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Luton WW1 diary: September 24th, 1914

To further stimulate recruiting for the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, a meeting was held outside the Luton Corn Exchange on Thursday evening. For some time before the commencement of the meeting a party of 11 pipers, drawn from the Highland Territorials now in training at Bedford, paraded the town accompanied by a party of Boy Scouts with bugles and drums, and the result was a very large crowd at the meeting.

MP Harmsworth: Peace only on our terms

The Session of 1914 is at and end. Parliament has been prorogned after what has been generally described as the most memorable sitting of half a century. I much regret that I missed the final scene, when [Labour MP] "Will"Crooks called upon the House to sing "God Save the King". I was in bed at the time with a bad cold, and I was not lucky enough to witness the historic reconciliation of the British and Irish races. The war had brought one good result anyway.

Beds Reservists' first pay night

The battalion (5th Beds) for foreign service has been brought practically up to full strength. Slightly over the necessary 60 per cent volunteered for foreign service, and this number has been constantly added to, so that now about 70 per cent are prepared to go. Therefore, practically 300 men were wanted to complete the Foreign Service Battalion. All the vacancies in the Bedford and South Beds Detachments were filled by enlistment, and many more men could have been got.

Jam session

Soldiers quartered at the Luton Union House, Dunstable Road, had a sing-song on Friday evening that might be called a jam session. Jam, which had such a prominent place in military catering, was the subject of a song which the whole company would break in to. Here are the lyrics.Three jam jars

 

There is a happy land

Far, far away

MP Harmsworth: Year or more of war?

They were true prophets who told us that the battle between the Allies and the Germans on the Western front of the war would prove to be not only the greatest of history, but the slowest to result in a decisive victory for either side. It is now more than a month since hostilities began and still the fate of Europe - the fate of France, of Belgium and of our own Empire - is undecided.

For King and country: September 10th, 1914

People whose names appeared in The Luton News of September 10th, 1914, in connection with military service.

A private in the Bedfordshire Regiment, writing from Mandora Barracks, Aldershot, where he is at present in training, says his battalion is nearly 1,000 strong and nearly all of them come from Bedfordshire, including many from Luton.

Appended to the letter are the names of Privates H. Barber, New Town Street; H. Taylor, Hitchin Road; R. Evans, 25 Alfred Street; C. Woodfield, 76 Wenlock Street; W. Mingay, Bailey Street; and L. Lovell.

5th Beds prepare for foreign service

From The Luton News, September 10th, 1914

Every one of the officers and about 650 men of the 1,000 in the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment have volunteered for foreign service unconditionally. That means that they can be sent anywhere, and are as likely to go to France as to Egypt or any of the other foreign countries that one hears so frequently mentioned as the destination of the Territorials who have offered themselves for foreign work.

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