Diary: New gallantry medals awarded

Stories from the Beds and Herts Saturday Telegraph, January 2nd, 1915

Captain (temporary) C. E. G. Shearman, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, is one of the recipients of the new Military Cross. This decoration has just been instituted by His Majesty and is a silver cross having on each arm the Imperial crown and in the centre the letters G.R.I.

The only persons who are eligible for the decoration are captains, commissioned officers of a lower grade and warrant officers. The Military Cross is to be worn immediately after all Orders and before all decorations and medals (the Victoria Cross alone excepted) and on the left breast dependent from a ribbon of one inch and three-eighths in width, which shall be in colour white with a purple stripe.

Among the warrant officers and men who have been awarded the Medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field for acts of gallantry and devotion are Sgt A. J. Mart and Cpl P. G. Oyster, both of the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

  • Flight Commander F. E. T. Hewlett, a son of Mrs Hilda Hewlett, of the Leagrave Aircraft Factory, and the only one missing out of the seven airmen who delivered a daring attack on Cuxhaven on Christmas Day, was yesterday reported to be safe. He had been picked up by a Dutch trawler after the engine of his seaplane failed and he was compelled to land on the sea,

  • At the Skefko Ball Bearing Co, which has lost a lot of men through active service, it was decided at a mass meeting to form a rifle club for men who must stay behind at their employment. Yesterday, the official opening took place. There are three ranges - 25 yards, 50 yards and 100 yards - situated on company land behind the works and running parallel to the Midland Railway line. The rifles used are converted Martini, and a red flag is flown near the right of way when firing is taking place.

  • Nothing quite like last night's programme of entertainment at the Assembly Hall has ever been given in Luton before. We have largely to thank Lady Wernher for the entertainment, organised in aid of the War Materials Fund, of which she is President. The Townspeople rallied well to support the Fund and filled the big hall so well that few vacant seats were to be noticed.

  • The excursion from Luton to various places in the eastern counties on Boxing Day was a very successful venture. Over 600 Lutonians turned out in bad weather for a long train journey and a late return home. As well as relatives, quite a large number of young ladies went to look up friends in the battalions of the North Midland Division. It is said there are some 300 Luton boys attached to the various units of the North Midland Territorial Division.

  • Yesterday the new elementary school which has been built on the Tennyson Road site was formally opened and intending scholars will be presented on Monday at 9 am. The cost of the school is approximately £7,700 and accommodation is provided for 470 children - 300 in the mixed department and 170 infants. There are entrances in Tennyson Road and Harcourt Street.

  • Dearer coal will mark the opening of the New Year. An advance of one shilling a ton at the Pit head takes effect immediately throughout Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. This will make the price of household coal between 2s 6d and 3s 6d more than it was a year ago.

  • Luton's trams were getting a bad press. Questions over safety and reliability had already been raised when one passenger complained at having to wait half an hour in atrocious weather conditions for a tram scheduled to leave Chapel Street corner at 8.52 pm. He arrived at the Town Hall at 8.51 to catch the New Bedford Road tram that did not turn up until 9.22 and he arrived home much later than if he had walked. Said the Telegraph: "There has never been a real attempt to popularise the trams in Luton, to induce and educate the people to use them and so make them indispensable to the life of the borough. Indeed, when the Dunstable Road route was seemingly at the height of its popularity, someone was not satisfied and a revision of fares or routes, or both, was introduced which set back the clock very decidedly."

  • Luton Town travelled to Devon to draw 3-3 with Plymouth Argyle after leading 2-0 at half time and going 3-0 up shortly after the interval. A win would have been Luton's first ever victory at Home Park. Getting a report published was something of a triumph for the Telegraph which had arranged for a series of private telegrams to be sent from the match, but none arrived until after 5 pm. The newspaper was printed late as a result.