Henry Impey's Mayoral year

Mayor Henry Impey and Frederick Rignall

Henry Impey's year of office was the most traumatic that any Mayor would not want to experience. From a high with the announcement of the signing of the November 1918 armistice after more than four years of war, his term reached a low with riots and the burning down of the Town Hall at the end of peace celebrations in July 1919.

Henry Impey, his health impaired, was smuggled out of Luton following the riots and made only a small number of return visits before resigning from the Town Council at the November 1919 elections. He died in Lincolnshire on April 17th, 1930, and is buried at the General Cemetery, Rothesay Road, Luton.

Below is the start of an evolving calendar (with much more to come) about some of the significant happenings and personalities during Henry Impey's Mayoral year (the links in yellow are to more in-depth related items based on reports in local newspapers):



Saturday, November 9: Saturday Telegraph reports the abdication at 4.45pm of the Kaiser in Germany.

Saturday, November 9: Henry Impey invested with the insignia of office of Mayor of Luton in a public ceremony. He had been unanimously elected after previously winning nomination by 11 votes to 10 and one blank paper.

Monday, November 11: Armistice Day. At 11.10am Henry Impey announces to Luton from the Town Hall balcony that Great War hostilities had ceased at 11am.

Tuesday, November 12: Public holiday declared to celebrate the armistice.

Tuesday, November 12: Civic thanksgiving service held at St Mary's Parish Church.

Saturday, November 16: Rev J. L. Barkway inducted to the living of Christ Church by the Bishop of St Albans.

Wednesday, November 20: Mr Willet Ball formally adopted as Labour Parliamentary Candidate for the South Beds Division, including Luton, for the December 14 General Election.

Friday, November 22: Alderman Edwin Oakley resigns as long-term President of the Luton and South Beds Liberal Association in opposition to the Lloyd George Coalition (Lib-Con) Government.

Saturday, November 23: MP Cecil Harmsworth adopted as Liberal-Conservative Coalition Candidate for the South Beds Division for the December 14 General Election.

Saturday, November 23: Victory celebration party for 1,000 guests at George Kent's works at Chaul End.

Thursday, November 28: Souvenir last edition printed of the 'N-T-F' magazine, first published in June 1916 to raise funds to help prisoners of war.

Thursday, November 28: Farewell dance for girls of the Admiralty depot, Bute Street, at the Castle Street Hall.

Saturday, November 30: Vauxhall Motors Fuze Department farewell evening.


Tuesday, December 3: 'N-T-F' magazine acquired by the Luton News and published for the first time as the 'N-T-F & Tuesday Telegraph'.

Saturday, December 7: DS&S Ivy Leaf Club in Park Street officially opened.

Thursday, December 12: 100 Army horses sold at auction at Luton Cattle Market, including 23 to Messrs G. Powdrill & Son.

Saturday, December 14: General Election polling day – the quietest on record in Luton and South Beds, according to The Luton News.

Saturday, December 14: Davis Girls' Club at Davis Gas Stove Co (Diamond Foundry) entertained wounded soldiers from Wardown and Wheathampstead in works mess room.

Monday, December 23: Christmas party given by Luton branch of the Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Association at Winter Assembly Hall for 450 local children left fatherless by the war.

Saturday, December 28: Cecil Harmsworth (Lib-Con Coalition) retains the South Beds seat in General Election.


Wednesday, January 1: Over 1,000 men of the Royal Field Artillery stationed at Biscot Camp entertained at a New Year party in the Princess Victoria YMCA Hut.

Tuesday, January 7: Eminent and controversial Russian violinist Edvard Soermus concert with Bolshevik speeches at the Winter Assembly Hall, sponsored by the Luton branch of the Independent Labour Party.

Thursday, January 9: Order of the British Empire, for services in connection with the war, awarded to Mrs Nora Kathleen Durler, Joint Commandant, Wardown Auxiliary Hospital, Wardown.

Friday, January 10: Tramcars No 1 and No 11 collided head-on in darkness on Beech Hill with two passengers slightly injured. Tram No 11 was badly damaged at the front and underneath.

Saturday, January 11: Victory bonfire and fireworks display, Mr Arthur Panter's Meadow, Stockingstone Lane, Round Green, organised by Young Leaguers Union on behalf of Harpenden Sanitorium for Children (National Children's Home).

Monday, January 13: Mr Charles Mares unanimously re-elected President of Luton Chamber of Commerce at AGM at Franklin's Restaurant, George Street.

Tuesday, January 14: Tuesday Telegraph reports that Biscot windmill is about to lose its sails and be converted to gas power.

Wednesday, January 15: Death of Mr Alfred Thomas Loose, long-serving keeper of Luton Town Hall.

Wednesday, January 15: Annual meeting of local branches of the National Union of Women Workers at Luton Public Library unanimously passed the resolution: “The Luton Branches Nos 1 and 2 of the N.F.W.W. call upon the Government immediately to establish at a national factory a centre for the teaching of straw work, the local industry, to local girls desirous of learning the trade, and to pay them a minimum of 30 shillings per week whilst learning.”

Thursday, January 16: Roof of Messrs Balmforth's factory damaged by fire, presumed to have been caused by sparks from a core-drying stove.

Thursday, January 16: Winding up dance of hockey club formed while Chaul End munition works were in operation.

Saturday, January 18: Memorial to 2nd Lieut Alexander Pigott Wernher, youngest son of Lady Wernher, of Luton Hoo, unveiled at Luton Parish Church.

Saturday, January 18: Mr Albert E. Wray announced his resignation as Luton Tramways Manager.

Tuesday, January 21: Luton Town Council unanimously approved the use of Wardown House as a maternity home, an infants' hospital and home for neglected infants, heralding a blistering Press campaign against the scheme.

Saturday, January 25: Two captured German weapons – a 77mm field gun and a howitzer, towed by lorries - paid a visit to Park Square, Luton, as part of a tour of Bedfordshire. The guns arrived from Dunstable at 11.30am and departed for Hitchin at 2.30pm, but as a result a lack of advance publicity little interest was created.

Saturday, January 25: Mr Fred Mortimer, conductor of the Luton Red Cross Band, released from the Army and returned to Luton to resume his old duties. During his three years in France he became a corporal in the 36th Divisional Band.

Sunday, January 26: Founder Chairman Mr Herbert W. Booth elected first President at the annual meeting of the Luton and District branch of the Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Federation. Pending leaving the area, Mr Booth resigned as Treasurer to be replaced by Mr H. V. Hoy. Chairman Mr Frank Rudd, also leaving Luton, replaced by Vice-Chairman Mr W. B. Clay. Branch membership had reached 750.

Tuesday, January 28: Luton Borough War Prisoners Committee's fund to provide food parcels for POWs wound up following meeting at the Town Hall.

Tuesday, January 28: Snow lying seven to 11 inches deep fell on Luton, with 4ft drifts reported in some villages around the town.

Tuesday, January 28: Death of Mr James Martin, head of J. Martin & Sons, bleachers and dyers, Oxen Road, at his home, Belgrove, Crescent Road, aged 64.

Wednesday, January 29: 'A' Company, 2nd Volunteer Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, dinner for 140 at Luton Town Hall.


Tuesday, February 4: Winding up of POW committee that had sent life-saving food parcels to local prisoners in Germany.

Monday, February 10: Fifty surplus Army horses sold at Luton Sale Yard, averaging £31 9s each. One mare fetched 75 guineas.

Wednesday, February 12: Dinner for demobilised Special Constables, Winter Assembly Hall.

Thursday: February 13: At one of the largest gatherings of buyers seen in the town, 133 Army horses were sold at Luton Sale Yard, 86 heavy draught horses averaging £60 13s 6d each, one fetching 90 guineas.

Monday, February 17: Around 50 war refugees left Luton on the 8.57am train on the first leg of their repatriation to Belgium. About 120 other Belgians remained in the Luton area.

Tuesday, February 18: Luton Town Council's Peace Celebrations Committee presented its draft plans for eventual Peace Day festivities.

Tuesday, February 18: Demobilised Dr W. Archibald returned to Luton to resume his duties as Medical Officer of Health.

Thursday, February 27: 'C' Company, 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Beds Regiment, dinner for 130 members at Luton Town Hall.

Friday, February 28: Mr George Wistow Walker retired as headmaster of Old Bedford Road Boys' School after serving about 20 years. He was presented with an easy chair from staff and scholars. New headmaster Mr A. Mander later addressed the scholars.

Monday, March 3: 104 Army horses – the largest number to date – sold at market in Luton by Messrs Cumberland & Sons. Prices ranged up to 60 guineas.

Tuesday, March 4: Presentation to Mrs Hilda Hewlett at the Hewlett & Blondeau factory in Leagrave to mark her impending departure for New Zealand.

Tuesday, March 4: Luton Gas Company raised prices by 10d per 1,000 cubic ft, backdated to Christmas. At a meeting of Luton Town Council, Councillor Hawkes said there was a large amount of justifiable discontent in the town over the increase. The rise was put down to the higher cost of coal.

Tuesday, March 4: Messrs J. W. Green, proprietors of the Luton Brewery, bought the old-established Glovers' Brewery, Harpenden, that was put up for auction in London. Included were 14 fully licensed houses, five beerhouses and two off-licences, nearly all being in Luton, Dunstable and surrounding villages. The sale was negotiated privately.

Tuesday, March 4: Labour gained a first Luton seat on Beds County Council in elections in a 15 per cent turnout in Luton. The Party's successful candidate for a seat that attracted fewer than 250 votes was Dr John Birch, with a majority of 110.

Tuesday, March 4: Luton Town Council approved support for a recommendation from the Royal Commission on Decimal Coinage to adopt a decimal coinage system based on the pound.

Tuesday, March 4: Cinema treat for the Telegraph's League of Happy Children at the Gordon Street Picture Theatre postponed due to influenza epidemic.

Wednesday, March 5: 'B' Company, 2nd Volunteer Battalion Beds Regiment, dinner for 100 members at Luton Town Hall.

Thursday, March 6: Inspector Walter James Hagley, senior inspector of the Luton Borough Police Force, retired after more than 31 years service. He had joined the force as a constable on September 30th, 1887.

Thursday, March 6: Handley-Page bomber crashed at Barton. No-one seriously injured.

Saturday: March 8: A meeting of the Luton branch of the DS&S passed a resolution that a massed meeting be held to publicly demand greater representation of discharged men on the War Pensions Committee and other local civic bodies. The meeting also decided to take strong action against its own members involved in “irregular conduct” at the Ivy Leaf Club.

