The Town Council found themselves in the rather quaint position last Tuesday evening [July 22nd] of meeting in the police court with the Aldermen on the Bench and the body of the court improvised to resemble the stage picture presented on Council nights in the now demolished Council Chamber.
[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: August 2nd, 1919]
In a leading article on 'Peace and after,' the Northampton Independent says: “The peace celebrations passed off at Northampton with a subdued spirit that showed the futility of attempting to reproduce the exuberant relief of armistice day. A few gangs of irresponsible youths made it the excuse for rowdy revelry, but happily we were spared such outbreaks as have marred the fair fame of Luton, Coventry and Bilston, where rioting of an alarming character broke out.
Salvation Army journal 'War Cry' described how the No 2 Citadel building (pictured in 1908) in Manchester Street, adjoining the burned down Town Hall, had had a miraculous escape during the “regrettable disturbances” on Peace Day in Luton.
The decision of the Ministry of Food to reimpose rationing so far as certain articles are concerned was referred to at a meeting of the Luton Borough Food Committee last evening [July 28th, 1919].
The Committee also received from the Town Clerk a request that he should be relieved of his duties as Executive Officer at the earliest possible moment, owing to the extremely heavy pressure of other duties.
With the object of considering arrangements for giving the local men who have served “King, country and people during the Great War” a welcome home, a public meeting was held in the Norton Road Schools, Leagrave, on Monday [July 28th]. The programme, which was approved in principle by the large gathering, will suitably mark the event in the history of the two parishes – Leagrave and Limbury – as worthy recognition of the gallant service rendered by so many of its noble sons.
No finer testimony of the love and respect which the town has for Canon H. Coate, of St Matthew's Church, could have been forthcoming than the crowded and representative farewell service at the Parish Hall last night.
A contribution by an unnamed “one in the crowd” described what it had been like to be present at the drum-head service at Luton Hoo Park on July 27th, 1919. The writer said:
One came away from the Hoo on Sunday afternoon with mingled emotions. On had, with thousands upon thousands of other Lutonians, paid a silent but sincere mark of homage to those who, having undertaken the Great Adventure, have crossed the Rubicon – and gone on.
A mighty gathering, a wonderful concourse of people, assembled at Luton Hoo Park on Sunday afternoon to participate in a united memorial service to men who have paid the supreme sacrifice for their God and country.
In a letter to Mr H. C. Cooper, the Secretary of the DS&S, expressing pleasure that his organisation would make use of Luton Hoo Park for the purpose of holding a divine service in memory of fallen comrades, Lady Alice Wernher made a second offer.
The letter, reprinted in the Luton News (July 24th, 1919), said: “I shall consider it a privilege as well as a pleasure if the sailors and soldiers of Luton will accept my invitation to sports and tea in Luton Hoo Park on Saturday, August 16th, in celebration of Peace.
Events in Luton on the afternoon of Peace day – prior to the evening violence - took a very similar form to what had happened at Doncaster, Yorks, on the previous Thursday night. The Saturday Telegraph (published a day early on July 18th) reported that, as a protest against the abandonment of a part of the Peace celebration programme there, a crowd of roughs had assembled in front of Doncaster Mansion House, where a charity ball was in progress, and broke a number of windows. The police charged the crowds, using their batons, and dispersed them.
Thirteen prisoners appeared before Alderman T. Cain and Mr W. J. Mair at the Luton Borough Court yesterday morning [July 25th, 1919] when, for the third day in succession, charges arising from the riotous proceedings at the Town Hall on Saturday night and Sunday were preferred by the police.
The Chief Constable (Mr Griffin) said he proposed, as in the cases heard on the previous two days, to offer only sufficient evidence to justify remands.