Royal Fusiliers

Private Herbert Thomas Oliver


Pte Herbert Thomas Oliver, 60378, 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, died on February 19th, 1917, from wounds received in action on the Somme two days previously. He was aged 27 and died at the 47th Casualty Clearing Station in France.

The captain commanding his company wrote to widow Mrs Agnes Oliver at 1 Moreton Road, Round Green, saying that at the time her husband was wounded he was doing his duty coolly and steadily under heavy fire. All the officers and many of the NCOs had become casualties.

Private George Gatward


Pte George John Gatward, 11054, 11th Royal Fusiliers (City of London), was killed in action on the Somme on February 17th, 1917. He was aged 36 and married with three children, one aged 15 months old.

News was received by his widow, Clara Alice, at their home at 16 Dorset Street, from Captain H. H. Mundy, Royal Fusiliers. He wrote that before the death of her husband was confirmed he had been reported missing "but has since been found killed outright and was buried where he fell".

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 Sidney Charles Anthony


Pte Sidney Charles Anthony, 60778, 24th Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on the Somme on November 13th, 1916. He was aged 33.

Two comrades wrote to his widow, Marion, at 83 Bury Park Road, Luton, to say they had seen Sidney go into action in the first wave of a charge but had not seen him since.

One comrade, L-Cpl C. Lennon, said the battalion had gone into action on the morning of the 13th and had a great victory,but lost quite a number of brave lads.

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.

Private Archibald Odell


Pte Archibald Odell (O'Dell), 8094, 1/2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action on the Somme on October 9th, 1916. He was aged about 40.

Popularly known as Joe, he left a widow, Violet, and three daughters - Mabel, Doris and Irene - living at 4 Ebenezer Street, Luton.

The old soldier had seen 12 years service in the Regular Army, seven of them abroad in countries like India, Aden and Canada. Back in civilian life he was a blocker employed by Mr Jack Durrant, who was also a well-known local footballer.

Private Henry Cecil Pugh (Brooks)


Pte Henry Cecil Pugh (Brooks), 8103, 1/2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action on the Somme on October 4th, 1916. He was formerly 4403, 5th Bedfordshires.

Pal Pte Henry James wrote to Henry's mother, Mrs Mary Hannah Brooks (formerly Pugh) at her home at 7 Hampton Road, Luton, that her son was "buried by several Beds boys behind the line, with his rifle as a tombstone. He was killed instantly."

Private Herbert Harold Howkins


Pte Herbert Harold Howkins, 11888, 11th Royal Fusiliers, was reported to have been killed in action on the Somme on September 25th, 1916. He was aged 31.

He was the son of the late John Howkins (died 1892), who had been licensee of the Fox pub in Dunstable Road. His mother, Harriet, remarried in 1895 and lived under her new married name of Seabrook at 134 Dallow Road, Luton.

Capt G. W. Morgan wrote to Mrs Seabrook: "Pte Howkins was a machine gunner, and was hit by a shell and died instantly. The same shell killed four and wounded other men of the same section.

Private George Arthur Young


Pte George Arthur Young, 13405, 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was serving in East Africa when he died in hospital from an unspecified disease on July 29th, 1916. He was buried in Dar es Salaam War Cemetery in German East Africa (now Tanzania).

His military record says he was born in St Albans [1875] and was residing at Elstree, otherwise little is known about him. However, he is included on the Luton Roll of Honour with an address given as 33 Windsor Street, Luton. His name was also added to a "Book of Life" being prepared at Luton Parish Church in 1919.

Corporal Albert Edward Napier


Cpl Albert Edward Napier, 14025, 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action trying to recover trenches on May 23rd, 1915. He was aged 23.

He was the youngest of four then serving sons of James and Ann Napier, who ran the Moor Path Tea Rooms at 58 New Bedford Road, Luton. He had been drafted from India at the outbreak of war.

Lance Corporal William Albert Harfield

Lance-Corporal William Albert Harfield, L/6446, a reservist serving with the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London), died on September 21st, 1914, from wounds received in action.

Another reservist, Mr G. T. Denmark, of 78 Highbury Road, Luton, who was in the same hospital ward at Vailly, told Mrs Harfield that her 33-year-old husband had suffered terrible injuries, including the loss of both of his legs. Another friend was understood to have been by his side when he was wounded.

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