Luton WW1 diary: November 12th, 1914

Stories from The Luton News: November 12th, 1914

Members of the two Voluntary Aid Detachments continue to serve on a rota, and their presence and attention to the needs of the Territorial patients at Wardown are greatly appreciated.

Lady Wernher's interest in the institution is also very marked. Last week she sent a gift of some 20 pheasants, and on Saturday paid a personal visit to the sick ward and gave to the men in the hospital a handsome present of cigarettes.

The splendid room which, since the Corporation acquired the park and mansion, has been used as a refreshment room is now turned into a ward of a dozen or more beds. Pleasantly facing south, the room is bright, airy and light.

Mrs Robert Durler was unanimously invited to take the position of commandant of Detachment No. 14, after Mrs H. N. Davis relinquished the post on account of ill health.

  • This morning an inquiry was opened at Stopsley into the circumstances under which the body of a week-old baby came to be found wrapped in paper, rotting in the hedge at Crawley Green hill. The parcel containing the body was found by two lads on Monday afternoon. It was in a very decomposed state, but in the course of a post-mortem examination Dr Keen was able to find that the skull had been fractured before death. An inquest was opened by Mr G. J. M. Whyley this morning at the Sportsman, Stopsley, and after the evidence at present available was given it was adjourned for a fortnight.

  • Station Inspector Burnham, of Luton Midland Railway Station, has received a special reward from the company after pulling a man from between the platform and a moving train on October 24th. Two Naval reservists who were leaving for Chatham were being seen off by friends who were permitted to go on the platform. They delayed entering the train until it was in motion, one man getting into a compartment safely, while the other slipped from the footboard. But for the prompt action of Inspector Burnham, who pulled him out at considerable risk, that man might have been killed.

  • Mr A. E. Beecroft, son of Mr Edward Beecroft JP, of Tunbridge Wells, has been given a commission as second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. Lieut Beecroft belongs to a well-known Luton family, and is himself a native of the town.

  • Some of the Belgian refugees who are at present being cared for in Luton were able to see pictures of their homes, or what remains of them, at a lecture given by Mr Clive Holland at Mount Tabor last night. Some of the pictures were taken since the devastation of the country by the Germans.

  • Luton lad Arthur Dimmock was praised by a resident of Kew who rescued two seven-year-old children who had fallen from a barge into the River Thames. He jumped from the boat on which he was a passenger and brought the children to the bank. They were afterwards taken unconscious to hospital.

  • No news has yet been received of Flight-Lieutenant Charles Francis Beevor, a skilful and daring pilot, who left Eastchurch on Thursday to fly to France. His father, Col Beevor is on the staff of the North Midland Division, which now has its headquarters at the Town Hall, Luton.

  • Gunner Samuel Kent, of the North Staffs RFA, met with a serious accident on Tuesday morning while riding near Markyate. His horse was frightened by some leaves, reared up and fell on him. His right arm was broken and his right ankle sprained. He is progressing favourably in the Bute Hospital.

  • Mr Paul Bulman, a son of the Rev T. Bulman, Vicar of St Paul's, had a nasty accident at St Albans shortly after Monday midnight while motorcycling from London to Luton. He failed to take a corner successfully and collided with the fence of the King Harry public house with such force that he was rendered unconscious for a short time. He was attended to at the hospital and brought to Luton by car. The motorcycle was badly damaged and was taken to St Albans police station in a wheelbarrow.

  • A nasty accident occurred in Midland Road on Saturday morning. Tram car No. 9 was being driven down Midland Road by driver Bert Clarke, when just before reaching Dudley Street two horses attached to a waggon and in the charge of Corporal Simpson, of the 6th North Staffs, started across the road. The horses were knocked down and Cpl Simpson was thrown under the waggon, sustaining internal injuries. Col Gratton, who arrived on the scene, superintended his removal to the military hospital.

  • Miss R. Ives, who for nearly four years has been nurse matron at the Spittlesea Isolation Hospital, has resigned, having been appointed matron of the Dover Isolation Hospital. Miss Wingfield, who has been staff nurse since October 1912, has been appointed to succeed Miss Ives.

