Luton WW1 diary: October 29th, 1914

Stories from The Luton News, October 29th, 1914

The magnificent sum of £111 18s 5d was raised as the result of Luton's "Loyalty Day" last Saturday. The idea was one which Lady Wernher originated and its purpose was, by the sale of little red, white and blue badges, to raise money for the local War Materials Fund.

The fund is a central organisation for the various bands of local ladies who are working strenuously in making garments primarily for the men of the Bedfordshire Regiment, but also the other men on active service.

The work of counting the proceeds was a big business, It was commenced at 5.30 pm by five persons and continued until 1.40 on Sunday morning. There were £80 worth of coppers.

  • Lieut-General Sir William Edmund Frankly, KCB, commanding the Third Army, Central Force, died suddenly on Tuesday evening at Luton Hoo, the residence of Lady Wernher, which has been in use as military headquarters since mobilisation took place early in August. Death was confirmed as due to natural causes.

  • Luton Rifle Club will close their outdoor ranges in Dallow Road for the winter on Saturday next, when the Championship Cup will be shot for. They will re-open their indoor range at the rear of the Royal Hotel, Mill Street, on Monday, November 9th, when shooting will continue as usual throughout the winter.

  • Eloquent tribute was paid to the life and work of the late Mr Francis Crawley at a special service held at the Woodside Church on Sunday morning, when a beautifully executed stained glass window - the work of Mr Westlake - to his memory was dedicated. The window was subscribed for on the initiation of the Vicar (the Rev Phillip Hyne) by Mr Crawley's fellow worshippers and the Stockwood tenentry, and is placed in the nave.

  • Great excitement was occasioned at Bedford on Thursday by the visit of the King to inspect the troops stationed in the county town. His Majesty arrived by train at 11.15.

  • The Rev Stanley Bishop, third minister of the Luton Chapel Street Circuit, who has been appointed Wesleyan Chaplain to the Territorials stationed in the district, on Sunday preached his farewell sermon before leaving with the troops, who are expected to depart shortly. Mr Bishop was in the khaki uniform of an Army Chaplain.

  • A special service for Territorials held at Wellington Street Baptist Church on Sunday prior to the ordinary morning service was attended by some 500 "Terriers".

  • The officers and men of the various units of the Territorial Forces stationed in Luton and the neighbourhood have this week contributed £85 6s 8d to the funds of the Bute Hospital, in many cases accompanying their donations with letters highly appreciative of the work of the institution and its staff.

  • Corpl A. Biggs, whose home address is 2 , Norton Road, Leagrave, and who is serving the with 4th Division of the Expeditionary Force, writes from France with the names of 12 Luton men who are serving in that unit. They are Ptes W. A. Lawrence, F. Langridge, A. Craker, H. Mingay, A. V. Odell, G. Odell, G. Plester, W. Ireland, W. Bourne, H. Parcell, S. Deller and F. Dimmock. With Corpl Biggs they are members of the Special Reserve of the R.A.M.C. (T) and left Luton for Maidstone on August 5th and Southampton for France on August 26th.

  • The War Office has written to the Territorial Association congratulating them upon the excellent work accomplished. A few months ago the Bedfordshires numbered only 1,500 men, not the figure stands at 4,000. But 250 more are still needed to complete the establishment.

  • The authorities in Stopsley are concerned somewhat by the prevalence of scarlet fever cases arising in a small are of the village where the diphtheria cases caused so much trouble last year.

  • A letter writer signing himself 'A Luton Sergeant' appealed to any Luton gentlemen who have spare field glasses to loan them to the sergeants and scouts of the Luton Detachment, 5th Beds Regt based at Bury St Edmunds.

  • Pte H. Pateman, 13260, B Company, 4th Battalion, Beds Regt at Dovercourt, has sent home to his parents at Luton a letter describing the enthusiasm with which HMS Undaunted and her four accompanying destroyers were received upon returning to Harwich after sinking four German destroyers on October 17th. He also speaks of the interest that Bedfordians on service take in the doings of Luton Town Football Club.

  • A young Frenchman who had worked for hat maker George Field in Bridge Street for four years before the outbreak of war wrote to his former colleagues, appealing to them to make a collection and send tobacco and cigarettes for wounded troops. Peter Fannell was now working in the operating theatre of a hospital for the wounded in Paris and was acting as an interpreter for British troops who came in for treatment.

  • William George Bracey, of Leagrave, who joined the Veterinary Corps a fortnight ago, was kicked in the thigh while attending to the Army horses at Stockwood Park on Monday evening. An officer rendered first aid, and the young man was removed to the Bute Hospital, where the wound was stitched up.

