An application was made some time ago by the Luton Corporation for a share in the mementoes of war, said the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph of January 11th, 1919. Mayor Henry Impey had since received the information that the gun awarded was a trophy won by the Bedfordshire Regiment and had been allotted by the regiment.
Reconstruction was a keyword in post-war Luton, and with it the prospect of industrial progress. One consequence was an attempt to start new industries in the town. One such, The Luton News of February 13th, 1919, revealed, was The Trident Manufacturing Co Ltd.
We told the public on Tuesday that the battle for Wardown House was half-won, and that members of the Council were 'climbing down'. Half- won is well begun, but the battle is not yet over, said the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph of February 15, 1919.
With the end of wartime production in which Luton had played a huge part, firms in the town were turning their attention to reverting to their peacetime roles. In munitions factories it would mean a loss of a huge number of jobs that no longer required and the welcoming back of ex-servicemen former employees with special skills. But the overall feeling among employers was one of optimism for the future.
The Luton News devoted space to interviewing bosses about their war work and to get an impression of how they saw their firms' futures in a new era of peace.
A sad fatality occurred yesterday at the Kingsway chemical works of Messr B. Laporte Ltd, reported the Tuesday Telegraph (February 11, 1919).
It appears that Horace Wilson, aged 15½, who lived with his parents at 20 Ash Road, was employed by the firm, and between 10 and 11am he was in a gang of six - in charge of the foreman, Harry Minney, of 49 North Street, Luton - engaged in moving a truck of coke a distance of only six feet.
Few, if any, soldiers could have received more expressions of gratitude from his fellow prisoners of war than Pte Henry J. Turner, of the Bedfordshire Regiment. No fewer than 425 warrant officers, NCOs and men signed a letter to the Army Council at the War Office in London in recognition of his unselfishness and untiring devotion to duty on their behalf.
Under the above headline, the Tuesday Telegraph on February 11th, 1919, wrote that it was with pardonable pride that it referred to the subject of Wardown House. The news that day was good. The Maternity Committee was busying itself looking about for an alternative scheme – in other words, Councillor Primett and his colleagues were climbing down. The report went on:
Following a robust attack in the Tuesday Telegraph on Luton Town Council's decision to use Wardown Mansion as a maternity hospital, the Saturday Telegraph followed up four days later (September 8th, 1919) with a perhaps more bitter condemnation of the scheme and the men behind it. Said the Telegraph:
A soldier patient at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital who had seen service throughout the war and come through safely until a few weeks before the armistice, when he was wounded and lost a leg, was presented with the Military Medal, watched by an audience at the Palace Theatre in Luton.
The Beds and Herts Saturday Telegraph (February 8th, 1919) reported that he presentation provided a pleasing interlude at the Palace, when Mayor (Councillor Henry Impey) pinned the medal on Cpl Arthur Poole, 200848, 1/5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment.
Women are waiting in queues in Luton once again, not for food but for the means of obtaining it. As a result, some extraordinary scenes were witnessed yesterday at the Public Library and the Labour Exchange, where the subsistence allowances were paid out to discharged munition workers, reported the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (February 8th, 1919).
A letter opposing a maternity home at Wardown, from a ratepayer who was one of the original supporters of the acquisition of the park and mansion for the town, added fuel to the controversial debate at the meeting of Luton Town Council on February 4th, 1919.
The letter, read at the meeting from Mr S. J. Worsley, of 3 Ivy Road, Luton, received an unsympathetic hearing from most, but the debate produced the first hints of unhappiness among some Council members to the proposal. And it came in the wake of a scathing attack on the proposal published in that day's Tuesday Telegraph.
Following a previous letter from two Lutonians serving on HMS Agamemnon about the British Fleet's entry into the Dardanelles, a second letter dated January 13, 1919, described their visit to Constantinople and Sevastopol. Signed by L. B. Briars, It read: