Stoker Petty Officer Reginald George Smith, K3252, Royal Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal after assisting the captain of the stricken warship HMS Raglan, sunk off the Dardanelles on January 20th, 1918.
In January 1916, the arrival at the Royal Field Artillery's Biscot Camp of Lieut F. H. Howell saw the formation of the Biscoteers Concert Party. Dressed as pierrots, they used their talents, both musical and comic, to entertain and raise funds. And they became perhaps the most popular entertainment troupe in the town during World War One.
After several months in German captivity, Pte William Stanley Ward [3296, 21st Battalion Middlesex Regiment], son of the New Bedford Road lodge-keeper at Wardown Park, was welcomed home on Monday evening, wrote the Tuesday Telegraph of December 3rd, 1918. The article went on:
Remains of the Chaul End munition works photographed in 1933.
The following verses, the composition of Lieut Burnham, a member of the staff of Messrs George Kent Ltd, were recited at the victory celebration at Chaul End last week [wrote the N-T-F & Tuesday Telegraph of December 3rd, 1918].
On Saturday [November 30th, 1918], the Fuze Department of Vauxhall Motors Ltd ran a very successful farewell evening in the form of a whist drive and dance. It was originally intended to have this on November 2nd, but it had to be postponed on account of the influenza epidemic. As the cessation of hostilities intervened and will mean the closing down of the Department, it now took the form of a farewell evening.
The Omnia Works of Hewlett & Blondeau Ltd at Oak Road, Leagrave, were to close down in the course of a few weeks, wrote the Luton Reporter on September 7th, 1920. On inquiry at the works, the newspaper's representative was informed that no statement could be officially issued on the subject at that stage, as the legal winding up of the concern had yet to take place.
Mr George Tuffnell, of Stopsley, received news of his son Horace Tuffnell, who was a trooper in the 8th Hussars in India when the war broke out and had been at the front since. Horace wrote that he had been wounded and was in an Egyptian hospital.
On December 14, 1918, Britain's voters went to the polls for the first General Election in eight years, or in Luton's case since a by-election in 1911 which saw Cecil Harmsworth narrowly hold the South Bedfordshire seat for the Liberals. But there was one significant change in 1918 from earlier Parliamentary elections – woman - those aged over 30, at least – would have the right to vote. And that more than doubled the number of electorate in the constituency.
The King on Saturday [November 23th, 1918] conferred 280 decorations at an investiture at Buckingham Palace, and among the recipients were Dr Bell (Military Cross), of Luton, and Capt Paul Ward Spencer Bulman, R.A.F. (son of the Vicar of St Paul's, the Rev Thomas Bulman), who received the Air Force Cross.
Lance-Sgt George Jones, 5/22365, 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, formerly of 34 Chase Street, Luton, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in the field at Auchy-les-La Bassee in France on the night of September 28th-29th, 1918. The news was sent to his married sister Mrs Olive Coles at 60 Baker Street.
Henry Impey's year of office was the most traumatic that any Mayor would not want to experience. From a high with the announcement of the signing of the November 1918 armistice after more than four years of war, his term reached a low with riots and the burning down of the Town Hall at the end of peace celebrations in July 1919.
Armistice Day in Luton coincided with incidents of hooliganism in the town. When the Armistice announcement was made, several people were scorched by fireworks thrown indiscriminately into the crowd by youths.
That was followed by a letter published in the Luton News (November 28) from 'Dora' complaining about other incidents of hooliganism. She wrote: “May I be permitted to protest against the disgraceful conduct of gangs of youths that parade certain thoroughfares of the town at night, generally between the hours of 7 and 9pm.
The success attending an audacious attempt of a party of 47 English prisoners of war to escape from their confinement in Germany was described by Pte Frank Woodfield, brother of Mrs Naomi Blackabey, whose husband keeps a stationery and hairdressing business in High Town Road.