Sapper (abbreviated Spr) is the Royal Engineers' equivalent of Private. This is also the case within the Indian Army Corps of Engineers, Canadian Military Engineers, Royal Australian Engineers,[1] South African Army Engineer Formation and Royal New Zealand Engineers. The term Sapper was introduced in 1856 when the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners was amalgamated with the officer Corps of Royal Engineers to form the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Sapper Archibald George Whitelock

Archibald George Whitelock was born in Canning Town, London in 1886, 1 of 9 children born to William & Elizabeth.

On 9th September 1914 whilst living at 91 Ridgeway Road, Luton, Archibald enlisted into the Royal Engineers (523029) as an electrician. He took his electricians' test with the Biscot Road works for Commercial Cars. He later worked for Vauxhall Motors.

In April 1915 he married Helen A Stone in Luton.

Sapper Reuben Edward Parris

Sapper Reuben Edward Parris, 524535, 105th Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action at Messines Ridge on June 6th, 1917.

Official notification of his death from the War Office reached his widow Elizabeth at their home at 81 Ash Road, Luton, ten days later. The couple had arrived in Luton from Coventry, where they were living at the time of the 1911 Census. Reuben first worked at George Kent's before becoming a foreman moulder at the Skefko Works and then returning to work at Kent's.

Sapper Clarence Sydney William Sivil

Sapper Clarence Sydney William Sivil, 78498, 4th Field Survey Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action in France on May 27th, 1917. He was aged 20.

He had enlisted in the Royal Engineers in November 1914 and the following month went to Egypt with other Lutonians. He afterwards took part in the Dardanelles campaign, landing with the Anzacs in Anzac Cove in April 1915.

Sapper Harry Jeakings


Sapper Harry Jeakings, 524257, 484th Field Company Royal Engineers, died on May 1st, 1917, from shrapnel wounds sustained in action in Egypt. He had enlisted in the E.A.R.E. in September 1915 and, after training at Maidenhead, he proceeded to Egypt at Easter 1916.

The son of fruiterers George and Louisa Jeakings, of 94 High Town Road, he was employed at the Davis, Clements & Co hat factory in Frederic Street.

Sapper Ernest Robinson


Sapper Ernest Robinson, 522390, 486th Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action in Egypt on March 27th, 1917. Born in 1896, he was an orphan living with step-parents Joseph and Sarah Bent at 54 Boyle Street, Luton.

Ernest had joined up two months after the outbreak of war and was wounded in the leg in training when a trench was blown up. Subsequently he came unscathed through the Gallipoli campaign before being drafted to Egypt with his unit.

Sapper Horace George Andrews


Sapper Horace George Andrews, 522510 (3337), 486th Field Company Royal Engineers, was presumed killed in action at Gaza in Egypt on March 27th, 1917. He was initially reported to be wounded and missing with the possibility he had been taken as a prisoner of war by the Turks.

His Captain wrote in a letter to parents Joseph and Barbara Andrews, at 34 Ashburnham Road, that their son had been missing since the night of March 27th. He had last been seen bravely carrying ammunition to the front line, and it was known that it was then he was wounded.

Sapper Harry Rosson

Harry Rosson was born on 24th November 1886 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, 1 of 5 children born to Richard & Laura.

In 1891 the family are living on Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard. Richard is 64 & a carpenter, Laura is 44. Frank the eldest son is 14 years old & working as a parchment maker's boy, 10 year old Lily & 8 year old George are at school, whilst 5 year old Harry & 2 year old Laura are at home.

Sapper Fred Clark


Sapper Fred Clark, 78518, Royal Engineers, died in German East Africa on January 31st, 1917, from neuritis, attributed to the effects of climate. He was aged 33, married and had three young children.

Sapper Clark was expecting to return home to 152 Leagrave Road, Luton, from East Africa, where he had been serving under General Smuts.

He was formerly employed by engineer Mr Frank Moody, of Chapel Street, Luton, before joinging the East Anglian Royal Engineers on November 19th, 1914.

Sapper Clarence Sidney Ellerd How


Sapper Clarence Sidney Ellerd How, 146239, 82nd Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action on the Somme on November 18th, 1916. He was aged 24 and his home was at 37 Stockwood Crescent, Luton.

The youngest son of the late Mr William Albert How, he went to France in August 1915 and was slightly wounded on October 26th but continued to fight in the trenches.

Sapper Bert Tomlinson


Sapper Bert Tomlinson, 1749, East Anglian Royal Engineers, was killed in action on the Somme on November 14th, 1916. He was aged 32 and had enlisted in January 1915.

Sapper Tomlinson, a painter and house decorator employed by Mr Smith, of West Hill Road, was secretary of the Luton branch of the House and Shop Decorators' Union.

Sapper John Edward Godfrey


John Edward Godfrey, formerly Sapper 1611, 2nd East Anglian Division Royal Engineers, died on July 24th, 1916, nearly 18 months after being discharged as medically unfit for military service. Born in Caddington, he was aged 32.

He joined the Royal Engineers in December 1914 and was discharged the following February. He had suffered from heart trouble which developed into jaundice and he died after a long illness.

Sapper Charles Henry Matthews

Charles Henry Matthews was born in Luton in January 1886. The youngest of 2 sons born to Joseph & Kate.

In 1901 Charles is 15 years old & living with his family at 113 High Town Road. His father is 50 years old & working as a bricklayer. His 20 year old brother Herbert is also a bricklayer whilst Charles is a bricklayer's labourer. His 50 year old mother Kate is a straw hat sewer.

Sapper Harry Clarke

Harry Clarke was born in Bromley, London in 1886.

On 8th October 1905 he married Nellie Elizabeth Ennever in St Andrew's Church, Bromley.

In 1911 he is 25 years old & living with his family at No 2 Maple Road Luton & is working as an iron moulder at the gas stove factory. His wife Nellie is at home looking after their 2 sons Henry 5 & 2 year old Alfred. Harry's 66 year old mother Selina is living with them & working as a charwoman. They also have a boarder, 23 year old Bernard McDade who is an iron moulder for rain water pipes.

Sapper Bert Angel

Bert Angel was born in 1896 in Luton.

In 1911 he is living with his family at 168 Park Street. His father is 36 years old & working as a bricklayer, mother Lizzie is 37 & his 12 year old Hedley is at school. Bert is 14 years old & working as an office boy.

On 1st January 1915 Bert attested at Bedford for the 3/1st East Anglian Field Company of the Royal Engineers. He is described as being 5ft 7 1/2 inches tall & gave his address as 6 Beech Road, where is uncle Henry lived & his father as next of kin on his service record.


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