Deejaya's blog

Demob anger and frustration

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: May 31st, 1919]

Two interesting and forcible letters were written to his parents this month by a Lutonian, serving in the East as a despatch rider with the Royal Engineers. In the first letter, written from Tanta in Egypt, he says:

“Wish I could say that I should soon be coming home, but things are not at all promising yet. The Egyptian question has simmered down, and demobilisation on a reduced scale resumed. If we wait for the arrival of reinforcements before we are released we look like waiting a long time.

Peace Day and Luton's children

Under the headings: “Luton's Peace Day; the cry of the children, where do we come in?” the Luton News (May 29th, 1919) said it may be something of an exaggeration to suggest that the children of Luton are themselves actually asking this question in relation to the forthcoming peace celebrations, but there are many among the residents of the borough who are beginning to ask it on the kiddies' behalf.

Military Medal presented in church

[The Luton News: Thursday, May 27th, 1919]

A very interesting presentation took place last night at the Wesleyan Central Mission, Midland Road, when L-Cpl Stanley Edmund Watson (South Staffordshires) was presented with the Military Medal awarded for bravery on the field. He was gazetted on October 21st, 1918.

It was no small matter that Mr Watson had preferred to be decorated at his church rather than at a picture palace. He was in the infantry, but served with the artillery in Italy.

Mons Star man crushed in rail accident

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: May 27th, 1919]

An inquest was held at Hitchin on Monday touching the death of John Edward Phillips, aged 25, an ex-Beds Yeoman and a Mons Star soldier, who was fatally crushed at the Great Northern goods siding, Hitchin, on Saturday morning.

The deceased, after being demobilised about a month ago, returned to work at Luton G.N. Station as a porter, and had only been working at Hitchin about a week as a horse shunter when the accident occurred.

DS&S propose Wardown memorial service

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph and Luton Reporter: May 27th, 1919]

There was a large attendance of members at the general meeting of the Discharged Sailors' and Soldiers' Federation on Saturday afternoon (May 24th, 1919) at the headquarters in Park Street.

It was reported that a committee had been in communication with the Mayor and Town Clerk with regard to what part the discharged soldiers are to have in the forthcoming peace celebrations.

Rival ex-servicemen groups play cricket

Despite bitter and on-going verbal rivalry between them, local ex-servicemen's groups the Discharged Sailors and Soldiers (DS&S) and the Comrades of the Great War did meet each other twice on the cricket field in the summer of 1919 as members of a local league. Both matches were played at Stockwood Park, and in both instances the DS&S won easily.

Cemetery 'scandal' of an open grave

Cemetery scandal headline

Having taken up the cause of retaining Wardown Mansion for public use rather than as a maternity hospital and the case of a meagre pension agreed by the Board of Guardians for a widow with several children, the Saturday Telegraph (May 24th, 1919) turned its attention to a widow whose husband remained unburied because she could not afford to meet funeral expenses.

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