Luton WW1 diary: November 19th, 1914

Stories from The Luton News - Thursday, November 19th, 1914

A scheme to create a 20-bed Luton hospital for wounded soldiers from the front was outlined at a meeting in the Council Chamber on Monday. The meeting was told that the Davis Institute had been offered to the Red Cross Society, and the men at the works had agree to forego use of the building for club purposes. Managing director Mr H. N. Davis had promised to find the labour to adapt the rooms and provide the heating necessary by gas, and Lady Wernher had offered to meet the whole of the expense of medical equipment and furnishings. A finance committee was formed to guarantee funding of the hospital for six months, if Government approval was given for it. A number of promise slips were handed in but no announcement was made as to the amount guaranteed.

  • Rousing speeches were made in the Luton Corn Exchange on Tuesday evening at a meeting of the Bedfordshire Recruiting Committee. At the close a number marched up to the recruiting table at the front and gave their names. "We have met with a fair amount of success," said Mayor Councillor W. J. Primett, "but more men are required, and more men must be forthcoming. All honour to the men who have volunteered without the least pressure."

  • The list of recruits to the Regular Army and Special Reserve for the past week included: C. H. Carrington, C. Cooper, J. Fenn, A. Giddings, G. A. Goldborough, J. H. Jeffs, F. Lloyd, S. G. Sandon, W. Smith, H. Stimpson, F. Summerfield.

  • The order was given to the North Midland Division late on Sunday night to move, and before most people were about on Monday morning the town had been practically emptied of its soldier visitors. All through the early hours of the morning preparations for the move were being made with great rapidity. To where they have moved no information can be given.

  • The Great Northern Railway Company have arranged for trips to Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, November 28th, the fares for which it is expected will be 4s 9d for the whole day and 3s 3d for half day. That the 5th Beds Battalion will still be at Bury on that date cannot, of course, be guaranteed.

  • Pte Edward Wright (7050), of A Company, 1st Battlion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, who has been recovering at the Devonshire Hospital, Buxton, from wounds received in France, returned on Tuesday to his home at 38 Guildford Street, Luton. A Reservist called up on August 5th, he was one of ten men in a scouting party on October 15th that were sniped at by German troops. One bullet grazed his left thigh before another went through his right thigh. He lay in a field for 19 hours and was bandaged by a German. Nine officers and 253 men had been lost in about 25 minutes on the day.

  • An offer from Mr H. N. Davis, managing director of the Davis Gas Stove Co Ltd., to train a number of youths of the town as moulders resulted in between 30 and 40 applications. Under the expert tuition of the most skilled tradesman in the foundry, these were now trained and the management was prepared to take on more youths. Parents and guardians were required to see that the youngsters attended work regularly at the proper hours, that their health was carefully looked after and that they should attend evening classes in the town during the winter to improve themselves.

  • Two more prominent local footballers have joined His Majesty's Territorial Forces. These are B. Rayment and J. Clark. They have been associated with the Luton Clarence FC, and have occasionally turned out for the Luton Town Reserves, whilst the latter has also played for the first team in the Southern Alliance. They are enlisted in the Staffordshire RFA.

  • Working conditions of hat workers in Luton brought claims and counter-claims at a meeting of the Beds National Health Insurance Committee in Bedford on Saturday, based on the fact that 27 cases of consumption were being dealt with in the town, compared with seven in Bedford. Mr Murray Janes claimed that the conditions of many of those engaged in the straw hat industry were detrimental to health and likely to bring on consumption. Mr H. O. Williams, Deputy Mayor of Luton, said he did not think there were any girls working in the basements in Luton factories.

  • Practical steps were being taken by the Government to ensure an adequate future supply of dyestuffs and colours, the shortage of which at present, owing to the cessation of imports from Germany, is causing great apprehension in the textile trades and in other important British industries. The Board of Trade was to encourage the permanent manufacture of dyestuffs and colours in the United Kingdom.

  • The desirability of adopting the Feeding of Necessitous Children Act authorising the feeding of hungry schoolchildren was again urged at Tuesday's meeting of Luton Education Committee by Councillor R. F. Briggs. But, as on a previous occasion, the committee was of the opinion there was no more distress then in previous years and that there was no immediate necessity for the committee to take in hand the provision of food for underfed schoolchildren.

  • A beautiful doll's house has been presented to the children at the Guardians' Homes in Beech Hill by Mr and Mrs Barrett, of 74 Selbourne Road.

  • Following the recent successful Loyalty Day, a Belgian Flag Day is to be organised in Luton on Saturday, November 28th, in support of a scheme for the institution of a Belgian Orphan Fund. The Education Committee granted permission for flags to be sold in Luton schools on the Friday, and it was hoped the children would be encouraged to spare a penny for a little flag to wear on the Saturday and so help little Belgian children.

  • Yesterday a party of 12 Belgian refugees arrive at Leagrave to be cared for in two cottages which have been placed at the disposal of the Park Street Baptist Church. They came from Malines and had been travelling for about three months. One is a woman of 51 who is blind, and another a baby of three months whose father is fighting with the Belgian Army.

  • Continuing complaints about soot and ashes from the chimney stack at the Luton Electricity Works produced a letter from Mr H. Taylor, of 5 Pondwicks Road. He wrote: "Only on one day of last week my wife, in sweeping one of the bedrooms, took up sufficient fine soot-like ashes to fill a small teacup. Just imagine any of our councillors walking over that lot in stockingless feet. I am inclined to think the nuisance could easily be obviated if a better class of coal was used."

  • Australian dairy farmer Mr Fred Ansell, who emigrated from Shillington to Cabarita, near Sydney, about three years ago and has relatives in Luton, offered a cow for sale for war relief funds. The cow realised £47 with a further £36 6s 6d paid for patriotic decorations it was wearing that were made by Mrs Ansell.

  • The residents of Leighton and Linslade were excited yesterday over the prospects of a visit from His Majesty King George and the Secretary for War, Lord Kitchener. But as the day wore on it was evident that they were doomed to disappointment. The King was in fact inspecting troops not far from Leighton and just over the county border.

  • Pte George Whittemore, of Stopsley and serving with the 1st Beds, is in the Denmark Hill Hospital recovering from a wound received near Ypres on November 6th. Just as his bayonet showed above the trench a German bullet shattered it and drove a piece of it against his left eye, inflicting a nasty wound.