Monday, March 10: Another 100 surplus Army horses sold at Messrs J. Cumberland and Sons' market in Luton, including 78 draught horses, for which the highest price paid was 53 guineas. A further 100 horses were offered for sale on the following Thursday.

Thursday, March 13: The Luton News reported that Lady Wernher's Collecting and Forwarding Depot in Upper George Street had now closed. Since opening on August 31st, 1914, it had supplied more than 12,000 garments etc to men at the Front, including 6,243 articles to men of the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Thursday, March 13: Influenza in Luton was on the wane, according to Councillor W. J. Primett, Chairman of the Health Committee. One of the latest to be affected was the Rev W. E. Lewis, curate of St Matthew's Church.

Thursday, March 13: The Luton News reported that Mr J. H. Brown, a former employee of Commercial Cars Ltd, has just been released from Austria. He was studying labour conditions in Austria when war was declared, and he was interned as a civilian prisoner.

Thursday, March 13: Mr Willet Ball, who unsuccessfully contested the 1918 General Election in Luton and South Beds for Labour, was the new editor of the Railway Gazette, The Luton News reported.

Thursday, March 13: Luton record price of 93 guineas paid for a heavy draught horse in Messrs Cumberland & Sons sale of over 100 surplus Army horses.

Thursday, March 13: A letter writer in The Luton News advocated the use of the upper rooms of Wardown House for use as a museum to record the evolution of hat manufacture and straw braid plaiting. “It is difficult to realise that a town like Luton, with a unique industry, has no record of it,” said the writer.

Friday, March 14: Mr Thomas Keens elected as an alderman of Beds County Council.

Friday, March 14: Plans by the Osram-Robertson Lamp Company Ltd to create a factory employing up to 12,000 in Leagrave Road/Marsh Road revealed.

Saturday, March 15: Fire at Mr George Warren's straw hat factory at the rear of Castle Street. Attic floor and half of the roof of the 60ft x30ft four-storey building severely damaged, and water damage to lower floors. Damage estimated at £3,000 to £4,000.

Friday, March 21: Luton News staff reunion dinner, Town Hall Council Chamber.

Wednesday, March 24: Luton Town Council's Electricity Committee agrees a 100 per cent increase in consumer bills.

Wednesday, March 26: Luton Tradesmen's Association dinner, Town Hall.

Thursday, March 27: Davis Gas Stove Co Ltd, with a factory at Dallow Road, Luton, announced to shareholders a merger with John Wright and Eagle Range Ltd and the Richmond Gas Stove and Meter Co Ltd.

Thursday, March 27: Lydia Kyasht, famed dancer with the Imperial Russian Ballet, gave afternoon performances at the Grand Theatre.

Friday, March 28: Minister of Education, the Rt Hon H. A. L. Fisher MP, presented examination certificates to 24 scholars at the Luton Modern School speech day held at the Winter Assembly Hall.

Sunday, March 30: First post-war concert by the re-organised Luton Red Cross Band, Winter Assembly Hall, conductor F. Mortimer.

Monday, March 31: A new record price of 103 guineas paid for an Army heavy draught horse at Luton Market. Also, a buyer from Edinburgh bought 11 horses.


Wednesday, April 2: Death from pneumonia at his St Albans home of Mr Leigh Udall Kent, second son on Mr George Kent, Chairman of the directors of Kent's Works in Luton. He would have been aged 32 in May.

Friday, April 4: Final mass departure of Belgian war refugees from Luton (about 80), leaving Midland Railway station at 7.30am to return to their homeland.

Friday, April 4: Windsor Walk hat factory of Mr Sidney Farr extensively damaged by fire, damaged estimated at £3,000.

Friday, April 4: Mr George Wistow Walker, retired headmaster of Old Bedford Road School, elected to served on Beds County Council in a Luton North Ward bye-election caused by Mr Thomas Keens being appointed an alderman. He polled 643 votes against 316 for engineer Mr Thomas Knight (Labour). Of the 3,692 electors eligible to vote only 962 did so.

Saturday, April 5: Funeral at Stanmore of Mr Leigh Udall Kent, son of Mr George Kent, who died suddenly on April 2nd, at the age of 31.

Tuesday, April 8: Luton Education Committee paid tribute to Mr William Green, headmaster of Chapel Street Mixed School since 1895, and after 40 years in teaching in Luton and Leagrave.

Thursday, April 10: Lord John Sanger's Peace Year Circus and Menagerie, gave two performances in Dunstable Road, at 2.30pm and 8pm.

Friday, April 11: Mayor Henry Impey was the only Bedfordshire representative invited to attend the King's Conference on Housing held at Buckingham Palace. He and two other delegates had several minutes conversation with His Majesty, and later with the Prince of Wales.

Saturday, April 12: Luton conscientious objector Harry Edward, originally sentenced to death but then to ten years penal servitude in 1916, released from Maidstone Jail.

Friday, April 25: Meeting at the George Hotel to re-form the Luton & South Beds Motor Club.

Monday, April 28: 1st Battalion Beds Regiment “welcome home day” in Bedford.

Monday, April 28: Welcome home dinner for over 50 members and adherents of the Salvation Army on their return from military service, Park Street Temple.

Tuesday, April 29: Guildford Street plait store of Mr Herbert Brown severely damaged by fire.

Tuesday, April 29: Welcome home dinner at Chapel Street Wesleyan Church Lecture Hall for over 50 men who had returned from war service.


