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The Royal British Legion

HARLINGTON WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2002 Lynda Smith

The Village War memorial stands at a crossroads of Westoning Road, Station Road and Church Road in the village, near to the church, and takes the form of a studded Celtic cross on a tiered base. Listed on the memorial are 199 names of those who served in World War 1 with those who died recorded here plus three men who died in World War 2. The memorial was first unveiled 21st November 1919 and then re-dedicated 25th June 1956. The cost of the site was £477 of which £223 6s 6d was the cost of the memorial, all monies being raised by public subscription; the originial manufacturers were London Necropolis Company and the architect was Mr N G Thomas. Interestingly following the Second World War, Martin William Dove, of Harlington, who served with 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment and died in 1969 after battling with the poisoned water diseases from drinking water in Italy 1944, was a active member of the Royal British Legion. He voluntarily built the memorial in the centre of Harlington as he was a builder by trade. Within the St Mary the Virgin Church, Harlington, is a wooden plaque which takes the form of a wooden crucifix flanked by two wooden panels with a shelf below with a brass rail fitted to it. There are 24 names listed for those who fell in World War 1. A wooden Roll of Honour board can be found in the bell tower that contains 104 names of the men who went to War in World War 1.

A memorial book was issued in 1921 by the Rev. A.G. Hodgson. The introduction by the Rev. Hodgson is as follows:

"By the kindness of the relations and friends who supplied notes and photographs, this collection of the Harlington men who fell in the Great War has been made, in hope it may be a source of comfort to those who knew and loved them best.

It may further serve, as a statement of the cost of the war – in lives – to one little English village, as an evidence of the greatness that may be hidden in ordinary men, and as a reminder of the debt we owe to all those who by their obedience – even unto death – gave us again life and freedom.

A.G. Hodgson, Harlington Vicarage, January 1921."

Photographs from an old postcard

The notes and photographs have been made available to this website by kind permission of Harlington Heritage Trust. Martin William Dove of Harlington died in 1969 after battling with the poisoned water diseases from drinking water in Italy 1944, was a active member of the Royal British Legion and he voluntarily built the memorial in the centre of Harlington as he was a builder.

1914 – 1919

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY
OF THE MEN OF HARLINGTON
WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR

ABBIS

Harry

Private 150336. 102nd Coy., Machine Gun Corps (Inf). Died Saturday 26 October 1918. Commemorated: TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 154 to 159 and 163A.

Harry Abbis (spelt Abbiss on the memorial) was born and brought up at Harlington. He worked on Mr Richardson’s farm and later as machinist in Mr Gillam’s straw-hat factory at Luton. He enlisted 11 November 1914 in the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, and after it was broken up he served with the Lincoln & East Ridings Yeomanry in Ireland and Egypt. He was in France in 1918 with the Machine Guns Corps, was present at the taking of Valenciennes and Famiers, and was killed at his gun by enemy shell on October 26th.

APTHORPE

Harold Wakeling

Corporal 3069. 1st/8th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died Saturday 1 July 1916. Age 23. Son of Charles Green Apthorpe and Abigail Apthorpe, of 181, Victoria St., Dunstable. Educated at Bedford Modern School and Saltley College, Birmingham. Headmaster at Cople School, Bedford. Enlisted Aug, 1914. Commemorated: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 9 A 9 B and 10 B.

Harold Wakeling Apthorpe was born at Keysoe, Beds in July 1892. He came to Harlington in 1894 and attended school here, later going to Bedford Modern School. He entered Saltley College, Birmingham, and passed out with distinction. He served two masterships in Birmingham and became Head Master of the school at Cople, Beds. Being a member of the College territorial Corps, he enlisted in his old Regiment, the Warwickshire’s and was quickly promoted to be sergeant. He transferred early in 1915 to the 1st Warwickshires for overseas duty landing at Le Havre, 23rd March. He was home on leave in December and out again in France, until he fell in the great advance of 1st July 1916 "gallantly leading his men". From another letter it is known that they reached the 4th German line, where he was seen to fall. Afterwards, being outflanked, our men withdrew, leaving the dead and wounded in the hands of the enemy.