  • The organ recital which Lady Wernher suggested should be given in the private chapel at Luton Hoo to raise money for the Luton War Material Fund took place on Friday afternoon. Tickets were sold at 5s each and about 100 people were present, despite a thunderstorm.

  • In continuation of its Jubilee celebration, a commemoration service was held in the King Street Congregational Lecture Hall on Friday evening.

  • At the annual meeting of the Luton Conservative and Unionist Club on Monday evening, Mr Herbert Cowley drew attention to the number of club members serving with the colours. He emphasised the sacrifice they were making of business prospects, salary and possibly life itself.

  • Recruits for the Regular Army or Special Reserve are coming in pretty well at Luton. The names of those who have enlisted since last week's list are: C. Andrews, H. Archer, C. Brown, H. Evans, F. Fensome, W. Gregory, T. Harris, T. Marlow, A. Parish, R. Press, W. Purton, J. Simmonds, E. W. Smith, J. Summerbee, W. Williams, E. Woodcroft.

  • Recruiting is again proceeding both at Luton Corn Exchange and the Volunteer Club for the 5th (Reserve) Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. Among those who enlisted up to yesterday was R. Latheron, who some years ago was one of Luton's professional footballers who because of his persistently cheerful look was known to the football crowds as "Smiler" Latheron. On retiring, he settled in Luton. The new recruits are: A. Allen, F. Boutwood, P. Brooks, B. Breed, R. H. Cook, S. T. Cook, A. G. Crew, P. Dumpleton, J. Fensom, A. Fleckney, F. Fossey, R. G. Gibbs, E. Inwood, V. Johnson, R. Latheron, S. Lawrence, S. J. Markham, C. Moate, G. Patten, J. Perry, P. T. Pinney, B. Pratt, G. T. Sharp, A. Smith, R. Smith, G. W. Stagg, J. Stonnell, J. W. Vass, R. Walker, H. Wetheridge.

  • The Eastern Mounted Brigade were inspected by His Majesty the King near Woodbridge (Suffolk) on Tuesday. Included among the troops on parade was the Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, the headquarters of which are at Grove Road, Luton.

  • Dunstable Gold Club member Mr C. S. Trendall, of 106 Crawley Road, Luton, has undertaken to forward as many walking sticks as he can get hold of, for use by wounded men convalescing in various hospitals.

  • Reports that Corpl Edgar Slough, son of Mr A.E. Slough, of 2 Conway Road, Luton, had been killed in battle proved incorrect. The War Office said Corpl Slough was made prisoner of war on September 14th.

  • The Watch Committee was to issue licences to street sellers - and Councillor Impey hoped that new by-laws would give the Council power to prevent newsboys shouting about the streets on Sundays - at times it was almost like a market in some streets. Mayor Primett said he did not think the by-laws would cover the matter, but Town Clerk Mr William Smith said there would be power to refuse a licence on certain grounds.


Captain Henry Telford Maffett (Leinster Regt), brother of Mrs Cecil Harmsworth, wife of Luton's MP, fell in action near Armentieres on October 20th. Captain Maffett was the youngest and favourite brother, and his death is a great blow to Mr and Mrs Harmsworth.

Lieut L. Bendell, Beds Regt, is reported to have died of wounds.

The casualty lists published on Monday include the names of Ptes F. George (7169), F. Clark (8944), A. King (8455), W. Springham (7221), C. Wray (7706) and Bandsman A. Nicholls (9486).

Pte T. Troubridge, of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, a reservist who was employed at the Luton Liberal Club until the outbreak of war, is now lying wounded in the Adelaide Hospital, Dublin, suffering from four bullet wounds.

Several wounded soldiers back from from the front recounted their experiences on the firing line. They included Corpl C. Farr, of 47 Newcombe Road, Luton, a reservist in the Rifle Brigade, who was recovering from a machine gun bullet in one of his legs.

Reservist Pte P. Inwards, 9874, 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regt, is now a prisoner of war in Germany. His home address is 7 Cumberland Street, Houghton Regis.