Friday, May 9: Boy aged three died in the Bute Hospital about six hours after being hit by the 5.20pm Hatfield-Luton train when he strayed on to the Great Northern Railway line near the Kimpton Road/Gipsy Lane bridge. A jury returned a verdict of accidental death at an inquest the following Monday.

Saturday, May 10: DS&S v Comrades of the Great War cricket match at Stockwood. DS&S 55 all out; Comrades 17 all out.

Saturday, May 10: Presentation at St Matthew's Parish Hall to Mr A. Burgess, church organist for 19 years.

Monday, May 12: Opening of three-day Synod of the Wesleyan Methodist Church for for Bedford and Northampton district, Chapel Street Wesleyan Church. About 160 ministers and others attended.

Monday, May 12: Medical Officer Mr D. Rollings reported to Luton Rural District Council an alarming increase in rats, especially at Leagrave and Limbury. He urged an organised attempt to control the problem in the interests of public health.

Wednesday, May 14: Welcome home supper for about 70 demobilised members of High Town Primitive Methodist Church.

Saturday, May 17: Fund raising for new parish church of All Saints launched with a bazaar at Beech Hill Schools.

Sunday, May 18: Thousands of people in Wardown Park for the first summer band concert of the year given by the Luton Red Cross Band.

Monday, May 19: Industrial dispute at Skefko, Leagrave Road, involving 600-700 workers.

Tuesday, May 20: Luton Town Council rescinded their January resolution to use Wardown House as a maternity hospital due to “public hostility”.

Tuesday, May 20: Breaking-up gathering at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital.

Tuesday, May 20: Plans approved for £2,000 improvements to the Town Hall. A new building was considered not to be financially feasible at that time.

Wednesday, May 21: Thanksgiving meeting for about 60 returned ex-servicemen, Wesleyan Central Mission, Midland Road.

Saturday, May 24: DS&S meeting unanimously agreed to hold an open-air service at Wardown on August 3rd, in memory of those who had fallen in the war. An appeal was to be made to local authorities, choirs and bands for assistance in making the event a representative one.

Saturday, May 24: Comrades of the Great War v DSS return cricket match at Stockwood. Comrades 21 all out; DS&S 114 all out.

Monday, May 26: Arrival of motor ambulance presented to Luton by the Red Cross. It was hoped it meant an end to use of the hand-trundling method of taking patients to hospital.

Wednesday, May 28: Contents of Wardown V.A.D. Hospital sold at auction by Messrs J. Cumberland & Sons. A considerable number of the lots were bought on behalf of the Bute Hospital.

Wednesday, May 28: First edition of the DS&S Journal published.

Wednesday, May 28: Mayor Henry Impey suffered a badly strained ankle when hurrying from the Town Hall to preside at the Magistrates' Court. He was later able to walk only with the aid of a stout stick.

Wednesday, May 28: Boating fatality at Wardown lake.


Sunday, June 1: Roof of an old building opposite the Fire Station, on the corner of Church Street, collapsed at around 9.20pm. The former premises of a bleaching and dyeing firm had fallen into disrepair and was about to be reconstructed.

Tuesday, June 3: Luton Town Council agreed programme for Peace Day celebrations.

Tuesday, June 10: Train taking King George V and Queen Mary to Leicester passed through Luton at 9.50am. Platforms at the Midland Road station were cleared and the station closed while the royal train passed through.

Tuesday, June 10: For two years a V.A.D. worker at Wardown Hospital, Miss Edith Mary Cain married Albert Ogden Gill, of Shipley, Yorks, in a ceremony performed by her uncle, the Rev W. A. Findlay, at Park Street Baptist Church.

Tuesday, June 10: A second-hand Commer Cars Army motor lorry fetched 550 Guineas at auction in London.

Wednesday, June 11: Considerable damage caused by fire at the hat factory of J. Saunders and Co, 61 Cheapside, due to a defective boiler flue. The machine and blocking rooms were damaged by fire, smoke and water.

Wednesday, June 11: Tram services temporarily halted when a tram on the Dunstable line jumped the tracks near the junction at the Town Hall.

Friday, June 13: Body of Luton hat manufacturer's daughter Annie Winifred Mary Smith found on a beach below cliffs at Dieppe in France. She was aged 25 and served as a baker and cook with Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps in France.

Friday, June 13: Annual meeting of the Luton General Cemetery Company Ltd report revealed 430 interments at Rothesay Road during the past year – an increase of 111, attributed largely to the influenza epidemic.

Saturday, June 14: Procession through the main streets of Luton celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Salvation Army. The arrival of the Salvation Army in Luton in October 1887 had been greeted with riots.

Tuesday, June 17: Roof of the steamroller shed at the highways depot, Church Street, destroyed after sparks from a traction engine ignited joists.

Tuesday, June 17: Coroner Mark Whyley recorded a verdict of accidental death on a 53-year-old navvy ganger who died after being buried by several tons of earth caving in during excavation work at the rear of the Langley Garage, Holly Street.

Monday, June 23: Crowds assembled in front of the Town Hall in anticipation of an announcement that the Germans had agreed to sign the peace treaty. The crowd was eventually disillusioned.

Monday, June 23: Farewell service for Rev W. Curry, superintendent minister of Luton No 1 Circuit Primitive Methodists. His next church was to be at Willesden, London.

