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Differing views on Peace Day riots

Two shades of opinion resulting from the Peace Day riots were published in The Luton News on August 28th, 1919. The newspaper said it had received many letters but the strong terms and language used by most of the writers had resulted in them being held over.

From Mr F. C. W. Janes, a letter asking if the Corporation were to blame for the troubles. He wrote:

Magnate who ended up in workhouse

Union House workhouse 1906

Walter William Butler was in 1919 a 73-year-old inmate of Union House, Luton's workhouse (pictured above in 1906). But, as the Luton News had discovered his story was stranger than fiction – he had once been a Liverpool city magnate who had dropped to the bottom of life's ladder through ill fortune. In its August 7th, 1919, edition the newspaper reported:

Call for new blood on town council

[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, August 26th, 1919]

It was inevitably the case in pre-war times that interest in local municipal affairs centre upon the November elections immediately after the August holidays, but never before in Luton history probably has that interest been of such a pronounced and widespread character as this year.

Brewer John Green visits battlefields

[The Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: August 23rd, 1919]

“I had three days in the battle area, and the devastation is so awful, so terrible, that it is impossible for anyone to exaggerate in describing the destruction. I was simply appalled. You have to see the frightful destruction to comprehend what it means, and you do see when you are there the abomination of desolation.”

Lady Wernher for Mayor?

Lady Alice Wernher's generosity in making Luton Hoo Park available for a drumhead memorial service and then a sports day and tea for ex-servicemen resulted in her being suggested as the next Mayor of Luton.

In a letter in the Luton News (August 21st, 1919), “A Lutonian” wrote: Mistakes may be made even by civic rulers, but gratitude is an elementary virtue. The least out local authorities can now do is to express our gratitude to Lady Wernher for doing so well what they failed to do.

Hoo day entertainers and organisers

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: August 19th, 1919]

In addition to the sports and cricket match, variety entertainments were given during the afternoon and evening by the Eugene Concert Party and by the DS&S Concert Party. There was also a Punch and Judy show. In the DS&S party there were Misses A. White, D. Burton and K. Timms; Messrs W. J. Ellingham, G. M. Wells and H. B. White (at the piano), assisted by Mr Fairey and the Brothers Cavanagh.

Vote of thanks to Lady Wernher

Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: August 19th, 1919]

Mr C. Barber (DS&S), in proposing a vote of thanks to Lady Wernher for the great kindness she had shown to all the ex-servicemen of Luton, said it was not the first time they had to thank her for honour bestowed on them as men who had fought. Those who were privileged to be at the Memorial Service not three weeks earlier saw what they would never forget.

Hoo sports day prizewinners

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: August 19th, 1919]

The prizes for the special events were distributed by Lady Wernher. Then Lady Zia Wernher handed the awards to the winners in the Luton Hoo and Unattached sections, and the Hon Mrs Victor Stanley distributed the awards won by the Federation and Comrades competitors.

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