Royal Field Artillery Cap BadgeGunner ("Gnr") is a rank equivalent to private in the British Army Royal Artillery and the artillery corps of other Commonwealth armies. The next highest rank is usually lance-bombardier, although in the Royal Canadian Artillery it is bombardier.

Gunner Charles Hobbs

Gunner Charles Hobbs, 315375, Royal Garrison Artillery, died in action in Flanders on May 6th, 1917. He was aged 29 and had been killed instantly by a shell, the first man in his battery to die by enemy fire.

Charles and his wife Elizabeth (nee Webb) lived at 82 Highbury Road, Luton. The couple had married in 1911, and Charles was an employee of the CWS Cocoa factory in Dallow Road, Luton, prior to enlisting.

Gunner William George Cheshire


Gunner William George Cheshire, 131349, 70th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action in France on April 19th, 1917. He was aged 24 and had been a shoe repairer in Dallow Road, Luton, before joining up in April 1916.

In a letter to parents Walter and Lizzie Cheshire at 162 Dallow Road, Major S. Graham wrote: "Your son, Gnr Cheshire, was killed in action yesterday afternoon. He and a comrade were killed instantaneously by a shell and are buried together near the spot where they fell."

Gunner Sidney Stewart Pearson


Gunner Sidney Stewart (Stuart) Pearson, 115317, 225th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action in France on March 30th, 1917. He was a widower aged 34 with two children.

Children Constance, aged 11, and Gladys, aged eight, were living with their mother's parents, baker James Ansell and his wife Phoebe at 7 Guildford Street, Luton. Their daughter Agnes had married Sidney Pearson on November 9th, 1905, but had died at the age of 31 on June 9th, 1911.

Gunner William Childs


Gunner William Childs, 28795, 86th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, died of enteric fever while a prisoner of war of the Turks on January 19th, 1917. He was aged 27 and had served in the Army in India for eight years prior to the outbreak of war.

Gunner Horace Clark Sanders


Gunner Horace Clark Sanders, 800520, 255th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds received while in action in France in 1917. The date of his death is most generally recorded as February 27th, although some military records say March 2nd, and the family memorial at Luton General Cemetery says died of wounds received in action February 26th, 1917.

Gunner Frederick James Hull

Frederick James Hull was born in Sundon, Bedfordshire in January 1898.

In 1911 Frederick James is 13 years old & working as a farm boy & living in Slate Hall Cottages, Sundon with his family. His father Percy is 36 & working as a farm labourer, his mother Matilda is 33. His older brother Percy John is 15 & also working as a farm boy. His other siblings, 11 Year old Florence Emma, 9 year old Frank & 7 year old Dorothy are at school.

Gunner Horace George Dunham


Gunner Horace George Dunham, 2783, 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on November 13th, 1916. He was aged 24.

Horace was the son of baker and confectioner Alfred Dunham and his wife Mary, of 1 North Street, Luton. He and his two brothers had worked in the family bakery.

Officially, Gunner Dunham is recorded as having been killed in action on November 13th. A letter to his parents from the Front from Capt W. S. Green, however, said his death occurred on November 14th. The machine gunner had suffered no pain and had been buried.

Gunner Montague George Fountain


Gunner Montague George Fountain, 132456, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the Somme on August 24th, 1916, less than a fortnight after arriving in France.

He was aged 32 and had joined the R.F.A. at Biscot Camp in March 1916. He was billeted there for some time, and after four months training was drafted to France.

Gunner Frederick Dean


Gunner Frederick Dean, 7825, Royal Garrison Artillery, was discharged from military service in 1913 following an operation for gunshot wounds. He had served eight years as a soldier, but after war broke out he was again called up and sent to France.

However, he was not out there very long before it was found necessary to order his return to England, and for 15 weeks he lay in the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. And there he passed away at around 10.30 am on Sunday, August 6th, 1916, from a lung complication. He was aged 29.

Gunner Edmund Charles Dexter


Gunner RMA12399 Edmund Charles Dexter was killed or died as a direct result of enemy action while serving with the Royal Marines Artillery on the battlecruiser HMS Invincible, which was sunk during the Battle of Jutland on May 31st, 1916. His body was not found.

He was the eldest son of old soldier and sailor Mr Edmund E. Dexter and Mrs Sarah Dexter, of 5 Warwick Road, Luton. The son had been in the navy for seven years, was 26 years old, had been married for three years and had a wife and three-month-old baby living in Southsea.

Gunner Arthur Best


First-class Gunner Arthur Best, 37371, Royal Garrison Artillery, died in the Keppel Place Hospital, Stoke, Devonport, on December 23rd, 1915, after suffering two attacks of pleurisy while serving in Gibraltar that led to him contracting consumption which led to a haemorrhage.

Gunner Best, the son of Mrs Bacchus, of 61 Ivy Road, Luton, was aged 22. He had enlisted in the RGA about four years earlier, having previously worked at the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road.

Gunner John Morton Sandford Smith

John Morton Sandford Smith was born in Eltham, Kent in September 1897, the eldest son of Henry Sandford Smith a Medical Practitioner & Ethel Gertrude.

In 1901 he is living with his parents & his 2 older sisters Rose Audrey & Joan Margaret in the High Street, Eltham.

By 1911 his 2 brothers James Maberly & Richard Henry are born & 13 year old John has been sent to Hill Crest School 46-48 Earls Avenue, Fokestone.

During the war John attested in Coventry for the Machine Gun Corps, Motor Branch.

Gunner Patrick Grogan

Patrick Grogan was born in Ireland in 1885. He came from a large Roman Catholic family, 1 of 9 children born to Paul, a farmer & Maria.

In 1901 he is living in Feakle, Co. Clare. He is working with his mother &  father on the farm with his siblings James 24, Mary 22, Ellen 20, Delia 14, Michael 12, Thomas 10, Dan 8, Paul 6 & 2 year old Josie.

Patrick married Edith Mary Fulks on 28th September 1913 in Poole in Dorset. Their son Percy Raymond was born on 3rd December 1914 in Wigginton, Tring, Hertfordshire.

Gunner Edgar William Bright

Edgar William Bright was born in Leicester in 1879, only child of William Bright & Sarah Bannister Bright.

In 1911 he is living with his parents at 77 George Street, Luton. He is 32 years old & working for his father as a tailor's cutter. His 62 year old father is a tailor maker/outfitter at the family home. Edgar's 52 year old aunt, Ellen Barnard is also living with them.

No military records can be found for Edgar, but according to the CWGC he served in the Royal Field Artillery & died of pneumonia in Middlesex War Hospital on 15th April 1917.

Gunner Colin Hessey

Colin Hessey was born in Englefield Green, Surrey in 1884.

In 1901 he is living at 6 Mount Place in Old Windsor, Berkshire with his parents & sister. His father John is working as a gardener's labourer & his mother Eliza is a Laundress. Colin is 16 years old & working as a garden boy. His sister Georgina is at school.

Colin married Ellen Maria Churchman in 1908 & in 1911 they are living at 15 Round Green, Luton. Colin is now working as a bricklayer's labourer & Ellen is at home looking after their 3 year old son Victor James.


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