Machine Gun Corps

Sergeant William John Arthur Saxty


Sgt William John Arthur Saxty, 4749, 60th Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died at a dressing station in France on February 9th, 1917, from wounds sustained on the battlefield.

Born in Bath in 1881, he was aged 36 and married to Geraldine with four children (John, Hubert, Albert and Beatrice), aged 14 years to five months, living at 40 High Town Road, Luton.

Major Godson, of his regiment, wrote: "He came to me as a private at Grantham and his rapid promotion has been entirely due to his devotion to duty, and I feel very keenly his loss."

Private Thomas Northwood


Pte Thomas Northwood, 26295, 122nd Company Machine Gun Corps(Infantry), was killed in action in Flanders on December 4th, 1916. He was aged 25, single, and the son of Francis and Elizabeth Northwood, of 118 Wellington Street, Luton.

A letter to Mrs Northwood from the Rev F. Leslin Hilditch, a Church of England Chaplain to the Forces, said a 4.2 shell hit the dug-out Thomas was in, killing him instantly. He was buried in a military cemetery not far from the spot where he fell.

Private Arthur William Fensome


Pte Arthur William Fensome, 6485, 71st Company Machine Gun Corps, died on September 27th, 1916, from wounds sustained on the Somme.

Born in 1888, he was the eldest of ten children of Samuel Fensome and his wife Ellen (nee Summerfield), of Ramridge End Lane [now Ashcroft Road], Stopsley. He enlisted in 1915, having previously worked for Bracey Bros, dyers, of 28 John Street, Luton.

Private Harold Ronald Kempson


Pte Harold Ronald Kempson, 43563, 140th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died on September 22nd, 1916, from wounds sustained in action on the Somme. He was aged 34 and had lived at 18 Inkerman Street, Luton.

Born in Luton in 1882, the son of David and Elizabeth Kempson, he had married Florence Mary (nee Going) in 1909. In 1911 the couple were living at 20 Hampton Road, Luton, with their 10-month-old son Albert Edward. At the time Ronald, as he was known, was a straw hat machinist. He had previously served in the Beds Regiment (5323).

Private William Fensome


Pte William Fensome, 18837, Machine Gun Corps, and formerly with the Essex Regiment (9882), was killed in action on July 1st, 1916, in the "Big Push" at the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Military records show him to have been the son of widower Mr Thomas Fensome, of 5 Ebenezer Street, Luton, and give his age as 28. The Ebenezer Street address is included on the Luton Roll of Honour.

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