Wednesday, June 25: Miss H. K. Sheldon, from Birmingham, appointed first headmistress of the Luton Modern Girls' School. Five candidates were interviewed for the post following the school being divided in boys' and girls' sections.

Saturday, June 28: Mayor Impey announces to Luton at 3.45pm that the Versailles Peace Treaty formally ending the Great War had been signed at 3.12 that day. There were accidents due to youths letting off fireworks, and a performance by the Luton Red Cross Band was brought to a premature end.

Monday, June 30: Luton branch of the DS&S unanimously agrees to take no official part in the town's Peace Day Celebrations, in line with national policy.

Monday, June 30: Leagrave Hall, formerly the residence of the late Mr Walter Thomas Lye, withdrawn from sale by executors at £3,400 at an auction at the George Hotel, Luton.

Monday, June 30: Concert and meal to celebrate the signing of the peace treaty held at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps camp in London Road, Luton.


Thursday, July 3: Luton Town Council agree final programme of activities to commemorate Peace Day in the town. It was also agreed to hold children's festivities at a later date.

Saturday, July 5: Luton branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers (DS&S) inform Town Clerk Mr William Smith in a letter that, in accordance with the organisation's policy nationally, they will play no part in official Peace celebrations as a protest against the unemployment existing among discharged and demobilised men, and the inadequate compensation of widows and orphans.

Saturday, July 5: DS&S make a formal application to hold a public drumhead memorial service at Wardown Park on July 20.

Saturday, July 5: Chief Scout Sir Robert Baden-Powell at Bedfordshire Scout rally at Luton Hoo Park.

Monday, July 7: Six members of the Tolls and Public Buildings Committee who also belonged to the nine-member Parks Committee held a hastily-constituted meeting and decided, on the advice of the Town Clerk, not to allow the DS&S to use Wardown Park for their drumhead service on 1905 by-law grounds. [As there was no meeting of the full Council planned, the sub-committee decision was given silent approval by the Watch Committee.]

Monday, July 7: Women members of Luton Board of Guardians protest at their exclusion from a 15 shillings-a-head, all-male Peace Banquet planned to be held at the Plait Halls on Monday, July 21.

Tuesday, July 8: Town Clerk William Smith informs DS&S that the Town Council are unable to permit the use of Wardown Park for a drumhead memorial service, offering the Moor or Pope's Meadow as an alternative. The Council also regretted that it was not practical for them to take part in a DS&S procession.

Tuesday, July 8: Nearly 4,000 racing pigeons liberated from the Midland Station, Luton, as the Northern Pigeon Flying Associations re-commenced their races from Luton to the North. The birds had arrived by special train on Friday but their release was delayed due to detrimental weather conditions.

Saturday, July 12: Story appeared in the Saturday Telegraph revealing the Town Council's refusal to allow the use of Wardown for DS&S memorial service. Lady Wernher quickly responded with the offer of the use of Luton Hoo Park for the service.

Tuesday, July 15: DS&S informed the Town Clerk that Lady Wernher had offered use of Luton Hoo Park for the drumhead memorial service on July 20. [This was finally held on July 27, with the Mayor and Town Clerk absent but other councillors present in non-Council capacities.]

Wednesday, July 16: Entertainment and tea for Workhouse aged poor and Children's Home youngsters provided by management of the Palace Theatre, Mill Street, at the theatre.

Wednesday, July 16: Mr William Austin congratulated on completing 25 years as Luton's Clerk to the Justices. He was appointed in June 1894.

Wednesday, July 16: Rev G. A. Lucas welcomed as pastor of Mount Tabor Primitive Methodist Church at a garden party at the London Road home of Mayor Henry Impey.

Thursday, July 17: Widespread public outrage reflected in the correspondence column of The Luton News over the Wardown decision.

Thursday, July 17: Without further explanation, the Luton News published one sentence saying that the Peace festival would conclude on Monday evening, when an invitational Mayoral banquet would be held at the Town Hall. [The previously advertised men-only 15 shilling subscription banquet for 500 had been due to be held at the Plait Hall on July 21, but presumably did not attract enough support from husbands, with the DS&S ex-servicemen having in any case decided in June to take no part in official celebrations.]

Thursday, July 17: DS&S members met Hoo Steward Mr James Baker to discuss details for the holding of a memorial service for the fallen in the grounds of Luton Hoo on July 20th. [This date was subsequently changed to July 27th.]

Thursday, July 17: Mutilated body of a well-dressed middle-aged unidentified man found beside the Great Northern Railway line at Gipsy Lane, near the Vauxhall Works. The body was spotted by the driver of a 6am goods train. The later identified former engineer's fitter at the Leagrave aeroplane works had been expecting the offer that never came of a job at the Diamond Foundry. A verdict of "suicide while temporarily of unsound mind" was recorded by the Coroner at an inquest. The deceased was the father of four children, one a six-months-old baby.

Friday, July 18: 'Grand Victory Peace Dance' 7pm-1am at the Town Hall. Open to the public with tickets costing two shillings, it was the last event held prior to the burning down of the Town Hall.

Saturday, July 19: Peace Day celebrations ended in the burning down of the Town Hall and rioting over three days.

Saturday, July 19: Ex-servicemen employees of Commercial Cars Ltd entertained to a Peace Day lunch in the firm's canteen.