ASBURY

Charles William

Bombardier 33560. 30th Bty. 39th Bde., Royal Field Artillery. Died Tuesday 12 September 1916. Commemorated: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 A and 8 A

Charles William Asbury was born and brought up at Harlington and became a porter on the Midland Railway. Later he enlisted and served in England and India. Returning he worked in Bedford as clerk of the Territorial Association. On the outbreak of war, as a reservist, he joined The Royal Field Artillery at once and was at Mons and in the Marne and Somme battles. He was killed with two others by backfire from the gun he served. His officer wrote of him "a good soldier, and not easily replaced".

ASBURY 

Edward Joseph

Gunner 153810. attd. 2nd Cav. Div. Royal Field Artillery. Died Monday 25 March 1918. Commemorated: POZIERES MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Panel 7 to 10.

Edward Joseph Asbury was born and brought up at Harlington. He worked on the land for Mr. Higgs and Mr. J Giles. Later he was in a grocery business in Luton, and afterwards a smallholder with a milk-round. He was married and father of two children. He enlisted Septemeber 1916 in the Royal Horse Artillery, and was attached to the 2nd Cavalry Div., A.S.C. as cook. He served in France until 25th March 1917. since then he was reported "missing" and never heard of again. He had previously been wounded.

ASBURY

Walter John

Private 25332. 12th Bn., East Surrey Regiment. Died Monday 14 October 1918. Age 21. Son of John and Mary Ann Asbury, of 4 Midland Cottages, Harlington, Beds. Buried: DADIZEELE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, Moorslede, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Ref. IV. E. 9.

Walter John Asbury was born and brought up in Harlington, where he attended school and church. He was confirmed and a communicant. For some years he acted as organ blower. He began work in the straw hat trade, and was later a butcher’s apprentice. He enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment and was afterwards transferred to the East Surreys. He served in France, in Italy and in France again, and fell in the victorious advance of 14th October 1918. In an attack upon a farm their officer had been killed and they pushed on until a German shell overwhelmed the party.

BAKER

William John

Private 4177 5th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Friday 17 September 1915. Commemorated: EMBARKATION PIER CEMETERY, Turkey. Sp. Mem. A. 32.

William John Baker was brought up in Harlington where he attended school and church. He was confirmed in 1909. He enlisted in the 1/5th Bedfordshires in September 1914. He fought on the Gallipoli Peninsular and was killed by a sniper’s bullet in September that year.

BUSHBY

Charles

Private 22051. 8th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Friday 28 July 1916. Buried:. POTIJZE CHATEAU WOOD CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Ref B. 26.

Charles Bushby was known as "Wag". He was born and brought up in Harlington. He worked first for Mr. Higgs and afterwards at the Cement Works. Later he worked with the Midland Railway as a platelayer. He enlisted in June 1915, and was at the Duke of Bedford’s camp at Ampthill until 12th February 1916 when he went to France with the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment. He was killed at Ypres the same year.

BUSHBY

Edward Thomas

Lance Corporal 12681. 6th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Wednesday 9 August 1916. Commemorated:. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 2 C

Edward Thomas Bushby was born and brought up at Harlington. He worked on farms and at the Cement Works. He enlisted in Kitchener’s Army and trained at Aldershot. He went to France 1st August 1915 and was made a Lance-Corporal. He volunteered as a "runner" and was killed, carrying a message, by shrapnel from a shell. "Missed by all his mates, buried by some".

CLEAVER

John Stanley

Private G/43692. 17th Bn., Middlesex Regiment. Died Monday 13 November 1916. Commemorated: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 12 D and 13 B

John Stanley Cleaver was born at Toddington in 1896. Later he was at school in Harlington. He worked for the Cement Company and afterwards for the Midland Railway as a platelayer’s labourer. He enlisted March 1916, in the 17th Middlesex Regiment and trained at Purfleet. He went to France in June, and fought at Malines and Beaumont Hamel. He was missing from 13th November that year, and nothing has been heard of him.

