8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

Formed at Bedford in October 1914 as part of K3 and came under orders of 71st Brigade, 24th Division.
11 October 1915 : transferred with Brigade to 6th Division.
17 November 1915 : transferred to 16th Brigade in same Division.
16 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

Private George Leslie Wooding

Pte George Leslie Wooding, 20953, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on November 20th, 1917, at the start of the Battle of Cambrai. He had twice previously been wounded and also escaped an air raid.

George Wooding joined the Bedfordshire Regiment in June 1915, around the time of a three-day recruiting march around Bedfordshire by the 1/5th Bedfords. He was drafted to France the following February and two months later received his first wound, from which he recovered at a base hospital.

Private James Loughton

Pte James Loughton, 3/7466, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in Flanders on the night of September 13th-14th, 1917. He was aged 20 but had been serving at Landguard, Suffolk, since before the war.

He was the son of Walter and Annie Loughton, of 75 Chase Street, Luton. Walter was in the Royal Defence Corps, while his uncle, Mr F. Cooke, had been discharged from the Army in July 1917 after two years in hospital, having lost an arm and been wounded in both legs.

Private George Buggs

Pte George Buggs, 22845, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was captured by the Germans while fighting in the front line at Hulluch in France on June 22nd, 1917, one of nine men taken prisoner in a surprise incursion by the enemy under cover of smoke and darkness.

He was interned at Dulmen in Westphalia but happily survived the war and was repatriated to return to his home at 52 North Street, Luton. He was registered as an absent voter in 1918 but was shown as at home when the electoral roll was compiled in May 1919.

Private Ernest James Elsdon

Pte Ernest James Elsdon, 18971, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was reported missing, later killed in action, at Hulluck, near Loos, on July 12th, 1917. He was aged 20 and single.

He had joined up when he was 18 and, after training at Ampthill, went to France in January 1916. He was wounded in the thigh the following April, but had recovered by October and returned to the firing line. He was then wounded in the face and, despite losing the sight of an eye, again returned to action in France, serving in the machine gun section.

Private Archibald Smith

Pte Archibald (Archie) Smith, 33872, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, is recorded as having died of wounds in France on July 12th, 1917, at the age of 26. However, Capt Saunders, in charge of his company, wrote in a letter to widowed mother Elizabeth Smith that he had been killed in action by a piece of shrapnel on the evening of July 11th.

Archie Smith had enlisted in the Beds Regiment early in the war and, after training at Newmarket, went to Gallipoli, where he was seriously wounded in the head and shoulder. He also had an attack of dysentery.

Private Herbert Corney


Pte Herbert Corney, 33791, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died at the 33rd Casualty Clearing Station in France on April 20th, 1917, from extensive shrapnel wounds sustained in action. He was aged 36 and left a widow, Alice, and three children - Thomas, Dorothy and Hilda.

He enlisted in May 1916, having been a member of the Volunteer Corps since its formation, and underwent his training at Halton Camp. He was drafted out to France on New Year's Day, 1917, and had since been regularly in and out of trenches.

Private William Stanford


Pte William Stanford, 33856, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action around Arras in France on April 18th, 1917. Born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, he was appointed a postman there in December 1908 before later transferring to Luton around 1912.

He had married Mary Ann Scrivener, from Marsh Road, Leagrave, at Biscot Church on Monday, May 31st, 1909, before the couple initially set up home in Kings Lynn.

William Stanford had enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment in June 1916 and, after training at Tring, went to France on New Year's Day 1917.

Private Arthur Joseph Wright


Pte Arthur Joseph Wright, 33833, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action near Loos in France on April 15th, 1917. He left a widow, Florence Caroline, and a three-year-old son, Sidney, residing at 6 Clarendon Road, Luton.

Pte Wright was killed instantly by a shell which burst through the parapet of his trench two days after his 31st birthday. His last letter home was written on his birthday, but Florence had received no early news as her husband's chums were killed with him.

Corporal Sydney Arthur Smart


Cpl Sydney Arthur Smart, 33269, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on April 6th, 1917, from wounds sustained in France. He was aged 24 and left a widow, Bertha May (nee Harper), living at 46 St Saviours Crescent Luton.

A Chaplain wrote to Mrs Smart to inform her that her husband had been brought into a Casualty Clearing Station at about midnight very badly wounded and, although everything possible was done for him, he passed peacefully away at 5.30am.

Private John Jellis

John Jellis was born in Flitwick, Bedfordshire in January 1883. He was 1of 9 children born to John & Sarah-Ann.

In October 1905, aged 22 John married Louie Buckingham in Ampthill, Bedfordshire & in 1906 their first son Arthur was born.

Lance Corporal Frank Primett


L-Cpl Frank Primett, 14026, 8th Battalion Beds Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 15th, 1916. He was the first of two sons of Albert and Agnes Primett to be killed on the battlefield - Pte Charles Augustus Primett, 2nd Bedfords, also died on the Somme, on October 12th,1916.

Born in Ickleford on March 9th, 1886, he spent most of his life in the Hitchin area. By 1915, and possibly after he had enlisted, his parents were living at 18 Spencer Road, Luton, the address on the Luton Roll of Honour.

Sergeant Henry Ewart Rawlings

Henry Ewart Rawlings was born in 1886 in Cricklewood, Middlesex. 1 of 5 children born to Sarah & George, a railway engine driver.

In 1911 he is living with his family at 106 Chetwynd Road, Highgate, London, he is 25 years old & working as a railway clerk.

His mother Sarah is 55 & widowed, elder brother George is 28 a motor car engine fitter & younger brother Jack is a general clerk for a antiques dealer. They have a lodger living with them, 17 year old Sidney Beck who is working as a boy clerk for the government.

Private William Cooper


Pte William Cooper, 20266, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died on September 18th, 1916, from wounds sustained in action on the Somme. He was aged 21 and died on an ambulance barge in France.

Born in Ayot St Peters in June 1895, Herts, he was one of ten children born to John and Ann (Annie) Sophia Cooper, who were living at 352 Hitchin Road, Luton, at the time of his death. In the 1911 Census William was a farm labourer living with his parents and three older brothers and two old sisters at 44 Round Green, Luton.


Sergeant Arthur Huckle


Sgt Arthur Huckle, 18233, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 15th, 1916.

Born in Clophill in 1882, he married Ellen Richardson in 1901. At the time of the 1911 Census Arthur was a cowman on a farm at Haynes Church End, Beds, and the couple had four children - Emily, aged 8, George, 6, John, 4, and William, 1.

Private Christopher Perry


Pte Christopher Perry, 22395, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on September 15th, 1916. He was aged 47.

Born in Luton in 1869, he married Emily Jane Crook in Luton in 1893. He had a married daughter, Rose, and a son, William, and in 1911 the family were living at 24 Spring Place, Luton. The address on the Luton Roll of Honour is given as 4 Park Place, Luton.



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