British War Medal and Victory Medal

Private William James Proctor


Pte William James Proctor, 25628, 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment (Depot), died from pneumonia in the London General Hospital, Camberwell, on March 3rd, 1917. He was aged 33.

Born in Redbourn, he played football for Luton's Clarence FC and in June 1916 joined the 27th Middlesex Regiment (the Footballers' Battalion) [3445] under the Derby scheme. He trained at Aldershot and about five months before his death proceeded to France, where he was transferred to the East Surrey Regiment.

Private James William Swain

James William Swain was born in West Hampstead, Middlesex in 1895.

Aged 16 & working as a butcher's boy in 1911, he is living with his father Jabez 39,  a cab driver, his mother Mary Ann 49 & his 3 brothers Jack 13, Arthur 11 & 9 year old Horace at No 18 Arthur Street.

In 1915 James was working at a munitions factory.

He joined the Northamptonshire regiment on 4th August 1916 & on 8th December 1916 was sent to France.

Private Joseph Edward Betts


Pte Joseph Edward Betts, 1784, Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed by a bullet as he was about to board a lighter to take him to the Gallipoli beaches on October 8th*, 1915.

He was still on board the ship on which he he had set sail from England for the Dardanelles when he was killed. Commanding Officer Major William Archibald, who had been Luton's Medical Officer of Health, wrote to parents Joseph and Mary Jane Betts at 57 Ashton Road, Luton, with the news.

Private William Fensome


Pte William Fensome, 4487, 1/5th Bedfords, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 15th, 1915.

Born in Luton in 1883, he was a farm labourer living with his widowed straw hat maker mother Eliza at 14 Park Place, Park Street, Luton, at the time of the 1911 Census. His father, David, had died in 1905 at the age of 48.


Sapper William Edwin Abrahams


Sapper William Edwin Abrahams, 1379, No 2 Section, 1/2nd Field Company, East Anglian Royal Engineers, died on September 2nd, 1915, from wounds sustained the previous day at Gallipoli. He had celebrated his 20th birthday on August 27th.

News of his death was sent to his remarried mother, Lilian Harrison at 6 Selbourne Road, Luton, in a letter dated September 2nd from Lieut G. M. Michaelis, commanding No 2 section.

Private George Draper


Pte George Draper, 10763, 1st Battalion Beds Regt, was killed in action near Hill 60 on July 11th, 1915. He was aged 20.

The son of John and Annie Draper, who were living at 128 Chapel Street [Farley Hill], Luton at the time of the 1911 Census, he was a plumber before enlisting shortly after war broke out. He was killed at a listening post which the Germans blew up at 7 o'clock in the evening.

Private Albert Edward Marsh

Albert Edward Marsh was born in Luton in 1899.

In 1911 he is a 12 year old school boy & living with his family at 30 St Ann's Road.

There are 12 people living in this 4 roomed house. His father Charles George is 38 years old & working as a bricklayer's labourer & his mother Lily 38, is a straw hat worker. Lily & Charles George met when they were lodged with Lily's aunt Mary Else & her brother Frank Spacey at 102 New Town Street in 1891.

Private Frank Spacey

Frank Sharp Spacey was born in 1872 in Luton.

In 1881 he is living at No 7 Chase Street, Luton with his Father Francis a straw hat blocker, mother Phoebe a straw hat sewer & sisters Lily & Rosa. His younger sister Phoebe Ann was born in 1882 the same year his mother died.

Private Ewart William Clark


Pte Ewart William Clark, 82, Royal Army Medical Corps, 54th East Anglian Casualty Clearing Hospital, was lost when the troopship Royal Edward was torpedoed off the island of Kandeloussa in the Aegean Sea by German submarine UB-14 on August 13th, 1915.

The son of Daniel and Emma Jane Clark, of 7 Park Road West [now Strathmore Avenue], Luton, he joined the RAMC the previous April. He was aged 17 and lived in Summer Street, Slip End, as a child.

Private Percy Frank Linger


Pte Percy Frank Linger, 2833, 1/24th Battalion London Regiment, was killed in action in a charge by his regiment near Givenchy on May 26th, 1915, an engagement in which several Lutonians were killed or wounded. He was aged 21.

It was not until early August that his father, Mr Thomas Linger, of 6 Lyndhurst Road, Luton, was officially notified of his son's death, although Pte Aylott, of the same regiment had said unofficially shortly after the death that Pte Linger had been wounded and was missing.

Sergeant Herbert Bunyan


Sgt Herbert Bunyan, 11446, 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), was killed in action at Hooge in Flanders on August 9th, 1915, and was buried in Sanctuary Wood.

He enlisted in the Midland Regiment about four years earlier when his family lived at 16 Park Place, Park Street, Luton. He was born in Caddington in 1891, although Press reports gave his age as 22.

News of Sgt Bunyan's death had reached parents Hugh and Eliza Bunyan, then living at 84 Langley Road, Luton, three weeks before the official notification arrived on August 31st.

Lance Corporal Rowland Abbott


L-Cpl Rowland Abbott, 4025, 1/5th Bedfords, died on August 21st, 1915, from wounds sustained at Gallipoli. Newspaper reports said he was aged 44.

On August 17th he wrote to his wife Lizzie Louisa at 77 Chase Street, Luton, saying he was quite well and that the regiment was gaining ground.

L-Cpl Abbott was born in Luton, the son of John William and Martha, who married in 1864. John William died in the early months of 1875, two years after Rowland was born. In 1881, Martha and her four children were living at 2 Brache Street, Luton, and later lived in Essex Street.


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