CLEAVER

Sidney Charles

Private 203455. 1st/5th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Monday 8 April 1918. Age 23. Son of John and Emma Cleaver, of The Rising Sun, Harlington, Dunstable. Buried: RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY, Israel. Ref. E. 48.

Sidney Charles Cleaver was born 28th December 1895. He enlisted from Radlett in the Royal Engineers and was sent for training in Bedford, Peterborough and Norwich. He fought on the Gallipoli Peninsular in 1915 and was in hospital in Cairo with dysentery. He was transferred to the 1/5th Bedfordshires. He fought in Palestine and was wounded in the neck. He met his death by a shell in the fighting before Jerusalem, and was buried in the Judean Hills. A cross at his grave there bears his name and the date 8th April1918. G. Lawman was his companion in the early part of the war. H. Bonner was near him when he fell.

CLEAVER

Walter Joy

Private 13082. 1st Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Thursday 25 April 1918. Age 28. Son of John and Emma Cleaver, of The Rising Sun, Harlington, Dunstable, Beds. Buried: MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Nord, France. Ref. I. F. 32.

Walter Joy Cleaver was known as "Bowie" and he was born at Toddington in 1890. Afterwards he lived at Harlington and was employed at the Lime Works with Mr. Ince. He enlisted 1st September 1914 in Kitchener’s Army, in the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He was in France in February 1915. Later he was home wounded in the hand. Soon after he went to Italy with the 1st Bedfordshires and was in hospital there for four months. Once more in France, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet in the Nieppe Forest, and was buried in the British Cemetery at Halte.

ELLIS

Frederick

Not found on CWGC or SDGW.

Frederick Ellis was born in Harlington in 1884. He was brought up by his grandmother, and after her death in 1914, he lived with his sister in Toddington. He worked on Mr Line’s farm and afterwards at the Cement Works. Later he worked with Mr Addy at Toddington. He joined the army on 1st November 1915 in the 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Drafted out to France in May 1916, he was reported missing 25th September, and at the end of eight months as "Killed in Action".

HARRIS

Edward Francis

Private 3/7781. 2nd Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Monday 17 May 1915. Age 21. Son of John and Florence Harris, of Sundon Rd., Harlington, Dunstable. Commemorated: LE TOURET MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 10 and 11

Edward Francis Ellis was born and brought up at East End, Harlington. He worked for Mr John Giles and later at the Cement Works. He enlisted in 1914 in the Bedfordshires, and was out in France with the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment on 2nd April 1915. Three weeks later he fell at Festubert and was "buried near the old German Trench which he gallantly helped to take." Later his body was moved and buried at Ypres. He was the first of the men of this village to die for the great cause of the Allied Armies.

HARRIS

Jack

Private 200854, 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Died 25th January 1919 in Egypt. Buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Row Q Grave 264.

Jack Harris was born in Harlington in 1887 and brought up there. He worked for Mr John Giles and for Mr Lines. He enlisted at Bedford in the 1/5th Bedfordshires in June 1915. He was sent to Egypt, and fought in Palestine. He died in hospital at Cairo and was buried there.

HILL

William

No further information available at present.

LETTING

George William

Private 27373. 10th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died Saturday 18 November 1916. Buried: SERRE ROAD CEMETERY No. 2, Somme, France. Ref. XI. F. 10

George William Letting was born at Harlington in 1892. At the age of 14 he joined an uncle in Nottingham in the meat trade. He enlisted in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment in February 1916. After ten weeks training at Watford, he was sent to Ireland, and thence in September to France, where he served in the 10th Royal Warwickshires. On 18th November he was posted missing. Enquiries showed that on this date his Regiment attacked the village of Grandcourt, and held it for some time. In the heavy fighting there he is thought to have met his death.

LETTING

Thomas Lawrence

Private 31944. 5th Bn, Grenadier Guards. Died Saturday 15 February 1919. Buried: BISCOT (HOLY TRINITY) CHURCHYARD, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. Ref. 94.