Sunday, July 20: Henry Impey, accompanied by police in civilian clothing, leaves Union House at dawn in the back of a commercial lorry and is taken to a tram stop in London to complete his escape

Sunday, July 20: Rev G. H. C. Shorting preached his final service as Vicar of Stopsley before leaving to become Vicar of Kempston.

Monday, July 21: No mayoral Banquet. The event had been due to be a subscription event held at the Plait Hall but lacked support. A smaller revised banquet was to have been held at the Town Hall to end Luton's Peace Celebrations, but was cancelled due to the fire and was never held.

Monday, July 21: Meeting of Luton Board of Guardians held in the absence of the Chairman, Mayor Henry Impey.

Monday, July 21: Luton Town Council third private meeting over Sunday and Monday, in the magistrates' room at the Courthouse. Mayor Henry Impey not present.

Tuesday, July 22: Meeting of Luton Town Council heard a statement on the Peace Day riots given by Alderman Harry Arnold, in the absence of Mayor Henry Impey.

Wednesday, July 23: First six defendants appear before Luton magistrates charged with theft or receiving stolen goods during the Peace Day Riots.

Thursday, July 24: Henry Impey pays a surprise flying visit to Luton to meet Town Clerk William Smith and give an interview to local reporters.

Thursday, July 24: Seven more defendants appeared before Luton magistrates charged with riot offences.

Friday, July 25: A further 13 defendants appeared before Luton magistrates charged with offences following the Peace Day riots.

Saturday, July 26: Vauxhall Motors Athletic Club annual gymkhana and sports held at Luton Town football ground.

Saturday, July 26: Rev G. N. L. Hall, Curate of Christ Church, departed to become Vice-Principal of Ely Theological College.

Sunday, July 27: DS&S drumhead memorial service held at Luton Hoo Park in the presence of Lady Wernher and a crowd of thousands.

Monday, July 28: Farewell service for Canon H. Coate after 25 years as Vicar of St Matthew's Church, High Town. He was presented with a cheque for £112 2s 6d.

Monday, July 28: Public meeting organised by the Leagrave and Limbury Victory and Peace Celebrations Committee at Norton Road Schools, Leagrave, approved the holding of a welcome home dinner and other events for ex-servicemen of the two villages on September 20th.

Monday, July 28: Sports meeting at Luton Town FC ground for Luton police and outside colleagues brought in for riot duty.

Monday, July 28: Three police officers injured in rioting discharged from Bute Hospital.

Tuesday, July 29: Three more defendants appeared before Luton magistrates on riot charges.

Tuesday, July 29: Town Clerk William Smith explained that Mayor Henry Impey's absence from Town Council meeting was due to a health breakdown.

Wednesday, July 30: Luton began hearing charges against 39 defendants accused of Peace Day riot offences.

Wednesday, July 30: Outing to Brickets Wood for inmates of Union House and Luton's Children's Homes, courtesy of Luton Waste Paper Scheme.

Thursday, July 31: Mayor Henry Impey informed Luton Board of Guardians by letter that his enforced absence as Chairman was due to a health breakdown and he was not fit to attend to public duties at present.


Friday, August 1: Presentation to show appreciation of Chief Constable Charles Griffin from members of the six police forces who joined their Luton colleagues to quell rioting in Luton.

Friday, August 1: Ten workers at Luton Iron Foundry, High Town, gave notice of strike action in support of a national wage claim.

Saturday, August 2: Luton magistrates concluded hearings against 39 defendants accused of Peace Day riot offences. Eleven not accused of actively being involved in rioting were sentenced, 28 sent for trial at Beds Assizes in October.

Saturday. August 2: Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph reported that under an Army Order just issued, the Bedfordshire Regiment would in future be known as the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, in recognition of the splendid war service of Herts Territorials in the fighting line.

Saturday, August 9: Comrades of the Great War first annual sports meeting, Dunstable Grammar School grounds.

Saturday, August 9: Former RFA soldier from New Town Street jailed for six weeks in the second division at Luton Borough Court for obtaining out-of-work donations by false pretences. The sentence took into consideration the state of his health.

Monday, August 11: Mayor of Luton Henry Impey reported to have spent the day in Luton (his second recorded visit since the riots) but returned to London in the evening.

Monday, August 11: Striking pattern-makers at the Davis Gas Stove Co returned to work after the firm granted a seven shillings increase to the men.

Monday, August 11: Death in the USA of millionaire Andrew Carnegie, who was made a Freeman of Luton in October 1910 after providing £11,666 to build the town's Carnegie Library.

Tuesday, August 12: Former Dunstable soldier thought to be suffering from shell-shock was remanded in custody at a special Dunstable Borough Court charged with threatening his estranged wife with a revolver.

Wednesday, August 13: Maud Kitchener, who had been held in custody since August 2nd on Peace Day riot charges, had an application for bail approved at Luton Borough Court in her own surety of £5 and two others of £10 each. She was also bound over to keep the peace.

Wednesday, August 13: Woman from Tebworth admitted to the Bute Hospital, Luton, with a head injury and bruising after being hit by an aeroplane with engine trouble as it tried to land at Hockliffe. Her six-year-old daughter escaped with bruises and a finger injury.

Wednesday, August 13: Discarded cigarette end was believed to have resulted in a fire at the Black Swan pub, Limbury, in which some stock and furniture were damaged. The licensee had been awakened by smoke.

Saturday, August 16: Sports and tea for 5,800 ex-servicemen provided by Lady Wernher at Luton Hoo, followed by dancing and entertainment for the men and their wives/lady friends.

