Sergeant Harry Abbott

Sgt Harry Abbott, 104336, 1st Garrison Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment), died on duty in Egypt on July 1st, 1918. He was one of three sons of widow Mrs Agnes Abbott, of 11 Moreton Road, Luton, who had been serving in the Forces.

Harry, born in Markyate in August 1892, had joined up at the outbreak of war and was initially serving the Bedfordshire Regiment from 1914. He was afterwards transferred to the Sherwood Foresters and attained the rank of sergeant.

Gunner Fred Gordon West

Gunner Fred Gordon West, 881989, 312th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on July 29th, 1918. He was aged 28 and single.

Second son of Charles and Amy Jane West, he was born in Steppingley, Beds, in 1890. By the time of the 1911 Census, Fred was living with his parents and sister Lillian Edith and brother Jack at 47 Ivy Road. He was employed as a stiffener by hat manufacturer Mr Sidney Parker, of 47 Collingdon Street, Luton.

Sapper Walter George White

Sapper Walter George White, 60334, 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action in France on August 6th, 1918. He was married, had resided at 86 Cromwell Road, Luton, and had been wounded twice previously on the battlefield.

Born in 1889, he was at the time of the 1911 Census one of ten surviving children of George and Betsy White, of 83 Cromwell Road. Walter was then a straw hat warehouseman. He was employed by hat manufacturer Mr E. G. Bryant, of 39 Cheapside, until joining the Colours.

Sapper Horace Charles Godfrey

Sapper Horace Charles Godfrey, 78464, OO Cable Section, Royal Engineers, was killed in action in France on August 1st, 1918. He was aged 22 and the only son of Edward and Annie Godfrey, of 13 Baker Street, Luton.

An officer wrote to the parents: “Death occurred while he was on duty as sentry this morning about 1.30. There was an enemy bombing raid in the vicinity, and a bomb was dropped on the stables. Poor Horace was hit and died instantaneously.”

Gunner John Lewington

Gunner John Lewington, 254847, 31st Medium Trench Battery, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on August 3rd, 1918. He was single, aged 30 and had been in Luton for 15 years.

John Lewington was a drayman on the Midland Railway goods staff and made deliveries in the High Town district. He lodged in Church Street, Luton, and supported his widowed mother Rachel, who was living in London.

Private Percy Charles Keightley

Pte Percy Charles Keightley, 41987, 2/5th West Yorks Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own), was killed in action shortly after going over the top with comrades in the advance on the Marne in France on July 20th, 1918.

The news was first received by parents Sidney Charles and Edith Keightley at 49 Cardiff Road, Luton, in a letter from one of their son's comrades. He wrote that Percy was buried in a little cemetery on the left of the Pourcy-Marfaux road.

Private Stanley Welch

Pte Stanley Welch, 27349, 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on July 22nd, 1918. He was aged 34 and married.

His family learned the news via a letter from chum Pte Hanby to his own parents living in Old Bedford Road, Luton. He wrote: “Stanley Welch, who used to be a teacher at Wellington Street, was killed in a raid whilst dressing one of the wounded. A shell burst close to them, and both were killed instantly.”

Lance Corporal John Hayden Healey

L-Cpl John (Jack) Hayden Healey MM, 102086, 15th Sherwood Foresters (Derby & Notts Regiment), was killed in action at Kemmel Hill, near Ypres in Flanders, on July 16, 1918. He was aged 29 and single and had been a journalist, latterly employed by The Luton News.

In a letter dated July 19th, 1918, to parents Arthur and Florence Ann Healey at 31 Court Road, Luton, a chaplain George Smissen informed them that their eldest son was killed in action three days previously.

Lance Corporal Bertram Stanley Wright

L-Cpl Bertram Stanley Wright, 202053, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, died in hospital in France on July 7th, 1918, from wounds that he sustained in action two days earlier. He left a widow and a young son in Luton, and had served in France for 14 months.

His officer, Lieut Middleton, wrote to widow Margaret at 7 Butlin Road, Luton, to inform her that her husband wanted her to know that he had been injured in the left leg. Later, a hospital sister wrote to say that L-Cpl Wright was in a critical condition, followed by a second letter with the news of his death.

Private Ernest William Armitage

Pte Ernest William Armitage, 20432, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on June 25th*, 1918. He was single, and his widowed mother lived at 26 Albert Road, Luton.

In a letter to Mrs Sarah Armitage, Capt P. J. Reiss wrote that her son's death had occurred on June 26th*. Ernest was a member of a Lewis gun team in the front line, and he had been nearby when Pte Armitage was killed instantly by a piece of trench mortar entering his head from behind. His body was carried out the same evening and he had been properly buried in an English cemetery.

Private Ernest Sidney Hoole

Pte Sidney Ernest Hoole, 67609, 6th Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on July 1st, 1918. He was a month short of his 19th birthday.

Born in 1899, a son of Frederick and Kate Hoole, he joined up in September 1917 and had been serving abroad for only three months. Before joining the colours he had been an assistant at the Maypole food shop in Wellington Street, Luton.

Sidney is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour/War Memorial. His mother and three brothers were living at 80 Church Street at the time of his death.

Private Albert Ernest Bithrey

Pte Albert Ernest Bithrey, 41546, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on July 1st, 1918, according to military records.

However his lieutenant wrote to Albert's mother in Luton: “On the night of 29th June he was acting as platoon gunner, and sitting next to me when a shell pitched on his packs and killed him instantly. His body was brought down and buried in a cemetery behind the lines, and a proper memorial has been put up to his memory.”

Private William James Wells

Pte William James Wells, 38483, 19th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps, died of wounds in France on June 9th, 1918. No further detail were given in local newspapers.

His death was recorded in the Luton News in just one paragraph, even though he had been elected secretary of the Luton Conservative and Unionist Association in 1913 and featured prominently as an election worker from 1911 until he initially joined the transport section of the Royal Engineers in 1914 at the start of the war.

Private Frederick Halsey

Pte Frederick Halsey, 2473, 2/1st West Riding Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was one of three stretcher-bearers who died together under enemy shell fire in France on the morning of June 21st, 1918.

In a letter to Mrs Elizabeth Halsey at 6 New Town Street, Luton, Lieut-Col Walter Lister extended his sympathy and wrote: “Your son was on duty in the forward area as stretcher-bear when the relay post at which he was stationed was blown up by a direct hit from enemy fire.”


Subscribe to RSS - Luton