Thomas Lawrence Letting was born and brought up in Harlington. He was in the church choir and in the Scout patrol. He was confirmed in 1913. Later he entered the employment of Commercial Cars. Co. in Luton. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in April 1918 and was trained at Caterham and Aldershot. Here he was seized with influenza, and six weeks later died in the Connaught Hospital in Faversham. His family, having moved to Leagrave, brought his body home and gave it burial in the churchyard at Biscot. He was only 19.

MUCKLESTONE

Thomas

(Muckleston on CWGC) Private 8432. 2nd Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment. Died Sunday 9 May 1915. Buried: CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ, Pas de Calais, France Ref. XVI. J. 6.

Thomas Mucklestone was born at Harlington and brought up first to farm work and was afterwards in service at The Manor House. Later he went to Fettes near Edinburgh. He served in the South African War of 1899 –1902 in the Imperial yeomanry. On his return he took a post as gardener-groom to a clergyman in Lincolnshire and went out to the Great War in the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was killed early in May 1915.

PACKE

George

Serjeant 3rd Bn., Nigeria Regiment, W.A.F.F. Died Thursday 8 November 1917. Buried: DAR ES SALAAM WAR CEMETERY, Tanzania. Ref. 6. K. 14.

George Packe was born in Ampthill and was a scholar at St. Andrews Sunday School. He was sometime porter at Harlington Station. He entered the employ of the Crown Agents for the Colonies, and served as District Station-master at Ibadan, West Africa. In July 1917, he volunteered in the East African Expeditionary Force as Sergeant in the Nigerian Regiment. He met his death on 8th November by rifle bullet. The O.C. who was by his side at the time and tended him, wrote "Such men are the ones to be proud of, and make the name of Briton a heritage of no mean worth". His Lieut.-Colonel notes that "he might have remained safely in Nigeria, but it is the action of men like him that is helping us to win this war …. He was in the firing line with his company and doing very good work". He was buried near Mwreka, by the high road, with the major and 25 native men who fell that day before the enemy position was won.

PIERSON

Harold V.G.

Private 69129. 1st Bn., The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt.) Died Saturday 21 September 1918. Buried: PIGEON RAVINE CEMETERY, EPEHY, Somme, France. Ref. III. C. 9.

Harold Pierson was brought up at Luton and went to St Matthew’s School. Later he worked for the firm of Barford as a plumber. He joined the army in 1917 in the Royal West Surreys (Queen’s 53rd Regiment). He was trained at Bedford and St Albans and went out to France on 23rd May 1918. He was killed on 21st September and buried in the Pigeon Ravine British Cemetery near Epernay.

PERRY

Arthur

Private 30056. 7th Bn., The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt.) Died Friday 25 October 1918. Age 30. Son of John and Sarah Ann Perry, of Harlington, Dunstable. Buried: CROSS ROADS CEMETERY, Nord, France IV. B. 6.

Arthur Perry was known as "Doggie". He was born in 1888 in a cottage at Lower East End, since burnt down. He went to school at Barton, Sharpenhoe and Harlington. He worked at one time and another on all the farms, also at the lime kiln. He enlisted at Bedford and was discharged. In 1918, again called up, he was sent to France, where he served in the Queen’s RWS till his death by a shell. His officer wrote of him " a brave lad who always kept him company in good spirits by his jovial manner".

PERRY

William Frederick

Private 200802. 5th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Friday 20 July 1917. Age 19. Son of John and Sarah Ann Perry, of Westoning Rd., Harlington, Dunstable. Enlisted in May, 1915. Commemorated: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL, Israel Panel 17

William Frederick Perry was born at Sharpenhoe. He went to school at Harlington. He worked for Mr. Higgs and later for Mr Anderson. He enlisted before he was 18 in the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment and went for training to Tring. Thence to Palestine where he fell in battle 20th July 1917.

STARLING

Richard Henry

Private 13079. 2nd Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Thursday 19 August 1915. Age 25. Son of R. Starling, of 9, Williss St., Arncliffe, Sydney, New South Wales. Native of Bedford. Buried: CHOCQUES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France I. D. 66.