Monday, August 18: One-day strike by moulders at the Diamond Foundry over wages.

Monday, August 18: Iron grinder at George Kent Ltd received fatal injuries when the high-speed emery-wheel on which he was working broke into fragments, some of which struck him. A verdict of accidental death was recorded at a later inquest.

Thursday, August 21: Peace Celebration Committee placed an advertisement in the Luton News to launch a £1,000 fund-raising campaign to provide a peace tea and entertainment for the town's schoolchildren. The Luton Reporter later said Mayor Henry Impey had attended the meeting at which the fund was launched.

Thursday, August 21: Meeting of the Luton Labour Party chose five candidates to contest Town Council elections in November.

Thursday, August 21: Executive Committee of DS&S unanimously agreed at a meeting in favour of fielding candidates in November's Town Council elections.

Thursday, August 21: Miss Alice Green, a teacher at the Central Girls' School. Oxford, appointed headmistress of Chapel Street Girls' School, following the resignation and death of headmaster Mr William Green.

Saturday, August 23: Plait salesman, aged 42, of Dumfries Street, found to have committed suicide because he was worried over losing weight since he was demobilised. He mistakenly believed he had cancer, an inquest heard two days later. The coroner recorded a verdict that the man died from strangulation, self-inflicted with a piece of cord, while temporarily insane.

Tuesday, August 26: Luton Reporter story reproduced from a London daily said boaters could be bought at much reduced prices. Dull weather had ruined the trade, and soft felt hats in light shades were more popular – and could not blow off.

Tuesday, August 26: Sister Miss F. N. Hobbs, Wardown V.A.D. Hospital, among those brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable nursing services rendered in connection with the war (Luton Reporter newspaper).

Wednesday, August 27: Riot accused Joseph Frederick Pursey released on bail from Bedford prison on appeal to magistrates at Luton Borough Court.

Saturday, August 30: 'Joy Day Celebration' for villages of Slip End, Woodside and Pepperstock held at Stockwood Park, by permission of Mrs Crawley.


Monday, September 1: Henry Impey chairs a meeting of Luton Board of Guardians in Luton, announcing that for health reasons he did not expect to take further part in public matters for a few years.

Monday, September 1: Meeting of ratepayers at the Plait Hall, Waller Street, unanimously passed a resolution calling on all members of the Town Council to resign ahead of the November elections. Only six members were required to resign.

Tuesday, September 2: Mayor Henry Impey chaired a meeting of Luton Town Council, referring to his “greatest punishment” as a result of the Peace Day riots.

Wednesday, September 3: Short Bros discharged 500 employees from their airship works at Cardington following the curtailment of airship manufacture. Two-thirds of the office staff lost their jobs the following Saturday.

Sunday, September 7: Rev E. Tweedie began his pastorate at Bury Park Congregational Church.

Monday, September 8: Works firemen dealt with 200 gallons of boiling tar which caught fire at the Diamond Foundry in Dallow Road.

Wednesday, September 10: The committee responsible for organising peace festivities for Luton schoolchildren heard that Lady Wernher had telegraphed from Harrogate that she would be pleased to give them use of Luton Hoo Park for the festivities.

Wednesday, September 10: Marlborough Road allotment holders passed a resolution at a meeting protesting against the action of the Town Council in giving notice to quit the land near Marlborough Road, held under the War Allotment Scheme.

Friday, September 12: Luton Education Committee and local teachers arrived at an agreement for a salary increase in the form of a bonus.

Saturday, September 13: Applications for bail refused by Luton magistrates in the cases of John Stanley Long and Sidney George Quince, both previously remanded in custody at Bedford Jail on riot charges.

Saturday, September 13: Memorial tablet to Capt William Henry Coate and 2nd Lieut Alfred Melbourne Coate, sons of former vicar, Canon H. Coate, unveiled at St Matthew's Church by the Rev A. E. Chapman, Vicar of Luton.

Saturday, September 13: Around 4,000 children entertained at Young Co-operators Field Day at Stockwood Park.

Sunday, September 14: Altar cross presented by Mrs Crawley, of Stockwood, and a brass memorial from parishioners were dedicated at St Andrew's Church, Woodside, to the men of the parish who had fallen in the war.

Sunday, September 14: Roll of Honour unveiled at Pepperstock Baptist Church, including the names of three who fell in the war – Joshua Dyer, Bertram Wood and Teddie Perry.

Tuesday, September 16: Mayor Henry Impey recorded as being present at a second meeting of Luton Town Council since the Peace Day riots.

Tuesday, September 16: Luton town councillors decided in committee to postpone consideration of who should be the 1919-20 Mayor until after the November elections.

Thursday, September 18: Children's Peace celebrations at Luton Hoo Park for 6,300 older pupils of Luton schools.

Thursday, September 18: First boxing tournament organised by 8th Brigade, R.F.A., held in the YMCA Hut at Biscot Camp.

Friday, September 19: Children's Peace celebrations for younger Luton pupils at cinemas and other venues.

Saturday, September 20: Leagrave and Limbury 'Our Men's Day'Peace celebrations.

Sunday, September 21: Leagrave and Limbury Memorial Service for villagers fallen in war, Commer Cars Field, Marsh Road.

Sunday, September 21: DS&S Luton branch church parade headed by the No 1 Salvation Army Band from Park Square to St Matthew's Church.

