Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

LUTON CO-OP WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2001 Lynda Smith

There are two memorials in the British Legion in Leagrave. One, the large wooden one with three parts and the wreaths underneath is the Legion's own. The wooden board, first name on it H Bates is the Luton Co-Op Memorial, the Luton co-op replaced by the new bowls club, and is now in the bar of the Legion. There is additionally the Leagrave and Limbury memorial on the opposite side of Marsh Road to the Legion.

The original Co-op building stood in the centre of Luton where the new cinema complex, 10 pin bowling, etc., called The Galaxy at the far end of St George's Square opposite the Arndale Centre. It was a very large department store, and there were other smaller stores in other areas of Luton. The main Co-op closed many years ago and the site stood derelict for a long time.

HISTORY OF LUTON CO-OP MEMORIAL

After the Second World War, the Co-Op in Luton decided to have a Memorial to their employees who lost their lives in both World Wars. In 1946, Audrey Bonner, then aged 15, who had lost her father Reginald, and her uncle Maurice was asked to unveil the memorial at its Dedication.

The Dedication and unveiling was carried out on the landing at the top of the stairs of the offices in the main store in Manchester Street, Luton.

When it became clear that the store was to be closed, Audrey, by now Mrs. Harwood, was concerned that it should not get lost. The Memorial was moved to offices in Park Street for safe-keeping. In 1992 the Park Street offices were vacated, and it was decided a permanent home was needed for the Memorial. The Royal British Legion Club in Marsh Road agreed to adopt it, and permission was sought and readily approved from the Co-Op Head Office in Northampton.

In February 1993, it was re-hung and dedicated in the Chelsea Bar of the Royal British Legion Club, Marsh Road. Once more Audrey Harwood nee Bonner was asked to unveil the Memorial which she did, together with her cousin Janice Rix, daughter of Maurice Bonner, and other members of the Bonner family.

Photo attached: Feb 1993. Janice Rix (left) Audrey Harwood (right)
Copyright: Audrey Bonner

Plaque moved to British Legion


Dedication in 1946 in old co-op building.
Photograph Copyright © Janice Rix 2003

Janice Rix & Audrey Harwood unveiling Co-op memorial in British Legion club in Leagrave
February 1993. Janice Rix (left) Audrey Harwood (right)
Photograph Copyright © Audrey Bonner 1993

The Luton Co-op Memorial just after WW2 Unveiling

This is the Memorial from the old Luton Co-operative Society building in Luton Town Centre.
There are many men on this Memorial who we are either unable to identify, or who we have provisionally identified.
We will be grateful for any information about them.

1914 – 1918

BATES

Horace [Edward]

Rifleman 392299. 9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria’s Rifles). Died 22 April 1917. Lived Luton. Enlisted London. Son of Edward and Elizabeth Bates of Luton. Buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France. Plot II. Row F. Grave 4. See also Luton Town Memorial

BIRD

E

Possibly: Ernest Reuben Bird. Private 31902. 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds at home 26 October 1917. Age 20. Born and lived Dunstable. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Jesse and Lizzie Bird of 56 Capron Road, Dunstable. Buried in Dunstable Cemetery. Plot/Row/Section E. Grave 82.

BLAND

Frederick [Leslie]

Private 77681. 13th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Formerly 63850 53rd Y.S. Battn. Killed in action 23 August 1918. Age 18. Son of Mr. G.W. and Mrs. M.E. Bland of 8 Campers Road, Letchworth, Herts. Native of Chiltern Green, Luton. Born and resident Chiltern Green. Enlisted Bedford. No known grave. Commemorated on Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas-de-Calais, France. Special Memorial 2. See also Luton Town Memorial

BROWN

Edward

Private 24367, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action 10 December 1916. Born and enlisted Luton, Bedfordshire. Unmarried. Resident 2a, Essex Street. No known grave. Commemorated at THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11 A and 11 D. See also Luton Town Memorial

BROWN

T

Two possible entries. See Luton Town Memorial

BYSOUTH

Herbert

Private 201034, 1st/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action in Palestine 2nd November 1917. Resident Luton, enlisted Bedford. Resident 123, Russell Street. Buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel. Plot XXII. Row A. Grave 9. See also Luton Town Memorial

CLARK

Ewart [William]

[Spelt CLARKE on SDGW] Private 82, 54th (1st/1st East Anglian) Casualty Clearing Station (Territorial Force), Royal Army Medical Corps. Died at sea 13th August 1915. Aged 17. Enlisted Luton. Son of Emma Jane Clark, of 7, Park Rd. West, Luton, and the late Daniel Clark. Commemorated on Helles Memorial, Turkey. Panel 201 and 202 or 236 to 239 and 328. See also Luton Town Memorial

