Reports of killed and wounded soldiers were carried in the Luton News, Saturday Telegraph, Luton Reporter and Bedfordshire Advertiser in the first week of September 1915. Many of the reports were from unofficial sources and a few would subsequently prove to be inaccurate.
Having been wounded on Sunday, August 15th, Pte CHARLES WHITE, popularly known as 'Cinder,' who was in the employ of Messrs Barnard and Dawson before enlistment, was carried something to safety by a comrade. The comrade who did this splendid service was Pte S. Robinson, of 42 Midland Road, Luton. In a letter received yesterday by the relatives, Pte White says: "I shall be in hospital a day or two. We made a charge on Sunday, August 15th, and I got wounded by a shell. I got it in three or four places, but I don't think it is anything serious. I am now on a hospital ship. Old Sammy Robinson carried me back to a Red Cross station about four or five miles away."
Pte CHARLES TURNER, 5049, of 27 Baker Street, Luton, is in hospital suffering from wounds to the head. A young married man with a baby and lived with his parents, he wrote home including to pieces of his helmet through which jagged shrapnel had passed.
Mr P. C. Breed, of 13 Hazelbury Crescent, received a letter from his brother, Pte BERTIE BREED, who is with the 1/5th Beds and is wounded. He wrote: "We went into action at dinner-time, Sunday, August 15th. It wasn't long before there were scored of killed and wounded. I soon got a packet from a shrapnel shell. The bullet went in one side of my leg and out the other. I was thrown yards. I am now in hospital a long way from the firing line, and I am doing fairly well under the circumstances."
Pte A. W. LEE, 4340, a former employee of the Luton Gas Company, was wounded on August 15th - his birthday - and is now lying in one of the base hospitals. He is the son of Mr and Mrs Lee, of Archway Road, Highgate.
Mrs Ward, of Letchworth Road, Leagrave, has received a letter from her husband, Pte JAMES WAR, who wrote that he was wounded in the leg and was in hospital. Before enlisting, Pte Ward was a navvy, and he described fighting ine the Dardanelles as being "considerably different to working on Houghton Regis sewer".
Pte HORACE OAKLEY, writing to his father, Mr Thomas Oakley, of 8 Queen Square, Luton, said he had a nice birthday present on Sunday [August 15th] - a shell wound, but not serious. "Since we landed we have been continually under fire, and on Sunday we had a running fight of about three miles over two big hills, and a bayonet charge. We have lost a lot of officers and men. The enemy we are fighting are not to be despised as fighters. You see we are in a hostile country and they are prepared for us. The country is strewn with big boulders and prickly bushes and affords hiding places and death traps. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday continual fighting, Sunday worst of all."
Yesterday an official notice was received from Warley that Pte H. DIMMOCK, 4901, of 10 Dordans Road, Leagrave, had been wounded and was in hospital. No letters have been received from Pte Dimmock to five any indication of the character or extent of his wounds.
Mr Frank Grubb, of 9 Windmill Street, Luton, yesterday received a postcard from his son, Pte E. GRUBB, 2758, stating that he was wounded in action on August 15th. Pte Grubb stated that he was shot through the left hand and was on a hospital ship going to the base.
Mrs Cook, of 24 Essex Street, Luton, yesterday received a letter from her husband, Pte GEORGE T. COOK, a former employee at Brown's timber yard, stating that he had been wounded by shrapnel through both thighs. He said he was "going on fine" on a hospital ship on which he was being excellently treated. His brother-in-law, Pte Alfred Smith, was reported killed. [Two days earlier The Luton News thought he had been killed when his brother-in-law, Pte Charles Turner, sent a message that he last saw George going up Hill 90 "and then I saw him no more".]
Mrs Arnold, of 10 Chase Street, Luton, has had official notification that her son, Pte SAMUEL ARNOLD, a former Diamond Foundry employee, was wounded in action on August 15th. No information regarding the extent of his wounds or his condition was included.
