Sunday, 22 October 2017

Luton Man to Train American Soldiers

American troops passing Buckingham Palace, 1917
[Imperial War Museum Q30005 reproduced under IWM Non Commercial Licence]

Monday 22nd October 1917: Percy “Punch” Lovell of Luton has been chosen as one of around 100 soldiers who are being sent to the United States to train American soldiers in the methods of warfare used in France. He was well-known in the town before the war as the centre-forward for the Clarence football team. He served for two-and-a-half year in Flanders and France, gaining promotion to the rank of sergeant. Despite being in the thick of the fighting he escaped without a scratch, and for several months has been a machine gun instructor in England. Sadly his parents’ pride in their son’s achievements has been tempered by the news that their other son, Gerald, has been killed in action. Gerald Lovell enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment last November, was drafted to the Front in April, and died when a shell burst, killing him instantly and wounding two others. He leaves a young wife, who lives at 12 Langley Road.

Source: Luton News, 25th October 1917 

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