Diary of Luton's war

Beginning on July 30th, this blog will feature a week-by-week diary about Luton people and events throughout World War 1, based on stories in The Luton News (LN) and, from November, the Saturday Telegraph (ST). The weekly Wednesday release will coincide with the Thursday publication dates of The Luton News 100 years earlier.

Luton News Masthead 30th July 1914

The intention is to record events on the home front in Luton as well as news from Europe. It will reveal the early rush to enlist, encouraged by patriotic rhetoric from movers and shakers too old themselves to fight but who said they envied the young men who could. And how would the Bedfordshires fare when they got on the battlefield?

Then there was the early problem of thousands of troops descending on Luton for training. How would they be received and entertained, would they be welcomed being billeted in residents' homes, and how would children be educated with most of the schools and halls occupied by troops?

With time these questions will be answered and a picture will emerge of how Luton and its people coped with the difficulties created by an appalling conflict abroad.