.

Private Horace Fensome


Pte Horace Fensome, 13261, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was presumed killed in action on the Somme on or after September 3rd, 1916.

Born in 1892, he was the son of Samuel and Ellen Fensome, of Ramridge End Lane (later Ashcroft Road), Stopsley. Prior to enlisting he was a farm labourer.

He is commemorated on Stopsley War Memorial.



Lance Sergeant Joseph Frederick Plater


L-Sgt Joseph Plater, 8393, C Company, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 3rd, 1916. He was aged 29 and left a widow Ellen Beatrice (nee Bingham) and one son, Ronald (born 1913).

Writing to Mrs Plater at 73 Dudley Street, Luton, Capt S. Norrish said her husband was killed by a shrapnel bullet while leading his men in an advance. He died almost instantly.

Corporal Alfred John Axtell


Cpl Alfred John Axtell, 19/312, 19th Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Pioneers) was killed by an explosive shell on August 23rd, 1916, during the British advance on the Somme.

Born in Dunstable in 1888, he later lived with parents Alfred and Martha Hannah (nee Ramsden) at 19 Biscot Road, Luton, and attended Old Bedford Road Boys' School, where he was a pupil teacher. After attending Westminster Training College, he became an assitant master at an elementary school in County Durham and lodged with a family at Dunston-on-Tyne, near Gateshead.

Private Ralph Green


Pte Ralph Green, 34816, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, died on August 30th, 1916, from wounds received in action on the Somme on August 27th. He was the second son of Luton Town FC Secretary Mr Charles Green and his wife Ellen (nee Shaw), of 73 Hazelbury Crescent, Luton.

Sergeant William Ellingham


Sgt William Ellingham, one of the first Lutonians to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, was killed in action on the Somme on August 18th, 1916. He was a son of Arthur and Annie Ellingham, of 8 Jubilee Street, Luton, and served in the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers.

In November 1915 Sgt Ellingham, then a lance corporal, came to England on leave and married Mabel Louisa Ward from Castleford in the Yorkshire town on November 5th. He had been stationed at Pontefract, Yorks, in 1911 and it was while there he probably met Mabel.

Lance Corporal Robert Stokes


Military Medal winner L-Cpl Robert Stokes, 12329, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on August 9th, 1916. He was still listed as "missing" when parents Samuel and Phoebe Stokes, of 10 Alfred Street, Luton, learned that their eldest son, Pte Samuel Stokes, aged 30, had also been killed in France - on October 25th, 1916.

Sergeant William Henry Bunyan


Sgt William Henry Bunyan, 19010, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on August 9th, 1916. He was a Lutonian who had previously served with the Bedfords and had been living at Ash Vale, Surrey, before rejoining his regiment at the outbreak of war.

Sgt Bunyan had lived at 39 Cobden Street for many years and had a sister-in-law living in Collingdon Street. He was born in Luton in 1873 to Mary Ann and the late William Bunyan (died 1876).

Private Hedley Richard Farr


Pte Hedley Richard Farr, G/20105, 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), was reported to have been killed in action on the Somme on August 8th, 1916. He was aged 38, single and had lived with his widowed mother Eliza (nee Groom) at 32 Liverpool Road, Luton.

2nd Lieutenant Richard Norman Butcher


Second-Lieut Richard Norman Butcher, 20th The King's (Liverpool) Regiment, died on August 5th, 1916, from wounds sustained on the Somme on July 30th. He was aged 26 and the son of Bute Street pawnbroker William Joseph Butcher and his wife Lily Rhoda, who lived at Bendrose, Braithwaite Road [later Malzeard Road], off Studley Road, Luton.

Private William Bavister


Pte William Bavister, 18577, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment died on August 3rd, 1916, in the London General Hospital from wounds sustained on the Somme. He had been in France for around 12 months.

Born in late 1892, he lived most of his life in Westoning, where in 1911 he was a farm labourer living with parents William and Mary (their youngest son) and older sister Ada. The couple had had 10 children of whom only four were still living in 1911.

Private Albert Rolfe


Pte Albert Rolfe, 18312, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on August 1st, 1916, from wounds sustained in action on the Somme. He had been in France since July 27th, 1915.

Born in Chesterton, near Cambridge, he had joined the Army in December 1914, and before enlistment was employed on the Luton Hoo Estate. He was included on a Luton Hoo roll of honour provided by Lady Wernher's agent, Mr James Baker, that was published in The Luton News in July 1915. In that he was listed as Pte R. Rolfe, Beds Regt.

Lance Corporal John Prime


L-Cpl John Prime, 14102, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on July 31st, 1916. He was aged 23 and the younger son of John and Eliza Prime, of 2 Front Street, Slip End.

He joined the Bedfords in September 1914, having been employed, like his father, by builders T. & E. Neville, Castle Street, Luton. He was one of the Neville workmen who helped in the building of the Luton News building in Manchester Street that was opened in 1913.

Private Gerald Sidney Brunton


Pte Gerald Sidney Brunton. 25529, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on July 30th, 1916. He was aged 21 and single.

Born near Fakenham, Norfolk, in 1895, he was the son of Frederick William and Martha Elizabeth Brunton. Gerald was one of 12 children, 11 still living at the time of the 1911 Census, when the family were living at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. He was then working as a farm labourer.


Subscribe to RSS - Somme