Richard Henry Starling was born at Catford. He was taken by the Waifs and Strays Society, and sent to Harlington at about 14 years of age and brought up by Mr and Mrs J. Richardson in the Bute Cottages. For sometime bell ringer at Church, he was employed chiefly at the Cement Works. He enlisted at Bedford in September 1914 in the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He fell in battle in August 1915. A letter form his corporal states that he died in the Clearing Station, and a nurse wrote, "We have buried him in the little cemetery".

STONE

Arthur

Private 200823. 1st/5th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Sunday 4 November 1917. Buried: KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Ref. E. 102.

Arthur Stone was born at Harlington, and was employed for many years at the Cement Works. He joined the army on 24th May 1915 in the 1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment. After training for the most part at Alton Park, Tring, he was sent to Egypt in March 1916, joining his Regiment on 15th April. With several other Harlington men he fought in the Palestine campaign. On 4th November 1917, he received wounds, at Gaza, of which he died the same day in the British Stationary Hospital. He was buried in the Military Hospital cemetery at El Arish.

STONE

George

Private 3/7771. 3rd Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds Sunday 23 May 1915. Son of Mrs. Martha E. Stone, of Sundon Rd., Harlington. Buried: HARLINGTON (ST. MARY) CHURCH CEMETERY, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. In West part.

George Stone was born and brought up in Harlington and worked on Mr Camp’s farm. He enlisted on 28th August 1914 and was sent to France on 2nd April 1915. Three weeks later he was wounded and brought to Manchester, where he died in hospital. His body was brought home and buried here. His mate, E.F. Harris, and he, enlisted, went out and fought together till he fell wounded, and they were the first two Harlington men killed.

STONE

James Douglas

Private 18647. 4th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Tuesday 27 August 1918. Age 24. Son of William George and Martha Elizabeth Stone, of Sundon Rd., Harlington, Dunstable. Commemorated: VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 4 and 5

James Douglas Stone was born and brought up in Harlington. He was employed at the Cement Works. He enlisted at Bedford in the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment and went out to France on 1st January 1915. He was commended for gallantry in Trones Wood. He became a servant to his officer, Captain Beale, and came home with him on leave in March 1916. On his return with the officer he acted as "runner". On 28 August 1918 he was posted missing and no further news of him could be obtained.

WILLEY

Ernest Edgar

Sapper 568420. 23rd Motor Air Line Sect., Royal Engineers. Died Tuesday 15 October 1918. Son of Alfred C. Willey, of 5, Horsewell Lane, Wigston Magna, Leicester. Buried: ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Ref. F. 225.

Ernest Edgar Willey was born in Masborough, Yorkshire. He was at school in Harlington in 1896. Afterwards he was a block maker with Messrs Robinson of Luton. He volunteered in 1915 and went with the Royal Engineers for training to Biggleswade, Dunmow, Ware and Hitchin. He was sent to Egypt in august 1917, and was wounded in the fighting before Jerusalem under general Allenby. He died in hospital at Alexandra. His officer wrote of him "He was a good worker and reliable in every respect". And a friend " One of the best chaps I have ever known; everybody liked him".

1939 – 1945
JEFFREY Norman
Able Seaman. S.S. Dartmouth Park (Montreal), Merchant Navy. Died Tuesday 21 August 1945. Age 35. Son of Alexander and Ethel E. Jeffrey; husband of Susan Jeffrey, of Harlington. Buried:. HARLINGTON (ST. MARY) CHURCH CEMETERY, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. Left of Entrance Gate
KENT Leslie G
Gunner 1553039. Royal Artillery. Died Wednesday 10 April 1940. Husband of V. Kent, of Luton. Buried: HARLINGTON (ST. MARY) CHURCH CEMETERY, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. North of top path
LAWMAN Derek R
Private 14909377. 2nd Bn., Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regt. Died Thursday 13 June 1946. Age 19. Son of William George and May Lawman, of Harlington, Bedfordshire. Buried: PHALERON WAR CEMETERY, Greece. Ref. 23. A. 1.

Last updated 11 July, 2011

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