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'Hands off Wardown' campaign, part 3

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.

Lutonians at Sevastopol

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:

Winding up of POW committee

What is considered by many to have been one of the best bits of war work performed in Luton has come to an end under the happiest possible conditions, wrote The Luton Reporter in its February 2nd, 1919, edition.

Yet six months or so ago the Luton Borough War Prisoners Fund, which was established in June 1915 to provide necessaries and comforts for prisoners of war whose homes were in the town or immediate neighbourhood, gave cause for real concern.

'Hands off Wardown' campaign, part 2

Luton Town Council's unanimous decision to use Wardown Mansion as a maternity hospital for three years or longer brought a hostile response from the local Press. Ahead of the next Council meeting that evening, the Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph led a scathing onslaught in its February 4th, 1919, edition, warning that members of the Council were riding for a fall if they did not immediately reverse their decision.

Shocking story of a 'living skeleton' POW

“A repulsive story of German cruelty” was how The Luton News (January 23, 1919) described the story of repatriated POW Sapper William Harold Woodford, of New Cottages, Aley Green. Mrs C. R. Green, also of Aley Green, wrote that William (“or rather what is left of him”) was in England and that she and his wife Lizzie had visited him at Lewisham Military Hospital.

Sgt Sidney Dines medal for gallantry

Sgt Sidney Dines MMSgt Sidney Adolphus Dines, 16175, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry during a bombing raid shortly before the signing of the armistice.

The Luton News (January 23rd, 1919) reported that Sgt Dines was a former pupil of Chapel Street School and his home address was 39 Ashton Road, Luton.

Captured carpenter home from Germany

Unlike many prisoners of war, Pte Ernest Thomas Parsons, 42392, 2/6th North Staffordshire Regiment, experienced a less brutal captivity in the hands of the Germans than many comrades.

He had been captured at Bullecourt in France on March 21st, 1918, with a shrapnel wound in his left arm. He finally arrived back home at 16 Russell Street, Luton, in January 1919 to tell his story to the Tuesday Telegraph (January 21st, 1919).

Battlefield hero awarded MM

Pte Herbert William Taylor, 40381, 5th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, was presented with the Military Medal by Luton Mayor Councillor Henry Impey during a meeting of the King Street Pleasant Sunday Afternoon group, of which Herbert was a member.

He had earned the medal for rescuing two wounded comrades - one of whom survived the war - under heavy machine gun and rifle fire near the village of Gommecourt in France.

Penal servitude for throat slasher

A discharged soldier who had co-habited with a Luton woman while her husband was a prisoner of war in Germany was jailed for five years with hard labour at Beds Winter Assizes on January 17th, 1919. Thomas William Wingrove, aged 41, a fitter of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty to wounding Ethel Bliss, aged 30, of 118 Chapel Street, Luton, with intent to do grievous bodily harm, by cutting her throat with a razor, on December 23rd, 1918.

Tramways manager Wray resigns

Mr Albert E. Wray, the Luton Tramways Manager, has accepted a responsible position with the firm of Dick, Kerr & Co, general engineers, who have works in various parts of the United Kingdom for the manufacture of generating plants, tramways etc.

He resigned his Luton position this week, only after repeated pressure from his firm to remain, and he is due to commence in his new post in February. He will act in an advisory capacity in the traction department of Dick, Kerr's engineering staff.

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