Lady Wernher offers sports and tea at Hoo

In a letter to Mr H. C. Cooper, the Secretary of the DS&S, expressing pleasure that his organisation would make use of Luton Hoo Park for the purpose of holding a divine service in memory of fallen comrades, Lady Alice Wernher made a second offer.

The letter, reprinted in the Luton News (July 24th, 1919), said: “I shall consider it a privilege as well as a pleasure if the sailors and soldiers of Luton will accept my invitation to sports and tea in Luton Hoo Park on Saturday, August 16th, in celebration of Peace.

Lady Alice Wernher 1919“I suggest that the sports shall be arranged by a committee to be appointed by the two Associations interested, and I shall be glad to offer prizes. The entertainment should commence at 2pm, and tea about 4pm.

“Owing to the difficulty of catering, I regret I can only invite the members of your Associations to this, but I shall be glad to welcome their ladies at about 6pm, when there will be dancing to band music.”

The Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph [July 29th] pointed out that a similar offer had been made to the Comrades of the Great War.

In order that there should not be the slightest misunderstanding, Lady Wernher (pictured right) desires us to make it absolutely clear that the same invitation was sent to each of the two local organisations of ex-servicemen, this being the most ready and practically the only method of reaching those whom her ladyship desires to entertain,” said the report.

The fact that there are ex-servicemen who are members of neither organisation, and who therefore cannot be reached through either of those bodies, has not been lost sight of, and it is possible that some further announcement may be made with reference to these men, as it is Lady Wernher's desire that the entertainment which she is so generously providing shall be open to all men who have served in the forces.

It was Lady Wernher's original intention to entertain the schoolchildren of Luton, as this was apparently not provided for in the official arrangements for the Peace Celebrations. After seeing it reported that arrangements were subsequently made for the children to have an entertainment at a later date in conjunction with the distribution of commemoration medals, Lady Wernher had enquiries made by her agent, Mr James Baker, as to other directions in which her help would be appreciated, and the outcome of these inquiries was the handsome invitation which has been extended to servicemen.

Yesterday we received a letter in which Mr N. Shepherd, secretary of the Comrades of the Great War, wrote: “My committee have unanimously decided to accept this splendid offer. And a sub-committee has been appointed to make the arrangements jointly with the DS&S Federation, as requested by Lady Wernher.”

The Federation have also accepted the invitation and selected members to co-operate in arranging details, and both parties will meet shortly to confer with Mr Baker.