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Christmas plea from the front for children at home

A soldier's thank-you letter for gifts sent to troops at the front was accompanied by a plea to remember their children at home at Christmastime.

Company Quarter-Master Sergeant J. Horne, 2nd Battalion, Beds Regt, wrote that the NCOs and men of his company wished to thank the Luton Town Working Party for their excellent presents of shirts etc.

"These shirts were received by us whilst actually in the trenches, and I can assure you they were very acceptable and appreciated, especially by those individuals who were Lutonians.

MP: Kaiser has set his heart on Calais

The House of Commons adjourned on Thursday after a short but remarkably interesting sitting. I have referred to the complete unanimity with which the latest and most burdensome Budget was accepted. Now and again points of criticism were raised, but there was no sign in the House, and there has been none in the country, of a disposition to quarrel with financial arrangements necessary to the successful prosecution of the war.

Personal accounts of the horrors of Ypres

The horrors of Ypres were revealed in letters from the front...a mad hour of my life, a day I shall never forget, hell on earth. Those were three of the descriptions.

An unnamed private with the 2nd Beds wrote from a hospital bed in Manchester: "We were ordered to advance on a small village, and I can tell you we had a hot time. We lost 100 killed and wounded. As night came on we entrenched ourselves, but were scarcely finished before they attacked us again in superior numbers.

Luton's youngest soldier

He's not very big, but he's a smart little fellow. That's how the Beds and Herts Saturday Telegraph of November 28th, 1914, described Luton's youngest soldier, 4ft 11in tall Trumpeter Reginald George Hickman, who had enlisted in the East Anglian Royal Engineers (Reserve Unit).

Serving the King: November 26th, 1914

Latest names to be added to the Luton News list of local men serving in the Army and Navy.


R. BURLEY: Gunner, Royal Field Artillery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - Warwick Road, Luton.

Leslie R. HYDE: 1st Class Boy, HMS Powerful - School House, Caddington.

John WALKER: 2nd Class Boy, HMS Powerful - Caddington.


S. W. ALLIN: Pte (6183), B Company, 7th Battn, East Surrey Regt.

A. J. BROWN: Pte, 3rd Battn, Beds Regt, E Company, Expeditionary Force - 27 Cobden Street, Luton.

Saturday Telegraph: November 21st, 1914

Stories from the Saturday Telegraph - November 21st, 1914

The first edition of Luton's new Saturday evening newspaper appeared on the streets carrying war news from around Europe and the Persian Gulf and the latest official reports from the War Office. One of its four pages was largely devoted to local sport, including a full report of Luton's 15-0 drubbing of visitors Great Yarmouth in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in front of a c rowd of about 4,000.

Launch of a new Luton newspaper

November 21st, 1914: The Beds and Herts Saturday Telegraph, a sister paper of The Luton News, was launched with the day's sport as one of its major selling points, especially Luton Town's progress in the Southern League. And the Town gave the debut paper a stunning first result with a 15-0 Cup win at home over Great Yarmouth.

Bedfords 'prove their fighting qualities'

Sgt T. W. Andrews, of the Bedfordshires, has written the following letter to the Officer Commanding, Depot, Bedfordshire Regiment.

"Our regiment is proving its fighting qualities. Our losses are heavy, but nothing compared with those of the enemy. Our machine guns of the Batteries have done some deadly work, and our officers, NCOs and men are perfect heroes, especially in our advances under artillery fire.

'Be brave and break the news to mother'

Tragic news was becoming more commonplace in letters from the front - either involving fellow soldiers or even a brother.

Pte H. Huckle, of the 2nd Beds, did not have the heart to tell his mother that he was lying wounded in Netley Hospital, less so that his brother Alfred had been killed. In a letter sent to his sister instead, he wrote: "I was hit in the chest - just missed the heart by an inch. That was a fortnight ago but I was unable to let you know before. Am leaving Netley on Friday - going somewhere to recruit my health.


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