Pte ARTHUR FOX, of 108 Selbourne Road, Luton is wounded and in hospital in Malta. In a letter to his mother he quite casually mentioned that he was writing it on a hospital ship with a slight bullet wound in the throat. "It was on Sunday, August 15th, when I got my lot. It was a big battle and we took a good position from the enemy, but lost a lot of men and officers."
Mrs Thrussell, of 97 Church Street, Luton, has been officially informed that her husband, Pte W. THRUSSELL, is slightly wounded and is at Alexandria. A further notification from the General Hospital, Alexandria, states that Pte Thrussell has a gunshot wound in the right hand.
Mrs A. Hawkes, 58 Baker Street, has received official notification that Pte G. L. HAWKES was wounded in action, as reported from Alexandria on August 29th. Pte Hawkes writes that he was wounded in the throat.
Pte RAYMOND SKINNER, whose home is at 12 Holly Walk, Luton, has been wounded in both arms and in one leg. He writes to his mother that there is no cause for her to worry.
Pte FREDERICK THURLOW, of 216 Wellington Street, Luton, who is reported from Alexandria to have been wounded on September 2nd, was a moulder at Messrs Brown and Green's before the war. [Pte Frederick Thurlow was in fact killed in action at Gallipoli on August 17th, 1915].
Mrs F. Goymer, of 15 Crawley Green Road, has been officially informed that Pte W. J. GOYMER has been wounded in action, as reported from Alexandria on August 25th.
Mr and Mrs Brockett, of 'Hovendene,' Colin Road, Luton have received news that the latter's brother, Pte IVAN WILDMAN, was wounded in the shoulder and back on August 15th, during the charge of the 1/5th Bedfords. He writes from a hospital ship on the way to base and says: "I cannot write any more, I am in too much pain." His home is at 27 Ridgway Road, Luton.
L-Cpl PERCY W. REYNOLDS, of B Company, Machine Gun Section, has written to his fiancee, Miss D. Muddiman, 59 Hartley Road, Luton, stating that he is in St George's Hospital at Malta suffering from wounds in the feet. He received the wounds on August 15th while lying down flat on the ground. "I had not been lying down very long when I felt such a pain in both my legs," he writes. "I had been shot just above my heels. My chum bandaged them up for me and I laid two hours because the Turks had found our position and were shelling us, but I got back to the hospital without any further damage. I am now far away from the firing line on a hospital ship." He lived at 68 Cobden Street, Luton.
Mrs H. J. Lambert, of 131 Hitchin Road, Luton, has had rather indefinite news that her husband has been dangerously wounded. His mother received a card from Bandmaster Goodger stating that Sgt HARRY LAMBERT had been dangerously wounded and that he and Lieut-Col Brighten got a stretcher and had him placed on the ship for Alexandria. A lady at Bury St Edmunds has since had word from Pte Sid Warley to say that the Sergeant was wounded in four places by shrapnel.
Pte W. RICHARDSON, a son of Mr and Mrs W. Richardson, 12 Inkerman Street, Luton, was wounded on Sunday, August 15th, during the advance of the Bedfords. A bullet went through the fleshy part of his right thigh. Two comrades put a field dressing on him, and he started back for the Red Cross camp, but half way there a shell burst and another bullet went into his right knee and lodged there. Assisted by a comrade who was wounded in the arm he was able to walk to the Red Cross camp, where he remained until the following morning, when he was put on to the hospital ship.
Pte SIDNEY DUNHAM, of 31 Brunswick Street, Luton, who has been wounded in the hand and is now in hospital, writes that he will probably lose a finger. He has been in the employ of Messrs Vyse, Sons and Co since he was a boy. He joined the 2/5th Battalion in November, and was transferred to the 1/5th.
"A slight wound in the leg," says Pte PERCY WEBDALE, has necessitated his removal to hospital. He is the eldest son of Mrs Webdale, 10 Stuart Street, Luton, and was formerly employed in the clinical department of the CWS Cocoa Works.
Pte ALFRED POLLARD, son of Mrs Pollard, 44 Jubilee Street, High Town, is now in hospital in Chelmsford. He was employed on the Midland Railway before joining the territorials last September. He was wounded on August 15th in the left hand by shrapnel. "It is nothing to hurt," he says in a letter home.
