Lat. serviens servant to a knight in medieval times. The English borrowed the word sergeant from the French in about the Thirteenth Century. Meaning "non-commissioned military officer" first recorded 1548.  Originally a much more important rank than presently.

Sergeant Arthur Ernest Kennedy (Jamieson)

Sgt Arthur Ernest Kennedy (Jamieson), 29683, 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment (ex-20841 Devonshire Regiment), died on October 26th, 1918, while being held as a prisoner of war in Germany.

No report of his death appeared at the time, but in an earlier letter from him to Henrietta Jamieson (described as his stepmother) at 2 Edward Street, Luton, he said he was then being held in Cassel (Kassel) and he was going on all right but the chief thing he wanted was “bread and something to spread on it – a small tin of dripping would do fine”.

Sergeant George Edward Thomas Barrett

Sgt George Edward Thomas Barrett, 200464, 1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment, died in Egypt from malaria on November 19th, 1918. He was aged 23, the eldest son of George and Amelia Barrett, of 32 South Road, Luton.

George Barrett had joined the Beds Territorials in 1914 and fought at Gallipoli. From there he was sent to Egypt and came through much fighting there with minor wounds from shrapnel splinters.

Sergeant Arthur Foster

Sgt Arthur Foster, 16999, 2nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died of influenza on November 2nd, 1918, in the No 6 General Hospital, Rouen, France.

He had joined the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1913 and was in action from the start of the war. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in 1917 and was promoted to sergeant about six months before his death. His father, Alfred, was a lance-corporal in the Army Service Corps serving in France.

Sergeant Edward Norton

Sgt Edward Norton, 277640, 15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action in France on September 10th, 1918. He had been in France only five weeks, was married and his widow was residing at 22 Pondwicks Road, Luton.

In the absence of official notification of her husband's death, Mrs Norton had received a letter with a wallet and her photograph which had been found by a soldier on her husband as he lay, shot through the head.

Sergeant Frederick William Dawzie Rowley

Sgt Frederick William Dawzie Rowley MM, 6535, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action during the advance on Bapaume on August 21st, 1918. Born in Luton in 1880, he had lived in the Middlesex area since serving in the Boer War and had completed almost 21 years in the Army.

Frederick had won the Military Medal for his devotion to duty at Vimy Ridge, and had been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Sergeant Harry Abbott

Sgt Harry Abbott, 104336, 1st Garrison Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment), died on duty in Egypt on July 1st, 1918. He was one of three sons of widow Mrs Agnes Abbott, of 11 Moreton Road, Luton, who had been serving in the Forces.

Harry, born in Markyate in August 1892, had joined up at the outbreak of war and was initially serving the Bedfordshire Regiment from 1914. He was afterwards transferred to the Sherwood Foresters and attained the rank of sergeant.

Sergeant Elvin Peggs

Sgt Elvin Peggs, 248092, 2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action in France on April 24th, 1918. He was aged 23 and left a widow and one child residing in East Hyde.

Born in in 1895 in Melton Constable, Norfolk, only son of James and Jane Peggs, Elvin was living with his family in Hyde Mill Cottages, East Hyde, at the time of the 1911 Census. Elvin was a farm labourer.

In 1915 he married Mary E. Salmon and they had a daughter, Elizabeth, the following year.

Sergeant Frederick James Munns

Sgt Frederick James Munns, 10394, 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in action in France on May 6th, 1918. He was aged 34 and left a widow and two children.

An officer wrote to Ivy Munns, who was living in London, that her husband was killed instantly by a sniper's bullet while he was out with a wiring party.

Born in Limbury, a son of Charles and Jane Munns, of The Tanyard, Frederick was called up as a reservist on August 4th, 1914. He had gone through the whole campaign without a scratch until the the fateful night of Monday, May 6th, 1918.

Sergeant Albert Parish

Sgt Albert Parish, 17766, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on May 8th, 1915. He was a butcher, and his military record says he resided in Luton, without giving further details. He is also commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour, but without an address.

It is known that he was born in Lincolnshire in 1888 and was working as a butcher at Hemel Hempstead at the time of the 1911 Census. He enlisted at Bedford.

Sergeant William Buckingham

Sgt William Buckingham, 33776, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on March 23rd, 1918, during the German spring offensive on the Somme. He was aged 28 and single.

A son of Charles and Annie Buckingham, of 29 Buxton Road, Luton, he had before enlistment been a straw hat blocker in the family business.

Sergeant John Goodson

Sgt John Goodson, 19064, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 23rd, 1918, during the German spring offensive. He was aged 25 and married.

John Goodson was born on the East Coast at Gorleston-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, and by 1911 was working as a baker in the business of his his uncle and aunt, Ernest and Jane Bloomfield, of 22 Hitchin Road, Luton. Before enlisting he was working in the bakery department of the Luton Co-operative Society.

Sergeant Sidney Fensome

Sgt Sidney Fensome, 19789, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on March 22nd, at the start of the German spring offensive of 1918. He was aged 28.

The son of Samuel and Ellen Fensome, of Ramridge End Lane, Stopsley, he was the third of the couple's sons to die in battle. Sidney is commemorated on both the Stopsley and Luton War Memorials.

Pte Horace Fensome, of the Beds Regiment, had died on the Somme in September 1916, just days before the loss of his brother, Arthur William (Machine Gun Corps).

Sergeant Thomas Wiseman

Farrier Sgt Thomas Wiseman, 47226, 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars, was killed in action in France on November 21st, 1917. Born in Luton, he was aged 33 and had married, his wife living In Andover, Hampshire.

Sgt Hunt wrote to widow Fanny in Hampshire that her husband had been in charge of horses during very heavy shelling. One shell dropped close to him, killing him instantly.

Sergeant Arthur Percy Wilson

Sgt Arthur Percy Wilson DCM, 9492, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on December 8th, 1917. He was aged 29 and single.

In a letter to his mother Emily at 30 Queen Street, Luton, Capt J. Coe wrote that her son was killed on the night of December 8th while out wiring.

"I have known your son since 1911, when the regiment was stationed in Bermuda and South Africa," wrote Capt Coe. "He was always a keen soldier. I must say that since I have been in command of this company he has proved himself a brave man on several occasions during the war."

Sergeant Edward Bradshaw

Sgt Edward Bradshaw, 14620, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Passchendaele on October 30th, 1917. He was aged 20.

He was one of nine children of Emily and the late Henry George Bradshaw (died 1910). At the time of the 1911 Census, the family comprising widow Emily, two sons and seven daughters (one just two days old) were living at 70 Ridgway Road, Luton, but by 1913 they were at 79 Dallow Road, Luton, elder brother Frederick being a butcher in the firm of Bradshaw and Gadsden.


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