Luton WW1 diary: September 3rd, 1914

Stories from The Luton News: Thursday, September 3rd, 1914.

The first case in Luton under the Aliens Restrictions Act 1914 was heard at the Borough Sessions yesterday when before the Mayor (Councillor W. J. Primett), John Griem, of 75 Salisbury Road, Luton, was charged that he, being an alien enemy, did travel on August 31st for more than five miles from his registered place of residence in Luton without having been furnished with a permit from Chief Constable Teale, the registration officer for the district.

Defendant pleaded guilty. He said he had been working in Luton and gave his work up on Saturday. He thought he would like to go to Watford, where his home and interests were, and he did not get a permit. He was a Bavarian by birth but had lived in Watford for 29 years. He was a butcher by trade and had worked for Mr Fisher, having a contract with him.

  • A shot was fired on Friday night at a tram with about 50 Territorials on board. The incident occurred on the steep gradient just about the junction of High Town and Hitchin roads. Motorman Price pulled up the tram quickly but a search failed to find whoever had fired the shot from between two houses.
  • Some of the billeting in Luton has been re-arranged, and additional Territorials have come into town. They arrived on Saturday afternoon, and were all new recruits coming to join their battalions. So quickly had they been brought along from their home county to commence their training in Luton that they had not been supplied with uniforms or equipment, and marched through the streets to the headquarters of their battalions in plain clothes, escorted by a few men in uniform.
  • The deaths of two soldiers were reported, not on the battle front, but at Luton's Bute Hospital as a result of developing pneumonia. Frederick Albert Maddocks, aged 22, of the 5th Battalion, Notts and Derby Regiment, died on Monday, and Sidney Ward, aged 32, of the 7th Battalion, Notts and Derby Regiment, died on Tuesday. Each was being given a military funeral at the Church Cemetery.
  • A Boy Scout named Thomas George Poulton, aged 12, of 32 Windsor Street, Luton, who had been doing duty with the two soldiers at Luton Hoo, also died yesterday, at Spittlesea.
  • On the battlefront, Capt R. Primrose Wells, of the 15th Hussars and second son of Mr A. Collings Wells, JP, of Caddington Hall, was wounded in the Battle of Mons on August 23rd. He returned to England on Sunday and is now in hospital at London. He is suffering from a bullet wound in the right leg and, although the wound is a serious one, it is not considered dangerous.
  • One of the first to return home on account of wounds sustained in the great 36-hours battle between British and German forces at Charleroi was Mr Albert Edward Spary, of the Royal Field Artillery, and son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Spary, of Desmondene, Norman Road, Luton. He arrived in Luton on Friday night before proceeding home to his wife in Bedford. He is now receiving attention at the Bedford Military Hospital.
  • Among the "wounded" treated in the hospital tent at Wardown last week was Mr W. Brown, an hon secretary of the Luton Town Cricket Club. In a match at the Town ground on Wednesday the ball struck him over the eye, causing a nasty cut, and this was bandaged by the RAMC, then at the tent hospital.
  • Former senior curate at Luton Parish Church and now Vicar of Shefford, the Rev E. Dakin told his congregation that on August 17th he had been arrested by soldiers in Germany as a spy. After a search and interrogation, he was allowed to continue by train to Flushing,
  • In response to Queen Mary's appeal to presidents of needlework guilds, Lady Wernher of Luton Hoo has undertaken to open a depot for receiving all garments made by local working parties, and to have them sorted, packed and despatched to their various destinations.
  • A body of special constables has been formed to undertake voluntary patrol work in Luton and district for four hours every evening. And with Luton on spy alert, two suspects were apprehended by Territorials in Wardown Park on Sunday afternoon on suspicion they may be handing out drugged cigarettes to troops. They were able to prove their innocence after attracting the attention of a large crowd.
  • Of the Luton men who had offered themselves as military recruits, 20 to 30 needed to be declared dentally as well as physically fit. A clinic was set up at Waller Street Schools by Mr Graves Morris to offer free dental services to Territorials.
  • The vacated Bute Street premises of plait merchants Messrs Dearbergh Bros was taken over to accommodate 110 soldiers transferred from one of Luton's schools.
  • Two Brussels businessmen and their families who escaped from the Belgian capital on the morning of the day the Germans entered the city had chosen Luton as their temporary home. They chose the town because they had been here ten years previously to learn English and decided to renew "fraternal links".
