Saturday, 25 March 2017

Two Luton Soldiers Killed on Same Day

Charles Pearson and George Gatward [Luton News]

Sunday 25th March 1917: A number of Luton soldiers have been killed in recent fighting in France, with two of them losing their lives on the same day, February 17th. Private Charles H. Pearson, an employee of Messrs Blundell Brothers Ltd., was the 32 year old son of Mr. G. Pearson of Weeks Farm, Egerton, Kent. He had been employed as a salesman and window dresser in the drapery department at Messrs. Blundell’s for four years. He was known familiarly to his friends as “Tony” and excelled at both cricket and football, in which he was a valued member of the Wednesday Hotspurs. He was one of thirty employees of Messrs. Blundell who joined up. In November last year he was missing, believed dead, for some time before it was discovered that he had left his regiment to take charge of prisoners. No news has yet been received regarding the circumstances of his death.

Private George Gatward, known as “Tossle” was killed on the same date as Private Pearson. His wife Mrs. C. A. Gatward, of 16 Dorset Street, Luton, was officially informed last week, but had previously received a letter from her husband’s Captain regretfully informing her that her husband had previously been reported missing, but had since been found killed outright and was buried where he fell. Before the war Private Gatward was in business as a general dealer and was well known in the town. He joined the Royal Fusiliers twelve months ago and had been in France for six months. As well as his widow he leaves three children: a 15 month old baby, a 12 year old girl, and a boy about to join up

Source: Luton News, 22nd March 1917

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