From the outset of war, readers of The Luton News began to wax lyrical in verse. This neatly worked poem, reflecting the town's respect for the men of the North Midlands Division billeted here, was published on October 8th, 1914.
The North Midlands Division was drawn from towns like Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Stoke-on-Trent; and surrounding countryside. In tribute to the actions of the men, and in recognition of their stay in town, many streets in Luton that were constructed in the immediate post-WW1 era were named after towns in the north midlands, and regiments e.g. Lincoln Road, Mansfield Road, Grantham Road, Newark Road, Sherwood Road (after the Sherwood Forresters regiment) etc.
Here's to the lads from the Valley of Trent,
From Potteries, Peak, Fosse and Fen,
Who left home and all to answer the call
Of their King and their country for men.
To fight for their country at home or abroad,
In far distant lands o'er the sea,
In defence of the Right 'gainst the forces of Might,
Which menace the land of the free.
Here's luck, Notts and Derby and Staffordshire lads,
Here's luck to you, Leicesters and Lincs,
May you act the man's part and keep the stout heart
Which from duty and danger ne'er shrinks.
Here's to you lads and your fair lady friends,
Luton's daughters whose bright beaming smiles
Have lightened your way, and made your hearts gay
As you march many long weary miles.
Here's to you, lads, who so worthily wear
The Tiger, the Sphinx and Staffordshire Knot.
When hostilities cease, and the world is at peace,
May health and prosperity be your lot