The Saturday Telegraph

2nd Lieutenant Frederic George Thompson


Second Lieut Frederic George Thompson, 7th Bedfords attached to 6th Bedfords, was killed in action by a shell in France on April 11th, 1917. He was aged 30.

Although living in Castle Road, Bedford, he had spent 12 years as a cashier at Barclays Bank in Luton, whom he joined in 1904.

He had offered himself for service in he early stages of the war but had been rejected. About a year before his death, however, he got into the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and was later gazetted to the Bedfordshire Regiment, with whom he went from Landguard to serve in France.

Private Horace George McDonnell


Pte Horace George McDonnell, 31903, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 9th, 1917. This date was supplied in two contemporary letters received independently from the front by parents Walter and Alice McDonnell, of 29 Malvern Road, Luton, although later records give a date of April 12th.

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.

Sapper Ernest Robinson


Sapper Ernest Robinson, 522390, 486th Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action in Egypt on March 27th, 1917. Born in 1896, he was an orphan living with step-parents Joseph and Sarah Bent at 54 Boyle Street, Luton.

Ernest had joined up two months after the outbreak of war and was wounded in the leg in training when a trench was blown up. Subsequently he came unscathed through the Gallipoli campaign before being drafted to Egypt with his unit.

Private Alfred Bent


Pte Alfred Bent, 43014, 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, died of wounds on March 14th, 1917, at the No 55 Field Ambulance Station in France. He was aged 31 and single.

He had enlisted in March 1916 and went to the Front in July. Prior to joining up he worked as a traveller.

Private Frederick Arthur Fensome


Pte Frederick Arthur Fensome, 2553, 16th Battalion (Public Schools) Middlesex Regiment, died in France on March 10th, 1917, following wounds received on the battlefield. He was aged 20 and was serving in the machine gun section.

He had been in France for 12 months and was in action on March 2nd. He sent a field card to his mother Elizabeth (Lizzie) at 33 Inkerman Street, Luton, in which he said he had been wounded in the knee by a gun shot and taken to a clearing station [2/2nd London Casualty Clearing Station] behind the lines.

Private Bert Lathwell


Pte Bert Lathwell, 43154, 6th Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 24.

Chum Pte Hanby wrote to parents John and Clara Lathwell at 3 Clifton Road, Luton, saying their son was killed by a sniper's bullet that struck him just above the heart. He lived for only four minutes, but "died a hero".

Bert Lathwell had been employed in the straw trade since leaving school, having worked for his brother.

Private William Impey


Pte William Impey, 43127, 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment (ex-Beds Regiment, 26564), was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 21.

He was the elder son of William and Harriet Impey, of 53 Cowper Street, Luton. Prior to enlistment he worked for Mr Bailey, straw hat manufacturer, of Crawley Road, Luton.


Private Stanley George Halfhead


Pte Stanley George Halfhead, 18925, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on February 11th, 1917. He was aged 21.

He was the son of widow Mrs Kate Halfhead, of 20 Wood Street, Luton - his father, school caretaker George, had died in 1906. Prior to enlistment in February 1915, Stanley had worked at hat manufacturers Haye & Co, George Street. He was an old boy of Waller Street School, and was Assistant Scoutmaster in the local battalion of Boy Scouts.

Lance Corporal Eric Arthur Grace


L-Cpl Eric Arthur Grace, 2534, 24th Battalion London Regiment (The Queen's), died on January 31st, 1917, from acute bronchial pneumonia, the day after being admitted to a Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in Flanders. He was aged 22.

In a letter to parents retired confectioner Arthur and Annie Grace, of 2-4 Bury Park Road, Luton, a Sister at the clearing station said their son had been admitted on the morning of January 30th in a very serious condition. He got worse rapidly and died on January 31st at 11 pm.

Private Harold David Joad


Pte Harold David Joad, 25196, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on the banks of the River Ancre on the Somme on January 28th, 1917. He was aged 20.

Born at Weston, Herts, he was the son of the late Charles Joad (died 1896, the year Harold was born). He was also stepson of farmer and pig dealer George Desborough of Ansells End Farm, Kimpton, whom his mother, Annie Maud Appleton Joad (nee Tee), married in 1907.

Lance Corporal Thomas Frederick Brown


L-Cpl Tom Brown, 27938, 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on the Somme on November 13th, 1916. He left a widow and a young son, who received official notification of his death two months later after he had initially been reported missing.

Tom Brown had attested under the Derby scheme and joined the Royal Fusiliers in April 1916. After three months training he went to France, where he was given his first stripe for good conduct and merit.

Private James Thomas Canderton


Pte John Thomas Canderton, G/13318, 11th Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on October 26th, 1916. He was aged 19.

In a letter to parents William and Alice Canderton, of 24 Maple Road, Luton, Lieut H. M. Todd wrote that Pte Canderton was killed while observing the enemy lines from his trench. He was buried with all the reverence due to a soldier fighting for his King and country.

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.


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