EAMES

[Augustus] William

Private 2537, 24th (County of London) Battalion (The Wueen's), London Regiment. Died 13th February 1916. Aged 18. Born and resident Luton, enlisted St. Alban's. Son of William and Harriet Eames of 107, Cambridge Street, Luton. Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot V. Row A. Grave 14. See also Luton Town Memorial

GOODSON

John

Sergeant 19064, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 23 March 1918. Aged 25. Born Gorleston–on-Sea, resident Luton, enlisted Bedford. Resident Hitchin Road. Husband of Mabel (nee Rhodes) Goodson of 20, Reginald Street, Luton, married October to Deceber Quarter 1916 in Luton. In the 1911 census he was aged 19, a baker, born Goelestion, Suffolk, a Baker, nephew of Ernest and Jane Bloomfield, resident 22, Hitchin Road, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Poziers Memorial, Somme, France. Panel 28 & 29. See also Luton Town Memorial

JOHNSON

William

Private 269206, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 28 April 1918. Aged 33. Born, resident and enlisted Luton. Married. Resident 26, May Street. Son of [John] Edward and Emma Johnson of Luton; husband of Ruth (nee Wray) Johnson of 65, Park Road West, Luton, married in October to December Quarter 1915 in Luton. In the 1901 census he was aged 15, born Luton, a Greengrocer's Assistant, son of John E and Emma Johnson, resident 03, New Town Street, Luton. In the 1911 census he was aged 25, born Luton, a Baker's Assistant, unmarried, son of John Edward and Emma Johnson, resident 36, May Street, Luton. Buried in Wytschaete Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot IV. Row F. Grave 17. See also Luton Town Memorial

MOSS

W

No further information available at present.

SMITH

Joseph

Writer 3rd Class M/8543, H.M.S. "Natal," Royal Navy. Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action 30 December 1915. Aged 20. Born 31 December 1894 in Luton. Unmarried. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Smith, of 17, Chobham Street, Luton. In the 1901 census he was aged 6, born Luton, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Smith, resident 17, Chobham Street, Luton. Admitted to Luton, Modern School 17 September 1907, left 29 July 1908, previously educated at Queen's Square Elementary School for 6 years. In the 1911 census he was aged 16, born Luton, a Junior Clerk, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Smith, resident 17, Chobham Street, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 12. See also Luton Town Memorial

SMITH

W

No further information available at present. See also Luton Town Memorial

STEER

Henry

Private 31483. 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 23 April 1917. Born Woking. Lived and enlisted Luton. Resident 114, Baker Street. Married. No known grave. Commemorated on Arras memorial, Pas-de-Calais, France. Bay 5. See also Luton Town Memorial

According to the National Roll of the Great War - Section V - Luton:

STEER, H., Private, Bedfordshire Regiment.
Joining in September 1916, he was sent to the Western Front in March 1917, and saw heavy fighting in various sectors and was in action at Arras and Vimy Ridge, where he was killed in action on April 23rd, of the same year. He was entitled to the General Service and Victory Medals.
144, Baker Street, Luton.
4871.

STEVENS

Frederick

Private G/17371 (CD has G/17370). 11 Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in action 26 September 1917. Resident 49, Stuart Road. Unmarried. Son of Frederick and Martha Annie Stevens of 49 Stuart Street, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 86 – 88. See also Luton Town Memorial

WILSON

Frank

Private 33808, 1st Battalion, Border Regiment. Resident 67, Frederic Street. See also Luton Town Memorial

WOODING

George [Leslie]

Private 20953. 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 20 November 1917. Born Bedford. Lived and enlisted Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Ribecourt British Cemetery, Nord, France. Special Memorial Plot/Row/Section A. Grave 28. See also Luton Town Memorial

1939 – 1945

Much of the personal information about these men comes from The Roll of Honour
published in "Luton at War" compiled by The Luton News in 1947.
Occasionally there is a discrepancy between the date of death given in the book and date given on CWGC )

BATES

Arthur Frederick

Trooper 14203366. 53rd Reconnaissance Regt. R.A.C. Died of wounds Normandy 18 August 1944. Age 21. Son of Edgar Thomas and Agnes Bates of Toddington. Lived 16 The Crescent, Toddington, Bedfordshire. Worked at Luton Co-operative Society. Buried in Ryes War Cemetery, Bazenville, Calvados, France. Ref. VII.E.2.

