2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

August 1914 : in Pretoria in South Africa.
Returned to England and landed at Southampton 19 September 1914.
19 September 1914 : came under orders of 21st Brigade, 7th Division.
19 December 1915 : moved with the Brigade to 30th Division and then transferred to 89th Brigade.
11 February 1918 : transferred to 90th Brigade, in same Division.
22 May 1918 : transferred to 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.

Private Harry Bacchus


Pte Harry Bacchus, 9272, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Maricourt, on the Somme, on June 29th, 1916. He was aged 29.

Pte Bacchus was employed by coal merchants John Facer and Son until about 1908, when he joined the 2nd Bedfords. Since then he had spent a considerable amount of time abroad, serving in Bermuda, Malta and South Africa. He had returned from Africa at the beginning of the war.

Private Herbert John Clarke


Father-of-ten Pte Herbert John Clarke, 3/8664, 2nd Bedfords, was killed in action at Loos in France on September 27th*, 1915. He was aged 39 and a labourer at White Hill Farm, Stopsley.

A native of Offley born in the summer of 1876, he worked at the farm for Mr Allingham and lived in a cottage opposite Lilley Church.

Corporal George Brown


Cpl George Brown, 9592, 2nd Bedfords, was killed in action in Flanders on October 7th, 1915. He was the 26-year-old son of George and Elizabeth Brown, of 65 Albert Road, Luton.

Born in Offley in 1889, he had worked for hat manufacturer Frank Harden in Bute Street, but became a soldier over five years before his death and went to South Africa with the 2nd Bedfords. He remained there for four years and returned to England on the outbreak of war. He was drafted abroad almost immediately.

Private George Jenkins


Pte George Jenkins, 18252, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, died on September 30th, 1915, from wounds sustained two days earlier in the Battle of Loos. Some military records suggest he resided in Stopsley, but Press reports at the time described him as from Hockliffe.

Born in Newbury, Berks, on November 5th, 1893, Pte Jenkins married Florence Rose Bleaney, the daughter of Walter and Annie Bleaney, from High Street, Upper Houghton Regis [now High Street North, Dunstable], in early 1914. Their daughter, Florence May, was born in July of that year.

Private Herbert Victor Smith


Pte Herbert Victor Smith, 17938, D Company, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, was killed in action in the Battle of Loos on September 25th, 1915.

Born in Luton on June 6th, 1898, he spent most of his life in Flitwick, living with his family in Church End as a three-year-old at the time of the 1901 Census. The family later lived in Chapel Road.

He was the son of straw hat goods factory manager/manufacturer Arthur Smith and the late Mrs Rebecca Swales Smith.

Private Albert Newbury


Pte Albert Newbury, 18360, 2nd Battalion Bed Regt, was killed in action at the Battle of Loos in Flanders on August 25th, 1915. He had been reported missing and it was not until August 1916 that official notification of his death was received. He was aged 24.

A native of Luton, he lived at 35 Burr Street, Luton, and had married Mary Kirkwood (nee Penman) on July 26th, 1913, and the couple had one child, Alexander, born 1914. Pte Newbury was employed as an iron founder working on gas stoves pipes at the Diamond Foundry before he joined the Bedfords at the outbreak of war.

Private Albert Hawkes


Pte Albert Hawkes, 13777, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died as a result of wounds received in action on his 30th birthday - September 29th, 1915.

He was the husband of Louisa Elizabeth Hawkes, then living at 8 Tavistock Street, Luton, with two young children - Lily aged four and two-year-old Albert.

Official notification of Pte Hawkes' death arrived in October 1915, saying he had died from gunshot wounds to the abdomen. He had enlisted on September 5th, 1914, and had been in the firing line for six months.

Private Harry Gillman


Pte Harry Gillman, 19065, 2nd Battalion Beds Regt, was killed in action at the battle of Loos in France on September 27th*, 1915. He was aged 25.

That, at least, was the eyewitness account of "a great friend" who wrote that he saw him killed instantly by a bullet through his head shortly after 9 am on September 27th. He added that Pte Gillman was buried that night in a nice little grave with a wooden cross on it.

Private John Crew


Pte John Crew, 10479, 2nd* Battalion Beds Regiment, died on May 17th, 1915, from wounds sustained at the battle of Festubert.

He was included on a list of men who had enlisted from the Luton Hoo mansion and estate compiled by Lady Wernher's agent, James Baker. It was published in The Luton News on July 8th, 1915, by which time two were listed as wounded and Pte Crew as killed.

Sergeant Alfred Albert Camp


Sgt Alfred Albert Camp, 9127, 2nd Battalion Beds Regiment, died on June 19th, 1915, from wounds sustained in action. He was born in 1886 and his family home was at 61 Hastings Street, Luton.

The son of George William and Sarah Camp and one of ten children, Sgt Camp has served with the 2nd Battalion for about eight years and went to the Front in October 1914. The official notice of his death received from the Regimental Record Office said he had received gunshot wounds in the back, arm and head.

Private Henry Lyon


Pte Henry Lyon, 3/7723, 2nd Battalion Beds Regiment, was killed in action on June 16th, 1915, near Givenchy. He was aged 42.

The iron moulder from Church Street, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland, had possibly moved to Luton to work. He is included on the Luton Roll of Honour with an address at 27 Wimbourne Road, Luton.


Private Alfred Joshua Brown


Pte Alfred Joshua Brown, 3/7316, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Festubert on May 14th, 1915. He was aged 20.

Parents Archer and Elizabeth Brown, of 27 Cobden Street, Luton, were told in a letter from Cpl A. W. Joyce, C Company, 2nd Bedfordshires, that on the afternoon of May 14th they had been under heavy shell fire.

Private Edwin Benjamin Eales

Edwin Benjamin Eales was born in 1892 in Hammersmith, London.

In the 1911 census it tells us that he is living at 19 South Road, Luton with his widowed mother Kate 42, & sister Edith Florence 14, both are working as straw hat machinist. His elder brother Horace William 22, is a boiler maker in the iron foundry, whilst 6 year old Cyril Thomas is at school.

Lieutenant Edmund Elgood Punchard


Lieutenant Edmund Elgood Punchard, son of a former Vicar of Christ Church, Luton, was killed in action with the 2nd Battalion Beds Regt (21st Brigade, 7th Division) at Ypres on October 31st, 1914. He had just celebrated his 24th birthday.

He was shot leading his platoon in an attack on a ridge near Zandvoorde and was buried at Kruiseck, near Gheluvelt [Geluveld]. He was mentioned in Sir John French's despatch on January 14th, 1915.

Corporal Percy William Graham


Cpl Percy William Graham, 9200, 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle On March 10th, 1915. He was aged 22.

He was the son of Mrs Mary Jane Graham, licensee of The Harrow pub in Hitchin Road, Luton, whose husband James William, an old soldier, had died eight weeks earlier at the age of about 74.

Cpl Graham was born in Luton and was a pupil at Waller Street Schools. He attended St Matthew's Church, High Town, and had worked in a local foundry.


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