Thursday, September 25: Lady Alice Wernher, of Luton Hoo, married 'in secret' to Lord Ludlow in a ceremony at Christ Church, Mayfair, London.

Friday, September 26: DS&S to write to Lady Wernher to invite her to accept the Luton Mayoralty in November.

Saturday, September 27: National railway strike began at midnight, initially leaving 200 passengers for the North stranded at Luton at 12.35am.

Saturday, September 27: Bailed riot defendant George Albert Goodship fined 40 shillings by Luton magistrates for the theft of a piece of wood worth two shillings from his employers, B. Laporte Ltd. Breach of bail conditions were not pursued.

Saturday, September 27: Death in Ireland at the age of 82 of Frank Chapman Scargill, who built Wardown House and laid out Wardown Park.

Monday, September 29: Second meeting of ratepayers at the Plait Hall again called on members of the Town Council to resign.

Tuesday, September 30: Luton Town Council agreed a 1s 6½d in the £ additional increase for the current half year, largely to cover compensation claims and policing costs as a result the July riots.

Tuesday, September 30: MP Cecil Harmsworth opened temporary buildings for use as Luton Modern School for Girls.


Friday, October 3: Announcement that Luton Volunteers were to be disbanded and discharged, many volunteering to form their own company of special constables for times of emergency.

Friday, October 3: Luton Town FC Supporters Club revived after a five-year break due to war, at a meeting at the Corn Exchange.

Sunday, October 5: National railway strike settled.

Monday, October 6: Cleaning of the riverbed of the Lea commenced following petitions to the Town Council from manufacturers and property owners concerned that the river was insanitary and detrimental to the health of the community.

Tuesday, October 7: Announcement that Mayor Henry Impey had taken over an old farmhouse in Northamptonshire and compelled to observe the strictest rest.

Tuesday, October 7: Councillor George Warren announced his decision to retire as Chairman of the Education Committee and its predecessors after 27 years service. He was presented with a bedroom clock.

Wednesday, October 8: Welcome home dinner for the 'Yellow Devils' at the Plait Hall.

Wednesday, October 8: Deputy Mayor Councillor C. Dillingham presented his promised cheque for £100 to Luton firemen who were on duty during the Peace Day riots. A second cheque, for £12 10s, was also presented on behalf of the management of the Palace Theatre.

Thursday, October 9: Lieut Frederick Charles Cook (RAF) died at the Empire Hospital, London, 13 months after being shot down and lying severely wounded in No Man's Land for 16 hours before being rescued. He was later buried with military honours at Luton General Cemetery.

Saturday: October 11: Newly appointed Judge Mr Justice Greer named to hear Luton rioting prosecutions at Beds Assizes, commencing on Friday.

Monday, October 13: First meeting of Profiteering Committee for Luton.

Thursday, October 16: Opening day of Beds Assizes. Only non-Luton cases heard.

Friday, October 17: Beds Assizes day two, opening statements in Luton riot trials.

Sunday, October 19: Death of Mr Thomas Meadows Clutterbuck, owner of Putteridge Bury. He was aged 69.

Thursday, October 23: His Honour Judge Macklin sat for the first time at Luton County Court.

Friday, October 24: Close of Luton riot trials at Beds Assizes with 19 prisoners convicted.

Friday, October 24: Closing date for nominations for Luton Town Council elections.

Friday, October 24: Caddington dinner for service and ex-servicemen in village schoolroom.

Saturday, October 25: New Vicar of St Matthew's Church, the Rev D. A. Jaquet, instituted by the Bishop of St Albans.

Saturday, October 25: Workers' Union meeting held at Plait Hall, Luton. Union membership locally was said to total over 4,000.

Saturday, October 25: Former Mayor of Luton Mr Samuel Weatherhead (1887-1888) died at his Redbourn home at the age of 79. He had had a plait business in Cheapside.

Sunday, October 26: Pavilion and dressing rooms at Luton Town Football Club ground ransacked after a break-in. Little was taken, and the previous day's gates receipts were not on the premises. At a children's court on November 5th two 13-year-old boys admitted the break-in and were bound over under the supervision of a probation officer.

Monday, October 27: Families of three convicted rioters granted weekly cash relief by Luton Board of Guardians.

Wednesday, October 29: Dinner at the Plait Hall organised by Luton Conservative and Unionist Club for 160 of its returned ex-servicemen members.


Saturday, November 1: First post-war elections for Luton Town Council. Labour gained first seat in a 42 per cent turnout.

Tuesday, November 4: Newly re-elected councillor Arthur Bennett Attwood nominated as Mayor of Luton for 1919-20, in succession to Henry Impey.

Monday, November 10: Out-going Mayor Henry Impey resigned as a member of Luton Town Council, after representing East Ward since 1902.

Monday, November 10: Chairman Henry Impey resigned as a member of Luton Board of Guardians for health reasons.

Tuesday, November 11: Luton came to a halt for two-minute silence of remembrance on first anniversary of armistice.

Friday, November 28: East Ward by-election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Henry Impey.

Saturday, November 29: Members of Luton No 1 Voluntary Aid Detachment, who had worked at Wardown Hospital on behalf of the British Red Cross Society from 1915 to 1919, entertained by their Commandant, Mr J. W. Green.

Sunday, November 30: Last 200 men and their equipment vacate Biscot Camp, leaving on three special trains for Shorncliffe, Kent.