BONNER

Maurice Norman

L/Cpl.5779370. 4th Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment. Died of beri-beri on the Burma Railway as a prisoner of the Japanese at Thanbyuzayat, Burma on 17 September 1943. Age 31. Son of William and Alice Maud Bonner; husband of Ellen Grace Bonner of Luton. Lived at 61 Bury Park Road, Luton. He was one of 9 children, 5 of whom were on active service in WW2. Two of the five brothrs were killed, Maurice here and Reginald William below. Maurice was employed as a butcher at the Co-op and died from Beri-beri and malaria when working on the Burma railway. Buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar. Ref. B1.E17. See also Luton Town Memorial

Photographs Copyright © Janice Rix 2003

BONNER

Reginald William

Gunner 1747015. 214 Battery, 57 Heavy A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. Killed in action in Italy, 21 January 1944. Age 36. Son of William and Maud Bonner; husband of Alice Jane Bonner of Luton. Lived at 7 Willow Way, Luton. He was one of 9 children, 5 of whom were on active service in WW2. Two of the five brothrs were killed, Maurice above and Reginald William here. Brother of Maurice above. Buried at Minturno War Cemetery, Italy. Ref. II.H.16. See also Luton Town Memorial

CARTER

George Henry

Gunner 948846 512 Battery, 148 (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Missing from Japanese Transport after the fall of Singapore, 1942. Died 12 September 1944. Age 25. Son of William and Maud Mary Bonner of Luton. Lived at 1 Preston Path, Luton. His brother Reginald Arthur also died on active service. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Singapore. Column 37.

DAY

R.

No further information available at present.

DIXON

Eric Christopher

Driver 2073161, 251 Park Company, Royal Engineers. Missing, presumed killed by enemy bombing, Alexandra Hospital, Singapore, 14 February 1942. Age 20. Lived at 37 Clifton Road, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore memorial, Singapore. Column 42. See also Luton Town Memorial

DOBBS

George

Staff Sergeant 83538. 2 Base Workshop, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. Died in the Middle East 17 May 1944. Age 30. Son of George Arthur and Beatrice Mary Dobbs; Husband of Dora Dobbs of Luton. Lived at 22 Beaumont Road, Luton. Buried at Tel-el-Kebir War Cemetery, Egypt. Ref. 5.L.9. See also Luton Town Memorial

FRASER

Kenneth

Leading Seaman P/JX275694. H.M.S. Spartan. Royal Navy. Reported missing at sea, presumed killed, 5 February 1944. Date of death according to CWGC 29 January 1944. Lived at 14 St. Margaret’s Avenue, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. Panel 81. Column 2. See also Luton Town Memorial

Special note: HMS Spartan was anchored off Anzio to offer anti-aircraft protection for the Anzio Landings. Smoke had been ordered in the anchorage but was not fully effective at the time of an attack from the air. One radio controlled bomb hit Spartan, causing damage and a fire. About an hour after being hit, the order was given to abandon ship. 5 officers and 41 ratings were killed and 42 ratings injured.

FROST

Leslie Harold

Gunner. 927335. 148th (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died as a prisoner of the Japanese, Singapore, 27 November 1943. Age 24. Son of Mr & Mrs Edward Frost of Luton. Lived at 36 Broad Mead, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Special Memorial 9.M.9. See also Luton Town Memorial

GRAVES

Thomas Allan

Trooper 14288266. 7th Royal Tank Regiment R.A.C. Died on active service 25 October 1943. Age 19. Son of Ernest and Bertha D. Graves of Luton. Lived at 26 Bailey Street, Luton. Buried in Luton Church Burial Ground. Sec. 10. Row P. Grave 4. See also Luton Town Memorial

GRAY

Victor

Able Seaman Gunner. P/JX444995. HMS President III. Royal Navy. Lost in action at sea, 19 June 1944. Son of John & Rosamund Gray of Luton. Lived at 191 Runley Road, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. Panel 82. Col. 2. See also Luton Town Memorial

Special Note: HMS President III was a Royal Naval Base which trained gunners to man Merchant Ships known as Defence Equipped Merchant Ships of D.E.M.S. If a gunner was killed in action, his name would appear under the Royal Navy Base.