  • The Subscription Sub-committee of the Princes of Wales' Fund have made an appeal to the public for old newspapers, the object being to sell the paper for re-pulping, the proceeds going to the fund. Mr Clifford Hunt, of 19 Bute Street, has offered to act as local secretary and has arranged for house-to-house collections to be made by Sunday school scholars.

  • Some fifty or sixty ladies who have sufficient enthusiasm to go through the full course of Red Cross lectures started in Luton on the outbreak of war, submitted themselves for proficiency certificates on Wednesday. However many were kept waiting for hours in the not very comfortable surroundings of the hall of the Modern School. Some who had to attend at the school at 2 pm did not reach their homes until after 9 pm as they individually examined orally.

  • The Salvation Army are providing five motor ambulances for use at the front. The gift to the British Red Cross Society will involve an initial expenditure of £2,000, and to help in the raising of this sum the Luton II Band will have a special street parade on Saturday evening.

  • Further help for Belgian refugees came at the Saviours Church harvest festival. Offertories amounting to nearly £30 and almost a cart load of clothing were donated and St Mary's Branch of the Girls' Friendly Society sent a first instalment of a parcel of 80 garments. Mr F. C. W. Janes has placed a house at Dordans Road, Leagrave, free of rent, at the disposal of the Belgian Refugees Committee. High Town Primitive Methodist Church will furnish it and keep the occupants as long as the war lasts. The Parish Church congregation are taking over responsibility of the refugees who will be housed at the residence of Dr Sharpe, Park Street West.

  • A sub-committee of the Luton Relief Committee has been formed to open a clothing depot and will look after the poorly clad during the coming winter. Messrs Vyse Sons and Co have placed some rooms in the old granary, Bute Street, at the disposal of the committee.

  • Schoolteachers accustomed to teaching physical exercises are being invited to offer their services for the preliminary training of military recruits.

  • Luton Education Committee appointed Miss Amy M. Tomlin, of Dunstable Road Infants School, as the head teacher of the new Tennyson Road Infants School. There were five applicants for the post.

  • In addition to names already published, the following have enlisted for service in the Regular Army or the Special Reserve at the Park Street Recruiting Office: C. W. Clarke, W. Crank, L. Fountain, T. W. Halfpenny, H. Odell, A. Sucklin, H. W. Tufnell, G. A. Warren.



The death is reported to have taken place in No 1 Clearing Hospital, Saint-Omer, France, from wounds received in action of Lieut Villiers Chernocke Downes, elder son of the late Lieut-Col C. Villiers Downes and of Mrs Downes, of Aspley House, Aspley Guise. He was 23 years of age, became a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, in July 1913 and was serving in France with the 1st Battalion. His younger brother is a lieutenant in the Cheshire Regiment.

Pte Sydney Clark, youngest son of Mr and Mrs William Clark, died on Sunday in Leeds Military Hospital. He went out to the front with the 1st Beds Regt and received a bullet wound in the right hand and on Friday tetanus set in. He was buried with military honours at St Peter's Church, Lilley, on October 28th.

Able Seaman John Silvester, R.F.R., of 35 St Saviour's Crescent, Luton, has been officially listed as missing after the cruiser HMS Hawke was torpedoed by German submarine U-9 on October 15th. A reservist called up at the outbreak of war, he had only about four more years to serve in the Royal Fleet Reserve. His relatives received a letter from First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill expressing the King's sympathy.

In Monday's list the following casualties among the officers of the Bedfordshire Regiment: Killed, Sec-Lieut C. O. Bell, Lieut C. C. Stafford; died of wounds Lieut J. R. Shippey; wounded, Capt F. N. Bassett, Capt C. H. Wolff and Lieut T. G. M. Horsford.

Second lieutenant L. W. Randell is reported wounded.

Pte Harry Tuffnell, of 15 York Street, Luton, and Pte Horace C. Whittemore, of 42 Kings Road, Luton (both 1st Battalion, Beds Regt) are now in hospital suffering from wounds received while on active service with the Expeditionary Force. Pte Tuffnell, a veteran of the South African War, was hit in the left forearm by shrapnel on Friday. He was landed at Queenstown but is now at Cork. Pte Whittemore, who survived Mons, was wounded in the Battle of Aisne, shrapnel tearing a deep wound six inches long in the right side of his back very badly. He is in hospital at Chipstead [near Sevenoaks], Kent.

Mrs F. Farr, of 18 Reginald Street, Luton, received a letter from her brother who is recovering from two wounds - one in the right hip and one through the right ear into the back of the neck - received in separate incidents at the front on the same day. Corpl A. Stringer (9409), of the 2nd Battalion, Beds Regt, was recovering in Manchester Military Hospital.