Private Alfred Giltrow

Pte Alfred Giltrow, M/319891, 10th Motor Transport Coy, Army Service Corps, died from tuberculosis in Cairo General Hospital, Egypt, on November 6th, 1918. He had been admitted dangerously ill four days previously.

Alfred was the youngest son of William and Elizabeth Giltrow, of 49 High Town Road, Luton. He had trained at Osterly Park, Hounslow, and three months later was sent to Egypt, arriving at Alexandria in December 1917. He had served in the A.S.C. For a total of a year and four months.

Driver Henry William Wilkinson

Pte Henry (Harry) William Wilkinson, 60108, 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action in France on November 5th, 1918, while serving in a machine gun section. Born in Luton, he was aged 23 and single.

In a letter to widowed mother Ruth Wilkinson at 29 Butlin Road, Luton, an officer said: “I am writing to tell you how sorry I am that your son was killed in action on the 5th. He was buried by the padre just outside a little village with several others of the regiment.”

Private William Edwin Burgess

Pte William Edwin Burgess, A/437681, Expeditionary Force Canteen, Army Service Corps, died in the 53rd Stationary Hospital in Russia on November 5th, 1918. A telegram to his widow said he had died of dysentery, but his military files show he died of a fractured spine following a fall from a gangway, and an inquiry said no-one else was to blame in the accident. William had gone to Russia seven weeks before his death.

Private Thomas Frederick Piggott

Private Thomas Frederick Piggott 17458 was my grandfather’s elder brother. He was born in 1895, the eldest of 4 brothers, and worked as a shop assistant before volunteering October 1914 into the 8th battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He was sent to France in August 1915, and died of wounds  after being injured in the battle of the Somme, on Saturday 21 October 1916, aged 21, almost exactly 2 years after he joined up. He is buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetry Extension in France.

Private Oliver Howard

Pte Oliver Howard, 39454, 5th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action in France on November 3rd, 1918 – eight days before the armistice and only three days after he had been drafted to France. Aged 18, he was the youngest of five serving brothers.

Born in Leytonstone, Essex, in 1899, he and his family had lived in Chaul End Lane, Caddington, for nearly nine years, before he moved with widower father Daniel and brother Erastus to 35 Salisbury Road, Luton.

Daniel Howard was a local preacher connected with Wellington Street Baptist Church.

Sergeant Arthur Foster

Sgt Arthur Foster, 16999, 2nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died of influenza on November 2nd, 1918, in the No 6 General Hospital, Rouen, France.

He had joined the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1913 and was in action from the start of the war. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in 1917 and was promoted to sergeant about six months before his death. His father, Alfred, was a lance-corporal in the Army Service Corps serving in France.

Private George William Smith

Pte George William Smith, F/3441, 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, was killed in action at Solesmes, east of Cambrai in France, on October 12th, 1918. He was aged 34 and a married man with three children.

He had been in the Forces for about two and a half years and had been slightly wounded in the face in May 1917.

Born in Ampthill, he married Daisy Annie Inns at St Matthew's Church, Luton, on August 1st, 1908. They had three children – Hilda May (born 1909), George Ernest (1912) and William Charles (1914).

Driver Percy Albert Horwood

Driver Percy Albert Horwood, 208439, 282nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on the morning of November 1st, 1918. He was aged 28 and a son of Old Bedford Road hat manufacturer Joseph Albert Horwood and his wife Lucy, who lived at 41 Biscot Road, Luton.

Private Clarence Blackbourn

Pte Clarence Blackbourn, 40100, 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 27th, 1917. He was single and aged 19.

Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1898, Clarence was living with parents Thomas and Emily Jane plus four brothers and two sisters at Stamford, Lincolnshire, at the time of the 1911 Census.

Sapper George Kendall Silsbey

Spr George Kendal Silsbey (Silsby), 522296, 486th Field Coy, Royal Engineers, died in Egypt on October 31st*, 1918, from pneumonia. Parents Harry and Caroline Annie (Carrie) Silsbey had been hoping to see him on home leave. They had not seen him since 1915, when he went to East.

A telegram received by the parents on November 1st, 1918, said their son was dangerously ill with fever, followed by a second telegram on November 6th to say that he died on October 31st from pneumonia.

Private Charles Barnard Plater

Pte Charles Barnard Plater, 265668. 2nd Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment, was killed in action in Italy on October 29th, 1918. He was aged 22 and single.

The news was received by his twice widowed mother Jane Hawkins, of 27 Newcombe Road, Luton. Charles' father, Thomas Plater, had died in 1906 and Jane remarried in 1910. Her second husband, Frederick Hawkins, was killed in action in France on May 13th, 1915, while serving with the 2nd Essex Regiment (6164).

Lieutenant Sidney Charles Squires

Lieut Sidney Charles Squires, 2/5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action in at Valenciennes in France on October 28th, 1918. He was a holder of the Belgian Croix de Guerre, awarded the previous February for intelligence work while with the Brigade staff.

He was the 22-year-old third son of Harry and Emily Wooler Squires, of Crafnant, Chapel Street (10 Farley Hill), Luton. His father was a director of hat manufacturers Welch & Sons, of Upper George Street.

Private Arthur Kiff

Pte Arthur Kiff, 73413, 23rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was reported missing and then “killed in action or died of wounds received in action, on October 8th, 1918, or shortly after”. He was aged 19 and had joined up in January 1918, but it was not until around a month following the armistice that his presumed death was confirmed to his parents.


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