HADAWAY

Norman Jack

Private Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. Died 30 December 1939. Lived at 38 Ryecroft Way, Stopsley, Luton. (Not listed on CWGC). See also Luton Town Memorial

HALSEY

Ronald William

Able Seaman. D/JX171971. HMS Stag. Royal Navy. Luton at War states: Drowned while on active service, November 1942. CWGC gives date of death at 24 December 1941. Son of Edward John & Lilian Louisa Halsey of Luton. Lived at 63 Russell Rise, Luton. Buried in Khayat Beach War Cemetery, Israel. Ref. B.F.10. See also Luton Town Memorial

HURVID

Clifford William

Fusilier 5961256. 9th Battalion (City of London Regiment) Royal Fusiliers. Died of wounds, Salerno, Italy, 9 September 1943. Age 20. Son of William Thomas and Ethel Maud Hurvid of Luton. Lived at 86 Highbury Road, Luton. Buried in Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. Ref. IV.A.26. See also Luton Town Memorial

JAGGER

Harry

Sergt. 751860. W. Op./air Gunner. 21 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 2 April 1941. Age 22. Son of Harry and Mary Hannah Jagger of Dunstable. Buried Dunstable Cemetery. Ref. K. Grave 518.

JANES

Frederick William

P/Officer 168517. 424 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (att. Royal Canadian Air Force.) Killed on air operations, believed at Ahrenfelde, Near Berlin, 14th – 15th February 1944. Lived at 17 Pondwicks Road, Luton. Buried Berlin 1939 – 1945 War Cemetery, Berlin. Ref. 7.E.17. See also Luton Town Memorial

LEMMON

Douglas James William

Private 5955634. 5th Battalion Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. Lost at sea as prisoner of the Japanese, 21 September 1944. Age 24. Son of Frederick John William and Violet May Lemmon of Luton; husband of Elsie Lemmon of Coventry. Lived at 74 Ferndale Road, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore memorial, Singapore. Column 64.Leslie Arthur al

MARSHALL

Frederick Ernest William

Driver 2159524. Royal Engineers. Killed in action, Italy, 26 October 1943. Age 20. Son of William George and Amy Elizabeth Marshall. Lived at 39 Corncastle Road, Luton. Buried in Sangro War Cemetery, Italy. Ref. XV.A.27. See also Luton Town Memorial

MATTHEWS

S.

No further information available at present.

PATERSON

R.

No further information available at present.

PINNEY

George Robert

Private 5833718. Suffolk Regiment. Died as prisoner of the Japanese, Chunkie, Siam, 13 October 1943. Age 29. Son of Arthur & Beatrice Pinney of Luton; husband of Dorothy Beatrice Pinney. Lived at 34 St. Lawrence’s Avenue, Luton. Buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand. Ref. 9.D.3. See also Luton Town Memorial

POLLARD

Leslie Arthur

Gunner 927417. 148th (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died as prisoner of the Japanese, Siam, 5 July 1943. Age 23. Son of Arthur Thomas and Ethel Marion Pollard Pollard of Luton. Lived at 29 St. Margaret’s Avenue, Luton. Buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Ref. 4.A.4. See also Luton Town Memorial

RAYMENT

Harold Edward

Private 5952550. 5th Battalion Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. Died as prisoner of the Japanese, Siam, 30 June 1943. Age 24. Son of Bertram Edward and Eva Rayment of Luton. Lived at 103 St. Margaret’s Avenue, Luton. Buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Ref. 6.A.75. See also Luton Town Memorial

SAUNDERS

Kenneth Albert

L/Bdr. 14262427. 75th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died on active service near Bremen, Germany, 4 June 1945. Age 21. Son of Albert John & Elsie Saunders of Luton. Lived at 52 Trinity Road, Luton. Buried in Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Niedersachsen, Germany. Ref. 8.J.4. See also Luton Town Memorial

SELL

Frederick William

Cpl. 5952485. 5th Battalion Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. Died 12 September 1944. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Singapore. Column 62.

SHELTON

H.

No further information available at present.

WATKINSON

R.

No further information available at present.

WELHAM

Robert William Charles

L/Bdr. 923013. Bty 148 (The Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment Royal Artillery. Lost at sea as prisoner of the Japanese, 12 September 1944. Son of Mr. & Mrs C. Welham of Luton. Lived at 9 Belmont Road, Luton. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Singapore. Column 37. See also Luton Town Memorial

WEST

Victor

Aircraftman 1st Class. 750452. Royal Air Force. Killed on active service. 27 October 1940. Age 21. Son of Walter Thomas and Edith Annie West of Luton. Lived at 34 Marsh Road, Luton. Buried in Biscot (Holy Trinity) Churchyard. Sec. D. Row 2. Grave 22. See also Luton Town Memorial

WILMOT

C.

No further information available at present.

Last updated 5 May, 2020

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