Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
29 Jun 1916
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
From the Luton News 13th July 1916. DEATH OF PRIVATE CUSTANCE. Escaped in Battle - succumbed to Illness. The sad news has just been received of the death in Egypt of Private Henry Custance, of the 1/5th Bedfords, aged 21 years, and son of Mr and Mrs Custance of 15 Kings Road. Luton.
Pte Custance worked at a local foundry and was in camp with the Territorials on the outbreak of war. He was, of course, mobilised with his fellow soldiers and was one of the actors in that terrible drama of Suvla Bay which Luton has so much cause to remember. We recall the fact that it was Pte Custance who, as servant to Lt. James, bravely carried that gallant and wounded officer no less than two miles under fire. But Custance came out unscathed only to meet his end on a bed of sickness in Egypt, whither he was afterwards drafted.
He was a bright lad and his parents had cheery letters from him. The last one was written just a week or two before his death in which Pte Custance made a request for necessaties. At the same time a request appeared from him in the Luton News for a mouth organ. At the end of last month, the relatives learned that he was ill and in hospital and now news has come of his death a week later.
The parents are to be sincerely sympathised with and we know that Pte Custance will be given the funeral of a gallant soldier by his comrades out there in Egypt. The family has a splendid record in this war. The father, Mr James Custance, being an old soldier, re-enlisted despite his age but unfortunately, after doing eight months service in France, he had to be discharged on account of illness. He is now at home again. Another son is Dispatch Rider Arthur Custance, who as stated in the "News" about a month ago, has won the Military Medal in France where he has spent two of his birthdays. He is only 19 years of age. A still younger son, aged only 17, is Rifleman F Custance. He is with the Kings Royal Rifles and will probably leave for the front this week.
Pte Custance died of enteric (typhoid fever), attributed to the effects of heat while serving in Egypt. He died in the 18th Stationary Hospital, Suez, on June 29th, 1916.
Author: Diane Cullen