Sunday 29th April 1917: Private Frederick R. Allen, a company stretcher bearer with the Bedfordshire Regiment was killed during intense fighting at Arras on Easter Tuesday when he left his shelter to move a stretcher case to a safer position. In a letter to his parents his commanding officer describes the circumstances of their son’s death:
“For something like 24 hours he and other stretcher bearers worked very hard carrying wounded men out of the line to a dressing station. One of them was Richardson, whose home was at Maulden and who came out with the same draft as your son. While they were at the dressing station shells fell so close that Richardson asked the bearers to shift his position. Your son and two others left their shelter to go to the stretcher. At that moment your son and another bearer, named Mossman, were killed by a shell. The man on the stretcher and another bearer were not hit. The knowledge that your son died a noble death while saving a comrade will, I hope, help to temper your feelings of sorrow. He was a son to be proud of.”
Private Allen was 27 years old, and before joining up in March 1916 he was employed by Messrs. C. Clay of Waldeck Road, Luton as a velvet cutter.
Source: Luton News 26th April 1916