Volunteers march on despite difficulties

The Luton Voluntary Training Corps is making first-rate progress despite difficulties with which the members have had to contend.Volunteer Training Corps 1917

We learn that commanders have been appointed and will probably be allocated to their various sections in a short time.

The uniform has been decided on, and it was intended that the members should be measure in batches of about 25. The first of these was measured on Thursday night, and not a little uneasiness has been caused by the learning of an order stating that the material chosen by the central association (and adopted in Luton) is not to be used because of its being made of wool. Pending the decision as to the material to be used, measurements will, of course, have to be suspended.

Mr H. Inwards yesterday told a Saturday Telegraph representative that he had received a telephone message from London saying that it will probably be arranged that those who have the uniforms in hand will be allowed to use them.

The Corps has had a great deal of trouble with regard to drilling arrangements. They have no9 building for drilling purposes. This week they paraded on two nights in the Modern School playground (through the courtesy of the Governors and the Headmaster), on two nights at Messrs Coutts' factory in Old Bedford Road (through the kindness of the firm), and one night at the factory of Messrs Clay and Son (also through the kindness of the firm). The Corps first paraded at the Corn Exchange and then marched to the training centre. Messrs Coutts' building has now been commandeered by the military authorities and, altogether, the Corps is in a rather unfortunate position with regard to a training centre.

The Corps this afternoon was to march to Eaton Green, where they were to drill in the courtyard by courtesy of Mr Ben Hartop, returning about teatime. They will be accompanied by the bugle band, the conductor of which is Mr Dumpleton. There are about 20 in the band, and a word of praise is due to the buglers for their excellent help.

There are now about 180 members on the roll but, of course, the ranks have been depleted by the decision of the War Office and the Association refusing any man of military age who does not sign the declaration. The enrolment secretary is Mr Arthur Buckley, who attends at the headquarters in King Street from seven to eight on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Applications for enrolment can be made in person or by letter.

Equipment is to be found for men joining as funds permit, but it is hoped that all recruits who can make any contribution towards their outfit will do so. The idea is to make the Corps as far as possible a self-supporting one.

We understand that the Beds Territorial Association has given the Corps permission to use the armoury at the Old Volunteer Club in Park Street.

[Source: Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph, February 6th, 1915]