Private Harry Turner

Pte Henry Turner (known as Happy Harry), 32121, 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment, was killed in action in France on October 20th, 1918. He was a nephew of Luton Town FC trainer Billy Lawson, and was due to have been married at the end of November. His fiancee had made all the preparations.

Private Charles Frederick Cole

Pte Charles Cole, 50684, 1/6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, died on October 20th, 1918, from wounds sustained in France. [Some military records give his surnames as Coles.]

He had returned to active service for the third time on September 14th. He had served in the Army for two-and-a-half years. Prior to enlistment he had worked for boot and shoe dealer H. White, of Manchester Street, Luton.

Lance Corporal Sidney Baines

L-Cpl Sidney Baines, 83889, Machine Gun Corps, died in the Middle East from malaria on October 19th, 1918. He was aged about 34 and left a widow Nellie, whom he had not officially married, plus two children living at 14 Windmill Street, High Town.

Nellie Holding informed the military authorities that she and Sidney had lived together for several years and had children Gwendoline Elsie (born 1914) and Sidney John (1916). She said their plans to marry were prevented by Sidney being sent to Egypt.

Private William Fensome

Pte William Fensome, 307015, 16th Battalion Tank Corps, was killed by a shell in action in France on October 17th, 1918. According to his commanding officer, he was buried at the time at Regincourt. [His body was probably later exhumed and reburied.]

Williams had joined up in December 1916 in the Royal Engineers (216487) and was transferred to the Tank Corps in January 1918. He had been in France only six months when he met his death.

Private Percy Mead

Pte Percy Mead, 46998, 12th Battalion King's Royal Rifles, died of wounds in the 17th Casualty Clearing Station in France on October 17th, 1918. He was aged 19 and had previously served in the Beds Regiment (11038).

Born in December 1899, he was a son of Lucy and the late Thomas Mead, of Kings Road, Luton. He had married Elizabeth Read in Kent in 1917 and his widow was living at Sittingbourne at the time of Percy's death.

Before joining up, Percy, along with three brothers, had worked at the Brown & Green Foundry in Windsor Street/South Road, Luton.

2nd Lieutenant Reginald Sidney Strange

Sec Lieut Reginald Sydney Strange, attached 1st Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action at Le Cateau in France on October 17th, 1918. He was single and a month short of his 24th birthday.

He belonged to a Luton family which had traded in the town as drapers and outfitters since 1832. His father Arthur continued the family link to the firm, and in the 1911 Census Reginald was described as a draper's assistant.

Lance Corporal Horace Frederick Alfred Hudson

L-Cpl Horace Frederick Alfred Hudson, 023764, 93rd Coy, Army Ordnance Corps, died from influenza in a stationary hospital in Italy on October 16th, 1918. He was aged 26.

In a letter to parents Alfred and Alice Hudson at 9 Stanley Street, Luton, Horace said he had fallen victim to the influenza epidemic but was quite comfortable and going on well. That was followed by a telegram saying he was dangerously ill, and later a letter stating that he had died, the date given being October 23rd.

Driver Bertie Frederick Eales

Driver Bertie Frederick Eales, 797123, 246th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on October 14th, 1918. In a letter of sympathy widow Ellen Emma Eales, Sgt W. H. Senior wrote: “It was caused by hard luck, just a chance shell that happened to be fatal for that team. I was not present when it happened, being at the guns for which your husband was fetching ammunition.”

Driver Frederick Leslie George Braybrook

Driver Frederick Leslie George Braybrook, 528055, 54th Division Signals Coy Royal Engineers, died from typhoid fever in the 48th Stationary Hospital in Egypt. He was aged 25 and single.

He had volunteered in January 1915 and was drafted to the Dardanelles and later Egypt and General Allenby's Palestine Campaign, taking part in the Battle of Gaza.

Born in Clophill in 1893, he was the eldest son of Frederick and Emma Elizabeth Braybrook, of 3 Park Road West (now Strathmore Avenue), Luton. He had worked as an iron moulder at the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road.

Sapper John Winfield Trussell MM

Spr John Winfield Trussell, 489931, 46th Division Signal Coy, Royal Engineers, died in a casualty clearing station in France on October 7th, 1918, from wounds sustained in action. Poignantly, he was due to receive the Military Medal he had been awarded.

In a letter to his father Harry Trussell, of 15 Vicarage Street, Luton, a chaplain wrote: “You son was wounded at our headquarters, and when he left for hospital we quite hoped he would soon recover. But, alas, our hopes were never realised. He was a skilled telephonist and we shall miss him very much indeed.”

Rifleman Wilfred Cyril Bywater

Rifleman Wilfred Cyril Bywater, 44378, 13th King's Royal Rifles, was killed in action in France on August 24th, 1918. He had been reported missing on that date and it was not until after the Armistice that family at 103 Ash Road, Luton, received official confirmation of his death at the age of 19.

A report of his death in The Saturday Telegraph said that he had been in France since Easter 1918 and previously worked for Mr Hubbard, Princess Street. His military record described him as a dyeworks labourer.

Private Percy James Costin

Pte Percy James Costin, 52084, 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, died of wounds sustained in action in France on October 10th, 1918. He was aged 20 and single.

In a letter to parents James and Annie Costin at 78 Queen Street, Luton, an officer in the Middlesex Regiment said: “He was a runner, and was killed whilst showing great devotion to duty. He suffered no pain.”

Pte Costin joined up in July 1916 and saw considerable service. He was wounded in the arm in October 1917 and went to France again in March 1918 after recovery.

Private George Butterfield

Pte George Butterfield, 17000, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on September 27th, 1918. He was born in Luton and had been married for almost two years.

A chum wrote to widow May: “He was going back from the battalion to brigade headquarters after delivering a message and was hit by a machine gun bullet. His death must have been instantaneous.

“He was sent back behind the firing line and buried in a British cemetery in a little village.”

Gunner Wallace Cooke

Gunner Wallace Cooke, 43618, 187th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on October 2nd, 1918. He was one of five men killed in the 8pm attack, with many more injured, including Sgt W. Evans, a wounded chum in hospital who wrote to widow Florence Maud Cooke at 47 Rothesay Road, Luton.

Wallace had been looking forward to coming home on leave, having been at the front for about a year since his last leave.


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