Pte ALFRED TITMUSS, son of Mr and Mrs G. Titmuss, of 40 Milton Road, Luton, was wounded in the thigh when he reached the top of the hill during an advance on August 15th, and had to crawl a mile on his back. His brother, Pte ALBERT TITMUSS, whose wife lives at Slip End, was also wounded in the handed by shrapnel. Alfred was in the employ of Messrs Cameron, and Albert worked for Brown and Green.
It is reported that Signaller A. PAKES, formerly in the employ of Messrs Smith and Small, Bute Street, Luton, has been wounded in the hand by shrapnel. He is the second son of the late Mr W. A. Pakes, of 31 Malvern Road, Luton.
Pte W. STIMPSON, whose home is at 63 Windmill Street, has written home to his mother to say he is wounded and is in hospital at Malta. His thigh was injured after he had been in the field about 12 hours trench digging.
Pte PERCY HIGGINS, 4073, who was reported by a comrade as killed, has written home from a hospital ship stating that he was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel. Not a Lutonian by birth, he has lived in the town many years and was practically brought up by Mr and Mrs Bumpsted, of Langley Road. He was employed as second porter and vanman by Mr Henry Gibbons, and was much liked and respected. At the time of enlistment he lodged with Mrs Adams, Holly Street, Luton. His father resides at Eastbourne.
Pte HAROLD SCOTT, of 76 Leagrave Road, Luton was wounded by a bullet in the foot - either a stray missile or one from a sniper."I thought it was a bit off to be nabbed like that," he says. "Still, I got back to the dressing station as well as I could with a little help, and from there they put me on board. I am now in a hospital having a comfortable time."
Two brothers from 29 York Street have both been wounded. Writing to his wife on August 18th from a hospital ship, Pte C. H. HALFPENNY says: "I am sorry to say that I have had a bit of bad luck, and so has my brother (Pte ALBERT HALFPENNY), but never mind us being wounded I think we will pull through."
Two of the three serving sons of Mr and Mrs Buckingham David Buckingham, of 82 Warwick Road, Luton, were reported wounded. Sgt AUBREY BUCKINGHAM, aged 19 and an employee of the Diamond Foundry, Dallow Road, before enlisting, wrote from hospital on August 24th to say he had been wounded in the neck. The bullet had passed from his neck to the ribs on his left, but he insisted the wound was nothing to worry about. Brother Pte FRANK BUCKINGHAM, aged 21 and had worked at the Diamond Foundry, wrote from Alexandria on August 25th that he had been wounded, "but not so badly - a bit of shrapnel broke my arm".
Pte J. W. CUMBERLAND, whose wife resides at 121 High Town Road, has been wounded. He was formerly in the straw hat trade, and joined the 1/5th Bedfordshires on his birthday (September 12th) last year. The wound is in the knee, and in a letter to his wife he says: "I expect it will keep me out of mischief for a while."
Mr A. Snoxell, of 84 Grange Road, Luton, has been notified that his son, Pte CYRIL SNOXELL, was wounded on September 2nd.
Pte J. W. LEMMONS, of 34 Spencer Road, Luton, is one of the first to return to this country from the Dardanelles. He had only been in the 1/5th about four months when he left for the Dardanelles, and almost immediately after landing he was shot in the neck. At present he lies in the Duchess of Connaught's Canadian Hospital, Taplow, Bucks, and a bullet still has to be extracted from his back.
Pte PERCY STANFORD, 29 Langley Road, Luton, who was earlier reported by the Record Office to be "missing, believed killed" was reported in another official notice from Warley to have rejoined his regiment. Some letters from him were also received.
News of several boys in the 1/5th is given in letters received by Mrs King, of 6 Tavistock Street, Luton, from her husband Pte WILLIAM KING. Having been wounded himself, he first wrote to his employers, Messrs Rudd and Sons, so that someone might break it gently to his wife. He has since written several letters from a Malta hospital, However, several of those he said had been killed were in fact wounded.