  • Nineteen young Lutonians from local firms and/or sports clubs enlisted with the 24th City of London Rifles (The Queen's) at St Albans. From Welch and Sons Ltd: G. Smith, J. Webb (South Beds Golf Club) and A. Gilder (Luton Amateur Football Club, Leagrave Invicta Tennis Club and Old Lutonians). From Kershaw & Co: A. Johns (South Beds Golf Club), T. Weekes and J. Blair. From Commercial Cars: D. Brodie, P. Clark, and G. Young. Also F. Gilder and H. Squires (Luton Amateur FC), B. Woods (Dunstable Golf Club), T. Coupees and S. Rudd (South Beds Golf Club), R. McAdam, G. Harmer and E. Allen (Old Lutonians), P. Byfield and S. Stonebridge.
  • Twenty-seven young men, mostly foundrymen from one of Luton's principal engineering works, had the loan of a Commer car to present themselves at the barracks at Bedford to enlist in Kitchener's new army. But they faced disappointment when they were told they could not be dealt with that day. Yesterday they were joined by another would-be recruit and 22 of them succeeded in getting enrolled.
  • From Messrs George Kent's works at Luton, 50 men have left to rejoin their regiments, to train with their Territorial units or to enlist in Lord Kitchener's new Army.
  • The Mayor of Luton received a letter from hat materials manufacturers Charles Clay and Sons saying that the directors were recommending eligible staff to enlist in the Army, with inducements to those serving in the Regular Army or Territorials. They would be guaranteed a minimum of four weeks full wages from the date of leaving, guaranteed reinstatement on their return, half-pay during absence for married men when full pay ceased, special arrangements for single men with dependents, and three weeks annual holiday after the war, providing two of the weeks were spent at camp.
  • The Recruiting Committee which organised the recent Territorial boom in South Beds, and who managed to draw in enough recruits to being the local companies of the 5th Battalion, Beds Regt, almost up to full strength, are now to carry on another campaign to gain recruits both for home and foreign service.
  • Mrs Stuart-Wortley, wife of the commander of the North Midlands Division, said mothers, sisters and wives had to realise that it was at their own peril that they kept the men back from enlisting. She said: "We should not have had this war at all if we had 800,000 men to put in the field, and it was only the threat to put that number in the field which would keep our enemies out of England next year."
  • Musical events continued to be held for the Territorials at churches around town, including one given by the Band and Songsters at the Manchester Street Salvation Army Hall on Monday evening.
  • There was also a band concert in Wardown Park on Sunday afternoon, after which Territorials rescued a small boy who fell into the lake while watching swans near the boathouse. He was taken for a bath, and had his meagre ragged clothes swapped for a soldier's coat of which he seemed to be very proud.
  • A despatch rider from Birmingham district received serious injuries to the head and eyes in an accident with a Bennetts brewery van from Dunstable in Dunstable Road, near the junction with Leagrave Road, on Friday night. He was taken to Bute Hospital.
  • Military promotions notified in the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, effective from August 29th, 1914 - Lieuts to Capts: George J. Norris, Joseph K. Batten, Rudolph M. Smythe, Brian C. Cumberland. Sec Lieuts to Lieuts: Charles T. Baker, Ernest V. Andreini, Christopher R. James, Christopher H. Milkin, Cyril R. Lydekkar. To be Sec Lieuts: Geoffrey R. Day, Frederick W. H. Nicholas, George S. Carter, Henry C. Bernard, John T. Yarde, Oliver S. Chandler.
  • Luton Town Council was called upon to rescind a resolution intimating that the operation of the Shops Act would be suspended as affecting the dry goods trade, and authorising outfitters, drapers, milliners etc to keep their shops open until 9.30 pm. A meeting of Luton Tradesmen's Association on Monday evening was told it was a great surprise that, after discussing short hours, they find shop hours being extended, especially as no officials of the Association had been approached in any way. Members questioned whether the Town Council could override an Order under an Act of Parliament, and the traders were entitled to be consulted.
  • One outfitter admitted he had approach the Town Clerk about longer opening hours as he was missing out on trade from the Territorials, who were not always able to get into town by 8 pm.
  • A draper described the action of the Corporation as "panic legislation" and said he had countered competition that came from outside the town by taking goods in a van to the various camps.