Saturday Telegraph: November 21st, 1914

Stories from the Saturday Telegraph - November 21st, 1914

The first edition of Luton's new Saturday evening newspaper appeared on the streets carrying war news from around Europe and the Persian Gulf and the latest official reports from the War Office. One of its four pages was largely devoted to local sport, including a full report of Luton's 15-0 drubbing of visitors Great Yarmouth in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in front of a c rowd of about 4,000.

Other competitions were facing problems over the playing of matches due to a great number of players enlisting and clubs disbanding, including Luton Trinity.

Football was important to British troops, even when under attack. A soldier at the front writes: "The French soldiers cannot understand the sangfroid of the British troops. One day at Bethune the Lincolns had a game of football, and the Frenchmen looked on. During the game a German aeroplane came over and dropped a few bombs, but no-one was injured. The game was stopped and there was a rush for the rifles. They fired but did not wing the aeroplane, and a French machine gun was brought into action. It brought her down and the game was continued. The Frenchmen cheered the players, and one of them said to me, 'You English are very, very misunderstandable. Fancy playing football when German bombs are dropping from the skies'."

  • Of a second incident, the same soldier writes: "The grim horror of war is relieved by the football instinct of many of our soldiers. When the Royal Highlanders were ordered to charge in an engagement they jumped out of the trenches and might have been kicking off in a Cup Tie Final. They commenced to shout, 'On the ball, Highlanders' and, 'Mark your men'. They continued yelling to one another until they had driven the Germans back."

  • For obstructing His Majesty's troops and assaulting Col John Knight, officer commanding the 5th North Staffordshire Regt, Thomas Appleby was at Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday sentenced to a month's hard labour. The Colonel stated that the accused persisted in wheeling a perambulator in the midst of the regiment. He dismounted from his horse and threw the pram into a ditch. The accused then followed him as he was inspecting billets and took a running kick at him, injuring him badly.

  • Lieut-Col D. A. Henderson, the chief recruiting officer of the area, addressed a meeting at Luton Town Hall yesterday afternoon aimed at forwarding a scheme by which industrial insurance agents form themselves into an honorary recruiting brigade. "I am here to ask you to get men," said Colonel Henderson. "They are badly wanted - men for the new Army, men to reinforce those at the front now. You know we are up against the biggest thing ever taken on, or ever likely to take on too."

  • The committee appointed to consider the desirability of establishing at Luton a hospital for wounded soldiers heard a report that the War Office had no need for further hospitals but had noted that the town was prepared to provide a hospital when the necessity arose. A statement from the committee considering establishing a hospital said: "We are keeping open the offers that have been made to us in connection with the expenses. No definite action will be adopted until we hear from the War Office that the hospital will be required."

  • Today at about 12.30 an aeroplane was seen flying over Luton, and sweeping round in a big curve. Later it landed at Farley Farm. The machine was a Maurice Farman Inplane piloted by Mr G. England, who is attached to the Naval Air Squadron. With a mechanic he was out on a trip from Hendon. A height of about 2,500 feet was reached, but a wet mist made it impossible for the railway to be seen, and Mr England came down to about 1,000 feet. When over Luton an oil leakage gave trouble, and it was decided to land and replenish the oil supply before returning to Hendon. He made a good landing on a rather difficult field and later set out again for Hendon.

  • Mr Harold Luck,a son of Mr William Luck who until recently carried on business as a baker and confectioner at the corner of Bury Park and Waldeck roads, has been detained in Germany since the early days of the war. For his summer holiday he went to a spot near the Black Forest, and when war broke out he was placed in barracks and later a cell. The Luton News considered his move to a cell as a German reprisal for alleged inconsiderate treatment of aliens in England, as only the English were removed from the barracks. Mr Luck expected to be transferred to a concentration camp near Berlin.

  • It is proposed to have a Belgian flag day on Saturday, November 28th, for the benefit of the Belgian Orphan Fund. Mr A. A. Gibbs wrote asking whether the committee would be prepared to give facilities for 1d flags to be sold to schoolchildren. Re-elected committee chairman Councillor Warren said he had good reason to believe that staff of all schools would be only too delighted to help so good a work. It was unanimously agreed to give the facilities asked for.

  • Luton companies of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, paraded at their headquarters in Park Street, before marching to Dunstable for a "military hide-and-seek game" around Totternhoe Knolls. It was all part of a training field day with Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard companies as defenders, but the Luton attackers were performing a little too well and the umpire had to intervene to give the defenders 15 minutes grace to reassemble before the exercise continued.

  • Miss Alice P. Miller, headmistress of Old Bedford Road Infants School, Luton, died on Thursday morning in a nursing home in Westbourne Road. She had been living at 8 Cromwell Road, Luton, and had come to Luton from Liverpool in 1896. She was in her 51st year.

  • An Army Service Corps man was accidentally shot through the palm of the left hand on Tuesday while unloading a revolver. He now lies in the Bute Hospital and is progressing favourably.

  • War had a devastating effect on some men. A verdict of suicide during temporary insanity was returned at an inquest on Wednesday on a 26-year-old private in the 2nd Battalion, Beds Regt, who died in hospital from the effects of a razor wound to the throat. He had returned home from the front wounded in the shoulder after having fought with great bravery and had bayonetted a sniper in a tree. The inquest heard that on Thursday last week he was strange in his manner. During the night he cut his throat with a razor, jumped out of a window, ran along the Hendon Broadway, where he placed himself on the tramway metals in front of a car, but the cow-catcher caught him and he was not injured. He then tried to place himself in front of two passing motor-cars, the drivers of which avoided him, and finally he jumped in front of a motorcycle with sidecar, which knocked him down and ran him over.


The War Office have notified Mrs H. Wallace and Miss Freeman, of 74 Cambridge Street, Luton, that their brother was killed in action on October 25th. Drummer Richard L. Freeman (2572), 1st Battalion, Herts Regt, was in his 21st year. He was the only son of the late Sgt Richard Freeman, of Park Street, who was awarded a medal for long service in the old Luton Volunteers.

Lieut C. Pope, of the Bedfordshire Regt, is this morning reported to be missing.