Corporal Harry Meeds

Cpl Henry (Harry) Meeds, 25317, 11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on April 29th, 1918. He had volunteered just before his death to return to the firing line, having for a considerable time beforehand been doing police duty for another battalion, journeying to and fro with German prisoners of war.

Harry was the son of former undertaker William Meeds and his wife Jennie, of 2 Windsor Street, Luton. He was born in Boscombe, Bournemouth, and was single.

Corporal Lionel Burt Evans

Cpl Lionel Burt Evans, 720752, 24th Battalion London Regiment, was killed in action in Flander on April 5th, 1918. His widow Isabella was given the official news at her home at 219 High Town Road, Luton.

Lionel had joined the Londons at the outbreak of war and was trained at St Albans. He went to France in March 1915 and was wounded at Givenchy, returning to France after recovering from his wounds.

He was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Jane Evans, born in 1895. He married Isabella Donna Everett at St Albans in 1915 and they had a young son.

Private Frederick John Rogers

Pte John Rogers, 128958, 30th Company Machine Gun Corps, was killed by a shell which exploded as he stood by a dug-out door on the Western Front on April 22nd, 1918. He was single and aged 20.

Prior to joining up in November 1916, John (full name Frederick John Rogers) was employed by his father in the bleaching and dyeing firm of Rogers & Ashby, Dunstable Road.

At first he was in a Labour Battalion stationed at Newhaven, but afterwards transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and went through training at Grantham. He had been in France only two months.

Lance Corporal William Gentle

L-Cpl William Gentle MM, 13200, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action at Meteren in France on April 14th, 1918, while tending the wounded on the battlefield. He was attached to 11th Field Company Royal Engineers.

Chaplain the Rev Lincoln Dudley wrote to widow Kate that her husband had gone out on an errand of mercy and, on his return, was hit by a splinter of shell and killed instantly.

Lance Corporal Jesse Hugh Smith

L-Cpl Jesse Hugh Smith, 42775, 14th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action at Bailleul in France on April 19th, 1918.

An officer wrote to tell his mother, Ann Louisa Smith at 34 Peach Street, Luton, that her son was killed by shell fire while carrying rations from the transport waggon to the dug-out. A piece of shell penetrated his heart and death was instantaneous.

The officer added that L-Cpl Smith was buried at Mont Noir, near Bailleul, in a shady spot in the grounds of a chateau.

Gunner William Frederick Govier

Gunner William Frederick Govier, 119496, 186th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed on March 21st, 1918, when a shell exploded outside the battlefield cookhouse where he and a companion were on duty. His unnamed companion was also killed.

Church of England Chaplain the Rev H. A. Norton in a letter to Mrs Mabel Govier, at 122 Baker Street, Luton, said pieces of the shell had pierced the iron sheeting which formed the wall of the cookhouse and struck the two men inside.

Private George William Bone

Pte George William Bone MM, 90015, 137th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1918, along with fellow stretcher-bearer and Lutonian Pte Thomas Ralph Corney. They were carrying a wounded officer from the trenches when all three were killed by a shell. Pte Bone had earned the Military Medal in September 1917 after being wounded while carrying an injured man a distance of 350 yards under shell fire.

Private Thomas Ralph Corney

Pte Thomas Ralph Corney, 71953, 137th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1918. He was on stretcher-bearer duty with fellow Lutonian Pte George William Bone MM when a shell claimed them both and the wounded officer they were carrying.

Corporal Frederick Chance

Cpl Frederick Chance, 22447, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds at the 48th Field Ambulance station in France on April 8th, 1918. He left a widow and two children in Luton.

He had been in France for two years, the last seven months after a spell of home leave.

Born in Luton in March 1890, he had married Alice Elizabeth Roberts in 1910. The couple lived at 36 New Street, Luton, and had two sons - Ronald and Arthur.

Before enlistment Frederick was employed as a carter by coal merchant Richard Dudley, of Ashton Road, Luton.

Private Ernest William Bruton

Pte Ernest William Bruton, 202636, 9th Battalion Essex Regiment, died in the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens, France, on April 8th, 1918, following gunshot wounds in the back of the neck sustained on the battlefield. He was aged 22 and single.

An old boy of Queen Square School and a former member of the Excelsior football team, Luton, he was a son of Hannah Mary and the late Walter Bruton. At the time of Ernest's death his widowed mother was living at 55 Ash Road, Luton.

Private Frank West

Pte Frank West, 49094, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in the trenches in France by a shell on April 6th, 1918. He was aged 19, single and the son of George and Annie West, of 111 Guildford Street, Luton.

It was comrade Pte J. W. Harrison (Beds Regiment) who broke the news to the parents in an emotional letter from the Front. He wrote: "He was a lad who was esteemed by us all, and his jovial manner and personality made him popular with all who came into contact with him, from the NCOs to his comrades in the line.

Private William Thomas Clark

Pte William Thomas Clark, 20882, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Gentelles on the Somme in France on April 5th, 1918.

He had joined the Army on June 7th, 1915, and went out to France for the first time in the following February. He was wounded in April 1917 but recovered in England and returned to the Front. Prior to enlistment he was employed as a plait dyer by E. W. Hart & Co, Windmill Road.

Lance Corporal Ernest David Rattle

L-Cpl Ernest David Rattle, 40902, 1st Herts Regiment, was killed in action in France on March 23rd, 1918. His widow, in ill health and with five small children under the age of seven to care for in Luton, had heard nothing from him since March 18th.

Ernest had been promised home leave, and widow Alice at 12 Naseby Road, Luton, was daily expecting a telegram to say he was on his way. But it was not until August 1919 that the War Office concluded that he had been killed in action or died of wounds on March 23rd, 1918.


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